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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, I have a 90 Gallon Cichlid aquarium. I have Java Ferns, Corkscrew Vals, regular vals, java moss and a sword plant. The moss and java fern along with the regular vals have been in my tank since november 1st. They don't grow, but they don't die. They aren't as bright green and vibrant as they were with my previous tank. I just added the corkscrew vals and the sword plant a couple of days ago.

My question/problem is this...how do I get these plants to thrive and be very nice and green, I do not want any more brown edges or frail looking leaves. I also do not want my sword plant to die.

I have PFS substrate and a dual T5 105 Watt light. They get about 4 hours of sunlight and 7 hours of T5 light a day, totalling 11 hours of light.

Anyone have any pointers, tips, etc...
 

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Tall tanks require a bit more light. There is that much more distance for the light to travel through the water. Also, add some root tabs at the base of your swords. Your plants are probably using very few nutrients, but it would be a good idea to dose a bit of liquid ferts and some trace elements on occasion. Also, some flourish excel or a comparable organic carbon can be used as a co2 suplement and it will help prevent certain types of algae, but use it conservatively at first. I'll bet some floating plants would do real well in your tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I purchased some of the seachem fert tabs. I have liquid Excel, flourish, Iron and Trace. I plan on dosing them once a week along with the fert tabs. I think I may just need more light, I am just trying to ass some "height" to my tank with these plants.
 

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When did you last change your tubes? Some require changing every 6 months, some a year, to maintain their output. If they are over 1 year I would definiately change them for starters.

Also, how much sunlight is actually getting to them? Personally I don't think it is a reliable source of lighting (for where we live anyway). I have actually blackened the side of my tank that's facing teh window (even though it's the opposite side of the room) so that I control all of the lighting.

I run my lights for 10 hours a day and that's plenty without the addition of CO2.

I would only use half the recommended dose of feed to start with, as these can cause huge algae blooms if your plants can't use them all.

If feeding heavily I'd go for 12 hours lighting.

I'm no expert though, I can't for the life of me get Amazon Swords to stay alive in my tank. They go "skeletal" then brown and die :-?
 

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wlyons9856
you haven't told us enough to even guess at your light levels. You've only mentioned power usage, not much more... what reflectors do you have on the lights? how high is the light from the water? are the bulbs together or apart from each other?

Do not add bottles of ferts until you see growth or you will only fuel the algae...

M&S
no, you do not need to replace light bulbs after 6 months, nor a year... that advice was from way back in the T12 days when folks were eeking at minimum light thresholds. Bulbs often shift in their spectral output and many folks might not like how some corals or high light demanding freshwater plants will react/grow under one spectrum vs another, but water weeds are just water weeds. They don't care about any sort of exact spectrum. I use bulbs till they burn out even above my reef tank!

One sure fire way to grow water weeds... add more light and get a timer capable of turning the lights on and off on it's own more than 1x per day.

5 hours of light in the morning and 5 hours at night with a break in the middle can do wonders for a tank.

For more light, you can go with high output T5s with individual reflectors, or compacts from somewhere like ahsupply.com. You could even go all out with LEDs!
At most, I might buy a little flourite to mix into the substrate.

Purigen and other stuff could easily be harming the plants more than anything... consider why thats in there... :thumb:
 
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