Help for Scrawny, Puny Plants
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Help for Scrawny, Puny Plants

This is a discussion on Help for Scrawny, Puny Plants within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Most of the plants in my 75 gal. are doing horribly, especially the vals. When I purchased several approximately six to eight months ago ...

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Help for Scrawny, Puny Plants
Old 09-01-2012, 02:51 PM   #1
 
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Help for Scrawny, Puny Plants

Most of the plants in my 75 gal. are doing horribly, especially the vals. When I purchased several approximately six to eight months ago the leaves were thick, about an inch wide, and healthy. Soon after planting in my tank, I began to find one or two leaves floating on the surface every couple of days. Now the widest leaf is maybe one-fourth of an inch wide at it's widest point and that's being generous. In everything I have read, people say how they grow so profusely and are such an easy plant and well, even though I am ashamed ... here's what mine look like:


Additionally, I purchased some anacharis about a month ago and put some (floating) in this same tank and I think one piece has miraculously produced one one-inch long root! At the same time, I put several pieces (also floating) in my 10 gal. betta tank and it is growing like crazy and in fact some pieces are almost 18 inches long now with tons of roots that are five or six inches long.

On the bright side, my anubias and java moss grow very well in the 75 gal. tank.

My 75 gal. has t5ho lighting (2x54w) 6500K bulbs. I add 5 ml Flourish Comprehensive once a week one day after my water change. I only have a gravel substrate. For filtration, I have 2 Marineland Penguin 350 HOB's and two Hydro Sponge Filter 2's. I do not use carbon in my HOB filters - only filter pad material.

Can someone pleae tell me what I'm doing wrong and help me figure out why my plants are not thriving?
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Old 09-01-2012, 03:21 PM   #2
 
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My goodness!! Reading this thread was as if I had written it myself .... except I have a canister instead of an HOB. Can you tell us what your Lighting Times or schedule is? Thanks. Will follow this one!!
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Old 09-01-2012, 04:02 PM   #3
 
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Can you tell us what hardness is your water? Jungle Vals don't do well in soft water. Also you said you have 2x T5HO and only add 5mL of Flourish once a week.
First off that's a lot of light for that tank but it can work as long as everything else is balanced for the lights. Now 5mL of Flourish is the amount for a 60 gallon tank. So you are already adding too little nutrients plus have bright lights. My suggestion is to add atleast 6mL once a week if not 2x a week and look into root tablets also. Flourish makes some that work great. This should help or get you closer to being balanced. We still need to know how long the lights are on like Jakiebabie asked. Here where my thoughts or reason comes from. (To my understanding) Plants will only photosynthesize when all nutrients are in place. They need 17 nutrients Flourish has all of these but 3 and those come form you lights and tank. When you have bright lights and the nutrients are in place the plants can grow fast then if someone who has the same size tank and say just T8s but once the nutrients runout or are lacking the plants can slow down or stop photosynthesizing altogether. Which is what I am thinking is happening in your case.
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Old 09-01-2012, 04:04 PM   #4
 
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Well at least I don't feel so alone now, Jakiebabie! I hated to admit how pitifully I'm doing with these so-called easy plants!

My lights are on a timer set to come on at 2 pm and off at 10 pm - so 8 hours total.

I forgot to mention in my previous post that I also have wisteria (another "easy" one ) in both tanks. Abundant roots and growth on the wisteria in the 10 gal. and absolutely none in the 75.
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Old 09-01-2012, 04:37 PM   #5
 
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Ahhhhh... thanks Boredom... I need to major step up the fertilizers. So we could fert 2x a week then? That's my problem. How does a "slightly" eh-hem..... overstocked tank affect what you said in your last post? My PH is high at 8.2.
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Old 09-01-2012, 04:54 PM   #6
 
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Boredomb, sorry I don't know the hardness. I only have the API Freshwater Master Test Kit that contains tests for Ph, Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate. "Kh" is the one I need to test the water hardness, correct? I don't know if Petsmart has this available in-store, but if not I will order it online.

I failed to mention in my original post that I do also use API root tabs. I add one approximately one-inch from my scraggly little val plant about every 3 to 4 months. The last time I added root tabs, I even broke it in half and put a piece on each side in hopes of more even distribution to the roots.

I've been using 5 ml liquid fert just because I was allowing for the decorations and plants and guestimated that there was 60 gallons of water in the tank. But I will certainly increase it to 6 ml and dose twice weekly if you think it will help.

I really appreciate your advice and suggestions.
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Old 09-01-2012, 05:21 PM   #7
 
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Yes one can dose 2x a week if conditions are right. If plants are not thriving then I would add some more but one has to be careful too much fertilizer can lead to an algae outbreak. Every tank is different and what works in one may not work in another.

Sightly of stock tank just means more Poo! LoL
Fish Poo is just more fertilizer in essence. Though this can lead to other problems if if unchecked or if other thinks are not in place.

Ph of 8.2 is high and I am not sure what plants can stand that. Jungle Val is one I know would b fine in this situation.
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Old 09-01-2012, 05:31 PM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bounce View Post
Boredomb, sorry I don't know the hardness. I only have the API Freshwater Master Test Kit that contains tests for Ph, Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate. "Kh" is the one I need to test the water hardness, correct? I don't know if Petsmart has this available in-store, but if not I will order it online.

I failed to mention in my original post that I do also use API root tabs. I add one approximately one-inch from my scraggly little val plant about every 3 to 4 months. The last time I added root tabs, I even broke it in half and put a piece on each side in hopes of more even distribution to the roots.

I've been using 5 ml liquid fert just because I was allowing for the decorations and plants and guestimated that there was 60 gallons of water in the tank. But I will certainly increase it to 6 ml and dose twice weekly if you think it will help.

I really appreciate your advice and suggestions.
No need to buy the hardness test. You can call your local water company and they should be able to tell you what the a General Hardness (GH) is. This is something that won't change and buying a test kit for it just to use once is kinda expensive.
KH is carbonate hardness and this will have some effect on Ph. You can read more on this in Byron's article http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-73276/

API root tablets are not the best to use as they can lead to cloudy water. I would really suggest flourish root tablets.
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:36 PM   #9
 
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I'll call my water company Tuesday and then report back. I'll also exchange the pack of API root tabs I just bought for the Flourish brand.

I also have this light: AqueonŽ Freshwater T5 Light Fixture - Lighting & Hoods - Fish - PetSmart
(48" Aqueon T5 NO light (2 x 28w) - 1 Colormax bulb and 1 6.7K bulb). Would this be a better light to use?

Sorry for all the questions, this is so confusing and frustrating!
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Old 09-02-2012, 08:52 AM   #10
 
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The T5NO would be a choice imo. Before changing too many variables at once try swapping the lights out and dosing the 6ml once a week and see if that has a effect. Also makes sure not to dug up the API root tablets up or you have a mess. Just wait till you thing they are gone and add the new Flourish root tablets. When you start changing too many things at once it can be hard to tell what actually makes a difference if that makes sense? No need in apologizing about asking questions. That's why we are all here for and how you learn.
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