Help Me With My Plants!

Buganjimo

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So, I have a planted 20 gallon long, and (as the title says) I need help with my plants lol. Which is not to say they are dying, but they definitely aren’t thriving. They’re just kinda there. So, help? Any suggestions are welcome (cant do co2 though and I’d rather keep my lighting)
Tank specs:
Stock:
-1x bolivan ram
-8x rummynose tetras
-1x guppy
Temp: 78F
50% waterchanges every week
Dosing with seachem prime, flourish, and vita chem, seachem root tabs
Lighting: nicrew 18watt LED’s
Plants: water wisteria, amazon sword, red luigia, moss balls, and some random grass like stuff that I cant remember the name of lol (pictures attached below)

As I said, the plants aren’t dying (that much, the leaves on the bottom are kinda dying though) but they’re definitely not growing lol. Also, I have frogbit that is really definitely dying. I’m open to pretty much everything!
Image1526328943.211135.jpg

Those are the un-identified ones
Image1526328993.516495.jpg

Whole tank.
 
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Buganjimo

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-Mak- said:
What are your nitrate levels? You may need a more comprehensive fertilizer.
Just tested, nitrates are a around 10-20ppm, can’t really tell from the colour of the test lol (I use the api liquid test kit)
Fanatic said:
How long are the lights on for?
The lights are on from about 8am till about 7pm, only temporarily until I get a timer.
 

Bruno

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do you happen to know how many lumens are in your LED? Those can be important for plant growth. 6000k is usually the base amount to grow plants, but anything slightly over or under should be fine as well.
 

DutchAquarium

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the two biggest things i see is that your lights are on for way too long. your 11 hour day should be cut to 8hrs. Second, a siesta period in the middle is highly recommended. Lastly, i see a lot of white and blue lights on your fixture. This probably means that the spectrum is too high in order to grow your plants.
 

Dch48

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Bruno said:
do you happen to know how many lumens are in your LED? Those can be important for plant growth. 6000k is usually the base amount to grow plants, but anything slightly over or under should be fine as well.
6000k lumens is a heck of a lot of light. Are you sure you don't mean the color temperature?
 

Dch48

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I leave my lights on for at least 10 hours every day and my two plants are thriving and growing. But then I chose 2 of the easiest to grow, Anubias and Java Fern.
 

DutchAquarium

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Dch48 said:
I leave my lights on for at least 10 hours every day and my two plants are thriving and growing. But then I chose 2 of the easiest to grow, Anubias and Java Fern.
this might be the case and you can get away with longer light hours, but when you add ferts and higher lighting you will most definetly have alage problems.
 
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Buganjimo

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I realize my lights are on too long, I’m working on getting a timer though.

Unfortunately I do not know the spectrum of light and such, but I can see if I can find it, what am I looking for?
 

DutchAquarium

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your going to look for the spectrum. This is probably next to a rainbow graph. this graph should peak at about 6500k which is greenish red. However, i'm guessing yours will peak higher, probably in the blue. This blue peak would be for coral and not freshwater plants. Like, i said above, when you get the time, i highly recommend a siesta period. two 4 hour periods a day.
 

Dch48

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According to research, you need 110-120 lumens per gallon so for your tank, that's 2200-2400 which would roughly come from 36 watts of LED lighting or 55 watts of fluorescent.
 

DutchAquarium

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However, you can't actually use that research because tank size, plays a role also. Watts are also extremly off and not accurate. 2200 is also way to low. spectrum doesn't have relation with lumen because these two factors are dependent on others things.
 

Dch48

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DutchAquarium said:
this might be the case and you can get away with longer light hours, but when you add ferts and higher lighting you will most definetly have alage problems.
Okay, I have not added any ferts at all and have no algae.
 
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Buganjimo

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Okay, I’ll get looking for that and update when I find it and if I do
 

Dch48

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I checked some fluorescents I have and they are rated at 65 lumens per watt. So, for the 2400 lumens the website about aquarium lighting gave me, that's 37 watts of fluorescent. LED would obviously be less. They have recently developed an LED bulb that puts out 200 lumens per watt.
 

InsanityShard

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Get that algae off them, the algae can steal the light from the plants. Even if you have to prune and scrub them do it. Algae nearly killed my banana lily.
 

Dch48

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Yes, spectrum is a completely different thing from lumens. From what I'm seeing, 6500K is best for plant growth.
 

Dch48

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It looks like your lighting is too dim and you should have at least 24 watts of LED's. But I'm just going by figures given by a few different web resources and not any actual experience with aquarium lighting.

You may also be overdoing it with the water changes. You shouldn't need to change 50% every week.
 
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