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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 40 gallon tank that I have been in the process of setting up. I ran it bare bottom for at least a month, because I could not find a substrate I liked. I started out with floating plants. Then I saw some ludwigia repens in plastic pot, and after reading how hardy it was, I bought it, hoping I could keep it temporarily in the plastic pot until I got my substrate in. In fact, I did this with two onion plants, and a cryptocoryne also. The onion plants and crypt were fine. The ludwigia repens started to rot at the base in about a week, so I cut the stem above the rotting area, threw out the pot, and floated the ludwigia. About a week later, I got my substrate in (inert 3M colorquartz, T grade), and yesterday I planted the ludwigia in the substrate, and added a couple of Flourish root tabs. I'm hoping the ludwigia will not rot. This is a no CO2, low-demand plants only, kind of tank. Does anyone know why the ludwigia rotted when it was in the pot, and do you think it will do better in the substrate? I am also using a low alternating dose of Flourish and Flourish Iron.
 

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Ah, that could explain why things have changed for me as well. A couple of new large sword plants might be the heart of my problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Most likely there is insufficient light to keep the lower portions alive.
Hmmm....maybe I need to buy new bulbs. There used to be a flourescent tube on the market called Life-Glo that had a metallic coating on 1/2 the inside of the bulb. This bulb appeared significantly brighter to my eyes, when compared to a bulb without the coating. I can't seem to locate this bulb anymore. There is Life-Glo 2 now, but it doesn't have the inner metalic coating. Any recommendations?
 

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Yeah, stay away from the "grow lights" and stick with some basic high-quality lighting (CF's, T-5's, VHO's, MH's, or something similar). Your 40g tank has exactly what sort of light currently? You'll find it quite difficult to have much success with the standard fluorescents that come with most commerical packages, regardless of what sort of bulb you use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Yeah, stay away from the "grow lights" and stick with some basic high-quality lighting (CF's, T-5's, VHO's, MH's, or something similar). Your 40g tank has exactly what sort of light currently? You'll find it quite difficult to have much success with the standard fluorescents that come with most commerical packages, regardless of what sort of bulb you use.
I have two T8 flourescent tubes on this tank. There is no CO2, so I was hoping I could succeed with low-medium light plants. Once I go with higher lighting, I have to add CO2 I think. I'm also running a bio-wheel, and that would just disperse any CO2 that I add.
 

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I seriously doubt that the two bulbs you have are enough for low light so I would look into upgrading the lighting or adding a few more of those fixtures.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I took each stem of the ludwigia repens and planted it in the substrate, with each stem being about two inches apart from the next. As of today, I see some new growth coming up from the base, so I know it's taking, and not rotting this time. I think the problem was that when I bought the ludwigia repens, it was a clump stuck into the rockwool pot, with no space inbetween the stems, so no light was getting to the bottom half, causing it to rot. Now that it's planted with spaces inbetween, it seems to be happier. The moss balls, onion plant, hornwort, and crypt continue to do well.

I am looking into additional lighting, would like to possibly add another 40 watts to the tank at a reasonable price. I'm keeping my eyes open for a used fixture.
 
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