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Old 11-29-2007, 11:29 PM   #1
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Help! Plants Won't Grow

I successfully raised a batch of 50 Giant Danios and am 2 wk into a batch of Zebra Danio fry in my 46Bow planted tank. The plants keep dieing back no matter what I do even though the water seems healthy and the fish are thriving. There has been a little BGA, but not very much and I fish it out and throw away the dieing plants it grew on. Here are my stats:

- 97 watts of fluorescent light from grow tubes (not CF) (11 mo old) and an old 17 watt hood light that I didn't replace the bulb in. Lights on 8h/d on a timer just like the other planted tanks that are doing fine

- Using aquarium Plants fertilizer pellets for substrate (also using their substrate). This combo is working wonders in my other planted tanks.

- 2x/week Flourish

- 1x/2 days Excel

- 75 degree temp

- Ph=6.0

- Marineland C-220 (220 gph) canister filter w GAC, sponges, and bioballs. Runs 24x7 except during feedings

- WCs occasionally. Not as frequent as I should, but at least as frequent as my other tanks which are flourishing with plant life

- Plants:
- - Anacharis - drastically dieing back
- - Water Sprite - drastically dieing back
- - Melon sword - sickly
- - Anubias Nana - 1 mo old - holding its own
- - Green Wenditti - 1 mo old - holding its own
- - Java Fern - 1 mo old - holding on ok
- - Moneywort - 1 mo old - hanging on for dear life
- - Broad Leaf chain Swd - 1 mo old - leaves dieing, new ones sprouting
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Old 11-29-2007, 11:35 PM   #2
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It is about time to change out the light bulbs. 11 months is a good run on those lights. It also depends on how hot they get. The hotter they run, the sooner they need replaced.

FYI, Anacharis and Excel do not do well with each other.

IMO, I would start with changing the bulbs and then give it a couple of weeks to see it that helps.
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Old 11-30-2007, 12:19 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by rkilling1
FYI, Anacharis and Excel do not do well with each other.
Same goes for the water sprite. If they are turning brown and "melting" then its definitely the excel. Do an immediate 40% water change and stop dosing excel. Personally I would rather dose excel and avoid plants sensitive to it. There are plants very similar like Hornwort and Wisteria that do not have the same sensitivity and grow in similar conditions. But, the choice is up to you.

Moneywort, despite what people say, is a very challenging plant IMO. I never had success with it personally.

Swords are very sensitive to loss of light, get those bulbs changed.

Anubias/Wendtii/Java Fern - no surprise there, those grow in the worst of conditions which you have not even come close to yet.
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Old 11-30-2007, 12:58 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Alshain
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Originally Posted by rkilling1
FYI, Anacharis and Excel do not do well with each other.
Same goes for the water sprite. If they are turning brown and "melting" then its definitely the excel.
That was news to me, so I just googled "Water sprite and excel". The majority of the sites said that the water sprite grew BETTER with excel, then will just injecting CO2. After going 8 pages deep, I could not find one single article that said water sprite was sensitive to Excel.
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Old 11-30-2007, 08:15 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by rkilling1
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Originally Posted by Alshain
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Originally Posted by rkilling1
FYI, Anacharis and Excel do not do well with each other.
Same goes for the water sprite. If they are turning brown and "melting" then its definitely the excel.
That was news to me, so I just googled "Water sprite and excel". The majority of the sites said that the water sprite grew BETTER with excel, then will just injecting CO2. After going 8 pages deep, I could not find one single article that said water sprite was sensitive to Excel.
Maybe it was just my brown thumb then, kinda like the moneywort. Tried that stuff twice and it fell apart both times. But all the website says its an easy plant. I figure its just my tank or my regional water it doesn't like.
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Old 11-30-2007, 12:50 PM   #6
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Maybe it was just my brown thumb then, kinda like the moneywort. Tried that stuff twice and it fell apart both times. But all the website says its an easy plant. I figure its just my tank or my regional water it doesn't like.
The Bacopa monnieri grows everywhere in my 28 gallon tank. When I first purchased it, I was running a lot less light then I am now. probably something like 1.5 WPG and it took the Bacopa monnieri FOREVER to start growing. Honestly, it took months for it to get accustomed to my tank.
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Old 11-30-2007, 08:19 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the ideas. Since I'm dosing all my tanks the same and the water sprite and anacharis are thriving, I am more inclined to think it's the light. It just seems so wasteful to change the bulbs when it looks visually like the light is fine. I wish there was a relatively easy to check how bad the bulbs are. They are just regular fluorescent tubes with the good wavelenghts for growing plants. Maybe I'll switch to a CF fixture instead of replacing the bulbs. Does metal halide avoid having to replace the bulbs even when they kook like they are doing fine? BTW, I just picked up an Orbit fixture for my 150 gal FW tank. It has half actinic and half regular CF tubes. I was concerned about needing to change out the actinic bulbs, but the guy I bought it from said actinic was just fine for plants and recommended leaving them in. Is there general agreement on that?
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Old 11-30-2007, 09:25 PM   #8
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Actinic will do nothing for your plants, but will do nothing adverse either. When calcualting your lighting you don't include the power of the actinics. Basically, though, you can double your power by swapping out the actinic bulbs with regular if you want more lighting on your system.
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Old 11-30-2007, 09:54 PM   #9
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I know this is the wrong forum for SW, but I wonder if they do something for corals or something in a SW tank, or if they are only for human enjoyment there too.

Another thing: I've tended to shy away from complicated high light scenarios where you have to use CO2. Maybe I'll try it someday. But in the mean time, how many watts/gal can you put in a tank without having to use CO2 and the rest of the high tech stuff?
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