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Greetings everyone this is my first post here, Wanted to know if anyone has any advice on my planted 55 gallon. I do a 40% water change every other week , I have a hang on back and a cannister filter on it . I'm not really a fan of how its looking so any aqua scaping tips would be greatly appreciated , also this is my first large aquarium and I have been struggling with the plants and algae, i am currently  dosing the recommended amount of  easy green and easy carbon and root tabs but due to the large amount of plants should I maybe dose more?, many of the larger leafy plants have brown spots. All the fish are doing great and look healthy the only aggression  i have is from the Redtail shark. Any thoughts and feedback on the tank would be awesome Thanks.






Edited by Moistsloth6251
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Welcome to the forum ! 🙂

Regarding the aquascaping part of the post, there's a similar post I saw recently that might give you more information:


As far as fertilization goes, I don't have a definite answer but I wouldn't use more ferts since your nitrates are already getting pretty high (it seems close to 100ppm to my eye). Also, you might need to do more water changes if a 40% every other week won't keep your nitrates under 40ppm (which is also getting pretty high).

I can't really tell if the brown spots on your plants are diatoms or leaves dying because the picture is a bit blurry. Can you take a closer picture of the brown spots? If those are diatoms, I'd say it's probably that the covered leaves are not getting enough light and they start dying.

Your pH seems pretty low. Are you using a water softener by any chance?

How long is this tank running for? And also, what is the water's temperature?

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On 6/20/2021 at 6:05 PM, Moistsloth6251 said:

@BaRanchik Thanks for the reply, what is the optimal amount of nitrates to have. No I'm not using a softener would you recommend something to increase my ph? its been running for about a year ,temp is 80 Fahrenheit. 


Aquatic plants will do better in colder water rather than warm (74-76F is ideal as far as I know). BUT, I don't own any cichlids nor I have experience with them yet, so maybe lower temps are bad for the fish and you shouldn't change it. Hopefully someone more experienced with cichlids can comment about temps.

It does look like there is some algae on those leaves, so possibly like I mentioned earlier the plant is struggling getting light. This comes back to my inexperience with cichlids, as usually what you'd do is add more of the cleaning crew to take care of the algae - but I don't know what's compatible with cichlids.

It also reminds me of a manganese deficiency. I've had something similar with my swords in my goldfish tank. What I did was up the dose for micro nutrients and leaves stopped dying.

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