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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello, and thanks for checking out this thread. This tank has been up and running for maybe five months, and in the past month or two, it's been looking really rough. I have no algae problems, but everything is brown and wild. I'm very new to planted tanks so I think the plants just endured the first couple months and are now looking bad. I provided some pictures, but they are from a cell phone so don't expect much. Anyway, here are the specs.

Tank:

20g Long
28 watts of fluorescent lighting
Eco-complete
No co2
Driftwood
Biowheel
Stealth heater
I try to dose excel, potassium* and plantex csm+b 3 times a week.
30% weekly water change
Fed once a day

Plants:

Wysteria
Hygro
Giant Hygro (?)
Anubias
Java moss remnants

Fish:

3 angels
2 male endlers
1 flying fox
2 ottos
1 clown pleco

What surprises me is that the plants are getting really good growth. They are branching off, spreading roots, and getting tall. But when new leaves sprout, they soon go brown. The angels breeding is the only thing that tells me the water isn't poisonous ;). I really new at this and would like any tips in keeping my plants healthy. Do you see anything wrong with the setup? Something I'm not doing which is causing the leaves to wilt and die? Please ask for any info you may need. Any tips would be appreciated, thanks.






 

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You're plants are probably starving for lights and nutrients. 28W on a 20 gal is very low light, though all your plants are low light plants, that's probably not helping. Secondly, you're not providing the needed nutrients for them to grow much. You're adding micro nutrients, a carbon source (both of which are good) and calcium. You're neglecting nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

Why are you adding calcium? Do you have very soft water?

Anyways, I think some basic reading will help you out here. I have included a couple of basic references which should answer some questions for you.
http://www.aquatic-plants.org/articles/basics/pages/index.html
http://www.rexgrigg.com/

And by the way, try to lose the bio-wheel. It will outgas what little CO2 may be in your water which your plants will direly want.

Hope that helps.
 

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1 correction, 1 other thing

Correction - don't sweat the biowheel unless you start adding CO2 as having excess agitation will help maintain your typical 3ppm CO2 that plants would otherwise consume. If you start adding CO2, lose the wheel as it will keep the tank from maintaining higher than ~3ppm CO2 despite adding. Surface agitation should have no effect on Excel.

other thing - you're pretty seriously overstocked with respect to fish, IMO.

Those things said, Bert's right in that adding some N, P and K as well as more light will help your plants out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I have a 65 watt PC light, should I try that? I'm just afraid that's a bit too much and algae will start up without legit co2. Anyway, I wasn't dosing calcium, it was potassium, I just looked at the label now :(.
I tested for phosphorous midweek and that was at 1.0, so I haven't been dosing it. I have the Rex combo pack, should that be all I need? I'm planning on moving the angel pair to the 29 anyway, so you don't have to worry about that. I'm going to reread the links you gave me Bert. Thanks for the help guys, hopefully this goes better with the 65 watt.
 

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I have a 65 watt PC light, should I try that? I'm just afraid that's a bit too much and algae will start up without legit co2.
In a 20, you could use Excel without it being too costly and it would be quite beneficial.
 

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Ok, I'll try that. How often would you recommend dosing it in a moderately planted tank such as this?
I used it on a 10 awhile ago, and I believe the label states to do it daily or every other day. I would go every other day and adjust up if need be. Follow the instructions from Seachem.
 

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once you get over 2wpg you usually need co2.
you need more light and ferts. i would remove all the choppy bad leaves from the plants to start. yourdosing micro nutrients and macro nutients. if you want the plants to boom and grow you will need ferts and light and usually co2.

i have 2 tanks with no ferts,no co2 that grow great. 2-3 wpg and eco is all they have just have to cut back the time of light so no algae takes over.

you can do searchesere and find plentyof info!
 

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Also, don't forget that most plants will lose their submerged leaves when allowed to grow above the surface. I just noticed that you have a plant growing like this i there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok well, I put on the 65 watt PC, moved an angel, started dosing K, plantex csm+b and flourish every other day. I trimmed away a lot of the dead leaves and overgrown stems. No algae yet, but hopefully I start seeing improvement soon.
 
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