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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Java Fern, Sword Plant, Melon Sword , Rotala Rotundifloria green and crypts in a 27 gallon tank 1/2 Hex 20 inches deep.
2 inches Seachem Flourite with 2 inches SoilMaster Select Red on top
pH 6.8-7.0
Tap water 9-10 dKH 161-179 ppm KH (Bi-Carbonite & Carbonite;
20 dGH 358ppm GH (Calcium & Magnesium)

I use a Current USA Orbit 20" 2 X 40 Watt Power Compact Strip Light Fixture w/Lunar which includes 2 Dual Daylight Bulbs (6700K & 10,000K).

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One 40 Watt Dual Daylight bulb on from 9am to 2pm, and the second 40 Watt Dual Daylight bulb on from 11am to 8pm and finally The Lunar Light is on from 8pm to 2am.
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My Rotala Rotundifolia Green is completely taking over and I can't keep up with the trimming. (Thank goodness I can trade this when I have time - with the Local Fish Store - For Seachem Excel!) The Java Fern as always is a trooper and is doing okay if not good.

But Amazon Sword, Melon Sword and the Crypts are NOT DOING WELL, why??
I have put Seachem Flourite Tabs underneath the roots. The plants try and put out new leaves sometimes but then get a coating of algae on them.

How should I adjust my lighting to help these plants THRIVE as well as the Rotala?

I use the Seachem Daily Dosage Schedule as best I can AND the dry dosing with Potassium Nitrate (KNO3) and Potassium Monobasic Phosphate (KH2PO4). I know Tom and Seachem say light drives the level of nutrients needed.

Should I adjust the lighting downwards somehow (hours/intensity/duration) or pull almost all of the Rotala out?

HELP!!!
 

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That's a pretty good deal, trading your Rotala Rotundifolia for Excel. Lucky you! :)

Is it the algae that is causing the death and decay of the Amazon swords, melon sword? What type of algae, pictures)? The reason I ask is maybe theirs not enough CO2 to battle off the algae. It sounds like you have the proper amount of nutrients, but maybe some more DIY CO2 or even a tad bit more dosage of Excel can stave off some algae.

The other potential issue is the lighting as you have already noted. If these plants need a good amount of light to grow well. It could be the tank is too deep and isn't getting the light you want down there. One fix, maybe, is some better reflectors from ahsupply.com.

OR the plants there could do better with a continues lighting period. Say 1 pm - 10 pm, and no siesta lighting period.

-John N.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So I either increase my dosage of Excel or decrease the lighting in my tank.
Which do you think these plants need the most?

I will try to take a photo and post when I get a chance.

The Amazon Sword and Crypts are on 'shelves' halfway up the tank closer to the lights about 8 to 10 inches from the light. The Melon Sword is at the bottom at 20 inches (maybe 18 with the substrate). A side view of it is in my gallery. I will see if I can post that here.
 

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Whoa, Nice tank! I expect a mass of algae problems. But bearly can see any. Hex tanks can be very difficult to scape, and I think you managed it very well with your shelves and overall layout. Very lush and green. Oh..back to the problem.

I can't see to distinquish which algae you have, but I would do these two things for any algae.

1) Increase excel dosage. So 1 and 1/2 of what you are currently dosing and see the effect.

2) Have a continuous light period of 8-9 hours.

3) Combination of both 1 and 2 if nothing perks up

Oops, I guess that makes three things. ;)

-John N.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
One 40 Watt Dual Daylight bulb on from 9am to 2pm, and the second 40 Watt Dual Daylight bulb on from 11am to 8pm
Have a continuous light period of 8-9 hours
8 to 9 hours of one 40 Watt Dual Daylight Bulb (6700K/10,000K) or
2 X 40 Watts?

8 to 9 hours of 40 Watts or 80 Watts.

Or 3 hours of 40 Watts in the morning and 1-2 hours of 'Noontime' intense 80 Watts and then 3 hours of 40 Watts in the evening?

I can increase the dosage of Seachem Excel that part is easy. Adjusting the lighting schedule - that for me is hard to figure out.
 

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I miss read the orignal post, and thought you were doing all lights on from 9-2 and then turning it back on from 8pm-2am. Sorry about the confusion.

When reducing your light, try:
One 40 Watt Dual Daylight bulb on from 11am to 3pm, and the second 40 Watt Dual Daylight bulb on from 11am to 8pm

OR Both bulbs (2x40w) on from 1pm-8pm, or some timeframe to give 8 hours.

