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Nutrient deficiency?

First, some specifications:
- 20 gallon long (30 x 12 x 12 inches)
- 1 100 watt halogen on one end
- 2 15 watt strip lights (with aquari-lux and aqua-glo)
- 2 fish (1 glass catfish and 1 pictus catfish)
- I use no mechanical or intentional bio filtration, but 2 power heads
at about 125 gph each.
- Substrate: 0.5 inches of 'Lasting Pride Scoopable' under 1.5 inches of
play box sand.
- No fertilizers added yet, except what is provided by the tap water and
the fishes.

In my 20 gallon 'long' planted aquarium I have observed a strange growth
pattern of Hygrophilia difformis. The original plant (which I have had
for over 7 months) grew smaller, filled in leaves, instead of the bushy,
fern like leaves of the cuttings which had been removed from it and are
growing on the other side of the aquarium. The new leaves of the old
plant were (were: I removed the old plants yesterday) also yellowish.

The old plant was under the halogen light (at one end of the aquarium),
whereas the new plants are under 2 fluorescent strip lights at the other
end. Could the excess infrared light from the halogen light be affecting
the plant growth? If the problem is a nutrient deficiency, wouldn't all
the other plants be affected, also?

According to the charts on the nutrient deficiency page at the krib,
this might be a deficiency of nitrogen, calcium, iron, or sulfur. Please
help if you have any idea.

Question #2: From what little reading I have done about the marine side
of the hobby, I know that some of them think that it is bad to use
mechanical filtration constantly in their marine tanks, because it
removes the beneficial plankton. Are there any opinions on mechanical
filtration in the freshwater planted aquarium?

Josh Liechty