High light to low light die back?

2wheelsx2

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I have recently started a low tech 10 gallon at work and everything has been great with one exception. My Bacopa Carolinia which I took cuttings from my high tech 20 gallon has transparent leaves at the top (6 or 7 leaves on each plant). The rest of the plant appears healthy. Could this be symptom of die back as a result of switching from high light to low light?

The parameters:

20 gallon:
65 W Coralife PC 10 hours a day
Florabase
Pressurized CO2 on a solenoid with a timer
EI
50% water change a week

10 gallon:
30 watts from 2x Floraglo T8 (old canopies) - 15 watts for the full 9 hours, 30 watts for 4 hours
Inert gravel
Excel and trace twice a week
25% water change once every 2 weeks


All I have in the 10 gallon are some shrimps (Cherry and Japonica) and neon tetras. Other plants are doing fantastic, including java fern, java moss, Cabomba, and a small Crypt (not sure of species).

There is a piece of Malaysian ironwood in both tanks.
 

VaughnH

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It looks like you are starving the plants, by not dosing any nitrates and phosphates at all, with a very light fish load. Why not dose once a week?
 

2wheelsx2

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It's old tank that had been running for a couple of years with no plants except a couple of java ferns. So the substrate is very mature.

Should I dose lightly once a week? I took a test kit once and the nitrates read 10 ppm with phosphates about 2 ppm. Maybe I'll bring my test kits in tomorrow and test again. How much should I be dosing? Up to 10 ppm nitrates once a week? This is all new to me. My other low tech tank is a 125 gallon with big SA/CA cichlids and I have to change 20% of the water twice a week to keep nitrates @ 20 ppm.
 

2wheelsx2

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Hmmm...looks like Vaugh is right. Just measured nitrates and phosphates. Nitrates = 5 ppm
phosphates = 1 ppm

So I am thinking I need to either increase the fish load or starting dosing some nitrates. Which is the preferred route? Can I increase fish load and keep this tank low maintenance?
 

VaughnH

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I enjoy being right, but I also like to point out that test kits for nitrates and phosphates tend not to give good results unless carefully calibrated. So, you may actually have enough nitrate and phosphate already. The plants seem to be saying you don't have enough, and that would tell me to give them enough, even if I did increase the fish load. But, I'm not doing the low tech approach now.
 

2wheelsx2

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I am normally dubious of over test kits, but I've run these kits (API) on my two other tanks and the levels seem indicative of the characteristics, so I would say that they are in the ballpark. I'll try dosing lightly to see if there is any improvement over a week.