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Old 11-25-2009, 05:39 PM   #1
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Plant trouble... not enough light?

Hi gang... I'm new here and I was hoping some of you folk could help me out... My freind recently got some Assorted Sword plants (about 3 weeks ago) and they aren't doing to well (see gallery link below). They were fine when she got them. It's a 15 gallon aquarium, as described/populated in our profile. The water quality should be within normal parameters as tested by our LFS. pH was ~7, temp. is 80F, water is soft. She is using liquid Flourish and Flourish tabs as directed. The only thing that I can see that isn't up to spec is the 15 watt light in her aquarium hood. Could insufficient light cause this type of damage to a plant?

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Old 11-25-2009, 06:33 PM   #2
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could be the light, though most swords can tolerate low light... id suspect they were raised out of water... i got some from petsmart in a little plastic canister, they did that for a while until they got used to being underwater... trim off the brown leaves... make sure they have root tabs, might try upgrading the light if you can, thats pretty low... my amazon swords grew tremendously under a 15w light in a 10g... also make sure the bulb is within usable range (6700k-10,000k)
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Old 11-25-2009, 06:41 PM   #3
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Hmmm... in short, yes insufficient light could cause it. What type of bulb is it? How old? Any NO light in a stock fixture is going to be bare minimum for swords since most are on the higher light end of things. Cut away the dead leaves and see if others fade. Looks like a melon sword (Echinodorus osiris), I could be wrong though.
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Old 11-25-2009, 06:44 PM   #4
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First, yes the light is not strong enough. Might want to move to about a 30 watt lamp. Also, the issues with the plant could be a couple of things.
A: The plant was grown emersed (out of the water) and now is adjusting to life below the water line. The plant could melt off like that and then bounce back.
B: It also looks like you have at least a Potassium, Iron/Magnesium, and perhaps a Calcium deficiency.
C: Lastly Flourish is trash. Dry ferts are a much better choice because you can not only decide how much of what fert you need, it is also cheaper. There are many places to purchase them, last time I tried aquariumfertilizer.com and got a pound of each N,P,K, and a trace mix they call CSM shipped for 26 dollars. Also, a pound of each will likely last me a year or more in my 56g planted tank. Win Win situation if you ask me.
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Old 11-25-2009, 08:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Markstanfill View Post
Dry ferts are a much better choice because you can not only decide how much of what fert you need, it is also cheaper. There are many places to purchase them, last time I tried aquariumfertilizer.com and got a pound of each N,P,K, and a trace mix they call CSM shipped for 26 dollars. Also, a pound of each will likely last me a year or more in my 56g planted tank. Win Win situation if you ask me.
Interested in switching to dry ferts. My tank is stocked enough to keep the N up so I don't think I need that, but I use Seachem Potassium, Comprehensive, Excel, and Iron (on occasion), and I have a lot since they sent me 500ml of each free recently. My plants do pretty well but I would be curious to see what kind of a difference dry ferts would to. Is there a good thread here or anywhere else that discussed that?
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Old 11-27-2009, 02:29 PM   #6
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in a 15 gallon tank with low light and no co2, flourish is fine. you will probably have to use nitrate, phosphate, or potassium at some point and you can use seachem for that too. for your tank fishquariastgardener, i think that you are doing just fime. especially since your problem is with swords which are primarily root feeders (your root tabs will be enough for them).

i agree that your plants were probably grown emersed and that your plants will more than likely rebound after being submerged a bit.

your lights screw into your hood correct? if so you can easily go out and get some compact flourescent light bulbs and replace them. look for bulbs that are about 6500k
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Old 11-27-2009, 02:35 PM   #7
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floyd. what size tank do you have and what are your parameters, lighting, co2 etc...

dry ferts arent any better with the exception of price. when you buy bottles of ferts you are just paying for water, bottles, and the name brand. otherwise its all the same.
dry ferts last you a long time. if you have co2 and higher lighting it is definately worth your while.
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Old 11-27-2009, 09:05 PM   #8
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HN1: The light is a Hagen AquaGlo (18,000K) and it is 4 months old .
Timwag2001: It is a normal two post ballast.
We will investigate upgrading the light as time allows. I guess in the meantime theres not much we can do?
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Old 11-27-2009, 09:15 PM   #9
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i think you're fine. just keep your root tabs under the plant and you should be ok.
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Old 11-29-2009, 04:50 AM   #10
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Can I just say you are not fine.. an 18K bulb will not do your plants any good as the light is of the blue spectrum utilised by coral not plants.

You will need a bulb between 5K-8K prefably a 6700K Flora Gro.
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Old 11-29-2009, 10:20 AM   #11
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an 18k bulb has more of a blue spectrum but it is not entirely blue. most people shoot between 6500-10000k. plants will still grow under 18000k.
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Old 11-30-2009, 12:44 PM   #12
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Why try make plants grow under 18K just switch to a 6700K and you are "guaranteed" they will grow.
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Old 11-30-2009, 04:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FishquariastGardener View Post
HN1: The light is a Hagen AquaGlo (18,000K) and it is 4 months old .
Timwag2001: It is a normal two post ballast.
We will investigate upgrading the light as time allows. I guess in the meantime theres not much we can do?
they said they were going to upgrade their lighting. for now what they have is ok. their plants will still grow just not as great as if it had the proper spectrum. i've grown plants under 18000k
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Old 12-09-2009, 11:11 AM   #14
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Well I aint gonna try it, especially with EI dosing... recipe for algae carnage.
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