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4 Feb 2010

I desperately need your help pls.

I have been struggling with my tank for almost six months now and I cannot get the simplest of plants to grow. I keep seeing other hobbiests tanks and get so enviuos and no matter how hard I try, I simply am not able to get my tank anywhere close to looking nice.

Let me give you some info about my tank:

Juwel 350l Trigon

Ferplast Bluemec 1500
Juwel Bio 1000

Additional Flow provided by:

2 Haquos Power Heads
1100l/hr pump
Koralia 1

Jaeger 300W Heater

CO2 injection with monitor & controller
65mm Green Leaf Atomic CO2 diffuser

Controller only kicks in to stop ph from dropping to low

TMC 2 x Grobeam 1000 ND LED Tiles
TMC 1 x Aquabeam 1000 HD Ultra LED Tile

These are on from 14.00hrs to 23.00hrs set on timers. Tiles are suspended 35cm above water (had it some 5cm above water before and used to get a lot of algae)

Aqua Medic Volcanit substrate

Hailea 500l chiller linked to 1100l/hr pump to keep temperature at a constant 27C

EI Dosing dry method as follows:

Saturday 50% water change then add:
5.4grms Potassium Nitrate
2grms Mono Potassium Phosphate
13grms Magnesium Sulfate
12ml Carbo Green by Aquatic Nature

1.4grms CSM+B
12ml Carbo Green by Aquatic Nature

5.4grms Potassium Nitrate
2grms Mono Potassium Phosphate
13grms Magnesium Sulfate
12ml Carbo Green by Aquatic Nature

1.4grms CSM+B
12ml Carbo Green by Aquatic Nature

5.4grms Potassium Nitrate
2grms Mono Potassium Phosphate
13grms Magnesium Sulfate
12ml Carbo Green by Aquatic Nature

1.4grms CSM+B
12ml Carbo Green by Aquatic Nature


I age my water in an aerated, heated tank for a week for the water change. Water is also treated with Aqualife + Vitamins.


60 Cardinal Tetras
5 Emperor Tetras
4 Sterbai Corys
2 Panda Corys
4 Siamese Algae Eaers (cannot catch them to get them re homed)
5 x 7.5cm Discus
1 clown loach small

I would like to only have the Discus, corys and cardinals in there eventually. catching the rest has been a challenge however.

I have a snail problem which I have addressed by picking out as many snails as possible each morning. I have also added 10 assasin snails and a clown loach to deal with this. (the clown loach will be re homed once snails are in check)

I struggle with low KH right out of the tap. I have added dolomite and crushed coral to the filter in order to try and keep the ph up. PH is at around 7.15 and I am currently trying to bring this down 0.05 per week. I am currently at 6.90 ph when co2 kicks in. I really need to have lots of water agitation to get the ph up again overnight.

I thought that with this setup I should have nice results however I am not even getting nice growth and appearance with plants like Sagitaria, bolbitis, java moss (not growing at all) and Echinodorus. The low light plants like crypts, barclaya red, anubias, flame moss and java fern are not doing too bad. Plants like HC and hairgrass just melt away. Echinodorus are now showing signs of holes going right through the leaves. Not a lot of holes but the holes grow in size.

I am at a loss and do not know what to do. It should not be lack of circulation and neither light nor ferts and yet the results are poor to say the least!

I would really appreciate your comments and suggestions.

My initial thought is that you have a LOT of light. Those things are quite powerful are they not? 9 hours is also a long photoperiod. Why not try dropping it down to 6 hours for a start? Maybe raise them further still.

You clearly have more than enough light for those plants to grow and yet they're not getting the nutrients or co2 to match their growth rate. Melting is usually co2 related and I wouldn't have thought there'd be a problem with nutrients if you're dosing E.I.
Well to be honest the lights were on for only 7 hours up to last week and I only put them on 9 hours since last Saturday. Personally I would not say that the lights are any good to be honest. I somehow feel that I was better off when I had the T5's.
I thought that maybe they were not doing well because of the lack of light. The opinion I have (and this might be wrong) is that the LED's are not giving good results.
I've only heard good things about them. Well that was my initial though, too much light, maybe some else will have some better ideas!
Thank you for your feedback. I also tought that they were great before I got them but now I have my doubts.
With that much filtration and extra power heads? Although it is a corner tank, quite tricky to get right.
I have three power heads, a 1100l pump exit and a spray bar right over my 65mm green leaf atomic co2 diffuser.
Having power heads & a spray bar is good but is does not mean the C02 is getting enough contact with the plants unless the flow pattern within the tank is good.
I know it might seem you have this sorted but corner tanks are tricky & if you hunt the forum enough you will see a lot of folk have suffered this issue.
I have never used an in tank atomiser, can you follow the bubbles around the tank?
Well to be perfectly honest I can follow the bubbles to the half way line of the tank and yes, a corner tank is more than tricky to get the flow right in. Nevertheless I would think that the plants in the mist of the co2 should at least be doing well, but they aren't either.
OK I see you are using a controller because you have acidic tap water .... look under this heading viewforum.php?f=51 (especially for CEGS post)
I suspect your controller is the source of the problem but I am not sure if lowering the PH will be an issue, however someone will...
Thanks I will look into the link you sent.

In the meantime some people have been kind enough to offer their help with my tank in a PM. I seem to have issues with answering PM's since my answers are not leaving my outbox. Eventually they will but for some reason it takes time so please keep sending your suggestions till this is resolved.

Thanks I am now aware :)