04-28-2012, 04:07 PM
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I still see a possible problem with the lighting. Now that we've sorted out what it is--and I would be fairly certain it is T8 not T5, but if you look on one end of the tube there will be printing and it should say but regardless we can assume T8--I can tell you why it looks dark. Those tubes are not good light, I have a hood or two from Aqueon with them and they go straight to recycling. Depending how much you want to spend, you can get a good tube in the fish store or a hardware store for considerably less money.
You just measure the tube you have end to end (not including the prongs) and look for that length, or take the present tube with you. Life-Glo by Hagen and Ultra Sun by ZooMed are two good fish store tubes; both have a Kelvin of 6700K. From a hardware store like Home Depot, Lowe's, etc, a "daylight" having a Kelvin of 6500K is what you want; GE, Phillips and Sylvania all make these, though all stores may not have every size. If they do, they will be around 1/3 the cost if not even less.
To the ferts. Flourite enriched substrate will only benefit substrate rooted plants and very minimally at that. Some nutrients must come from the water: ammonium, potassium, CO2, oxygen, hydrogen. Others like iron, copper, manganese and zinc are taken up by roots and leaves. Since Flourite is specifically made not to release nutrients into the water column, according to Seachem, it is essential to add these as a liquid. The Flourish Comprehensive Supplement mentioned previously will be sufficient.
Is this water pillow designed for aquarium water?