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Frustrated plant question??

This is a discussion on Frustrated plant question?? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Firstly Byron, thank you for your lenghty reply. I was baffled at the cause as all fish SEEMED to be doing well all this ...

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Frustrated plant question??
Old 02-13-2010, 01:15 PM   #21
 
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Firstly Byron, thank you for your lenghty reply. I was baffled at the cause as all fish SEEMED to be doing well all this time which is why I posted. If everything was great and as I thought then I would not have dead fish :( So keeping that in mind, the goal is to fix my tank, save fish, and enjoy them for many years to come. In that respect I appreciate directness, and don't find it rude at all. :)

My LFS never said anything about this sort of thing, it was all research done on my own online, and by watching what other people have sucesfully done in the past. I never thought about initial stress of a fish causing health issues later on but frankly it makes sense. I work in the medical field, and its pretty well known that high stress is unhealthy for humans both immediately and long range, so it makes perfect sense that the same would go for fish. Not sure why it never occured to me to be honest I feel a little sheepish.

The Tiger barbs however were the first to enter this tank, and have never been aggressive with each other, or any of the other fish, however I will take your word for it. The Serpae tetras I know to be true and planned on taking them out and adding them with the others that I have in another tank.

As far as the water conditioner goes, I have purchased a large bottle already and have begun treating my water changes, so hopfully that will help too.

the pH adjusting I had planned on adding to my water during a water change, mixing a few drops to the water before putting it in my tank, hoping to drop it down gradually over a few weeks. The goal was to get it back to the 7.6 that is from tap. I figured it wouldn't due to much harm that way. But I guess you are right that I need to find the cause of it rising. All the rock that is in the tank have been in it since day 1 in fact all decor besides the plants have been in it since day one which is about a year and a half ago, so I do not understand why the pH would NOW start to climb. Is it possible for for dead fish or plants to raise pH?

The Plant Fert is API Leaf Zone. I add 12.5 mL to my tank right after a wc once a week. (as per the directions, 2.5 mL per 20 gal) 55 gal tank

So my plan is...

I Already spoke to my LFS about the Red tailed shark / rainbow shark (as I just found out not too long ago that this will be an issue, and more so as they get older) and they said they would gladly take one or both for trade in/in store credit. So I want to put the two serpea tetras in with the other two Serpea's in another tank, and send my red tailed shark back to the LFS, then I want to get 3 more tiger barbs, and 2 more YoYo loaches. This will put the tank inhabitants @ the following

1 Balla Shark
1 Rainbow Shark
4 YoYo Loaches
6 tiger barbs
1 Chinease Algea Eater
1 Ghost Shrimp

Is this a suitable tank setup? and Should I get another Pleco? or perhaps a couple oto's ?
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Old 02-13-2010, 01:53 PM   #22
 
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First on the fertilizer, I have not personally used API Leaf Zone but I have researched it for a couple of other members who asked. I can't find out what all is in it, except iron and potassium. If this is all there is, forget it. It is not complete. Also, how much iron is in it, I don't know. But as I mentioned before, there may be some trace iron in your tap water (there is in mine, very, very minimally) and contrary to some who keep advocating "iron" for plants, they actually do not need much of it. 12 ml of fert is a lot.

Were it me, and if you want to improve your plants, I would get either Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium, Kent Freshwater Plant, or Nutrafin's Plant-Gro (liquid). These will be less expensive because you use very little; I use 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) per 30 gallons of the Flourish. Even if it were 5 ml for 60 g compared to your 12 ml for 50, that's a big difference in volume. Plus, the Flourish has what the plants need. So does the Kent and Plant-Gro. If you do go for one of these, be sure to get exactly the product I've named, as they make several different products under the "Flourish" or "Kent" names and they are different things.

By the way, if you get one of these, dose it the day after the water change; conditioners that detoxify metals will do that for the metals in the fertilizer so it is wasted. I asked Seachem's directly about this, they recommended 24 hours as a probable wait time between water changes with Prime and adding fertilizers.

Re the pH, no, dead fish and plants will not raise pH, just the opposite over time, as all biological processes good and bad tend to acidify water and lower pH. Do you know the type of rock, and what is your gravel? These are the usual culprits when pH rises.

Many fish stores will exchange fish; they should understand that we aquarists sometimes get into these difficulties, and they want your continued business. I've done the same. I would also take back the Chinese algae eater; this grows quite large and when it is mature it doesn't eat algae but becomes very rough on other fish. Not a good tankmate. The two "sharks" might still be problematical, I have read that any "shark" considers any other similar fish as a threat and trouble usually ensues, but I'll leave that for someone with more experience with these lovely fish to comment further.

The loaches (Botia almorhae) are fine, grow to six inches, very social and playful. In a 55g they should be sufficient for the bottom. Need lots of hiding places to feel secure, pieces of wood work fine.

You only have the barbs now, so I would add to their number. A groups of 9 or more would look lovely, with plants, and the loaches. Unless you have something else in mind, though companions are a bit more limited with tigers.

Byron.
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Old 02-13-2010, 03:22 PM   #23
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
First on the fertilizer, I have not personally used API Leaf Zone but I have researched it for a couple of other members who asked. I can't find out what all is in it, except iron and potassium. If this is all there is, forget it. It is not complete. Also, how much iron is in it, I don't know. But as I mentioned before, there may be some trace iron in your tap water (there is in mine, very, very minimally) and contrary to some who keep advocating "iron" for plants, they actually do not need much of it. 12 ml of fert is a lot.
it says on the bottle,
Guaranteed Analysis 0-0-3
Soluable Potash (K2O) 3.0%
Iron (Fe) .1%
0.1% Chelated Iron (Fe)
Derived from: Potassium Sulfate and Iron EDTA (we use EDTA to prevent blood from clotting at work haha)

so make of that what you will.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Were it me, and if you want to improve your plants...
.... I asked Seachem's directly about this, they recommended 24 hours as a probable wait time between water changes with Prime and adding fertilizers.
I will look into this and see what I can find. thanks for the pointers on when to add ill do that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Re the pH, no, dead fish and plants will not raise pH, just the opposite over time, as all biological processes good and bad tend to acidify water and lower pH. Do you know the type of rock, and what is your gravel? These are the usual culprits when pH rises.
I can't remember the exact brand but it was presoaked aquarium gravel, a large lava rock purcased from a petstore, and a hollow drift wood log also from the petstore

The balla shark is very dumb and very not aggressive, it schools with thetiger barbs, even though it is like 6 in.. and always gets stuck trying to follow them through the holes and caves haha. the red tail and rainbow completely ignore him. he is usually at the top/mid of the tank and the other two are mostly bottom and mid.

again thanks for the help!
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Old 02-13-2010, 05:08 PM   #24
 
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Lava rock I have read is calcareous. In my experience rocks usually do not have as much of an effect at raising pH than gravel but it does. As a test, you might try removing the lava rock before your next partial water change, then check the pH during the following week and see if it made a difference. Always check pH at about the same time every day, since pH fluctuates a bit during the day if there are plants in the tank; taking it at the same time will give a better indication of any changes. Early morning after the light come on is best, as that is when the pH is at its lowest and it rises slightly during the day, then falls at night.

Byron.
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