Could lack of nitrates be affecting plant growth? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 15 Old 03-22-2013, 07:50 AM Thread Starter
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Could lack of nitrates be affecting plant growth?

I've had my 55 up and running for a year and a half and nitrates have never been more than 5-10. I've really had problems with floating plants dying on me or deteriating. I know floating plants are nitrate hogs.

I have about 30 fish with most of fish small bodied except for 6 mollies and I do 50% weekly water changes. Should I cut back on percentage of water I'm changing as big water changes removes what nitrates you have. I dose flourish once a week as I'm running one 48' T8 daylight bulb at the moment.

The only plants I've had decent success with is my amazon swords. Right now I've got a ton of anubias in there and planned on getting maybe some amazon frogbit, salvina minima and duckweed and just see which ones grow. I figure one of them will. The other floaters I've had in past that have failed is wisteria, pennywort. My dGh is 11 or 12 I believe and PH runs 8.2-8.4 in the tank. Should I maybe dose more nitrogen?

Wondering if
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post #2 of 15 Old 03-22-2013, 08:02 AM Thread Starter
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And this has continued to happen to some of my anubias, though their has also been healthy new leaves on a few also. Also of note they have been in the tank for about a month. Could be just shock of new water parameters. On one of my anubias every leaf melted off and I was down to a rhizome. I knew the plant probably wasn't dead but I tossed it as I couldn't bare seeing just a rhizome in the tank. All my anubias are rubberband to rock so it's not buried. Bought online and the place said all their plants are grown submerged so its not going from emerged growth to submerged.

I actually had to remove a leaf today also ,this one though has started to yellow and brown from the bottom up instead of the top like seen in the pics
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post #3 of 15 Old 03-22-2013, 08:19 AM
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funny you have nitrates at all XD
have you looked into deficiencies for macro nutrients? also a lot of floaters dont like surface turbulance when they are first settling in, how's the current?
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post #4 of 15 Old 03-22-2013, 08:40 AM
I am reasonably new to this but my Nitrates are always around 4 (20g tank with13 inhabitants) i do a 20% water change weekly and my plants are doing really well, particularly wisteria and Tiger lotus (both planted) Anubias also doing well although first flower didn't open. I don't put any fertilsers in.
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post #5 of 15 Old 03-22-2013, 08:41 AM
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Would try twice a week with the Flourish comprehensive and give the tank a few week's to note any improvement.
Would limit the duration that light's are on to no less than eight hour's ,and no more than ten hour's with the single T8 bulb. (which would be considered low light)
Would check to see if your water hardness is comprised of mostly calcium,or magnesium,or both(=)good.
If water is like some,mine included,,it is mostly calcium that I remedied by adding 1/4 tsp of Epsom salt per week in 55 gal .
Magnesium is very important to plant's, and although hardness test reveal's GH,it makes no distinction between calcium or magnesium.(water could be void of one or the other)
In any event,,such small amount of epsom salt will have no negative effect added along with twice weekly Flourish comprehensive.
Flourish has a liitle of everything and with your lighting,,the extra dose each week might very well be enough nutrient delivery for improvement.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #6 of 15 Old 03-22-2013, 09:33 AM Thread Starter
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Lights are on 8 hrs, I have HOB filter but have it baffled so their is very little surface flow. I just removed my floating wisteria during my water change. The fish seemed a little stressed now in particular my bloodfin tetras as they're no floating plants in the tank now. Looks weird not having any in there. I'll be receiving some duckweed , amazon frogbit and salvinia minima in a few days to give that a try.
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post #7 of 15 Old 03-22-2013, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
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I'm also thinking of going back to 2 tubes also. The thing is though I may not be the brightest guy in world but if my swords are doing ok I don't see this as a light issue for the anubias or floating plants even though I'm running just 1 tube. I get couple new leafs weekly on them. I want to cover the anubias with floating plants to keep them shaded and also give the fish comfort. Maybe I just need more patience and stop freaking out every time a leaf yellows. I think my tank looks ok right now.
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post #8 of 15 Old 03-22-2013, 09:46 AM Thread Starter
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Here it is as of 10 minutes ago after water change , pic maybe not the greatest.
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post #9 of 15 Old 03-22-2013, 10:08 AM Thread Starter
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Also wanted to chime in that my java fern mat ,some of the leaves tips are black, what does this signify? It's been in the tank a month.
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post #10 of 15 Old 03-22-2013, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smit3183 View Post
I'm also thinking of going back to 2 tubes also. The thing is though I may not be the brightest guy in world but if my swords are doing ok I don't see this as a light issue for the anubias or floating plants even though I'm running just 1 tube. I get couple new leafs weekly on them. I want to cover the anubias with floating plants to keep them shaded and also give the fish comfort. Maybe I just need more patience and stop freaking out every time a leaf yellows. I think my tank looks ok right now.
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Yes,,so long as you are seeing new growth,I would not stress over losing a few leaves,especially considering the addition of flourish from once a week, to twice a week.
I believe you could run the two T8 bulb's and still be in low to moderate light range.
I mentioned the light duration due to you running one bulb.Less than eight hour's would be too little light in my view, and over ten hour's could be detrimental to the growth of plant's that do need day/night period.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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