Light and CO2 are major causes of algae in my opinion. So by reducing the lighting, we're hoping to control one of the variables to see if the algae is reduce, and plants still thrive.

-John N.
 

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It appears that you are depending on Excel for Carbon. As I understand it, Excel works well as a carbon source, but not well enough to be used in a high light tank. And, that is a high light tank. So, I suggest that you try just a single 40 watt bulb, on for 8 to 10 hours. Then I suggest thinning out the Rotala growth so the other plants get good lighting too. If this works well, you could get a pressurized CO2 system and go back to full light intensity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I can't afford a pressurized CO2 system - just out of my price range. This light fixture was a luxury to me ( I love it).

If I understand correctly - basically if have 1 light on for 4-5 hours and the
2nd light on for 4-5 hours, even if they overlap at the noontime that will okay, correct?

For now I will try 11am to 3pm for one bulb and the second bulb on from 4pm to 8pm. I know I will adjust this schedule a number of times, but I do appreciate the help with this. Like I said, adding more Seachem Excel to me is easy. Adjusting or understanding the dynamics with the light is another.

The 2 local fish stores being willing to exchange Rotala Rotundifolia Green Trimmings for Seachem Excel is a godsend. I am currently using both the Seachem Daily Dosage Schedule AND the dry supplements. The Seachem Excel of course being the only supplement I cannot dose dry. Using the PPS Schedule I am dosing one Smidgeon (measuring spoon) of Potassium Monobasic Phosphate for the 10 gallon tank, 2 for the 27, one Dash (measuring spoon) of Potassium Nitrate for the 10 gallon, 2 for the 27. Dry dosing is SO MUCH easier and quicker to do for these tanks. For my 2.5 Gallon Nano at the Office, I realize liquid is the only practical thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Once I get the light, algae and Seachem dosing under control;

What do I need to do for my Amazon Sword, Melon Sword, and Crypts to THRIVE. I have put Seachem Flourish Tabs underneath their roots in what I thought was a good quantity (about 3 per plant).

Ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, I have learned what happens when you use dry supplements AND Seachem Daily Dosage Schedule!
You can not even tell that I trimmed my plants!
I am half tempted to just rip out every single Rotala, but just don't have the confidence yet to go back to a 'bare' tank again.
Meanwhile I am trying to find the time to get to my local fish store after lunchtime, hook up with Bob at Eddies Aquarium in Latham, NY and get my free 2 bottles of Seachem Excel.
Now I am ready to do a second trimming on both my tanks at home and again exchange for Seachem Excel. I love being able to do this, but it is all very time consuming. Vacation is 2 days away, and I am afraid what will happen to the tank over that time.
Luckily, I hooked up with Commander Joel at my kids' Royal Rangers who has a great background in organic chemistry, chemistry, mechanical engineering and had a great time talking tank chemistry. (He is going to help with the tanks while I am away on vacation. He said he has killed a cactus. I am hoping feeding fish and dosing supplement on the chart on the wall will be easy for an engineer. I just love the guy for trying and helping. )
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Update after harvesting Rotala Rotundifolia Green out of most of tank. I am very happy that my Melon Sword is doing as well as it is. My hope is that the Amazon Sword and Crypts will start to do better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
2nd photo taken tonight. I am trying to learn how to upload my photos.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Rohape would be thrilled. You can't see it in these photos, but the Melon Sword that he sent to me that was so TALL AND HUGE when he mailed it to me is starting to come back with nice red leaves, and grow back healthier and strong.
This was just an exercise in photobucket to see if it was as easy to use as I hoped. And it is. If I can post photos, anyone can.

Now why do some photos get cut off on the right side? And if I try to fix that in the next 36 hours will it work? Do I need to change something in photobucket? I thought it automatically reduced size or memory size?

Well, not bad for a first try at this computer stuff.

For anyone who has not tried yet, when you have time, try photobucket.
It is pretty easy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Oh, and I could not resist the temptation to take the photos of my wife watching my 27 Gallon aquarium intently. I know she was just deeply in her conversation on the phone, but I could not resist the shot of her almost looking like she was into my aquariums.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Just put the Large (to me) Anubias that I received in the mail today from John N. with the help of my 5 year old.
It is so fun when the kids want to help.

As we were driving to the YMCA last night to go swimming, I was quizzing them on the 10 Gallon tank and the fish we have in it. They did great. (They helped pick out the new fish at the local fish store last week.)

They got stumped when I asked how many different kinds of plants were in the tank.
Or the color of the gravel. Funny. They did not ever notice that it was BRIGHT BLUE.

