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Old 06-28-2012, 02:06 AM   #1 
Catfish Billy
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Question Low-light plants

I have a community tank with a large piece of driftwood in it which has put tannins into the water. It seems to stop much light getting through the water. This is making my plants (swords) not do too well.

Any low-light plants suggestions? If not how can I get rid of the tannins?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-28-2012, 09:54 AM   #2 
Oldfishlady
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Can you post a pic.....

Usually some tannins in the water won't hurt the light penetration too much and swords generally tolerate lower light....

Usually poor plant growth is related to lights when its not improper planting or non-aquatic plants....

What kind of lights, age of bulb, kelvin, watts, photoperiod and partition used between lights and water....

How deep is the tank/water, type of substrate and how deep, how is the sword planted, how long has the plant been in the tank, what kind of sword plant, how long has the system been running, type of filter and filter media, how much and how often are the water changes, additives used, any plant ferts and stocking.
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Old 06-28-2012, 10:20 AM   #3 
Catfish Billy
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Sorry can't post a picture....

Its a 15 watt "day-lite" bulb that came with the tank which must be about 6 months old. There is no partition which I assume is safe as that is what it came with.
The water is 30cm deep, I use medium-sized pea gravel which is about 1.5 inches deep, the sword plants have been planted since I started the tank (6 months ago), I use an undergravel filter (which according to a book is fine with a lightly planted tank), I do a water change every week (25%) and don't use any fertilisers. I have 6 neon tetras and 5 guppies in there at the moment and I don't know what type of sword plants they are.

Sorry for not stating all this before but I'm new to this forum and thanks for your help!
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Old 06-28-2012, 10:52 AM   #4 
Oldfishlady
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Good that it is open top...this help with light penetration.

Without proper color temp lights or kelvin....the plants can photosynthesis
The color temp plants like best is 5000-7000k-Idealy 6500k on a 10-12h/d photoperiod.

UGF will not work properly when the plates are clogged with plant roots as well as the water flow from the UGF can make it hard for plant roots to take in the needed nutrients.....

IMO/E-UGF and rooted plants are not compatible.....

I would change your filtering system if you want to keep rooted plants.....and make sure the crown of the sword plant is above the substrate....If planted too deep the crown can rot.....Also, you need to make sure its a true aquatic plant....Some of the sword plants sold in the tubes are often not true aquatic that will slowly rot and die underwater....

Other low light plants...crypts, anubias, ferns, moss, naja grass all will do well in low light. The anubias, ferns, moss are not planted in the substrate and can be tied to your driftwood and can be used with UGF.

Welcome to the forum by the way....cute avatar...lol....
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Old 06-28-2012, 11:15 AM   #5 
craiger75
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Haha, Swords are about the only thing that seem to be surviving in my tank. I'm thinking about changing over to different types of them exclusively and seeing what happens. Otherwise I'm switching to fake silk plants (and spend a fortune on those I suppose). I guess we'll find out on my next trip to the LFS this weekend.
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Old 06-28-2012, 11:45 AM   #6 
Catfish Billy
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Thanks guys! The swords aren't planted very deeply as I knew you shouldn't bury their crowns. I'm pretty sure that they are aquatic. I think I will look around for some more plants...

Yeah, my avatar sure is cute!
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