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Old 01-15-2011, 01:06 AM   #1
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enough light for micro swords?

Hey guys,
I just got an upgrade on tanks and lights. I went from a 29 gal and a coralife t5 to a 40 breeder with 2 coralife t5's. I got some Eco complete and a bunch of new plants, and the tank looks great, but was missing a foreground plant. I found some micro swords for a fantastic deal ($1.50 a plant), but the store owner said I might not have enough light to support them. I understand that they're probably not going to make a carpet, or anything, but will they survive and spread out a little bit? I am running a 3 bottle DIY CO2 also

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Old 01-15-2011, 01:11 AM   #2
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p.s. flora/fauna list

1 banded rainbow fish
Pair of German blue rams
8 black neon tetras
3 Odessa barbs
5 peppered cories
4 otos

pygmy swords and mentioned micro swords
crypt spiralis
anacharis
1 huge mystery plant I've had forever (could some one guess what it is from this pic, on the right/middle?)

2 coralife t5s with one 6700 and one 10000 bulb each
eco complete substrate
3 bottle DIY CO2 with glass diffuser
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Old 01-15-2011, 01:30 AM   #3
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Micro swords are pretty slow spreaders from my experience. Are you dosing any ferts with all that CO2?
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Old 01-15-2011, 02:45 AM   #4
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I was dosing excel and flourish, but ran out of excel. I don't really know a whole lot about dosing ferts, I was hoping that the light and C02 and eco complete would cover most of it
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Old 01-15-2011, 02:49 AM   #5
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Eco-Complete is a great substrate, but it doesn't have many nutrients to begin with, it absorbs them. Swords are root feeders so a few root tabs could definitely help them along. You probably don't need to worry about Excel with the DIY CO2.
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Old 01-15-2011, 08:35 AM   #6
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Excel and CO2 can be beneficial.

Are the bulbs T5HO? How many watts are they? What color temp?

My experience with lilaeopsis (microsword) is that is not difficult to grow if you have plenty of light and good water parameters. It will take some time to get started, but once it does, it grows like mad in the right conditions. If you have enough light over the tank to grow lilaeopsis of any species, then you probably need to start looking at fertilizers, and reading up on how all of that works, because eventually with enough light, the tank is going to bottom out on 1 or more nutrients.

FWIW, my tank has quite a bit of light over it... would call it medium high to high, and most sources will tell you that is the required range to grow lilaeopsis.

FYI I stopped growing it and switched to dwarf hairgrass not too long ago, but a few of the older pics in my 5 gal journal have the lilaeopsis in there.
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Old 01-15-2011, 12:28 PM   #7
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I figured the DIY CO2 wouldn't exactly cut it for that big of a tank, that's why I continued to dose flourish excel. Would dosing regular flourish again be enough for ferts? Or am I going to have to go for something more (and more expensive)?

The lights are just regular t5s. they I have 2 6700K and 2 10000K, I'm not sure on the wattage, but I'll try and find out. If the micro swords don't work out, I'll try dwarf hair grass. It looks like it's easier to care for, and spreads out better. I just thought that It was worth a try, with them being so cheap and all
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Old 01-15-2011, 04:15 PM   #8
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Ferts don't need to be expensive. I would highly recommend getting away from liquid ferts on a tank that big and picking up dry ferts. There are many sources online for them (I buy from rexgrigg.com). $20 of dry ferts will last you years.
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