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Old 05-05-2014, 12:07 PM   #1
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Melting Plants?

Hey everyone!
Sorry about the title I am not sure what I am doing to my poor plants.
They still grow, but they look horrible in my opinion.
I have a 55 Gallon tank, and bought a shop light that has 2 T8 bulbs. I have the lights on a timer for 8 hours a day. Is the light to strong or is something else doing something to my poor plants?


Tank: 55 Gallon
Fish: Guppies, Cories, Plecos
Filter: Eheim 2217 Canister
Substrate: CaribSea Flora Max Planted Aquarium Substrate
Lighting: 2 Bulbs
Watts: 32W
Kelvins: 6500
Bulb Shape: T8
CRI: 82
Lumens: 2800
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Old 05-05-2014, 04:04 PM   #2
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Hello MD Moll...

You're using standard florescent lighting, 64 watts, so you have a bit more than a watt per gallon of tank volume. That's not much. Check your plants. Floating plants that are up close to the light source will do alright. If you have any that are planted and are a light green color as opposed to dark green, then they won't do well in low light conditions.

I've never heard of aquatic plants doing very well in subdued lighting and the lights only being on for 8 hours a day. These plants are tropical and used to long hours of daylight. Light is the energy source for plants and if you don't give them at least 10 hours per day, they won't be healthy. I keep several 55 gallons tanks with a couple of 48 inch T8 or T12 bulbs and have the lights on a timer set for 12 hours on and 12 off. The plants require just low light and grow very well.

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Old 05-05-2014, 04:50 PM   #3
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Melting Plants?

Plants will definitely do just fine if given less than 10 hours of light. The longer you run lights the higher the chance you have of running into algae issues. Are you dosing any ferts?
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Old 05-06-2014, 01:36 AM   #4
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10 hours a day is overkill for lighting. I personally only run my lights 5 hours daily and have obscene growth rates.

The lighting you have is low light so you will need to buy plants to match. Bolbitis, java fern, java moss, crypts.

The plant you have looks like an alteranthera reinekii (sp?) Which is a high light plant that many many people fail at keeping. I personally am just getting mine to be happy after trying for nearly 8 months.

What other plants do you have?
Do you do anything for fertilization?
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Old 05-06-2014, 12:00 PM   #5
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I agree with Mebbid but when using lower light levels you can run lights longer as long as you don't have algae issues. From what I see in the picture there are some nutrient deficiency problems. The holes in the leaves, especially if they started out like pin holes and the enlarge is a potassium deficiency. Then the edges and tips of the leaves that on some appear to be browning and dying is either from a nitrate or phosphate deficiency. They can both look very similar especially in the early stages. Do you know your phosphate and nitrate levels? Are you using a liquid carbon?
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Old 05-09-2014, 03:17 PM   #6
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Pic shows the bottom of plant, but do the leaves up top/new growth look that way also? May be low par near the bottom due to poor light penetration?? How long have you had the plants, as I don't see roots or shoots???
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