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LED and plants


Ciedric

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I've got a BiOrb life with a LED light, how suitable is the LED for plants?

I had full of green with this

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Look at the plant in the right

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Is this just a light issue? The light was on 8 hours but is now on 12 hours. I don't have a feeding soil and I don't add anything.

The soil is ceramic media that has a kind of filter function.

I bought some new plants that shoot roots very quickly

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But as you can see they are getting worse to. Should I blame the LED or do I need to add some plant food?

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Edited by Ciedric
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I know this is not related to your original question, but I would be remiss if I did not say that unfortunately that tank is not large enough for a goldfish. Goldfish need at minimum of 56-75 liters (15-20 gallons) for each fish. I am not sure how large that tank is, but I know the biorbs tend to be quite small. If it is at least 19 liters (5 gallons) it would be more suitable for something like a betta fish :)

In regard to your question, I agree with MRC above that the lighting on that tank isn't ideal for good plant growth. But I would think you should be able to sustain some lower light plants in there like anubias and java fern (which I see you already have). You may want to think about adding some root tabs and/or liquid ferts and see if that perks them up :)

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back left is java fern, back right is an amazon sword (this is a heavy root feeder and would benefit from root tabs), mid left looks to be bacopa carolina I think.... I am not sure what the small one in the second to last pic is. In the first pic, the 'fluffy' plant back left looks to be cabomba caroliniana - this plant generally requires at least medium lighting, I have had trouble with this plant melting away in my own tank that has high light.

From here on out I would choose only easy low light plants for this tank. Your java fern, sword, and bacopa actually don't look bad. The browning on the edges of the sword suggest it may be lacking some nutrients, so I would definitely try throwing a root tab under that plant. Swords tend to do best in medium lighting, so it ultimately may not do great in this tank.

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The sword I got in a little pot made out of terra cotta. So adding some nutriens to the water can do no harm to keep the plants in better condition?

I also don't have a heating element, just room temperature.

This plant I had after purchased the tank

2012_12_%2525201_23_54.jpg

Remeber it from the old days when my younger brother still had his tank. It was a tropical tank and the plant grew very fast.

Edited by Ciedric
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My tank temps tend to be 68+ (Fahrenheit), and my plants do great! :) I agree with the root tabs--just looks like your sword needs a little tlc. :)

You could probably take a tall desk lamp, with the right spectrum bulb, and use that to help your plants get more light. Lamps are cheap, and can be terribly useful. ;)

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The sword I got in a little pot made out of terra cotta. So adding some nutriens to the water can do no harm to keep the plants in better condition?

I also don't have a heating element, just room temperature.

This plant I had after purchased the tank

2012_12_%2525201_23_54.jpg

Remeber it from the old days when my younger brother still had his tank. It was a tropical tank and the plant grew very fast.

Because the sword gets most of its nutrients from the roots (as opposed to stem plants which do a great job getting nutrients from the water) it would benefit most from root tabs (ferts that go in the substrate as opposed to liquid ferts).

Additional ferts will not harm anything as long as you do not overdose (be mindful of this since your tank is small), however they do have the potential to create more algae in the tank if there are more ferts than the plants are using (excess ferts = food for algae). So, I would start with the most conservative approach/dose and up it over time if you are not seeing an effect.

The plant in this picture is anacharis. It is another awesome low light plant that should do well in that tank (some fish do find it tasty though) :)

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The sword I got in a little pot made out of terra cotta. So adding some nutriens to the water can do no harm to keep the plants in better condition?

I also don't have a heating element, just room temperature.

This plant I had after purchased the tank

2012_12_%2525201_23_54.jpg

Remeber it from the old days when my younger brother still had his tank. It was a tropical tank and the plant grew very fast.

Because the sword gets most of its nutrients from the roots (as opposed to stem plants which do a great job getting nutrients from the water) it would benefit most from root tabs (ferts that go in the substrate as opposed to liquid ferts).

