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Discussion Starter #1
Question. I have a 46 Gallon planted tank and having some difficulties in growing and currently have a regular 30W flourescent light and a 96W coralife compact light. My question is any chance of my difficulties being because i have a glass top to the tank? I know any glass takes UV away but enough to hinder growth?
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Don't worry about the glass. Just keep it clean so the light can go through. I have glass tops on all my tanks and there's no issues.
 

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Glass tops do collect condensation, in my experience, so they do attenuate the light at least a little bit. What I used to see is a glass that was just dripping with water every morning, but the water evaporated soon after the lights came on. That means a residue of crud on the glass which also attenuates the light. I got tired of trying to get rid of the crud, so both of my tanks are now open to the light fixture. The condensation I get inside the light fixtures has not yet caused a problem for me.
 

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I too prefer open top tanks. I just like the ease of maintenance, feeding & not having to clean the glass. Although all fish can jump out, if you have fish that are know jumpers like Hatchet fish for example, then you would want to keep the top covered.
 

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I did some test on this 2 tank with same setup put 3 kind of plant in each one with glass top and one without. The on without plant did grow faster. But now i am stuck at this question is it because i add fresh water more often because of evaporation witch renew a little bit of the nutrient for the plant or is it realy because of the glass. Anyway my observation did show it does grow faster. Hope it help.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the views;

I have seen a difference in the amount of beading coming off of the leaves since ive taken the glass off.

I still dont get why the plants have seem to have stunted growth im soo frusterated its driving me crazy.

Can anyone please give me some advice. I have a 46 Gallon tank id say is 95% covered in different plants some slow and some fast growers like amazon sword. I have another sword plant not sure what the name is but I have the
coralife compact flourescent bulb 96W a 30W hagen life glo bulb on another unit.
A DIY yeast system that i bought and working ive done the test and i also add carbon from a liquid fert
I add weekly the 3 macro nutrients, and a mixture of micro nutrients, the lights are on 12hrs a day.
the gravel i never added anything its normal small like bits of brown gravel but the tank has been running since November of 2007 so im sure theres nutrients there, the gravel varies but in places has to be atleast 2inches thick
The water temp is 80ish
there are 17 neons adn 3 clown loaches and 1 pleco which is eating my sword plant daily urgh

My question is what am i doing wrong like i see oxygen beads coming off but little or no change in growth?
 

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With the amount of light you have you need to dose fertilizers more often than weekly. The plants will quickly use up the weekly doses, then languish until another dose is provided. The EI fertilizing method uses 3 times a week dosing, or even daily dosing, with lower doses, as I do. Other methods, such as PPS Pro use daily dosing. Also, be sure to dose adequate amounts, either per the EI method, which intentionally overdoses, or per the PPS Pro method which tries to more closely match doses to needs.

It is very hard to provide enough concentration and keep it consistent enough, using a DIY type CO2 system in that size tank. If you can afford it, go to pressurized CO2, and you will immediately see better plant growth results.
 

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Glass tops pros: reduce evaporation, keep temperature realatively stable, support strip lights easier and keep out smoke and ashes from smokers.
Glass top cons: Get crudy looking, have to remove to get into tank and do trimming, etc.
This is from only my experience.

I'm going to try the best and worst from both worlds with my latest tank 36x18x19 using a small glass cover on the front with about 9" uncovered in the back for mounting my adjustable legs for a Coralife Aqualight. Had the tank built and the top made for it. Will be setting up during the 4th weekend. All my other tanks are covered.
 

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I had alway kept mine covered but was playing with the light the other day and noticed how much of a shadow the plastic hinge cast. So now I go topless and the only downfall has been slight evaporation, but not enough to be a problem. As hoppy said, definitely go with pressurised co2, and you will not only see a difference, but you will ask yourself why you hadn't done it sooner because once it is setup, there is no more mixing. My only other suggestion is the substrate. If you are using plain inert gravel, change it out to AquaSoil. This by far made the most dramatic change in mine.
Brian
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks;
im looking into the co2 not sure where to get it in my area, about the substrate i wouldnt want to go through all the work of changing it over would it be an option to add fertilizer to the substrate like ive seen i think seachem makes it, its cubes that you dig into the gravel and its suppose to fertilize an area. Has anyone had any luck with this product? would there be a big chance since mine is heavily planted that i would burn my roots with it like you can do to grass if it dries out ?
 

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Don't fret about the substrate. Most plants will primarily take up nutrients via the water column so making sure you're dosing adequately there is your primary concern. Swords tend to be heavy root feeders, and if you see your swords is 'hungry' go ahead a place a root tab under it. The very few times I've used tabs, I've broken them up and placed it in a circular fashion under the targeted plants. Seachem's root tabs are a good product.

For CO2 check out fire extinguisher outlets, welding supply stores, and even home brewing outfits. It's true that once you switch to pressurized you will wonder why you didn't do it earlier. :)
 

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I want to first thank you all for the help honestly you folks have helped me alot ive started to see changes in my plants and its coming i can tell, couple questions when do you know when a plant is dead or dormant do aquatic plants do this? The main plants that are thriving or starting to are the large amazon and the crypts had a big jump. There is aonion plant and a couple of sword plants not the large amazon type though that look and feel hard to the touch the leaves havent grown any and I just did a water change and cut a couple leafs off that were def dead and noticed later that oxygen bubbles were escaping the plant that means its still alive no? and does that hamper the plant? now the onion plant the leaves were growing but have since curled up and browned up and have been stuck since like this. Any ideas when i should just should replace? or hang on?
Thanks
 
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