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Old 12-19-2010, 01:33 PM   #1
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Unhappy Help! Regarding plants

I just got my new plants....not sure what kind. Il post a pic soon. So i just added them my tank. Its been an hour now and they look like they're dying The leaves are sagging. Is this normal in the beginning? btw Substrate is sand.
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Old 12-19-2010, 01:37 PM   #2
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What kind of lighting do you have? Watts?
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Old 12-19-2010, 01:42 PM   #3
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I have a 25watt CFL bulb.
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Old 12-20-2010, 07:41 AM   #4
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do i need a co2 diffuser?
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Old 12-20-2010, 10:35 AM   #5
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There could be several explanations for what you are seeing.

Plants can go through an adjustment phase, so that might be what you're seeing. But likely, there are a few other factors at play.

You lighting is way, way too low, unless you got very low light plants. However, I wouldn't think this wouldn't affect things immediately. You do need to get better lighting, I would suggest T8 lamps, and if you have the $, I would get the Zoo Med Max Plant Growth bulbs. They're expensive, but they work - and I tried several Home Depot/Menards/Walmart lamps. There's an old Watt per Gallon (WPG) rule (based on T12 lighting) that has been updated (somewhat) to reflect better lighting technology, but in general you should be able to keep most plants under "medium" lighting, which would be about 1-1.25 T8 Watts per gallon. I have 2x 32W T8s on my 55 and my plants do great. On a 30G, (I think) that's a 30" wide tank so (I think) you have to use 24" lamps - you would have to see what the watts are but I think whatever lamps you go with, use 2 and that will be plenty. Or you could add a couple more CFLs, but I am not the guys to talk to about which CFL is a good plant grower.

Most plants like established tanks, the waste from the fish is their food. I have gravel so the waste filters down deep and gets sucked into the roots, and I don't clean much more than the top 1" out of 3" of substrate. With sand, the waste doesn't make it down to the plant roots quite as easily, it just sits on the top. So your plants will take longer to establish and spread roots (because the substrate is more compacted) but they eventually will take hold and adjust to the tank. You might want to buy a pack of root tabs and put one under each plant to give them a little boost.

From what I remember reading, you would only need CO2 when you have very high lighting and are experiencing an algae bloom. A CO2 planted tank is quite a balancing act from what I understand, and while I never did CO2, for a while I used a carbon supplement (Excel) and had good growth and good algae control. Generally, unless you have 'too much' light, you don't need CO2, I believe.

Anyone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong...
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Old 12-21-2010, 07:20 AM   #6
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a 25 watt cfl is about 100watt incandescent equal. Right?
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Old 12-21-2010, 03:05 PM   #7
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You're not measuring watts really when it comes to planted tanks though, you are measuring lumens. So all the WPG rules were originally based on (at some point in time) the lumen output corresponding with the wattage output of a T12 lamp.

CFLs have a little better output that a T12 on a lumen per watt basis, so you're probably around 1 WPG equivalent, but the light is concentrated into a small space, whether that bulb is a spiral CFL or a straight/twin tube, which is pretty short.

A straight (bi-pin on both ends) bulb will spread the light more evenly across the tank. If you want to use CFLs, then you probably need 2 no matter what just to get the light even, or else you're only going to get good plant growth in an area under the plume thrown out by the bulb. So for now, you could place the plants directly under the lamp.

Is your tank a 30 Long or a 30 standard? Depth is also an issue. The deeper the tank, the more light is needed to achieve desired light levels at the substrate. The old WPG rule is generally based on the light level achieved at the substrate level in a 55 gallon tank.

If you want to get a nice headache, you can read these threads:

Updating the WPG rule (theory)

Also this thread (sticky under the planted forum area) might help

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...ces-83826.html
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Old 12-23-2010, 03:06 PM   #8
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Also, are you certain they are true aquatic plants? I was duped by a pet store.
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