Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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afrogg 07-08-2007 04:44 PM

beginner questions
Live plants have not being doing so well in my tank so far, can someone help me understand why?

Here's my setup:
- 7-gallon tank
- 14-watt fluorescent bulb, on for 12-14 hours a day
- 2.5" of eco-complete substrate with 0.5 - 1" of gravel on top
- I have 1 guppy and some snails
- no CO2 injection
- I fertilize with Flourish "comprehensive supplement for the planted aquarium" after each weekly water change.
- My pH is 8
- gH and kH are both at the lowest possible reading

This tank has been set up for about 3 months. Anubias nana has done well so far but my other plants have gradually turned brown and lost leaves. Foxtail was the first to go. Baby's tears looked good for a while longer but now it is starting to lose leaves too. The lowest leaves turn brown and then become trasparent.

Today I moved the tank across the room to the window, where it will get a lot of indirect light all day and about half an hour of direct light in the afternoon (since the plants that died so far seem to have higher light requirements than anubias nana, I was thinking maybe more light will help). Also, after reading some of the other threads today, I removed the carbon cartridge from my filter and just left the spongy cartridge (whatever it's called).

Do you think the changes I made today will help my plants? If not, what else should I do? Ideally I would like this tank to stay low-tech, maybe I am just not picking the right plants for a low-tech tank.

leifthebunny 07-08-2007 05:07 PM

Not sure about the foxtail but the baby's tears is a moderate to high light plant and requires more than 2W/g lighting. You will probably want to stick with low light plants such as crypts (lutea, wendtii, ...), aponos, anubias, and wisteria.

afrogg 07-08-2007 05:18 PM

thanks for the reply. i will definitely google those plants, thx.

do you think my tank's new location next to the window will bump me up to "moderate" light? i hope so, i really like my baby's tears and i want it to be happy if possible. my tank was in a really dark corner of the room before so all it had was the fluorescent light.

leifthebunny 07-09-2007 01:14 PM

More likely, it will just help with algae growth, but if it's consistent, it's possible.

afrogg 09-14-2007 03:51 PM

wow my baby tears are so happy now after 2 months in its new spot by the window! it is the fastest growing thing in my tank now! i guess the light was just what it needed. i do have some additional algae growth but i don't mind it. :-) I added a red melon sword and crypt lutea and they are growing really fast too.

jsm11482 09-14-2007 04:24 PM

The bulb you have could simply not be the best temperature for the plants. Do you know the temp of the bulb (k)?

afrogg 09-14-2007 07:05 PM

I looked and I couldn't find a temperature rating on the's just the standard 14-watt bulb that came with my tank, probably not designed for plants. What do you think is an ideal bulb for plants?
This particular tank is doing awesome in its new location by the window with sunlight ... my plants are pearling and growing really quickly. But I might get another tank soon and I might not be able to put that one by a window, so bulb knowledge might be useful... :)

jsm11482 09-14-2007 07:11 PM

67000k is for plants, you can also get a 50/50 67000k/10000k bulb.

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