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Newbie, seeking help!!!

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  • Newbie, seeking help!!!

    Good evening all,

    This is my first post on this forum so i want to say hi!! I have a RIO 180 with the T5 lights. I am going to add CO2 at the weekend using the JBL Prof set 2....thanks to my girlfriend who is going to buy it for me!! Are my lights suitable for the high light method or the low light method???

    I've got a Rena 25w under gravel heater, with a 2cm layer of Tetra Complete Substrate on the bottom and a 2cm layer of black sand. I have a few plants in the tank but they seem to be going brown...i also have a bit of algae on the plants.
    I only have a few plants in the tank and i think that might be the problem

    My tap water is:

    PH: 7
    Nitrite: 0.0
    Nitrate: 20 ppm
    Ammonia: 0.0

    My tank Water is:

    PH: 8
    Nitrite: 0.0
    Nitrate: 40 ppm
    Ammonia: 0.0

    I add Plant Nutrition + when i do a water change, which is 25% (45 Litres) every two weeks and i add 10ml to the tank every other day. The light is on for 8 hours a day. I am determined to get Hemianthus Callitrichoides to grow in my tank but unfortunately its doesn't appear to be doing too well. It appears to be dying off and so do all my other plants. They have gone brown and i am left with not much of each plant now as i am removing all the dead leaves. I've also started to add Ferropol to get some more Iron into the water as this is what the JBL website said.

    Any advice you can give would be fantastic.

    Many thanks in advance!!!


  • #2
    I'm not sure what the wattage is of your light, nor how big the tank is. I am sure that you need more fertilizer than Plant Nutrition+. You need to be dosing nitrates, phosphates, potassium along with the trace elements. The undergravel heater will probably work to keep the water from getting too cold, but that is all it will do that is beneficial. Try reading the posts in the Estimative Index topic here to see how you can fertilize and be sure you are doing a good job doing so.

    If your light is a high enough wattage to give you over 2 watts per gallon you will definitely need CO2, and a drop checker will eliminate a lot of the guessing about whether you have enough of it in the water. With all of that you should be able to grow plants and avoid serious algae problems.

    Edit: I did some research: your tank is about a 55 gallon tank with about 90 watts of T5 light. You do have a high light intensity if the two T5 bulbs have individual reflectors, and possibly even if they don't. HC should grow fine with that much light, but you do need adequate, complete fertilizing and a good level of CO2 in the water - about 30 ppm of CO2.
    Last edited by VaughnH; 10-31-2007, 12:29 AM.


    • #3

      Many thanks for your reply. sorry i didn't put enough info. the tank has a 200w heater in it as well, i just put the 25w under gravel heater in as i read that it "Could" help the plants grow. Also for the sake of 35 i would rather have it in than have to put it in at a later date and disrupt the tank. I put reflectors on each bulb a couple of days ago, which has significantly increased the ligh into the tank. I will look at the Estimative index to see how i should be fertilizing the plants. I will be getting the c02 unit at the weekend and i will report back!!!!

      Many Thanks again!!!



      • #4
        Ross, are you by chance in the UK?

        If so, I strongly suggest joining UKAPS, it's free and they have a good group of folks that will help and address local issues, as well as help you save large amounts of $$.

        Tom Barr