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Planted tank questions

1014 Views 7 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  trenac
I have a 55 gallon tank with gravel over kitty litter as a substrate. I just put new lighting in and most of the tank is doing great. I have aponogeten that is growing like crazy and spiral val is also doing good. The main problem that I am seeing is holes in the leaves of any sword plants that I put into the tank. I'm trying to discover the cause of the problem and how to correct it.

I'm beginning to think that I may have too much gravel over the kitty litter and the sword roots are reaching past the gravel. I know I may need to add some ferts too, but adding Leafzone doesn't seem to help the problem any. A few of the leaves also start to show a yellowish color, but it is only on the sword plants. Any thoughts?

What ferts are the best to use for planted tanks?
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The main nutrients needed are:Nitrates,phosphates,potassium & micros. Leaf zone only contains potassium & iron. You also need a carbon source such as Seachem Excel or C02 injection.

Since swords get most of their nutrients through their roots they will greatly benifit from a root tab stuck near their root system.

Here is a nutrient dificiency chart that will help you understand what nutrients are lacking...

Another over looked need for plants is lighting. Make sure you have enough light for the plants you have & the correct K rating bulbs. For swords you will need at least 2 watts per gallon or 110 watts for a 55G tank. As for bulbs any where between 5500k-10000k will work.

Welcome to APC!
Hey Fishsticks, first off, welcome to apc!

Are you doing this as a low tech type set-up? Some more specs on your tank would help in answering your questions - like how much lighting, how old is tank, co2, etc.
I have two compact GE bulbs that are just below 10K each. I'm pretty sure it isn't the lighting because the aponogeten was doing poorly in another tank and it now has about 10 stems and still growing. I have a DIY co2 setup. The tank is established and has been set up for several years, but was reset with the kitty about 4 months ago.

I can changed the substrate if need be, but I have heard of quite a few people doing well with kitty litter.
What is the wattage on those bulbs?

I don't think you need to change the substrate out, however I don't have any experince with kitty litter.

If your lighting is where it needs to be, then look into getting a fert routine going with the proper nutrients I listed in my previous post.
They are 55 watts each. Shouldn't that be enough to grow most sword plants?
They are 55 watts each. Shouldn't that be enough to grow most sword plants?
2wpg is not high light, but it should grow your swords. As Trena said, definitely look into starting a fert regime.
They are 55 watts each. Shouldn't that be enough to grow most sword plants?
That should be fine.
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