View Full Version : Helping my plants look nicer

02-13-2011, 08:34 PM
I have had a 50 gallon planted tank up for about a year and half now. It mainly has some swords, some grass like plants, some anubias, and a few others. The plants have seemed to stay about the same size, with some new growths (especially the grasses) that i have to trim down. Some of the leaves just are getting a little beard algae which is not really out of control. I scrape it off from time to time and shoot the driftwood with hydrogen peroxide that does the trick. The new growths look very healthy but dont seem to get too big, except for the grasses.

Anyways, I used to put in excel but ran out of that a couple months ago and now I just ran out of flourish. The leaves seem to have looked less healthy since I stopped the excel, and I can't tell about the flourish because I just ran out. I have gotten mixed reviews on excel from the forums. Some people swear by it and others say its a waste. I am just trying to see if I should get more of it and start dosing it more often or what. Any ferts that would be a good idea? As far as light, I have to 36" 25w tubes that are overdriven on a DIY ballast. Any advice would be helpful.

02-13-2011, 10:46 PM
Excel is a carbon sourse for plants. i would think that it would help with growth. You said yourself you have noticed a difference since you stopped using it.

02-13-2011, 10:58 PM
I forgot to mention the one thing I have noticed is the leaves getting thinner and more transparent since I stopped the excel.

Is it best just to cut the leaves that are getting very thin like that and wait for new growths?

02-13-2011, 11:48 PM
Yes trim old leaves. Let the plant use its energy gtowing new leaves not trying to fix old ones. How old are your bulbs?

02-14-2011, 01:47 AM
I bought all the plants when I started this tank about a year and half ago. With the red melon and amazon swords, the plants had really long leaves when I planted them. As they started to look unhealthy I cut them down and there were plenty of new leaves, but they dont get nearly as long as the ones when I bought the plant. Must be the light?

02-14-2011, 01:56 AM
I'd try some root tabs, too, if you wan to continue dosing ferts. The swords will benefit from the added nutrients right to the gravel.

02-14-2011, 08:23 AM
Oh yes, the root tabs. Thanks for reminding me. I actually did those a few times, but probably not often enough. I think I did them every 3 or 4 months or so but havent done it in about 6 months. I need to start taking better care of these. Next time I am due to clean out the filter and I trimmed some plants down tonight when I did a PWC but I will trim the rest way down next time and see what happens when I start using the tabs, flourish, and excel again. Any other recommendations before I place an order?

02-14-2011, 03:55 PM
How old are the tubes? They should probably be replaced every 6 months or so since you're overdriving them. Have you thought about a CO2 system (either DIY or pressurized)? I use DIY on my 90g and I have to trim my plants every week or two and my swords are two feet tall. I never dose ferts but I also have soil substrate so I probably don't need to.

Lady Hobbs
02-14-2011, 05:19 PM
Swords really need the iron so root tabs at the base is helpful to swords.

I would also say yes to using Excel or one of the other products out there for adding a source of carbon. I don't use it all the time but when my ferns and anubias starts to look seedy, I start using it again. Of course the real answer would be pressured CO2.

02-15-2011, 12:48 AM
Yeah I really didnt want to get into CO2. I did a lot of research and took the advice of these forums when I started out to make sure I got plants that would survive under the conditions I have.

I never thought about the tubes. Thy are the original ones I have from when I started this a year and a half ago. One is a 10,000 and one is an 8,000.

02-15-2011, 01:02 AM
My tank is nowhere as old as yours dman and my plants have only been in it a few months but I put a Flourish Tab near the swords, micro swords and annubius which seems to make the roots spread into the gravel like crazy.

I was wondering what fish you have in the tank? Mine must fertilize the gravel well from the way the plants are growing. Maybe I feed them too much. :ssuprised:

02-15-2011, 06:38 AM
I don't think my plants are really having a problem of growing. The anubias, the grassy one (don't remember what it is) and the corkscrew vals are really growing big and I have to trim those down a lot. I have some reddish one too that I dont remember what it is and it keeps growing new leaves quite tall. The swords always have new leaves right in the middle and they grow to be big leaves but just never get long stems on them like they had when I bought them. The problem of the thinning and unhealthy leaves started since I ran out of excel and not keeping up on the root tabs. I will see if that starts getting things going again. But as far as the swords not growing tall, is that a light issue?

By the way my fish are:
1 pearl gourami
8 harlequin rasboras
6 black neon tetras
1 oto
5 sterbai corys
1 bristlenose pleco
1 bamboo shrimp and a whole bunch of red cherry shrimp!