Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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easeltine 10-11-2013 01:28 PM

I am having problems getting plants to grow nice
A few years ago we bought a 30 gallon high acrylic tank, some slight scratches in the tank, Eclipse II, with a stand for a pretty good price. I have kept fish for years, and decided to go back to the older way of keeping fish when I was young. By that I mean that I got rid of all my plastic plants, and increased my fish load to create CO2. My problem is that my lighting system to the Eclipse II broke. I have very little money, struggling in this economy so I cannot afford the correct fix. I bought a 9 Watt Flor., (about 25 Watt regular bulbs), under the cabinet light that is screwed on where the other lighting fixture is and seems to work.

I currently have 24 fish, the algae eater is too big, & the killifish have gotten a bit big for the tetras, but it seems to work for the fish.

I have been doing a 10% water change every week. I know that is low, but when I say water change I am also cleaning the bottom sifting the water through a towel and bucket that cleans the bottom, and throw that water back in.

The lighting just isn't good enough for the plants. The sword plants are not making it. I have ordered a Java Plant due to the low lighting and will put that in when I get it. I have normal aquarium gravel. I do not fertilize. In the past I have had luck with sword plants only when I have artificially CO2'd the tank with the 2 liter CO2 approach, (that was with a 20 gallon). I am about to try that again. The sword plants are not growing but they are dividing some smaller plants.

There is not enough lighting.
Do you think that around 25 watts for a 30 gallon tall is strong enough for Java Plants?
Do you think that the CO2 addition could compensate for the lighting being too low for the sword plants?

I know some of you are going to say too many fish, but that is not the problem why my plants are not growing, and a $1.00 to $2.00 fish dying every once in awhile happens.

Any cheap thoughts?

Tolak 10-11-2013 11:12 PM

Yea cheap thought, change more water, it's the cheapest preventative medication there is. Back in the day we had Jim Crow laws, they seemed to work pretty good as I remember. Just like the method you're using for running your tank they may have not been the best way, so over time were changed.

easeltine 10-12-2013 12:45 AM

Tolak, I was changing more water until they changed the Chloramine content in our water supply.

I lost a good amount of fish. I am currently using chemicals to get the stuff out, but it is pretty strong over here.

I would rather keep my fish alive than kill half of them again.

Tolak 10-12-2013 06:24 AM

Double or triple dose Prime, I get the same thing here, usually related to weather. Sometimes it comes out of the tap smelling like a swimming pool, but tanks still need water changes. It's a good thing to learn as much as you can about your water supplier, why they do what they do and when.

An issue with water suppliers in the last several years is bacteria growing in the system that is capable of splitting the ammonia/chlorine bond in chloramine, using the ammonia as a food source. Many old time aquarists still do their water changes without adding any water treatment, and have no issues. They think it's the same old water supply, chlorine gassing off & such when in reality they're growing these bacteria that utilize the ammonia part of chloramine. Their water supply has changed over time, they're none the wiser, and pretty much lucked out in that respect.

Smaller municipalities will often do a seasonal breakpoint chlorination, where the jack the level of disinfectants to give the system a good cleaning. There will often be a notice distributed locally when they do this, it's something worth asking your supplier about. Most of the tanks in my setup are drilled with overflows for water changes, so they will get a short term blast of disinfectant when I do 50% water changes, until the overflow stops draining & I give the tank a healthy dose of Prime.

Every situation is different, the guy down the street from me may have a different approach to many things, finding his individual way of making aquatics work. It's the old many roads to the same destination thing, there's a million little tricks to this fishkeeping craziness.

willow 10-12-2013 06:30 AM


Originally Posted by Tolak (Post 3192713)
Every situation is different, the guy down the street from me may have a different approach to many things, finding his individual way of making aquatics work. It's the old many roads to the same destination thing, there's a million little tricks to this fishkeeping craziness.

aint that the truth !!

easeltine 10-12-2013 06:38 AM

I'm in Los Angeles and I cannot believe how bad they have spike the water for just over the last year, and that is the date the city said they would use chloramine. I'm using a 2 gallon watering can, treating the water with chemicals to fix it, using that and another gallon of fresh/treated water. Before this I lost 8 medium sized angels all at once that I raised from eggs, and another time 3 other lesser fish another time, (all the same species also). It all have me spooked to use more freshly treated water than the gallon.

21 fish is what I actually still have for a 30 gallon tank. The number may a little high since some are medium/large, except the huge algae eater. The pet store owners will not take him for the reason that algae eaters eat the protective slime off of other fish.

I'm still working on trying to figure out these problems.
My aquarium and stand is also physically getting old. My personal problem is that I was without a job recently for a year and I do things, (like filter elements), that are painfully cheap to save money.

willow 10-12-2013 06:41 AM

this is probably silly to ask..however i'm going to...
was the watering can brand new,not used for garden ferts,then the fish tank ?

easeltine 10-12-2013 06:52 AM

Yes, it was brand new, I have only used it for the fish tank. I started using it 5-6 years ago.

Boredomb 10-12-2013 06:55 AM

Bulb you are talking about is it a 9watt CFL bulb?? If soo yeah that's not going to be enough lighting for a 30 high. I would personally try 2 CFL bulbs that were 13 watt each. Also you need to find ones that are close to 6500k.

Adding Co2 to tank with low light and no fertilizer is going to do lil to no good but encourage algae to grow. Plants have to have something like 17 different nutrients to grow Co2 being one of them. If there is some missing the plants can show slow to no growth. Some might manage like your low light slow growers. Such as the Java fern or Anubais which would probably do fine with the bulb you have now but not much more then that will.

Tolak 10-12-2013 07:06 AM

Another angel breeder, cool. My fishroom is designed for breeding angels. I also do things on the cheap as much as possible. Being in LA check out a local club for rehoming that plec. Also look into club auctions, you can get things insane cheap at the end.

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