Issues with new plants - beginner here
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Issues with new plants - beginner here

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Issues with new plants - beginner here
Old 01-18-2014, 08:10 PM   #1
 
Issues with new plants - beginner here

Hi! I haven't really kept fish before, and would love some feedback and advice on my current tank setup.

I have a 75L - 20G - tank that has been set up for about 5 months. The original setup had a couple of java ferns. Last week I also bought some plants on the advice of my local shop, although I cannot for the life of me remember what they're called.

The plants I bought are not looking great. I was told they might shed a few leaves but this doesn't look right. (The photos are too big to put in the forum directly, sorry)

First photo
As you can see in the photo, the java fern is still doing fine. I add two kinds of Flourish - the normal one, and the one that is meant to add iron - but they still look like they have an iron deficiency.
The substrate is graduated - 1 inch at the front, 2.5 at the back.

And here is a photo of the whole thing
Second photo

Any advice on other plants I could add in the future would be great too. Thank you in advance for any and all feedback :)
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Old 01-18-2014, 09:33 PM   #2
 
Sorry, I just saw the sticky.

KH - 5
Ammonia - 0.25
NO2 - 0
NO3 - 5ppm

Water change was performed after testing.

Tank dimensions are 51W, 34D, 54H (cm)

Substrated is 2-5mm gravel.

No idea about the light source, sorry.
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Old 01-18-2014, 10:16 PM   #3
 
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Most lights that come with the aquarium are unfit for plants. Java fern can tolerate low lights so that may be why they are surviving. It would be very helpful if you can find out what they are.

I can't really tell what those plants are but if I had to guess those are swords... Or some strange plant that they sold as aquatic that actually isn't. But if it is swords they will lose most of their leaves. However, that does look pretty bad.

And as a side note, people typically say java ferns shouldn't be buried in the substrate as they will rot. I don't have experience burying them in the gravel so I can't say from experience.

Good luck! :)
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Old 01-18-2014, 10:23 PM   #4
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Austin View Post
Most lights that come with the aquarium are unfit for plants. Java fern can tolerate low lights so that may be why they are surviving. It would be very helpful if you can find out what they are.

I can't really tell what those plants are but if I had to guess those are swords... Or some strange plant that they sold as aquatic that actually isn't. But if it is swords they will lose most of their leaves. However, that does look pretty bad.

And as a side note, people typically say java ferns shouldn't be buried in the substrate as they will rot. I don't have experience burying them in the gravel so I can't say from experience.

Good luck! :)
I did a quick search and I apparently have 2 x 11W PL lamps

I think the guy who sold them to me called them temple plants. There's another plant in the back that I definitely don't know the name of, sorry. Do you have any idea about how I could save them?

Also, if that's the case, how would I go about attaching the java fern to my driftwood pieces instead?

Thanks :)
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Old 01-18-2014, 11:28 PM   #5
 
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looks like you have a hygrophila(temple)plant with a nitrogen or possibly phosphate deficiency.hygro are nutrient hogs.they will often show deficiencies before all other plants.nitrogen and potassium are the most common for hygro.do you use liquid co2?what is your ph at?you said you have 2x 11 watt pl? what does pl mean?

Last edited by sandybottom; 01-18-2014 at 11:44 PM..
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Old 01-19-2014, 12:11 AM   #6
 
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Originally Posted by sandybottom View Post
looks like you have a hygrophila(temple)plant with a nitrogen or possibly phosphate deficiency.hygro are nutrient hogs.they will often show deficiencies before all other plants.nitrogen and potassium are the most common for hygro.do you use liquid co2?what is your ph at?you said you have 2x 11 watt pl? what does pl mean?
I don't use liquid CO2, but I do use the Flourish that is meant to put in good amounts of CO2 and iron.

pH is 7.8.

I believe PL is the term used to describe the twin tube fluorescent bulbs. At least, they're what I have.
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Old 01-19-2014, 08:49 AM   #7
 
high pH WILL reduce iron availability severely, ... (my notes are at home, i'm not, so i'm going by memory)

it turns the iron into an insoluble form that will eventually turn into rust
at pH 8.0 about, there is no usable iron to speak of that will be available for your plants

(i found this while looking for information about how pH affects nutrient availability. i wanted more than just pictures, but an actual idea of what is going on on a chemical level. i don't have much, but iron is one of them i have notes on)

a pH of 7.8 is pretty close to removing all iron from your water column no matter how much you're adding

you could look into chelated iron additives, ... but those chelating chemicals, ... they may do the trick, but are less than desireable ... i don't think they break down once your plants have taken the iron. chelating chemicals can deal with nutrients you want to be available, but can also deal with others you don't want available.

Last edited by Flear; 01-19-2014 at 08:52 AM..
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Old 01-19-2014, 03:46 PM   #8
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flear View Post
high pH WILL reduce iron availability severely, ... (my notes are at home, i'm not, so i'm going by memory)

it turns the iron into an insoluble form that will eventually turn into rust
at pH 8.0 about, there is no usable iron to speak of that will be available for your plants

(i found this while looking for information about how pH affects nutrient availability. i wanted more than just pictures, but an actual idea of what is going on on a chemical level. i don't have much, but iron is one of them i have notes on)

a pH of 7.8 is pretty close to removing all iron from your water column no matter how much you're adding

you could look into chelated iron additives, ... but those chelating chemicals, ... they may do the trick, but are less than desireable ... i don't think they break down once your plants have taken the iron. chelating chemicals can deal with nutrients you want to be available, but can also deal with others you don't want available.
How would I go about lowering the pH? I've tried adding driftwood but I don't like messing around with the pH up and down.
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Old 01-19-2014, 03:59 PM   #9
 
i'm new on so many levels which is really against what i do to my tank

i would agree PH up and down are not recommended

i have seen pH buffers that will try to set the PH of your tank
if i remember correctly (what i have seen advertised)
6.2-6.5 (i guess this one isn't quite as stable for a set pH)
7.0
7.5

there may be others, these are what i have seen

takes the guesswork out of "how much do you add to reach a proper PH"
they also try to hold it at that pH till it's nutrients are removed ...
... by biological processes, either bacterial, plants consuming nutrients, breaking down, ... i dono, but i love the technology :)

i got 7.0 for my tank now (i'm sure there's going to be multiple brands - i'm at work not at home so i don't know any by heart, nor can i reference what i have on my shelf)

if i found 7.3-7.4 i would be in love, ... highest i want to go if i could control it that specifically
mix of health for snails & nutrient availability (and guess-work)
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Old 01-19-2014, 03:59 PM   #10
 
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You'll be fine growing most plants at 7.8 pH. I have a pH of 8.2 and I have some plants that are doing good. Included are some crypts, water lily, and vallisneria. In the past I have had amazon swords do well in my water; right now my BN Pleco is sort of destroying mine... Anyways, you just have to pick plants that do well with hard water/high pH. I don't think hygros do great in those water conditions. Apparently java ferns do well... mine is doing just okay. And my plants are apparently assimilating iron somehow in my pH, so there must be some dissolved. Although, I suspect they were do better if my water was not so hard. (Note I think high pH doesn't necessarily always mean the water is hard but it seems very often to be the case)
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