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Old 10-14-2007, 05:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Help!! planted tank, some plants suffering

Hi all. I am attempting to do a low maintenance, medium lighting tank.
Tank: 29 gallon
Lighting: compact fluorescent, a little over 3 wpg
Substrate: Eco complete

I currently have amazon swords, pearl grass, cardinal, jungle valisneria, and aponogeton crispus. I wanted to ask specifically, for my situation, what nutrients I should be dosing and how frequently. The plants seem to be turning slowly yellow and I want to know what I need to do to get the green back.
Here is a pic of the tank, I would appreciate any input.

Thanks!
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Old 10-14-2007, 06:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help!! planted tank, some plants suffering

First, most of those plants, if healthy, will outgrow the tank very quickly. But, that isn't what you asked. You need to dose nitrates, phosphates, potassium and trace elements plus a source of carbon, preferably CO2. The best way to do this is to get potassium nitrate, mono potassium phosphate and either a commercial trace element mix, such as Flourish, or some CSM+B. You can dose per the EI method or the PPS pro method - see the Fertilizing forum for details.

You really don't have moderate lighting if you have over 3 watts per gallon, unless those are screw-in fluorescent bulbs and poor reflectors. You have high light intensity. That almost demands that you use CO2, or you eventually will run into lots of algae problems. Cutting the light wattage back to less than 2 watts per gallon would make it possible to use Excel as a carbon source.

Very nice looking tank, too!
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Old 10-15-2007, 02:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Help!! planted tank, some plants suffering

I have fish in the tank so, that takes care of the nitrates right? So I'll need to dose phosphates, potassium, and trace elements, and a source of carbon. It is a double compact fluorescent fixture. It would be 130 watts total, almost 4.5 wpg, but one half of one of the bulbs was broken when I got it. I'll probably start leaving that one off and just have the one 65 watt, around 2.3 wpg. As far as dosing, do I just follow the directions or is there a specific schedule that I should use to dose? Would Flourish Excel, Phosphorus, and Trace cover everything that I need?

Thanks a lot!
Holly
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Old 10-15-2007, 09:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help!! planted tank, some plants suffering

Quote:
I have fish in the tank so, that takes care of the nitrates right?
NO! Your fish will not produce enough waste to provide the needed levels for that tank with that amount of lighting. You might want to look over these two references, particularly to where they talk plant needs:
http://www.aquatic-plants.org/articl...ges/index.html
http://www.rexgrigg.com/

Then look in the fert forum here for information on dosing either by EI (estimative index) or PPS-Pro.
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Old 10-15-2007, 09:18 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help!! planted tank, some plants suffering

Plants need carbon more than anything else, then comes nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous. The fish will not provide nearly enough nitrogen (nitrates) to meet the plant's needs unless they are growing very, very slowly. So, you need to be adding nitrates too.

https://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...ing-guide.html tells you how to dose, using one of the popular methods. https://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...n-systems.html tells you how to dose using another popular method.
If you use Seachem Flourish Excel, Nitrogen, Potassium, and Phosphorous, plus Flourish, for trace elements, that works too, but you need to follow the instructions on the bottles for that.
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Old 10-15-2007, 12:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help!! planted tank, some plants suffering

Not sure how much Eco-Complete ameliorates this specific need, but Swords are notoriously heavy root feeders, so either an occasional root tab or squirting a little slurry of ferts into the substrate near the roots periodically will help your swords outgrow your tank faster.
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Old 10-15-2007, 02:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help!! planted tank, some plants suffering

When I had a few sword plants in that size tank, using only water column fertilizing, and SM as a substrate, no root fertilizers, the swords took over the tank in just a few months. I'm not sure the sword plant isn't the inspiration for the Jack and the Beanstalk story!
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