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Old 02-28-2020, 05:48 PM   #1
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Planted tank soil question

Hello, I have a small fluval flex 15 gallon and I can't seem to get my plants to grow well. I am using co2 and a nutrient booster. Is there something wrong with my soil? Am I supposed to use soil and gravel or just soil or just gravel. I have a whole bag of UP aqua sand. The product said it was good. The attached photos show you what these plants look like. Thanks.
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Old 02-29-2020, 03:20 PM   #2
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Hello erik...

Can you tell me if you have strong lighting? If you dose CO2, you're essentially telling the plants you want faster growth. However, the plants won't respond unless you give them very bright light to go with the CO2.

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Old 03-01-2020, 03:49 PM   #3
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I am using the standard lights that came with the tank, is that enough? 7500k white light!!

Any other issues with the tank? Soil or nutrients like potassium or phosphates?
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Old 03-01-2020, 09:57 PM   #4
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You mentioned a nutrient booster, something you put originally into the substrate or something which you are dosing on a regular basis? What brand is it?
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Old 03-03-2020, 05:21 PM   #5
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Yes I am using fluval grow + micronutrient booster and api co2 booster. Both of those are liquid. The grow + is weekly and co2 is everyday! Do you think I need more light?
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Old 03-03-2020, 05:39 PM   #6
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Bbradbury, since the start of the tank the plants don't really grow, they just kinda live. Then I thought to get micronutrients and co2. I should probably get macronutrients. Is there something wrong with the soil?
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Old 03-03-2020, 05:55 PM   #7
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The plant triangle is CO2, nutrients, and light ... with light being limited. What you have is not CO2, but "Glut". Instead of spending big money on CO2 Booster or Excel, I would just buy Metricide off of Amazon. Its cheaper by volume and it is more concentrated. About 0.6 ml of metricide = 1 ml of Excel, so dose accordingly.

What are you wanting to grow? Low light plants?
How long have the plants been planted?
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Old 03-03-2020, 06:27 PM   #8
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Hi, I'm new to the whole planted tank deal. I have photos above of the plants I have. I've sliced some of them off the original plant from another tank. There plants have been in there for a year and a half. I am open to suggestions on what plants to get.

I was going to buy another light and add it. More light the merrier right?
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Old 03-03-2020, 08:50 PM   #9
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Not necessarily. If you "blast" an aquarium with 50,000,000 Lumens, what you are going to get is an algae farm. There needs to be a balance of CO2, Nutrients, and light, with light being the limited factor.

I would like to share a link with you because it appears that you are wanting to go High Tech. High Tech is EXPENSIVE, requires CO2 (preferably pressurized CO2), Use of Estimated Index fertilizer dosing, and High Light. High Tech tanks can be laborious. This link shows how nice a Low Light tank can look with simple CFL bubs. http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/10...-solution.html

In addition, I have a nice list of Low Light plants for you to try. Excellent List Of Plants For Low Light Tanks - General Aquarium Plants Discussions - Aquatic Plant Central

I suggest trying a Low Tech setup first and maybe gradually progress to higher tech setups over time. You must know that so many aquarists want to progress to High Tech right from the start and the have problems, get frustrated, and eventually wind up getting out of the hobby.

I am almost certain that BBradbury keeps mostly Low Light tanks: you should see some of his tanks! They are great! I am not sure about Autumnsky, but he may be more of a High tech tank guy...I'm not sure though.
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Old 03-03-2020, 11:54 PM   #10
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No high tech with my tanks - yet.

One other thing about plants in general, is not to add a super blasting light all at once. You can increase some at first, but gradually get the plants used to much stronger lighting.

CO2 starters
https://www.aquariumadvice.com/begin...-planted-tank/

https://www.aquariumadvice.com/carbon-dioxide-systems/

Sometime in the future I will get CO2 - have been reading over the past few years and there seems to be something come up and gets into the way of jumping in.

Long time back about 4 years I used to use glutaraldehyde which is used as a sanitizer and an algaecide.

This is something which made me decide to skip Glut. There were more articles which I checked into as well and decided it wasn't something I wanted to mess with.

https://www.sunkengardens.net/blog/2...glutaraldehyde

There is some additional info here which might help
https://www.aquariumadvice.com/intro...-planted-tank/
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Old 03-07-2020, 08:43 AM   #11
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Thanks everybody for the information. I am not really looking to do high-tech right now. I'm trying to understand the science and the interaction of plants and animals together. I want to succeed on a smaller scale before I go bigger. After the research and what everybody has said I decided to go ahead and get Thrive fertilizer. I looked into what is in the fertilizer compared to what is in other fertilizers and from what I understand I think this is an excellent choice.
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Old 03-07-2020, 10:05 PM   #12
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Excellent, will be hoping to hear how you like it!
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