Lights or fertilizer
Not sure if my problem is from low light or lack of fertilizer. I have lots of new growth but the leaves seem a little pale compared to what they were and the rows of anubis leaves are spread farther than the original plant. It's a 10 gallon with two 10watt cfls on 10 hours a day and a Marineland power filter. The tank holds 3 corys, 3 tetras and 4 white clouds, plants are 2 jave fern, 2 anubis and 1 corkscrew val. I get just a little algae on the glass between water changes and there is a little on some leaves.
Well it sounds like both. Lanky, spread out leaves is lighting and color problems is often a micro fert problem. IF the lights are the screw in type then lighting is definately part of it.
To be honest, if you are getting descent, then just start adding some micros, or maybe more of them. This could help with coloration. Make sure to clean your hood and covers also as this can cut a lot of light.
Yeah, unfortunately they are the screw in type but at least I was able to switch to flourescants cfls. What exactly are micros and do I add them to the gravel or the water?
If you want to go with more light the 15 watt bubls won't hurt anything. They will be more light but won't increase things enough to need CO2 or anything. Did oyu make sure they were 6500K?
Micros is the basic fertilizer:
Iron, potassium, magnesium and other things. Flourish or leaf zone will provide basic micro ferts. Ask at your LFS if they don't carry them for an iron fertilizer.
The bulbs are speced at 6700K. My local store only had 10watters, I'll have to keep an eye out for the larger ones when I go for some fertilizer.
Anyhting over 6500 is fine. Try walmart or a home improvement store to find the larger ones if you LFS doesn't carry them.
Is it best to find something that goes into the gravel, it seems something added to the water would help the algae more than the plants?
Root tabs are a huge help to heavy root feeders. Crypts and swords are the main ones that especially appreciate root tabs.
Anything else and you really need some iron and micros in the water column because they are leaf feeders.
I've done some on line looking and see two types of these bulbs available; the 6700k full spectrum or a 50% 10,000k/50% actinic blue. Is there an advantage of one to the other?
Actinic is useless for fresh water when it comes to total output. It can and does provide useful spectrum for plants but should not be calculated in total wattage, lumens nor counted in any of the calculations used to determine light levels.
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