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Old 04-04-2005, 10:27 AM   #1
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help with my plants please

I have a community aquarium, ive had it about 2 years now, the fish always do fine, but my plants always seem to die off, ive tried plant food ( for the aquarium of course) and the only thing that happens is i get more algae!!!, any suggestions would be gratly appreciated as i would like to get a decent planted aquarium at soume point!!
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Old 04-04-2005, 10:42 AM   #2
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Welcome to Aquarium Advice, timtheenchanter!!

We'll just need a bit more info and I am sure we can help. What size tank is it, and what fish do you have? Also, most importantly, what kind of lighting is over this tank, and how long do you leave the lights on?
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Old 04-04-2005, 11:52 AM   #3
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its a 36x18x12 tank with zebra danios, mollies, neon tetras and a couple of corys, im using a flurescent tube, i cant remember which one it is, but i was told by my dealer that i dont need to replace it, is that correct or should i change it one a year, like with reptiles?? the light is on for about 12 hours a day, less i winter when i change the time clock by a couple of hours, but no less than 10.
Thanks
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Old 04-04-2005, 12:30 PM   #4
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I come up with about 33 US gallons. It will be very important to know the wattage of the bulb, and you might have to remove it to check, unless you can see the marking. If your dealer told you that the bulb only had to be changed when it burnt out, then it is possible it is a power compact fluorescent, which will be a small diameter tube, sometimes bent into an elongated U-shape, often with only one set of pins at one end. If it is a standard fluorescent tube, with pins at both ends then they can lose their intensity greatly over time, though they still fire up. Those ought to be swapped out about every 6-9 months or so.

I'm interested in the watts because that plays a very important role in how well certain plants do, and often inadequate lighting is the culprit. That's not always true, but we'll need to know more about the bulb to get to the origin of your problem.
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Old 04-04-2005, 03:35 PM   #5
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its a 30" 25watt tube, its an aqua-glo i beleive that has somthing to do with the spectrum output, i beleive that its a standard tube as it has connectors at both ends, so do you think its about time i replaced it, even if its not the root of my problems as ive had it singe i setup the tank about 2 years ago
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Old 04-04-2005, 04:12 PM   #6
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Okay - that tells me you have under 1wpg, so this is an extremely low light tank, which will make it very hard to grow plants, for the most part. I think your algae problems are the result of fertilizer overdosing, because at that low light you should not have much of a problem at all with algae, except perhaps the brown diatoms. The plants are not going to be able to grow vigorously enough to use ferts, so you can discontinue that for the time being and let the fish provide the nutrients the plants need.

I have grown plants in super low light like this, but you need to stick with plants like java fern, java moss, anubias sp. and cryptocoryne sp. The crypts will live in this low light and grow some, but don't expect a lot of growth, at least that is how it has worked out in my tank. I do not do anything to this tank at all but weekly water changes, and that's it. No ferts, no fuss, no muss.

You probably ought to swap out the bulb for a 6500K (or higher) rated bulb and see if that helps. The only other option would be to replace the fixture (or retrofit it) with higher wattage. What kind of plants do you have, if any?
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Old 04-04-2005, 05:54 PM   #7
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With under 1wpg, you don't need to fertilize...which is why when you do fertilize, you get algae.
Looks like TG has this covered.
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Old 04-04-2005, 11:02 PM   #8
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Well, I'm certainly covering people in verbosity, that's for sure. I gotta work on the condensed version. :|
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Old 04-04-2005, 11:36 PM   #9
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Also plant very heavily with quick growing plants to help avoid algae. I think one of the main problems is people don't plant enough at first, or they put alot of slow growing plants in at first before the aquarium can balance out. Dwarf sag is a good choice also for low light. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 04-06-2005, 11:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr_girlfriend
Also plant very heavily with quick growing plants to help avoid algae. I think one of the main problems is people don't plant enough at first, or they put alot of slow growing plants in at first before the aquarium can balance out. Dwarf sag is a good choice also for low light. Just my 2 cents.
I have dwarf Sag and Hornwort in my low light tank, although my 3 ramshorn snails are preying on their lack of growth.

Do you have any recommendations on fast-growing low light plants? Almost all of the low-lighters seem to be the slow growing type, probably because of the lack of light... I'm fighting off algae on the glass/gravel/ornaments... oddly though, not on the plants.
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Old 04-06-2005, 02:23 PM   #11
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plants just don't grow fast in low light. Possibly the fastest growers would be java moss and hornwort.
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Old 04-06-2005, 03:32 PM   #12
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That was what I've gathered, but Dr_G's recommendation of planting fast growing plants heavily, to help establish the environment, only really applies when properly lit.

Thanks as always Malkore, you and a bunch others here spreading your seemingly infinite wisdom is a great service to the aquarium community. Thanks a million.+
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Old 04-06-2005, 05:57 PM   #13
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Yeah Java Ferns, Java Moss and Most Anubias do well in low light. I have also heard that Hygrophila will grow well in most tanks. Welcome to Aquarium Advice, I hope you get the answers you were hoping for!
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Old 04-11-2005, 02:24 PM   #14
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thanks for everyones help n suggestions, I think im now going to get me a bit more light and the Ill see how it goes, i just got to see if i can get an up-rated tube or whether im going to have to replace my hood (it only has space for one tube)

Thanks again.
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