Additional ferts will not harm anything as long as you do not overdose (be mindful of this since your tank is small), however they do have the potential to create more algae in the tank if there are more ferts than the plants are using (excess ferts = food for algae). So, I would start with the most conservative approach/dose and up it over time if you are not seeing an effect.

The plant in this picture is anacharis. It is another awesome low light plant that should do well in that tank (some fish do find it tasty though) :)

Would you believe my fish won't eat anacharis?! Lol!

Lots of liquid ferts have extra nitrates thrown in, for the plants to slurp up. Be careful with your dosing, and watch your parameters, so you don't unintentionally add too much.

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:rofl I can't believe your pigs don't eat anacharis shelli!

Ciedric, do you have a test kit to test your water?

Won't touch that, or the hornwort. Everything else is fair game. Lol!

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:rofl I can't believe your pigs don't eat anacharis shelli!

Ciedric, do you have a test kit to test your water?

Won't touch that, or the hornwort. Everything else is fair game. Lol!

weird! well, you just need to fill up the tank with those two! :rofl

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Nope no test kit,

I do it the rough way, no adds to the water and just add water from the tap. Thats why I like goldfish, very strong fish! I do around a 25 to 30% water change once a week a add a new biorb filter cartridge once in six weeks, then I do add the stuff that comes with the cleaning kit. Means a booster for crystal clear water and after 24 hours I add a bacterial booster.

Should I use root tabs or liquid plant food?

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Nope no test kit,

I do it the rough way, no adds to the water and just add water from the tap. Thats why I like goldfish, very strong fish! I do around a 25 to 30% water change once a week a add a new biorb filter cartridge once in six weeks, then I do add the stuff that comes with the cleaning kit. Means a booster for crystal clear water and after 24 hours I add a bacterial booster.

Should I use root tabs or liquid plant food?

I would highly recommend getting a test kit. It is one of the most important pieces of aquarium 'equipment' you can own. Particularly when you are overstocked, it is really important to be able to test your water parameters to make sure they are safe for your fish. Pick up a liquid (drop) test kit, not strips. The API master freshwater kit is a great one that comes with everything you need. It is a little cost up front but it will last you literally hundreds of tests where as those test strips that cost less only get you a few tests and are not as accurate.

Second, please check out this link on making your own filter media http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/page/index.html/_/aquatic-equipment/simple-media-setup-for-hob-filters-r248

The issue with using cartridges and changing them out is that the beneficial bacteria (BBs) that make up your cycle live in the filter media/cartrdge. When you change out the cartridge you lose your cycle.

Here is the quick run down of the aquarium cycle in case you are not familiar:

- Your fish produce ammonia (ammonia is toxic to them, it can burn their gills and skin)

- BB's grow in your filter media and gravel (there is some in your gravel, but the majority are going to be in your media because they prefer a well areated area of the tank)

- There are a couple types of BBs. The first takes ammonia and converts it to nitrite (nitrite is also toxic to your fish, it gets into the blood stream and makes the blood less effective at carrying oxygen)

- The nitrite then gets converted into Nitrate by the second type of BB. (nitrate is the least toxic, but can be toxic in higher quantities. The only way to get rid of nitrates is through water changes. In a small/overstocked tank nitrates can quickly build up)

So, basically your cycle keeps the water safe for your fish. When you change out your cartridge, you likely are losing your cycle, which means there may be ammonia/nitrite/nitrate in your water, which is bad for your fish.

In a fully cycled and appropriately stocked tank a minimum of a 50-80% water change a week is recommended. For tanks that are not cycled and/or overstocked more frequent water changes are necessary. The best way to know how often you need to change your water and if your tank is cycled or not is to test your water parameters. You can probably take a sample of water to your local pet store and have them test it for free (ask them for exact numbers, often they will say it is 'fine' but fine is a relative term), but in the long run it is best to own your own kit.

In a tank that is cycled a bacterial booster is not necessary because the bacteria are already established. These products can sometimes be helpful in starting a cycle, but whether or not they work is really a crap shoot and even if they do work, a cycle still takes 1-3 months to establish.

