Nothing Will Grow (I'm getting HORNWART-IDLY desperate)
WARNING LONG INTRODUCTION
I have a 33 gallon fish tank. I did everything right (I think) when first setting it up. Let it sit for a while, made sure water was right, put in my fish from my ten gallon. I REALLY wanted to grow some plants so I went to the fish store and got a Flourescent light. I let it run my tank for a while and it worked out just fine. After about 2 weeks I threw in two little ornaments and some "fish tank" drift wood. I let the tank sit for I don't even know how long still and decided to put in some plants. Stupidly I didn't ask what the plants were but I will tell you they died quite fast. I was then informed I was using TOO strong of a light. I fixed it and went back to get some more plants. The guy gave me some really HARDY plants and said they should work. Still the brown leaves came and they died. I switched my filteration system to make the water move less and no improvement. I cleaned out a bunch of the gravel and no green leaves. My plecos aren't eating them, my koohli loach leaves them in the gravel and my albino catfish want nothing to do with them. Now I went to the ABSOLUTE easiest plant, some hornwart. If this doesnt work I am trying the C02, is there anything else I could try?
What substrate do you have and what fertilisers do you use? This info will help heaps with answering your questions.
i recommend against C02 in a 10 gallon.
also, the pleco(s) are going to out grow the 10 gallon VERY fast. the khuli loaches i believe need a school as well as the cory cat. ive heard the cories also do better with sand as a substrate.
to sum it up, please RESEARCH before you buy!
Find a new LFS. They obviously don't know anything about plants.
Too much lighting for a 10 gallon is really hard to do. 4 watts per gallon is not even high light so I highly doubt that is the problem.
Are you adding salt to your tank? If you are, stop. This is killing your plants.
Make sure that the plants you get are aquatic. PlantGeek.net - Plant Guide is a great place to find out a lot of info on plants.
Next, it doesn't matter what your substrate is. All you need is a good 2 inches and your plants will grow in it. I have river run gravel and I can grow anything short of Hemianthus callitricoides (HC) in my gravel.
Also, what are you tank parameters? GH, KH pH nitrates, nitrites, ammonia.
Sorry guys its a 33 gallon. I don't know what you mean for substrate, I have heard it before but I have about and inch and a half of gravel. I also have a fertilizer all in my tank, it looks like the gravel and apparently never need to be replaced but I bought two just in case and usually put more where I am planting the plants. My cooli loach is not the typical black loach, and he is about six inches and he killed all the other ones I bought for him to school with. I have a (I think this is the name) rubber mouth pleco and a normal pleco. I have little veggie wafers they get everynight to keep them from eating my plants. I have two because my friend shut down her tank and I got all of her fish, they co exsist quite nicely. My ammonia is low but my pH is fairly high. I am not sure what GH and KH are but I have taken the water to multiple pet stores and got it tested by them, they SAY its good. I am new to the freshwater stuff but I really want to learn and keep this hobby.
It is important to get a liquid test kit to moniter the chemical perameters of your fish tank water, and also the source of the water. Somthing like API fershwater master test kit. Aquarium Water Testing: Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Freshwater Master Test Kit This is especially important to provide others with nessacary information to help you find what is holding back your plants. Light is important, somthing in the 100 watt range for a 33 gallon, the correct color tempiture is 6,700k, I have heard of 5,000k to 10,000k will work but is less efficient and may promote algae. It sounds like you have some type of nutrient rich substrate and thats good. I suggest reading as much as you can on forums and whatever books you can get ahold of, Aquarium Plants Mini Encyclopedia Amazon.com: Aquarium Plants (Mini Encyclopedia Series for Aquarium Hobbyists): Peter Hiscock: Books explains things at a beginner level and I think is a usefull book. Lastly I have never had great sucess with aquarium plants until I started using CO2, I just use a Do It Yourself System and have gotten great results.
The light that I am using is Life Glo which has the 6700K you were talking about. I don't know if this is related but I turn the tank on at around 12pm and turn it off at aroung 11pm-12am (when I get home from work) would it be harmful to leave it on all the time. I will get the kit and the CO2 and see how it goes. I have also seen a lot about java moss and I am raising guppies, platys, and now apparenly mollies. Would the java moss survive in my tank in the questionable circumstances?
And I just looked it up, I guess my loach is not a cooli but a Peppered Loach. Also I have that brand for testing my pH and my ammonia but not for the nitrates and nitrites, which I will try to find today.
lighting is the key here hornwort is rootless and needs no substrate or co2 i grew it without both and got to the point were i was dumping handfulls of it a week but does need a good light source
the java would do fine in the gloomyest of tanks i have more luck growing it in low light than 10000k were algea gets the better of it
Substrate is the gravel, sand, rocks or whatever else you are using on the bottom of the tank to plant the plants in.
70-100 watts is a good range. New Lights?
Put your tank dimensions in there. Then determine what light level you want. If you go very high light you will almost for sure need CO2 injection. Anything under can work without it although the up side of high light might need CO2 depending on how the plants react and how much algae you get.
No salt added?
How much light do you have now? How many watts if you know? What type, flourewcent power compact flourescent, T12,10,8,5? Should all be on the bulb.
Java moss doesn't need much at all to grow. I can't get it to live regardless of what I do though but that is just one of my little quirks, one of those Murphy's Laws that is a fluke.
Also, what type of fertilizer?
The stuff you add, do you know exactly what it is? Eco Complete, laterite, fluorite, something else?
Sorry for all the quesitons but this will all help us help you.
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