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Old 10-29-2008, 10:46 AM   #1
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Refuse to give up!

I will get the hang of this planted thing, if it kills me.

A few details about my 44g planted corner tank (it's tall).

Lighting is 2x 15W Flora-Glo (maybe a bit low?) They are somewhere between 3-4k. I have them on for about 12 hours a day.

No CO2.

Fish (fed twice a day with an algae wafer, shrimp pellets and tropical flakes):

4 yoyo loaches
1 clown pleco
2 angels

Nutrients: I suspect this is another area I need some help with.

Plants:

Anacharis (easiest plant to take care of, grows pretty quick, although the bottom of the plant further down doesn't do as well and also has some algae on it)

Anubias (a bit of brush algae, a little bit of browning, but mostly they do ok)

Hornwort (they do fine, I have been trying to trim the tops to get them to fan out/get a little bushier but doesn't seem to be working)

Java Fern (somehow, I have trouble with these, they are browning and have brush algae issues).

A) Do I need more light and is the time period ok?
B) What nutrients should I be dosing and how often?
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Old 10-29-2008, 11:01 AM   #2
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If you could get some more lighting on there, it would benefit the plants, most of what you have are low light plants, but even only having 30W is low, especially considering the depth of your tank.

Also, you should up the K rating on the bulbs to between 5000K and 10000K for optimal use by your plants.

For nutrients, with the plants you have and the low light setup, you can probably get away without needing anything other than weekly water changes.
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Old 10-29-2008, 11:09 AM   #3
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Thanks Neilan,

Is 1 watt/gallon the way to go then?

I can get some more bulbs, that is no problem (I'll increase the K as well).

I have read that browing was due to phosphorus deficiency, so I bought some and started dosing that a bit, but I'm not sure it's having any effect. I suspect it's primarily due to lighting issues.

One other thing, I seem to get diatoms frequently (brown/beige, powdery, clings to plants). I have read that it's supposed to clear itself up, but mine tend to stick around, could this be due to overfeeding?
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Old 10-29-2008, 11:14 AM   #4
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well, 1-1.5 WPG is a good general guideline for low light setups, but with your depth in that tall tank you need to be an overachiever. haha

if you could add 2 more bulbs, to double your output that would probably set you up in a much better situation.

I wouldn't think phosphates is your issue. The most common deficiency is potassium, and the symptoms of which are typically holes that develop in the leaves which will eventually lead to the leaf browing over and rotting away.

Diatoms are just a PITA, IMO. They feed on silicates, which are highly abundant in a new aquarium from the silicone seals that are used to assembly the tank. Some people are able to clear diatoms in a matter of weeks, others it takes months. Vacuum out what you can when you do your water changes, otherwise you just have to ride it out. I don't think overfeeding would have any affect on diatoms, though.
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Old 10-29-2008, 11:24 AM   #5
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Unfortunately, I don't know if I can physically add more bulbs, there are two fixtures on this tank that hold one bulb each (18" bulbs I believe). Unless I get a new canopy/lighting setup. Not sure the wife will go for that. =)

Also since this tank has been going for well over a year, I am trying to figure out the root cause for these diatoms, you are right, they are a PITA!
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Old 10-29-2008, 02:39 PM   #6
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Sometimes low light can trigger ongoing diatoms. So upping your light could fix two problems.
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Old 10-30-2008, 02:03 PM   #7
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I will definitely increase it and let you guys know.

Thanks as always. =)
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