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Having trouble growing micro-sword

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by creighton, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. creighton

    creighton Guru Class Expert

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    I am having trouble growing micro-sword. I have 4X96watt 6700K CF with MIRO 4 reflectors from AH supply, injected CO2, and using full EI. I recently added 80g of Sphagnum Peat moss to each of my canister filters. The pH is around 6.6 at night and the GH is about 10-11 german degrees and KH is 4-5 german degrees. My tank is about half planted with large swords and crypts, plus 6 or so stems of Green Temple (hygro). The micro-sword is developing green algae and is barely growing. Also, brown diatoms are forming all over my tank's glass and the leaves of my amazon swords. Any suggestions?
     
  2. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi,
    We need a bit more data. Tank size? 400 watts sounds like a LOT of light. Is this a 150 gallon tank? Diatoms algae normally occur during the first months of startup and normally decline (unless the tank is highly lit). Is the tank new? What is your water change schedule? I understand you are dosing EI but could you specify exactly what the dosing schedule is and exactly how many teaspoons/grams of nutrients you are using? Also, could you advise the reason you decided to use peat? Is the tank heavily planted? Filtration?

    Cheers,
     
  3. creighton

    creighton Guru Class Expert

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    Sorry,
    The tank is 120gal (5X2X1.5)Ft. The tank is about a year and half old. I have an all Eco-Complete substrate. I change 50-75% of the water depending...I also use pond water conditioner since it's such a large volume of water. I've made a complete dosing formula containing 100g K2SO4, 25gKNO3,10gCSM+B mixed with 1500ml of distilled H2O. I add 200ml of this solution every other day, along with phosphate and magnesium. The tank is not very heavily planted its kinda sparse, but I ordered a ton of hygro's, pygmy chain sword, and vals to pump up the volume of plants!!! I added the peat moss for the discus that I have and the dwarf cichlids that I plan to purchase. I'm running 2X Fluval 405's, along with a rio powerhead for my C02 reactor. How long does it take for the peat to use all of it's softening powers? I've heard 4 days, and if that's the case I think I added too much.
     
  4. Fishkeeper59

    Fishkeeper59 Junior Poster

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    RE: Problems growing microsword-

    96 watts of lighting in a 120 gallon tank only works out to about 1.2 watts of light per gallon, which is fine for low light plants like Amazon Swords (not sure about the crypts though).

    From what you have written, you have a lot of nutrients in your tank's water column which is the likely cause for all of the algae growing on your plants, including the microsword.

    Moreover, the microsword is a higher light plant that in this author's experience does not do well in lower light conditions.

    For example, I presently have a 20 gallon long with pressurized CO2 (1bps), 96 watts of GLO T5 lighting (6700K and 18000K - about 4.8 watts of light per gallon of water), a sand substrate with Flourish Plant tabs (and weekly dosing of Flourish liquid fertilizer). The tank is carpeted with dwarf hairgrass, and I have a minor amount of microsword growing at the front of the tank.

    The centerpiece is a Rose Sword plant. The plants are flourishing under these conditions (even the microsword which has the reputation for being difficult to grow and maintain), however, there were so many nutrients in my water column that the water turned green within a short time of my adding pressurized CO2 to this system.

    I used a Vortex D1 to clean the water a few times a week, however, the green water returned within days. Water changes made little difference.

    The solution was to add an ultraviolet sterilizer, which has resulted in crystal clear water. I don't even use this particular uv sterilizer 24/7, but instead two days a week, in order to remove any organisms that would allow for an outbreak of cloudy or green water.

    This has gotten the algae problem under control, and its growth is now minimal. No more algae growing on my plants. However, the glass panes still need to have the algae cleaned off them every few weeks.

    In fact, the uv sterilizer works so well, that it is surprising to this author why more fishkeepers don't use them; especially given the number of people in this hobby who report the greenwater issue.

    As for lighting, I have two Rose Sword plants in another tank which are doing extremely well
    under 1.4 watts of T-5 lighting and pressurized CO2, with Flourish plant tabs and weekly dosing of Flourish liquid fertilizer. This combination has worked well for me and it illustrates that you can grow plants successfully in low light situations, provided that the specific plants don't require higher lighting conditions.

    Based on the size of your aquarium, you could use double the lighting you have, which when used in combination with your pressurized CO2 system would result in a tremendous increase in plant growth.

    And I would definitely invest in a uv sterilizer, which will not only kill off algae spores, but also, many of the harmful microscopic organisms that can be dangerous to your fish.

    Happy fishkeeping!

    Jimmyblues
     
    #4 Fishkeeper59, Mar 31, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 31, 2012
  5. Green Thumb Aquatics

    Green Thumb Aquatics Lifetime Charter Member
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    up the volume of plants

    up the CO2

    if your using full EI your fine with nutrients

    that is alot of light, fishkeeper apparently did not look at what your actually running and his calculations were off anyway, 96 watts of light on a 120 is less than 1wpg... however you are running 4, I would recomend definately lowering the light, take away 1 of the lights so your not running too much over 2wpg, which is still plenty especially for the plants that you are growing, none of them are really high light, you could probably even get away with running only 2 of the lights, or if you are certain you want to run all 4 only use all 4 for a couple of hours, the rest of the time use 2

    micro sword is a very slow grower, I have also grown this great in lower lighting with good CO2, it helps to keep the algae off this plant, algae loves slow growing plants...

    I doubt your CO2 is keeping up with the amount of light you are using in the tank. this will cause problems esp algae

    UVs are a good idea, however I never used one and have plenty of healthy tanks, and have never had green water..

    Tom has proved beyond a shadow of a doubt in my mind, excess nutrients do not cause algae, this has been the case in my own tanks as well
     
  6. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Lifetime Members
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    thread necromancy! ;)
     
  7. Fishkeeper59

    Fishkeeper59 Junior Poster

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  8. Green Thumb Aquatics

    Green Thumb Aquatics Lifetime Charter Member
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    lol didnt even see how old the thread is...
     
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