Hi everyone! I'm hoping I can get some help...
I've had my tank set up for a little over a year now. Everything has been going pretty darn well recently except for my plants. I desperately want to have a nice planted tank, but I just can't seem to get it going. I know plants will usually melt since they are changing to a new environment... but some of my plants have literally completely disintegrated. Like, nothing left to them. SO much money lost on plants.
Some plants do okay, but they're not thriving. A lot of people see a lot of new growth and runners... I have none of that.
Right now in my tank I have anubias, jungle val, melon swords, frogbit, dwarf lettuce and a plant I think was called a temple plant? (the floating plants have recently been added and the temple plant melted a ton but I was able to save some)
Plants that have completely melted on me are bacopa, rotala, a few others I don't remember the name of, and hornwort. I managed to save some of the hornwort I recently got...but lost most of it. Tank specs
Size: 30 gallon
Lighting: single T-8 tube, 24 inches - ZooMed Ultra Sun bulb - lights on for 8-10 hours a day
Filter: Marineland Penguin power filter for up to 50 gallon
Ferts: Flourish Comprehensive (recently started - dose twice a week)
pH: high 8.2
Nitrate: around 40ppm - this is the highest I've ever seen it. I'm thinking maybe it's because this weekend I redid my tank a bit and added driftwood back into the tank and stirred things up a bit? Some questions
I use my tap water for my tanks - but it's from well water. We have a water softener, so could the salt from that be causing the plants not to thrive? I use Prime every time I do a water change (about 2/3rds every 2-3 weeks)
What can I do to prevent melting? I'd love to add more plants - but I'm scared it will be another big waste of money. Maybe my water won't let me have certain plants?
Here is a picture of my tank taken today, to get an idea. The plants don't look bad, really, but I'd like them to thrive and to know how to get some from melting.
(and ignore the pot on the driftwood - I'm using it to anchor it down. :P)
Any tips or suggestions on what I'm doing wrong would really be appreciated. Thanks!