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Plant problems, help me fix the situation.

1248 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  jaidexl
Here is my current problem. I cannot for the life of me figure out why I am not getting the desired results from my tank. I am constantly loosing plants, or killing plants, or watching plants slowly wither away with little to no growth. Some however seem to flourish such as my Cambomba and the sunset hygro. I can only assume it’s due to their fast growing, low maintenance nature.
Here are the specs on my current setup:
60 long
4 x 60W PC lights, 2 are 50/50’s about 6months old, 2 are 8000k brand new. I run the lights for 10 hrs (1hr 2x, 8hrs 4x, 1hr 2x)
2 filters, eheim 2026 and fluval 305
1 koralia 1, and 1 harbor freight sealed mag drive, does about 200+ gph
I have the eheim and mag positioned on the right side blowing left. I have the fluval on the right pointing straight towards the front glass, and the koralia on the front right blowing back towards the left, so as to create a circular flow. So far I believe my circulation is good.
I run EI dosing, aprox current readings using lame API test kits.
Dose 1 teaspoon gh booster at water change.
Measured GH ~5
Not sure on KH, I posted my local water report and users said I should be good.
NO3 ~ 30ppm-40ppm
P ~ 3ppm
PH ~ 6.4
50% weekly water changes.
I add 5ml excel every day.
I use CSM+B + chelated Iron for micros, I use 1/8 teaspoon of each every other day.
Ecco complete substrate about 2 years old.
5lbs pressurized co2 around 4bps, into diy inline reaction chamber; no small bubbles come out so I get 100% dissolution. I run it 1 hr before lights on and 1 hr before lights off. I have two drop checkers with ref solution. They stay green all day and usually all night, I try and add some aeration.
Wew, I think I have listed everything.

Ill post some pictures later but here are the descriptions in a nut shell. I cannot get HC to grow ever. My anubis gets black spot on the older leaves from bba that’s eaten by my SAES. My cork screw val shot runners but the runners are yellowing and thin. The grass in the front of my tank is yellowing from the outside in and older leaves have black stuff on them. The tank looks burnt 24x7. I have poor growth rates other than the sunset and the cambomba sort of grows fast. Glosso is slowly starting to grow out.

With what I believe are optimal conditions as far as light,co2 and ferts are obviously not, as my plant growth is extremely poor.

Please let me know what you think.


Pics will be up tonight.
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There could be several things going on here. It could be a nutrient overdose and what you are seeing is toxicity symptoms or it might be light deficiency.

While 3 ppm PO4 and 40 ppm nitrates are a little on the high side they aren't abnormally so. You mentioned that you are adding 1/8 a teaspoon a day. I'm not sure if the plants are using all of those micros so you might be getting a micro build up.

On the other hand you mentioned that you are using 60 w CF bulbs. I don't think I have seen 60w aquarium CF lights. They usually come in 55 and 65 watt bulbs. Do you have standard bulbs or are you using spiral bulbs or some other kind of non-standard CF light? If you aren't using the long dual-bar type CF lights that most people use for aquariums then you will need to add more bulbs and specifically designed reflectors to your bulbs to sent more of the light into the tank. The aquarium lights are designed so that more light is angled into the tank versus a room type bulb that is designed to spread light 360 degrees all over a room (less intense light).

Also I noticed you have 2x 50/50 bulbs. These are not suitable for planted aquariums. While the plants can use the 10,000 kelvin part of the 50/50 bulb, the actinic part is not usable. So your total light is already reduced by 25%. If you are using non-aquarium bulbs then your light is probably reduced by 50% because of the lack of a reflector, so your plants are getting at least 75% less light then you think they are. If the bulbs are old (more than a year) then they will be less intense as well.

Also I am not sure how suitable 8000K bulbs are. The only information I can find on them is that they seem to be used more for salt water. I can't find any concrete info on their spectrum.

Hope this helps. Let us know what kind of lights you have.
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The 8000s are popular with the ADA folks and their MH pendants, I think it's usable but definitely see the 50/50's as a problem. I would replace them with 6700k. The color temp change alone will make your plants look a lot better than a 50/50 will, aside from the actual issues with plant health and the fact that the actinics are virtually useless..

I agree with Zapins, you could probably be a bit leaner with the ferts, especially if your plants' growth and uptake is slowed at the moment.
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