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Old 04-23-2017, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Mount Airy, Maryland
12,237 posts, read 6,906,346 times
Reputation: 19562

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I have always struggled to keep plants alive. I really didn't want to invest in CO2, is it not harmful to the fish? So I would just buy more plants every few years. I have an LED light attached to a timer and it's probably 12 years old. For about a year my current plants did well, I found a type that worked. But not now. I do have algae that needs to he cleaned every year so I'm thinking unlike florescent bulbs I don't believe these lights lose their ability to grow plants over time. Or do they?
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Old 04-25-2017, 05:08 PM
 
131 posts, read 84,717 times
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My understanding is that if you limit the light to 8 hours max, have CO2 supplementation and fill the tank with plants, that algae will have a tough time growing in your tank. In addition, performing partial water changes every couple of weeks will help with the pH balance, etc..

I finally invested in a CO2 tank with regulator last year and it alone has helped prevent the massive algae blooms that seemed to strike my tank every few months. The upfront investment was $125, but tank refills are only $10. Each refill lasts about 9-10 months. Also, don't feed your plants more than 2x week and keep the CO2 on a slow drip (1-2 bubbles per second in the bubble counter). CO2 will NOT hurt the fish, unless you have it cranked high (15+ bubbles per sec.). My tetras are in good shape and show no ill effects from the added CO2.
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Old 04-26-2017, 03:55 PM
 
Location: Mount Airy, Maryland
12,237 posts, read 6,906,346 times
Reputation: 19562
Thanks for the reply but maybe you missed my point. I'm not upset at the algae growth, I am upset because I can't get my plants to grow. As I said in my OP I'm not crazy about a CO2 both for the cost, hassle, and I'm worried about harming the fish. I do water changes about once a month (easy care fish, I am done with high maintenance salt water tanks) and have an LED timer on for 8 hours/day. I have some algae but with a 45 gallon tank it's not too much to scrape off every week or so. Is CO2 really necessary to maintain healthy plants? How about the bottled stuff you can buy without a complete system, will that help and not harm the fish.

I got some of this stuff on the way. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 04-26-2017, 04:42 PM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
8,861 posts, read 5,136,373 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveinMtAiry View Post
Is CO2 really necessary to maintain healthy plants? How about the bottled stuff you can buy without a complete system, will that help and not harm the fish.

I got some of this stuff on the way. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
No, CO2 injection isn't absolutely necessary to grow healthy plants. I grew low-light plants in my 55 gallon tank for years without it. I did find they grew better, though, once I started using SeaChem Flourish Excel to provide a bio-available carbon source for them. (I also dosed lightly with Flourish and Flourish Trace as well.) If you buy Flourish Excel in the gallon-sized container, it is more reasonably-priced.

(As I recall, though, there are a few types of plants which die when dosed with Flourish Excel. See this thread for details: Excel KILLS plants?! - The Planted Tank Forum But most common aquarium plants do fine with it.)
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Old 04-27-2017, 12:03 PM
 
Location: Mount Airy, Maryland
12,237 posts, read 6,906,346 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aredhel View Post
No, CO2 injection isn't absolutely necessary to grow healthy plants. I grew low-light plants in my 55 gallon tank for years without it. I did find they grew better, though, once I started using SeaChem Flourish Excel to provide a bio-available carbon source for them. (I also dosed lightly with Flourish and Flourish Trace as well.) If you buy Flourish Excel in the gallon-sized container, it is more reasonably-priced.

(As I recall, though, there are a few types of plants which die when dosed with Flourish Excel. See this thread for details: Excel KILLS plants?! - The Planted Tank Forum But most common aquarium plants do fine with it.)

Thanks. Can an LED light lose it's spectrum the way a bulb can? It still shines brightly so I don't think it's going bad. Just trying to figure out why the plants I've always had suddenly turned ugly.
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Old 04-27-2017, 12:59 PM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
8,861 posts, read 5,136,373 times
Reputation: 23210
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveinMtAiry View Post
Thanks. Can an LED light lose it's spectrum the way a bulb can? It still shines brightly so I don't think it's going bad. Just trying to figure out why the plants I've always had suddenly turned ugly.
I don't know the answer to that. I do know they eventually burn out, but I don't know if the spectrum changes before they do. (My light fixture used CF bulbs; since it worked well, I never felt the need to upgrade to a higher-tech product.)
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Old 04-27-2017, 01:03 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
35,402 posts, read 45,454,464 times
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Do you have a planting medium substrate?
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Old 04-27-2017, 01:52 PM
 
35,316 posts, read 44,252,387 times
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I applaud your diligence when it comes to the upkeep of real plants, personally after a few years of watching all my plants die i switched to plastic plants.=
http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g1...psb67a5ccc.jpg
I later got into a Paludarium and every one said it will never work with plastic plants =
DSC00655_zpswslexdy0.jpg Photo by jambo101 | Photobucket
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Old 04-27-2017, 03:33 PM
 
Location: Mount Airy, Maryland
12,237 posts, read 6,906,346 times
Reputation: 19562
Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
Do you have a planting medium substrate?
* Off to Google "planting medium substrate"
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Old 04-27-2017, 04:00 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
35,402 posts, read 45,454,464 times
Reputation: 45836
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveinMtAiry View Post
* Off to Google "planting medium substrate"
My son put some in his tank, overlaid with gravel, and his plants are going nuts. A selection of Swords and a couple others. Also has a daylight/grow light fluro bulb.


I think he used SeaChem.
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