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55g planted, CO2 injectected, LED lights, EI fert dosing. 10G planted, Excel, LED light, low EI dosi
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

I have a 40g-b that has been setup for a lowtech planted aquarium. Some specs>
2x18w NO + 2x23w CFL (2wpg)
2" Flourite substrate
Emperor 280 HOB
Temp 78-80F
PH 7.6-7.7
Dose Excel + Flourish
No CO2
7 Z.Danios
3 REye Tetra

It cycled for 4 weeks with danios. Last week I added this package
So far its a mess lol....plant matter getting stuck on intake ect. Didn't realize planting can be a pain.:rolleyes:
But my big question/concern is the plants turning to mush/melting. Mostly its the Dwarf Sag, but when should I expect this to stop? Or what are some warning signs I should look out for.

Oh BTW - I plan to upgrade lights to 96w PC, would I be able to get away with DIY CO2?


Premium Member
4,880 Posts
The amount of melting depends on how different an environment the plants are in as oppossed to what they grew in. But you'll need better advice on this that what I can give you.

One thing I noticed is you're only giving a carbon source (excel) and micronutrients (flourish). You also need to give macro nutrients (N,P,and K) and possibly iron.

As for the lighting upgrade to 2.4WPG, DIY CO2 will work. I've got 2.8WPG on a 50gal and use DIY CO2 (two bottles), but I also dose excel to supplement.


Premium Member
7,965 Posts
Plant melting can be caused by different factors. Crypts are prone to it & Sag can adversely affected by Excel use. Since the plants have only been planted a week, I would say they are just getting use to your water/light conditions. The melting will continue until the plants adjust to your plant conditions. Just keep the dead plant matter removed, so it does not foul up your tank water. You should start seeing new leaf growth within a few weeks.

I highly recommend pressurized C02 in the size tank you have. It is hard to maintain constant C02 levels with DIY & even more so in larger tanks. If you want to try DIY C02 then use two bottles so they can be changed out opposite each other, so you have a constent new supply of C02 each week.
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