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Old 10-28-2004, 09:23 AM   #1
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Plants looking sunburned

Good Morning Guys,

I have a problem with the plants in my 20 gallon high aquarium.
I have Eco Complete substrate and a 65 watt Cora light plant light over the aquarium. The plants have been planted two weeks now. They include moneywort, red luwidiga, a few melon swords, and a bronze wendenti.

I am running the light 12 hours a day and No CO2. All of the plants look like they are burning on the top of the leaves. I am not sure if the plants I have cannot handle the light I have or if I am just missing something. I have never had trouble with plants in low light aquariums.

Anybody have any ideas of the problem. Or maybe a list of plants that would do better?

I'll be glad to give anymore information if you need it.
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Old 10-28-2004, 11:03 AM   #2
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Burned, see-through/limp, or red?

Red is good--means the plants are getting a lot of light. The others usually mean that the plantts have a lot of light and need the CO2--CO2 is the limiting reagant.
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Old 10-28-2004, 11:21 AM   #3
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Plants that do better in a low-light situation, btw...

Java Fern
Java Moss
NOT swords plants (common misconception because they take a long time to die)
Anubias spp.
Anacharis
Hygros (Hygrophila polysperma)

Check out the thread I'm about to post, called "pearling." I'm including a picture in it of some Cabomba I have. The top of the plant is starting to get red from high light. This is a desirable condition. If this is what is happening to your plants, then you're fine. However, my inclination is that if you have high light, your plants are trying to grow, and cannot because they are limited by the amount of CO2 they are receiving from the water. I'd strongly suggest at least a DIY setup with sugar, yeast, water and a tube, if not a pressurized setup, if you're serious about keeping these plants and making it into a nice planted tank.

One problem, though. Even with low-light plants, giving them lots of light (3.17 wpg) will make them try to grow faster than they can with almost no CO2. They will deplete the CO2 in the water and probably suffer the same leaf problems that you have at the moment. If you are able to put a little less light on the tank (e.g. 40 watts), the plants would probably be happiest. Happier, even, with a DIY CO2 setup.

Make sense?
HTH
Jon
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Old 10-28-2004, 11:32 AM   #4
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Awesome response. I started building my DIY CO2 last night. I am putting it in when I get home from work. Hopefully that will be the key. Alot cheaper then Flourish, Flourish Excel. Although I plan to keep that up.
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Old 10-28-2004, 12:07 PM   #5
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Glad to help. Yes, I think you're doing the right thing with the CO2. I think you'll prob. be able to keep the level of CO2 at 5-10 ppm if you have a good reactor in the tank to break up/diffuse the bubbles.

Do you have a water pump you could connect up to a DIY or commercially-made reactor? A reactor makes all the difference to CO2 levels.
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Old 10-28-2004, 12:33 PM   #6
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DIY CO2 in a 20gallon should get a lot more than 5-10ppm. Heck a non-CO2 injected tank should have about 4ppm of CO2 naturally.
I easily keep 15ppm in my 20gallon using just a Hagen 'ladder' diffuser.
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Old 10-28-2004, 03:59 PM   #7
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There are nutrient deficiencies that will cause leaf deformities, like pinholes and browned areas, and once you get higher light and CO2 you really have to keep on top of nutrients (I get brown pinholes and tips when I am low on potassium). Are you currently using the Flourish and Flourish Excel?
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Old 10-28-2004, 04:45 PM   #8
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I'd definitely look at potassium as a deficiency. You have a lot of light...enough that normal Flourish almost becomes a perfect trace fert, rather than a 'comprehensive' fert. I'd be curious to see your nitrAte and phosphate levels. With that amount of light, you should be testing those as well...especially if you don't have CO2 running.

Its possible the plants are running out of nutrient stores, and shutting down, which means an algae bloom is around the corner.
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