Sorry for the total wall of text.... I hope some of this is helpful though! I had no idea about cycling when I found kokos (and like you I was overstocked, 2 fish in a 10 gallon). If you have any questions about all this info please ask away :D

EDIT: to summarize:

1. Get yourself a good test kit and/or get your water tested at your local store

2. You need to up the frequency and amount of water changes. I would honestly suggest 50% daily to every other day until you get a test kit and are able to determine what your params are.

3. It is best not to use cartridges. I don't know how the biorb filter is setup, but if you wanted to post pics we could give you suggestions.

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No problem at all. Hope it's a bit of the same 'cause the BiOrb aquaria are different from others, they don't use gravel but ceramic media.

http://www.reef-one.com/biorb-technology/biorb-vs-alternatives/biorb-filter-vs-others

interesting! ;) I would start by getting your water tested, that way you can see if you are cycled or not for sure.

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It's running for 5 months now with fish and plants. The plants are not doing well but the fish looks fine and are eating good

It's best to know for certain. I liken it to people who smoke for years, you can smoke for a long time without demonstrating any symptoms, but eventually you may develop lung cancer, emphysema etc. Some fish can tolerate poor water conditions for a long time without demonstrating symptoms, but it doesn't necessarily mean everything is okay. This is how people keep goldfish in unfiltered bowls for years. They survive, but do not thrive.

Just saying it is best to know for certain what your water parameters are. Even if your tank is cycled, it is possible your nitrates are high which can have ill effects on your fish in the long run. If your tank was not overstocked I would not be so concerned, but in an overstocked tank it is really easy for toxins to build up quickly.

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If I may add one thing, some of your plants look like they just have diatoms (brown "algae") on them. You can just take them out (and some tank water) and scrub them with an algae sponge or unused toothbrush. I have a kids toothbrush that was very inexpensive that I use just for tank and plant cleaning. You'll be surprised how green your plants really are once they've been cleaned. :)

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I use the cleaning pads that are in the cleaning kit, it has a rough and a soft side. I use them soft side for the glass and plants. Most of the time I use my fingers to clean the leafs but a small toothbrush isn't a bad idea :)

@ tithra your right, I'm thinking to visit a specialist aquarium store with in a week.

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Please do make sure they give you the exact numbers. If your tank is cycled you will get readings of 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and some sort of nitrate reading. With goldfish you want to aim for a nitrate reading under 20ppm.

Also ask about your pH. It is important that pH is above 7.0, if you can, take a separate container of tap water to be tested in addition to the tank water. It is particularly important to know tap pH because sometimes there can be a difference between tap and tank. When we do water changes we want to match tap and tank within .5 ppm, there can also be ammonia/nitrite/nitrate in your tap which is important to be aware of :)

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I'm thinking of buying a kit and DIY it ;)

Our tap water comes from the dunes near the sea so I expect to be aroud a 7 pH.

Perfect! I definitely think that is the best route to go. Let us know when you get the kit.

Occasionally there are things added to the tap to lower pH, which will create a difference in tank/tap pH etc. When you get your test kit, just test a sample of the tap water in addition to the tank and compare the two :)

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Bury root tab fertilizer under anything with lots of white buried roots at the bottom. Your sword plant is a heavy root feeder and will grow better with the buried fertilizer.

The Java Fern (brown fluffy roots, don't bury all), stem plants (white or green roots growing in between leaves above the substrate), and rhizome feeders (anubias, don't bury thick stem) ... they all take nutrients from the water column, so liquid ferts will perk them up if your tank is new (<2 months with fish).

If you have algae, liquid ferts usually make it worse in the long run unless you add a high maintenance CO2 routine. I don't bother with liquid fertilizers after 2 months of established tank with goldfish or else my algae comes back FAST! After awhile, goldfish poo --even after water changes and gravel vac-- is good enough for the small amount of plants in your tank. This all works with low-medium LED lights I have. I truly don't believe you need stronger lighting.

Good luck with everything. :)

Edited by soupmonster
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