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Getting frustrated.

michael woods

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Joined
14 Apr 2014
Messages
55
Ok so as some of you may be aware I'm new to aquascaping. I currently have an interpet fish box 64 which was originally meant to be used as a big standard tank until I caught the aquascaping bug. I'm currently doing my best to improvise it and test my DIY skills. However, the lighting just isn't cutting the mustard. I have two of the stock interpet daylight bulbs running six hours a day with a home made t5 15w light under the hood too. Due to advice from other members on here I am running just the 2 stock lights for 6hrs per day. Flora wise, I'm trying to carpet dwarf hairgrass, there's some pogostemon helferi and ludwigia glandulosas in too. The plants have been in for around 6 weeks now but some of my hairgrass and pogo are melting and the only growth I'm seeing is at the very front under the gro beam 15w t5. So I'm after some advice. After reading another forum with a link to the interpet daylight bulbs...I don't think they are best for growing plants. I was wondering whether there was any way I could mount 2 tmc mini led 400 lights to the tank or perhaps the arcadia ot2 600mm luminaire?? I could contemplate a suspended unit but I don't trust my DIY options tbh. The main problem I have with this is the stupid rim that runs all the way around the tank. Works great at housing the condensation tray (I also thought it could support the arcadia luminaire) but I like the tmc mini led 400s after seeing them on an awesome scape on here. My third option is to jib the entire set up completely and get a ada 60p. The pictures show the problem I have with mounting new lights...if only the showed my frustration. Any help regarding my current lights or fitting new lights would be hugely appreciated!!

Cheers,

Mike[DOUBLEPOST=1398705521][/DOUBLEPOST]
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ceg4048

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UKAPS Team
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11 Jul 2007
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Chicago, USA
The OP already has too much light and that's why his plants are melting. Plants melt due to poor CO2. That's where the problem is. Adding more light is guaranteed to cause more problems.

Cheers,
 

michael woods

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Thread starter
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14 Apr 2014
Messages
55
Ah man :( really? Can you suggest an appropriate lighting schedule please pal? Pulling my hair out at the minute. My bps is upped to around 3, the stock don't mind. My drop checker is a nice lime green. Flow doesn't seem to be an issue and algae has passed. So I struggle to see how it is the co2? As I said I have 3 15w bulbs (2 cfl daylight and 1 pro gro or something...gives off a purple/red light) only the 2 daylight bulbs are on from 2-8...co2 comes on at 12 and off at 6. So yeah, if you can help me out with a lighting schedule or tips on my co2 then I'd massively appreciate it.
 

ceg4048

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UKAPS Team
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11 Jul 2007
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Location
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Hi,
Well, I might have mentioned it once or twice before, but the more you concentrate on lighting, the more problems you will have. Lights don't really grow plants. CO2 and water grows plants. Have you really stepped back and considered the implications of that? Consider how much more light there is in the Sahara Desert than there is in England. Yet, which of the two places are there more plants?

So there is a triumvirate: Light + Water + CO2 = Growth. If any of the three are in short supply growth is restricted.

There is no way that you don't have enough light or that your light is somehow substandard.

Your plants are living in a CO2 desert. It doesn't matter what you think. It doesn't matter what other forums say. It doesn't matter what your dropchecker says. When plants melt and turn brown and lose leaves it can only be attributed to poor CO2, nothing else. So that's where you need to look.

Most likely you need to increase the injection rate and to ensure that the gas is turned on well before the lights go on. I specifically mentioned to you on an earlier thread that you need to perform a pH profile check. I think I even gave you the thread. You were instructed to take the pH readings starting from gas on to lights off and to report the findings along with the KH value of the water. That is one way in which we can assess the CO2 performance in the tank.

Cheers,
 

pepedopolous

Member
Joined
22 May 2011
Messages
678
Location
Prague, Czech Republic
pH profiling really helps. A drop of 1 pH e.g from 7 to 6 is what you should aim for. The drop should happen by the time the lights come on. The plants may begin to pearl (give off oxygen bubbles) about an hour after the lights come on. Keep an eye on the fish and have the CO2 turn off after about 7 hours. If you have 3bps now try 4.
 

michael woods

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Thread starter
Joined
14 Apr 2014
Messages
55
Thanks ceg4048, It's a steep learning curve trying to get everything balanced but you and other members are helping me greatly so your patience is much appreciated. Yeah I understand that the root cause of most plant problems is with the co2...I guess just being new to this...I'm a little afraid of gassing my fish and I am a perfectionist so when something isn't right it frustrates the hell out of me. I haven't forgot about your advice re the ph profiling but last time I went to p@h, they didn't have any. I will be going again this week but Iwork during the week so in order to do a full ph profiling I will only be able to do it on Saturday. I'll post them on Saturday and if you could check them out I'd be hugely grateful. Once again, I thank you for your help and patience.

Cheers,

Mike[DOUBLEPOST=1398713211][/DOUBLEPOST]Thanks pepdopolous, I'll be doing a ph profile as soon as I can and will put the results on here. I'll up the bps to 4 and see how I get on from there :) as for pearling...I've only ever seen that after I trimmed my DHG. I understand the pearling is a sign of a happy/healthy plant? If only there were some solid guidelines to follow...this mystery solving business is a pain in the ass haha
 

michael woods

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Thread starter
Joined
14 Apr 2014
Messages
55
It's not exactly aquascape friendly is it! Ha ah ok so you just had the one t8? I know I'm not supposed to go on about lighting but I'm gonna try running just the one t8 for 6 hours but concentrate on the co2. I've upped it to 4bps running 12-6 and I'm doing a ph profile this weekend, hopefully! So I'll see how I get on from there. Think I'd genuinely be lost without this forum :s if I'm totally honest , I'm hoping to learn all my lessons over the next few months and then upgrade to the ada 60p. However, I feel that will be a new can of worms and I'll undoubtedly be calling on the support of ukaps for months to come ha
 

michael woods

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Thread starter
Joined
14 Apr 2014
Messages
55
You might not think so mate but all your plants are looking great!! Is that the e.parvula on the right?? What's your co2 like? I'm running a 3kg cylinder through a co2 art dual gauge regulator through a bazooka diffuser. I'm also running a fluval 106 with duckbill pointing to the right (placed at the back) and a hydor pico 650 on the front pointing to the left to create a circular flow. Wish my plants looked as healthy
 

tim

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Joined
22 Aug 2011
Messages
3,816
Location
Middlesex.
Hey mike, thanks, that pic was a couple of years ago, don't have the tank anymore but the grass was parvula, with the co2 I aimed for a lime green drop checker at lights on, as I said mate 15w t8 it was slow but steady I planted the grass in clumps about 1 cm apart it is a slow plant to get going, stick with it mate lower lighting and a good ph profile is the way to go once your confident your co2 is good, good maintenance and fert regime, then you can always add more light for faster growth, or sit back and feel happy you have no algae to do battle with :)
Clive's posts have been invaluable amongst others in keeping me in the hobby, think without ukaps I'd have quit long ago.
 
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