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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my 3 month old African Cichlid tank. It is a 29 gallon planted (not so great) with sand and river rock substrate (again not great). I bought some plants from a place in Florida but most of them died off since I do not have CO2 injection. The remainder of plants aren't growing like the large plant in the right rear and the grasses on the bottom have not grown at all in 3 months. I am at a loss at what to do with the tank really.... the local fish store tested my water and said it was the best water he has tested in this area and its perfect for my Cichlids. Luckily it has sustained this clear water since cycling. I really just want it completely aquascaped but I am at a loss. My local fish store recommended me a 10000K bulb for my plants but it doesn't seem to do anything either. I have included a few pic's for everyone to see and give constructive criticism on. Thanks and try not to be so harsh. ;)

Also I have forgotten the varieties of plants that I do have since the website I ordered from doesn't exist anymore... LOL

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The large plant in the right/rear is an amazon sword. I see some Cryptocoryne wendtii (the reddish/brown colored medium plants) , what appears to be some stems of Ludwigia, and the plant at the rear under the filter intake...is that an Anubias ?

Anyway, the plants look healthy. If they aren't growing it may be from lack of nutrients (N,P,K, and micronutrients, and a carbon source). I didn't see any algae except on the plant in the rear. 10,000K is fine for planted tanks, but it's watts per gallon that will have the greater impact on growth. What type of light do you have and how many watts?

-Dave
 

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What kind of lighting do you currently have? The Anubias should grow with just a standard fluorescent fixture and minimal fertilization (i.e. Flourish) but the Amazon sword would be more demanding. I have a 29 gallon tank with Lake Tanganyikan shell dwellers and a half dozen Anubias plants under only a 17W T-8 bulb for illumination.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The bulb is a Coral Life 10,000K no idea on the wattage... my hood only holds one bulb. I think you all nailed the names of the plants that I have cause I remember each one named above. So should I invest in a CO2 system? What about my substrate of sand and river rock? I used sand due to the cichlids liking a sandy environment and I figured roots could take hold better in it to. The river rock was also a cichlid inspired idea just to mimic their natural rocky environment.
 

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You don't have to do CO2, but if you want good growth you should have SOME type of carbon source. Seachem makes 'Flourish Excel' for a carbon source to go along with their other liquid supplements. There are also people using gludaraldehyde (spelling?) in a dilution. (See the link below)

http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/...iasts/31615-glutaraldehyde-instead-excel.html

You substrate is fine. If you read through the substrate forum on this site you'll see that it's a matter of preference, opinion, and goals as far as substrate goes. What you've got will work, unless you decide to try some foreground carpet-like plants. They are usually hard to plant in a more coarse substrate like gravel.
 

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I think it may be a matter of nutrients more than CO2 for you plants. You only have inert gravel. Your tank it new so it has no mulm built up in it to act as nutrients for your plants. You need to put root tabs or something in your gravel for your plants to feed from. They are probably starving to death.

You could also get the liquid ferts. and just add them. I think you just need some plant food in there. :D
 
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