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A while back I set up my 55 gallon tank using miracle grow peat moss and gravel ,which Mrs Walsted had mentioned in one of her posts. The plants took off like crazy,which is the first time I ever had such growth. It is now 1 1/2 to 2 years later and all growth has stopped. The plants are stagnant and some have died off. I do not feel like breaking down the tank.
Any similiar experiences and or solutions.Fish mass is tetras and rainbow fish about 12 in all.
same light,same tank position,same water. ?
 

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I wouldn't throw in the towel just yet. Attached is photo of my 45 gal that went 7 years after setup in 2001. I recently had to dismantle it, only because the tank was threatening-- after 20 years of use-- to leak. It killed me to have to take it down.

If your plants are regressing, it could be that you are:
    • not feeding your fish enough (fishfood will replenish nutrients removed from soil by plants)
    • doing too much cleaning (i.e., changing water, etc)
    • have plants that need lots of CO2
    • your light bulbs need changing
In any case, my calculations ( my book, p. 88 ) suggest that nitrogen is a nutrient that is in excess and should not be limiting plant growth.

Yes, plant growth will slow down after the first year, but you should be able to get acceptable plant growth after that.
 

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I guess tom barr was correct. The walsted setup runs out of nutrients after a year.
Boy, I sure hope you're right, although one of my NPTs scooted right past the one year deadline without a hiccup in leaf production. But if things slow down, I'll be able to forget about weekends like the last one where I spent at least six hours pruning and thinning back the growth. It was getting so bad even the Corys were having a hard time getting around.

In addition to the methods Diana mentioned, another way to put the brakes on plant growth is let the water get too soft. There's something about Calcium and Magnesium that plants find essential for growth, so if you want less work on weekends, stop checking the water hardness. ;)

Another thing I've noticed is that some plants do better at different stages of NPT maturation than others. For instance, in one tank the Hornwort, Wisteria, and Ludwigia Glandulosa grew at a tremendous pace during the first four or five months. One of my chores this last weekend was to remove all their traces since they were obviously being choked out (allelopathy?) by the Swords, Ludwigia Repens and Bronze Crypts. I've never seen 18" Crypt leaves before. Guess I'll have to start pruning them next. :(

If this pruning continues to get out of hand, there's always a return to the hi-tech methods of changing water, cleaning filters, injecting CO2, dosing ferts, swapping in fresh light bulbs, testing for ammonia and my favorite - vacuuming gravel. Those were the good ol' days.

;)
 
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