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Old 03-13-2006, 10:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hair Grass growing upwards???

Hi there.

I have recently set up a 6x2x2 planted tank with a large amount of hair grass
( Eleocharis acicularis ) which seems to keep growing up wards instead of sideways. The problem has also occured in the Echinodorus tenellus but not to the same extent.

Tank statistics are

650 Liters
558 watts of light
Ph 7.5
Co2 injection through powerhead at 4 bubbles per second
Ammonia = 0
Nitrate = 0
Nitrite = 0
Laterite under substrate.
Daily ferts 13 drops of 'Daily Grow' containing "minor and major trace elements and iron in a chelated form."
108 watts from 11am-10pm (Fluro lights)
450 watts from Midday to 4pm (Halides)

The only reason I can think of is light intensity. The light unit is suspended 25cm above the water level of the tank.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 03-13-2006, 11:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Your main problem is not the light intensity but the lack of macros. Your nitrate should not be at 0 but at least 5-10ppm. What about your phosphates? It also should not be 0 but 0.5-1ppm. With this much light and CO2 you need to fertilize with KNO3 and K2HPO4 or alternatives. With nitrogen deficiency your plants stunt and stop growing.
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Old 03-14-2006, 04:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't have any experience with hairgrass, but some points here should help you.

1. You have a lot of light there. First and foremost, make sure that your CO2 remains high and stable. You mention your pH is 7.5, you should take a sample of water from your tank and let it sit out at room conditions for 24 hours, then measure your pH again. In order to have around 30ppm of CO2, your pH needs to increase by a full unit to 8.5. If it does, I assume you also have quite hard water. In any case, a change of pH of 1 unit is the ballpark you want to go to. The bubble count is meaningless in knowing how much CO2 you actually have dissolved in the tank's water.

2. You need to maintain in your tank nitrate (NO3) levels around 15ppm, and phosphate (PO4) levels around 2ppm. From your readings of no nitrate, it appears that the 'Daily Grow' you are adding is not meeting your needs. You need to look at the label and see what the make up of that product is so you can determine how much you are actually adding. Check out this link: for some good basic info regarding planted tanks. You can get dry ferts from Greg Watson for your macros (NO3, PO4, potassium). Then you can add a separate solution on different days to supplies your micro elements and iron.

Again going back to your lighting, keep in mind that with high light, the demands on the tank for fertilization is greater than with low light, and if you don't keep up with those demands, algae will follow. Good luck.
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