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post #1 of 10 Old 04-27-2011, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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Plants not growing well

Im new to the planted tank thing. I have a 60 gallon that I am in the middle of making a planted tank and I have 4 amazon sword plants and hornwort. The hornwort seems to be doing fine but the swords are giving me some problems. I have had to trim off most leaves, stems and roots to the point where there are only a few leaves left. The leaves are still dying but not as quickly as before. I just wana check in and see if anyone can spot noticeable problems or If i should just wait it out. I spoke with Byron alittle while ago and picked up GE daylight lights and stuck them in my fixtures. The fixture is 2 23" perfecto fixtures. They holda single 18 inch fluorescent bulbs. I am also dosing with Flourish comprehensive weekly. The only problem I can see is the wattage doesn't fulfill the rule I see floating around of however many watts per gallon. The lights are 15 watts each. Anyone have any suggestions?
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post #2 of 10 Old 04-27-2011, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcb5522 View Post
Im new to the planted tank thing. I have a 60 gallon that I am in the middle of making a planted tank and I have 4 amazon sword plants and hornwort. The hornwort seems to be doing fine but the swords are giving me some problems. I have had to trim off most leaves, stems and roots to the point where there are only a few leaves left. The leaves are still dying but not as quickly as before. I just wana check in and see if anyone can spot noticeable problems or If i should just wait it out. I spoke with Byron alittle while ago and picked up GE daylight lights and stuck them in my fixtures. The fixture is 2 23" perfecto fixtures. They holda single 18 inch fluorescent bulbs. I am also dosing with Flourish comprehensive weekly. The only problem I can see is the wattage doesn't fulfill the rule I see floating around of however many watts per gallon. The lights are 15 watts each. Anyone have any suggestions?
15 watts each? not enough my friend atleast ATLEAST 1 watts per gallon for the lights. Do you have daylight bulbs? what is the kelvin?

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post #3 of 10 Old 04-27-2011, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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6400K. The problem is I cant find an 18 inch bulb rated more then 15 watts. Where do I go from here to fix this?

Last edited by mcb5522; 04-27-2011 at 09:05 PM.
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post #4 of 10 Old 04-27-2011, 09:05 PM
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How long ago did you buy the swords? Leaves dying and falling off is common in new sword plants, since alot of the time, they are grown out emersed (out of water) and then sold to you to put in your aquarium. The plant has to shed its emersed leaves and grow new ones for aquatic purposes.

All of my sword plants have done this when they were new. If you could post a photo, we may be able to tell you if this is the problem of not.

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post #5 of 10 Old 04-28-2011, 12:07 PM
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Fluorescent tubes all come in standard wattage for the tube length, e.g., a 48-inch tube is 40w, a 30-inch tube is 25w, etc. Now there are some manufacturers making tubes with less wattage, for instance ZooMed make 48-inch in 32w, and they have the same "intensity" as the 40w of the same type; this is just a case of more energy-efficient technology. The point remains the same, the length of tube will be whatever watts, so you can't get more intense tubes than the standard, although the way they are manufactured may make some difference.

The reflector can be improved to direct more light into the aquarium. Tubes emit light all around, so about half of it is going to be directed up and around rather than into the tank. Some have had success by coating the inside of the fixture with foil, the shiniest side up. Or painting the reflector with some sort of reflective surface.

The other option is to buy a new fixture that holds two tubes full length across the tank length. Several manufacturers make fixtures that sit on the tank frame. You also need a plain glass cover between the water and the fixture; these are not expensive, but the fixture obviously is.

Two 18-inch tubes over a 60g is cutting it very fine. I'm assuming the tank is 4 feet in length. I think moderate light plants such as swords will need more light. But a photo of one would help, just in case.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #6 of 10 Old 04-28-2011, 02:05 PM
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Sounds like your tank is similar to one of mine. I also have the same lighting and the plants do fine with that. One thing I noticed is often, shortly after you re-plant a plant, it sort of suffers before it gets better. The shock of moving takes it's tole before it comes back. My plants were doing excellent right before I had this latest snail infestation. I think you will be fine with those lights.
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post #7 of 10 Old 04-28-2011, 06:06 PM
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I have some sword plants in my tank and I put those root tabs under them as they like Iron then most plants I have. I only have a 15 Watt F bulb over all my tanks and it is doing fine on a timer from 1pm-8pm. If you just planted it it went into shcok. It will recover in time with new leaves like mine did.

You might want to try some Crypt (Cryptocoryne) and some Vallisneria as these both grow well in my low light tanks. My Hornwort melts from time to time if the water gets to warm. Java ferns, Java moss,wendolov fern, dwarf sagittaria, wisteria all are growing well in my tanks.

I forgot to mention that the plants are in sand, pool filter sand in some tanks and Black sand in others.

Last edited by eileen; 04-28-2011 at 06:09 PM.
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post #8 of 10 Old 04-28-2011, 06:39 PM Thread Starter
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Im working on getting the picture on, have to get a new wire for my iphone, thats usually how i get quick pictures on here. I planted them around a month ago and they were pretty decent looking, I had done an initial trim first, then a second trim 2 weeks ago and a 3rd last week. each time removing around 3-5 leaves.stems. They are all looking ok at the moment. There are a few leaves still decaying but much slower much slower then the usualy. Im just not sure whether or not it is shock or my lights. I know I am working with a low power system for my size tank. The tank iis 4 feet long and 23 inches high. The reflector is the white plastic that surrounds the light. I am open to getting a new fixture. Something to reduce power usage and that gives off more power but if I dont have to then I wont. Im trying to get some of the plants mentioned by everyone but my LFS(where I bought these from) has one ten gallon tank that they sell plants out of. So pickings are limited and they dont do special orders. Ill work on getting a pic on here today.
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post #9 of 10 Old 04-28-2011, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by mcb5522 View Post
Im working on getting the picture on, have to get a new wire for my iphone, thats usually how i get quick pictures on here. I planted them around a month ago and they were pretty decent looking, I had done an initial trim first, then a second trim 2 weeks ago and a 3rd last week. each time removing around 3-5 leaves.stems. They are all looking ok at the moment. There are a few leaves still decaying but much slower much slower then the usualy. Im just not sure whether or not it is shock or my lights. I know I am working with a low power system for my size tank. The tank iis 4 feet long and 23 inches high. The reflector is the white plastic that surrounds the light. I am open to getting a new fixture. Something to reduce power usage and that gives off more power but if I dont have to then I wont. Im trying to get some of the plants mentioned by everyone but my LFS(where I bought these from) has one ten gallon tank that they sell plants out of. So pickings are limited and they dont do special orders. Ill work on getting a pic on here today.
That will help, if I can see the plant. Are there new leaves growing from the centre of the crown? And if yes, is it just the outer leaves that are dying, and were these all on the plant when you got it? And how are they dying, sort of yelllowing overall, or getting spots?

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #10 of 10 Old 04-29-2011, 10:02 AM
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Instead of relying on the reflectors, you could also go buy some metallic ducting tape, and cover the part of the bulb away from the waters surface... It's like using a bulb with a built-in reflector.

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