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Discussion Starter #1
I'm a beginner at planted tanks and I have a few questions that I'm sure someone can answer for me.
First, here's my tank specs, as per the template:

1. Tank water volume: 20H

2. Tank lighting (type, watts per gallong, etc.): 65W PC, 6700K

3. Tank filtration: Penguin HOB filter, w/ carbon cartridge replaced with filter sponge...I keep the water level topped up

4. Tank substrate: 75% fluorite, 25% gravel

5. Plants: (not sure of all of the species' exact names)
Anubias barteri var. coffefolia
Echinodorus bleheri
Limnophila sessiliflora
Cabomba caroliniana(?) see below
Lilaeopsis brasiliensis

6. Fish:
(1) young SAE
(3) sunset honey gouramis

7. Test kits used (brand and type):
AP NO3, GH, KH, pH (still haven't succeeded at getting one of the few LFSers in my town to stock any phosphate kit; I don't put much stock in these kits, but I don't have the option of getting better ones locally)
Nitrate values almost always drop to very low levels if I don't dose it for a week or so.
GH is ~5-6, KH is ~2 out of the tap. Baking soda used to raise it to ~4. pH is ~7.0.

8. Fertilization regimen (include products used):
Flourish line for now. I dose macros and regular Flourish every other day, and Flourish Excel daily to partially make up for inadequate CO2.

9. Do you CO2?
DIY, with a poor reactor/diffuser. Will be working on improving this soon to get more CO2 into the water.

10. Water change routine:
40% weekly.

11. How long has the tank been set up?
~3 months
12. Describe your question or problem in detail:

I have a plant that was sold to me (very cheaply) by my LFS as "purple cabomba". Which species of cabomba does this refer to? I've tried searching Google some and found seemingly conflicting information about what this informal name would refer to. I don't have charged batteries in my camera right now, so I don't have a picture of how it currently looks. It is mostly dark green but it gets purple/pink only when it grows near or on the surface. Is this normal or am I missing something like adequate light or a nutrient that would make it turn pink at deeper levels? I've got a lot of condensation, etc, so it's possible it's not getting enough light.

Also, I'm slowly trying to learn how to recognize and respond to deficiency symptoms in my plants. I'm not exactly a fast learner at this :roll: but I'm getting a little better.

Anubias and the amazon sword have a little bit of green spot algae...I have recently moved the anubias so that the sword's leaves shade it more.

Amazon sword has slowed down in growth considerably recently, and a few of the newest leaves have come in with brown veins but otherwise healthy color in between. I'm not using any substrate fertilization beyond the fluorite itself...should I be?

Limnophila and Cabomba grow very fast and appear to be mostly healthy. Both have developed a lot of aerial roots...not sure if that is symptomatic of anything or not.

Only thing I've truly had a problem with so far is the lilaeopsis brasiliensis. It grows, but very, very slowly and I have problems keeping algae off of it. The algae isn't overwhelming and has lessened some since I started adding the Excel daily. My fish seem to like to dig this stuff up some too (or they tear it up while hiding in it) so I've had problems keeping it anchored to the substrate. It tends to get coated in a brownish, "fuzzy" algae that only forms on the substrate and the glass within an inch or so of the bottom. I'm not sure whether this is diatoms, or BBA. It is not filamentous. I don't want to overemphasize the algae problem because it's not too bad except for near the bottom.

Anyway, I'd be happy to get any kind of input anyone has on these issues. I'm really trying to learn to get better at the whole planted tank thing, and I've adjusted my fertilization some with positive effects on the algae and plant growth. Sorry for the long post...
 

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Could be diatoms......I have only seen it in my mbuna tank and I believe it to be caused by not enough light. Maybe if that area of tank is getting lower light?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Gomer said:
I didn't see it, but are you dosing any traces ? ...like Flourish Iron or TMG or Plantex CSM+B?

Even in non CO2 tanks, dosing traces are important.
I've been beginning to suspect that the slow growth+brown veins on the Amazon Sword might be caused by
I noticed a marked incease in growth and marked decrease in spot algae when I upped the phosphate.
I haven't been adding any iron separately from what's in the plain Flourish. I thought what I was doing might be adequate since I dose a good bit of it every other day along with the macros. Is the slow growth + brown veins on the sword a possible symptom of low iron? I couldn't find a description of something really like that when I looked on a couple of the sites describing deficiency symptoms.

I will try increasing the phosphates some; I wasn't adding very much of that although I've been adding quite a bit of the nitrate (the Cabomba seems to use a ton of nitrates). I'll also get a better CO2 reactor too.

Thanks for the help...I'll post pictures soon.
 

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Here is a good site for nutrient deficiency's... http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_nutrient.htm

Yes, I would add some root tabs under your sword plant; they take a lot of nutrients up through their roots.

Those aerial roots are normal on a lot of stem plants.

I like keeping a variety of algae eaters to help with algae control. Ottos like the brown algae.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
trenac said:
Here is a good site for nutrient deficiency's... http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_nutrient.htm

Yes, I would add some root tabs under your sword plant; they take a lot of nutrients up through their roots.

Those aerial roots are normal on a lot of stem plants.

I like keeping a variety of algae eaters to help with algae control. Ottos like the brown algae.
Thanks. I read Chuck's site before I planted my tank, but I think it made more sense to me looking at it again with a little more perspective on it.
I think I'll adjust some fertilization things slightly...I'll add some more phosphate, and maybe dose some additional iron. I'll pick up some of the root tabs tomorrow and see if they help with the sword.
Thanks for all the help everyone...
 
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