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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all

What does everyone feed their plants?
And what's the ideal amount of lighting per day?

Cheers
 

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Depends on the plant, which do you have?

Many cichlids eat or dig up plants FYI.
 

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I was using Flourish and Flourish Excel initially, but then stopped after concluding that healthy fish were my goal, not necessarily growing plants.

Depending on the species of plants, with cichlids, they will do well enough in the aquarium aqua-sphere without adding anything extra. I use a standard LED light which is plenty bright for the 5 hours it is on per day, but if my primary goal was to grow plants, it would not suffice, nor would the time the lights are on.

Cichlids are notorious for destroying plant life, but I put up with it because I like the touch that plants add to the scenery, plus some of the fishies do nibble on them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Amazon swords, java fern,Anubias and some other lengthy plant.. the anubias looks alright when it's not covered in algae as it's attached to driftwood pieces, but the rest seems like I gotta trim off branches every few days just don't look healthy..I used to give the tank too much light so have cut it back to about 4 hours
 

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The sword will want more light than that...I'd do 8 hours daily. Also depends on what kind of light. It will also benefit from root tabs as they are root feeders.

Feed your fish less to control algae. The Flourish Excel might help with algae. It is normal to have leaves die continuously on the java fern, as long as you also get new leaves continuously.

Plants can be as challenging as fish if you want to do them well. Levels of light and testing and dosing nitrogen and phosphorus to keep the levels exactly right require dedication.

After doing all these things, I found my java fern did better with CO2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have upped the hours to approx. 8 hours a day of light.. I have a full spectrum led light.. so the flourish would diminish the algae growth? I'm not going that overboard with the plants if they eventually die I'll just pull them out and whack more drift wood in haha just wanted a more natural look but it's been difficult
 

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The Excel is supposed to help control algae. Flourish I found not to be helpful. Root tabs for the swords. The main thing is to test levels of nitrogen and phosphate and dose only when one is too high or too low.

As I said I found the Excel not to be 100% but the CO2 did a pretty good job. Depending on the cichlids, it may be natural not to have plants in any case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
How do I test for those levels?
Is it true plants keep the nitrate levels down in your tank?
 

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You should have Nitrite and Nitrate tests already, assuming you have a basic test kit. That's your nitrogen levels. API, Seachem, and Salifert all make phosphate test kits and are trusted names. Test kits are less convenient than strips, but my experience with strips is that they're not reliable. They work great if they're pristine and uncontaminated and not expired, but usually one of those things has gone wrong.
Also, in short, plants do help keep nitrate down, but it takes a significant quantity of plants to get significant nitrate reduction.
 

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Also if nitrates go to zero your plants will die. It's all about balance...not easy to achieve.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thalas_shaya said:
You should have Nitrite and Nitrate tests already, assuming you have a basic test kit. That's your nitrogen levels. API, Seachem, and Salifert all make phosphate test kits and are trusted names. Test kits are less convenient than strips, but my experience with strips is that they're not reliable. They work great if they're pristine and uncontaminated and not expired, but usually one of those things has gone wrong.
Also, in short, plants do help keep nitrate down, but it takes a significant quantity of plants to get significant nitrate reduction.
Oh ok I understand that, but what about phosphates?
 

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Thalas_shaya said:
API, Seachem, and Salifert all make phosphate test kits
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