1. Tank size
48 1/4" x 12 3/4" x 21"
2. Watts and type of lighting
24" 20 watt GL soft white flourescent T12192A2 (if that helps)
3. Number and types of plants
One sword plant of generic type that you could get at Petsmart (cause thats where I got it)
*edit* after doing some looking around it might have been an Echinodorus macrophyllus
, Large-leaved amazon sword? Looks about right
4. Substrate type
Uh...it was in the tank when I got it...looks like sand mostly, there are these red clayish bits that settle on the top.
5. Age of tank
Tank has been running for oh....5 or 6 months
6. CO2 injection
No CO2, thats way beyond me right now.
7. Water Parameters
Using API freshwater master test kit:
b. Last night approx 24 hours after changing 10 gallons.
8. Detailed description of plant problems
"very small leaves, even semi-transparent/yellow, leaves turn brown/clear and die"
So after reading a couple articles under the plant informations sticky (mostly the lighting chart) I realized that the bulb in my lighting is old...VERY old...like 2 years old. Mostly this part stuck out:
"a T8 bulb has an effective lifespan of 6-9 months before the phosphors that are responsible for making the spectrum required by plants breaks down. This leaves the bulb producing erratic light for the plants. You will NOT see this, it effects only the spectrums that the plants use to photosynthesize. When they become erratic they can produce excessive blues, or more typically reds, this can lead to algae and other unwanted growth. Effectively you should replace your light bulbs after 6 months, but no later then 9.."
No wonder my poor little sword plant was doing so bad, it was huge and glorious when I bought it and its been languishing at the bottom of the tank looking more like a dagger-plant or a butterknife-plant, very small leaves, even semi-transparent. So, I replaced the bulb. Wow, even a visible difference, that old bulb was very blue. So now the question. Do you think this will make enough of a difference or do you think that I should do something more? More lights? A single 20w bulb isnt much... fertilizer maybe.... Thanks!