Next step. TRIM THE ROTALA AGAIN!
(And exchange at either Union Aquarium close to home or Eddies Aquarium in Latham close to work.)

That is actually going to be a lot of work because I know I need to take out the HUGE Lava Rock with the Java Fern tied to it to check it, and check on every other plant.

Might as well be a teardown. Maybe not. Will find out tonight.

Java Fern is great when it is heavy enough to weigh itself down. If not, I learned that SMALL lava rock can be purchased in the barbeque section. Great idea!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have adjusted the light schedule to be set for 4 hours from 4pm to 8pm with 2x40 Watts Dual Daylight (6700K & 10,000k) so that I can watch it pearl when I am home. It is interesting the concept of natural light. I hope to learn more about the dynamics about light and natural daylight with algae, pearling and plant growth.
Just for the heck of it. Here are the latest photos. Thank you photobucket.


























I hope I caught at least one photo with the CO2 Diffusion. I love that. And the Neons are really cool. The rest of it is a work in progress. John N. your Anubias is pearling! I love those streams of tiny bubbles. :smile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Tonight when coming home from work and the grocery store I spent some time looking at my tank with the moonlights. After doing a 10% water change, I just looked at the aquarium with the new Oto, new 6 tiny Neons, and the new Black Neons, the 7 Mollies that I kept (I exchanged 8 at the local fish store for new fish) and the Big Neons that I got from last time.

The fish, plants and even the snails look healthy and happy tonight. I am amazed to find myself saying that even the snails look fascinating tonight. They really are cool when they get larger.
Time to adjust the heater. Cooler weather is starting to creep in in Upstate New York.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
lailastar, good question and thank you for asking.

They are glass and they stay on there with All-Glass Aquarium Silicone Glue.

This goes all the way back when I had FRED THE GOLDFISH which lived for about 12 years. No matter what I tried, I could not keep aquarium plants and I did not have the money for the $$$$ aquarium plant light fixtures that the local fish store sold. I also did not have a nice computer with internet connection, a digital camera or know about some of the nice Goldfish websites that there are (GAB and some others that DataGuru knows about).

It is a little depressing because after having this Goldfish for about 12 years and growing to about 12 inches long and about 3-4 inches tall, we really thought that NOTHING could kill him. You should have seen what my oldest son threw in this tank one day when he was a toddler. If anything would have killed this goldfish, this would have been it. Well, I was wrong.

I had this idea that if I made shelves half way up my tank the plants could be closer to the light, and might live. Not thrive, but actually LIVE. Well eventually they did, after I killed FRED by mistake.

Well, I got the pieces of glass and got the ALL-Glass Aquarium Silicone Glue and read the directions. It stated - safe for use with fish. Well, FRED was so big I did not want to move him and thought I could drain the tank halfway and work on the top half.

The fumes were like the smell of vinegar and at one point I saw that FRED was not doing too well. So I took him out and put him into a white 5 gallon bucket for changing aquarium water. I figured he would recover. I even called the fish store for what to do. In the past I had gotten such random crappy advice from fish stores that I figured out that half the time they were just completely bull****ting. So when the guy on the phone said to put in a bubbler inside the bucket, I figured he would be just fine. I went to work thinking that if something did not go right, my wife would add the bubbler. WRONG. Well, it was my responsibility anyway, and no one would ever expect that killer Goldfish to ever actually kick the bucket. Again, WRONG. I get the phone call at work from my wife that FRED died. I could not believe it. After 12 years and 4 kids, that goldfish actually died from fumes from ALL-GLASS Aquarium Silicone Glue that said safe to use with fish. I wish it had said - WHEN DRIED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was so upset that I called up ALL-GLASS. I am sure that they are a very good business, but the best I got out of them was, "I am sorry to hear that your fishy died." The fact that that stupid Goldfish actually lived 12 years and grew to 12 inches long amazed me. The fact that I killed it using a product that said it was safe to use, made me feel extremely stupid.
I had originally won FRED at a County Fair with one of those cute games where for a Quarter you throw a ping pong ball and win a gold fish. Never knew he would out grow a Goldfish bowl.

So Fred died, the shelves stayed and the aquarium plants lived. I have always wondered if Fred had lived if I ever would have been able to get aquarium plants to live before he ate them. But from the pictures I see of others planted Goldfish tanks, I would say yes.

So Glass and Aquarium Silicone. Good question, and thank you for asking. Fred was really cool!
 
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