Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources (
-   Beginner Planted Aquarium (
-   -   Plants not growing? (

Brandonl87 09-27-2012 10:48 AM

Plants not growing?
Hey start off the tank is a 55gal. Been up for almost 4months. i dose ferts twice a week with flourish comp. it has 2 18" 6500k bulbs over it. water changes once a week. has a hydro sponge filter. it is gravel bottom for now. i have guppies,9-10 Neons, and 3 Emerald Cories. with about 20+ little guppy fry. plants are green cabomba. 3 anubis. 2 amazon swords. 2 crypts. and some others not sure on names. also 3 jungle vals. And watersprite. only ones seeming to have growth is the water sprite and the crypts. Also i do use Prime as a condtioner for the water changes. and all levels are normal. Any ideas? PH is 7.5 or 7.6

Byron 09-27-2012 12:33 PM

The issue is light. Over a 4-gfoot 55g tank, the absolute minimum lighting would be a single 48-inch tube. And that would be on the low end too. For the plants you name, a dual-tube 48-inch is best.

The Water Sprite is managing because it is floating (presumably), and crypts are very low light plants. But the swords will struggle, and fast-growing stem plants like the Cabomba willnever last. I can't keep this plant going, and I have two tubes over my larger tanks.

If you have to stay with the present fixture, other plants that should manage are Java Fern, Java Moss and Anubias. I believe you mention Anubias. But these are all slow-growing plants (hence, requiring less light), so don't expect to see them sprouting new leaves rapidly. If the existing leaves are remaining green, the plant is fine.


Brandonl87 09-27-2012 12:43 PM

So i should do two 48inch 6500k tubes?
Posted via Mobile Device

Byron 09-27-2012 01:31 PM


Originally Posted by Brandonl87 (Post 1258026)
So i should do two 48inch 6500k tubes?
Posted via Mobile Device

I would advise it, if you can. You don't want too much light, because then it will be beyond the nutrient balance, and algae will proliferate. But over a 55g 4-foot tank, two 48-inch T8 tubes will work fine. Years ago (1980's) I had a single T8 tube over this sized tank, and I just managed, but today i would get a dual-tube, it increases your plant options. Just make sure it is T8 (the regular fluorescent). T5 is very popular now, but this is much brighter light and two tubes is overkill, and unfortunately a single-tube T5 is impossible to find.

The 6500K tubes are good, you can use the less expensive ones made by GE, Phillips or Sylvania. I use these, much less expensive than comparable tubes from fish stores.


Brandonl87 09-27-2012 03:48 PM

Thanks Bryon you been a huge help with almost all of my tanks :-). I'll go tonight hopefully and pick up two of the tubes from lowes or home depot. what would you suggest over a 125g with the same plants? Im in the process of changing my Mbuna tank over to something else and selling them to a friend of mine.

Boredomb 09-27-2012 06:52 PM

Have ran a Dual 48" 6500K T8 fixture over a 55 gallon with most of the plants you mentioned with no problems expect algae on my floating plants. Now when I didn't have floating plants I had algae issues on the other plants. IMO this setup puts a lot of light into the tank and floating plants should be used.
Posted via Mobile Device

Byron 09-27-2012 06:57 PM

Yes, i sometimes forget this as i always have floating plants, so it is just "assumed.":-)

On the 125g, what is the tank length?

Brandonl87 09-28-2012 07:34 AM

Hey sorry it takes me so long to reply my labtop crashed so can only use the one at work now.. I love floating plants deff a must for me. The 125g is a 6ft tank. I did go by lowes and got 2 48" 6500k tubes so we will see how it goes now. Cant beat the price from LFS to Lowes i paid $8.50 for both compared to LFS's prices.

Byron 09-28-2012 11:14 AM

On the question asked about light over the 125g which is a six foot tank.

I have a 5-foot 115g tank, and with it I bought a 5-foot T8 fixture that takes two 48-inch T8 tubes. This has proven over 15 years to have been sufficient light, and you can see photos in my log [below my name on the left].

I don't know how readily available these fixtures are now, or if they come in 6-foot lengths. It likely depends upon how the tank is constructed. Presumably there is a centre brace at the top, and this can help support the light fixture whether it be a single 6-foot or two 3-foot. A 6-foot fixture would presumably have more than just 2 48-inch tubes, and the 3-foot would have 30-36 inch tubes, so the tank length would be covered either way.


Brandonl87 09-29-2012 08:07 AM

Ok thank you :-). and yes it has a center brace for support. Now i just have to get some time to go back to lowes.. Been working way to much these past few weeks seems like.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:24 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome