Adequate or insufficient light

nigel bentley

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20 Oct 2019
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Wallington
Hi,

I'm running a 450 litre aquascaped tank. Plants not doing as well as I would like. Was considering if my lighting was correct Currently run Aqua One J bar giving 54 watts ( not sure about lumens)
Water parameters are
PH after co2 running for 5 hours 7. Was 8 before co2. Drop indicator nice lime green at other end from co2 injection point
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 20 ppm
Dose Ei at80 ml daily alternating micro and macro. No dosing Saturday. 60% water change on Sunday.
I run two external filters with spray bars at each end of tank, plus internal power head. Water turnover approx 8 times an hour
Also dose with Seachem Flourish Excel as per instructions.
Have around 20 various small fish and lots of plants.
Did suffer with BBA which has improved with Excel
However, plants are not doing fab and was wondering if it could be a lighting issue.
Co2 starts at midday and lights are on from 3 pm until 9.00pm.This includes 10 mins moonlight period at start and end. Was thinking of reducing lighting period bt 1 hour.
Temperature of water is currently 27.7. Plenty of surface agitation. I was wondering if anyone can give me any pointers please? I will try and post a photo. Bit of algae on micro carpet now
Thanks in advance
Nigel
 

nigel bentley

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Joined
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Messages
88
Location
Wallington
Here a few photos, if thiy helps
 

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Siege

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Cambridgeshire, UK
A few thoughts -

lighting should be the last thing to look at. Get the basics right and then look at lighting👍

Temp way way too high. Should be 23 degrees. 28 is way too high for most plants.

Flow looks weird. Spray bar on left above water gassing off co2. Power head pointing towards spray bar?
2 filters would be better. Spray bars running along back. Under water pointing upwards.

I‘d put the co2 on perhaps 5 hours earlier. Light green at lights on. go yellow if no livestock and trying to establish a carpet.

you have very little plant mass. Chuck loads of fast growers in there to assist.

Hope that gives you some pointers.
 

nigel bentley

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Joined
20 Oct 2019
Messages
88
Location
Wallington
Thanks Siege, I will definitely lower my temperature, didn't really think of that to be honest

I do have two pumps and two spray bars. I will try with spray bars at back and see how it goes Do you think the co2 distribution will be inhibited by doing this. Mind y I guess that's where the powerhead will help?
Can you recommend any fast growing plants please?

Thanks so much for your advice 👍
 

Siege

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11 Aug 2017
Messages
1,098
Location
Cambridgeshire, UK
No probs.

Fast growers -

53b
zosterfolia
polysperma
rotala green
ludwigia super red

basically any stem plant with decent co2 will be a fast grower, id plump for the 1st 3 above as the fastest.

Basically pack it with plants. Get the temp and co2 distribution correct without plants being physically damaged by sharp harsh flow then look at lighting. Lighting will be your last limiting factor 👍

ps. Crypts for midground and floating plants also.
 

nigel bentley

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20 Oct 2019
Messages
88
Location
Wallington
Thank you so much again, doing water change now. Sure 12 hours early won't be any issue:) Have also lengthen spray bars to run along back of tank. Also pointing up fot surface agitation. I will try and get these plants tomorrow.

Your advice has been invaluable and I'm very grateful mate🙏
 

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nigel bentley

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Location
Wallington
Probably too much nutrients as well. I don't understand if you have 20 ppm nitrate why you would need to add more with EI.
The 20ppm was measured after the EI dosing, so probably not so high but you are right in that I wouldn't want it any higher. Thanks for your thoughts
 

nigel bentley

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Messages
88
Location
Wallington
So, 5 weeks after I took Sieges advice, tank looks quite a lot healthier. Most of the the algae gas gone apart from a bit on the Vallis.
Have increased the plant capacity although I still could do with some more. Tank looks calmer with spray bars at back now. Any feedback would be gratefully received and any suggestions as to further plants also. Thanks all especially Siege
 

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