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Suggestions for a planted tank light


Kittycat

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I'm currently having trouble growing my plants. They seem to either keep dying or losing leaves. I have a temple plant and wisteria that are mostly stems now, and my anarchis mostly dies. The elodia is not doing that great, and it keeps shedding leaves which sprout.

The lights I have came with the tank setups that I got (they have Marineland 'Natural Daylight' printed on them). They seemed like they were ok for the plants for a little while, the the plants started losing leaves, and now they are very scraggley looking. I have been giving them Flourish, and that had seemed to perk them up for a few weeks, but now they're back to where they were. I got a bottle of flourish excell today, but I think that a better light may help them grow better than that would on it's own. I tried a DIY CO2 setup, but that didn't work very well. :P

What is a good light to get for a 75 gallon or 40 long tank that I want to grow plants in? :)

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Those are pretty easy growing plants and should survive under most lighting conditions. What is your GH? If it's particularly low you can end up with magnesium and calcium deficits.

How long has it been planted? Do they turn yellow and die, develop pinholes, etc? A photo of the dying leaves could help.

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Those are pretty easy growing plants and should survive under most lighting conditions. What is your GH? If it's particularly low you can end up with magnesium and calcium deficits.

How long has it been planted? Do they turn yellow and die, develop pinholes, etc? A photo of the dying leaves could help.

It's been planted for almost a year. I had chosen all the plants because they were supposed to do well in low to medium light. I've never checked the GH in my tank, but I do use Seachem Nuetral regualtor, which says it softens the water. The leaves don't really turn yellow, and they never have pinholes in them. It's more like the leaves low on stem fall off until just the tip of the stem has leaves on it, and/or the stem itself will dissolve away, usually starting at the bottom.

Here are some of the (rather ugly and embarrassing) pictures of the plants in my tank.

plants3_zps601f4ea3.jpg

plant1_zps0292cc10.jpg

This used to be a very nice looking, leafy temple plant. It's obviously seen better days. :/

plants4_zps86099306.jpg

My sad, sad looking 75 gallon tank. The plant pots in there have Ecocomplete in them and I had planted most of the plants in them.

plants5_zpsa8682779.jpg

These plants seem to be doing the best of all, but on two of the leaves, they sort of seem to be dissolving at the tips. Sometimes I have to scrub thick, dark green algae off of them.

plants2_zpsb92d66ce.jpg

My water lettuce is really small and pathetic looking. Strangely enough, most of the duckweed I was growing has dissapeared, which is weird because it's in the fry tank adn I've never seen them try to eat it. :blink:

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I have a 40 breeder with a Marineland Double Bright LED fixture, and a Marineland Hidden LED fixture. I find that it grows my low light plants very nicely. Lisa has the same fixtures, in 4' models, for her 75, and also has a beautiful planted aquarium.

Does the fixture that you have require bulb changing? Can you post your water parameters, including kH and gH?

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Does the fixture that you have require bulb changing? Can you post your water parameters, including kH and gH?

I've had the 75 gallon and it's light fixture for about a year, and the 40 gallon for several months. They require one flourescent tube each. I've never tested the gH or kH in my water, as I don't have those tests :huh:

What are you using for substrate?

I have Ecocomplete in the pots with the plants, and the white stuff is argonite. I rinsed the argonite well and let it soak in water overnight before using it. I liked it because it seemed to brighten up the tank and show off the fish better, but I do have some more Ecocomplate if that might be causing the problem.

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Eco complete is essentially useless until you add nutrients to it. By default it is inert, but due to its high CEC capacity, it holds on to nutrients in the water column.

I'm not so convinced you have a lighting problem. Sure, it's on the lower end and may be attributing, but the fact you saw growth a while back indicates it is doing something. Even in less than ideal conditions a plant will do all it can to survive. Some will grow tall in order to find a better source of light, some flower out of distress, and others go into seed. At the end of the day, like most things, they want to ensure their genetic material lives on. On one tank I could believe it were a lighting issue, but two? It seems more like a nutrient deficiency to me.

The million dollar question then, what has changed that has caused the plants to start dying off?

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Eco complete is essentially useless until you add nutrients to it. By default it is inert, but due to its high CEC capacity, it holds on to nutrients in the water column.

I'm not so convinced you have a lighting problem. Sure, it's on the lower end and may be attributing, but the fact you saw growth a while back indicates it is doing something. Even in less than ideal conditions a plant will do all it can to survive. Some will grow tall in order to find a better source of light, some flower out of distress, and others go into seed. At the end of the day, like most things, they want to ensure their genetic material lives on. On one tank I could believe it were a lighting issue, but two? It seems more like a nutrient deficiency to me.

The million dollar question then, what has changed that has caused the plants to start dying off?

They've been dying off slowly but surely, so it's taken several months to get to this unfortuneate point. I added in the argonite substrate several months ago, so I went ahead and took it out of the 75 gallon just in case that might have had something to do with it. I went to the pet store to pick up a gH and kH test kit, but they didn't have any :(

So would it be beneficial to use the ecocomplete along with the fluorish and flourish excel, or would it have no effect and be just as good to go bare bottom?

My java ferns do the very best out of all my plants. They've kept growing and propagating, and I have several of them in all my tanks. The watersprite does the second best, but several of those plants have either died or died back. The temple plant is mostly stem with a few small leaves at it's tip, and it's the same for the wisteria.

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So the plants that are growing well are the floaters or tied to things? If that's the case, the planted plants are more than likely not receiving enough nutrients through their roots.

Eco complete is fine, as is bare bottom. You should go with what you prefer. When I said the eco was useless, that's because a lot of people believe it has nutrients already in it; however, this is not the case. Eco complete absorbs nutrients from the water column and slowly releases them back out. It is actually a good product, but only when used properly. If not, it can be no better than run of the mill pea gravel—not that pea gravel is bad, it can be used to great effect, you just have to know what you're doing.

Try dosing both Flourish products. The excel can be dosed more regularly. The regular flourish is mainly micronutrients. It can be dosed once or twice a week (or more). It's really up to you.

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Those are pretty easy growing plants and should survive under most lighting conditions. What is your GH? If it's particularly low you can end up with magnesium and calcium deficits.

I finally got a GH and KH test kit today, and tested both of my bigger tanks and the tap water. The tap water had a GH of 11 and a KH of 9. Both my 75 and 40 gallons had a GH of 5 and a KH of 12. :huh:

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