A lot of plants are dieing in my tank...please help!
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A lot of plants are dieing in my tank...please help!

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A lot of plants are dieing in my tank...please help!
Old 08-10-2010, 09:36 PM   #1
 
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A lot of plants are dieing in my tank...please help!

Hi, I'm new to this forum, and I'm sorry if I'm posting a discussion that has been already covered in another thread, but I couldn't find anything specifically related to my problem and I need some advice! A lot of my plants are losing leaves and I'm having trouble pin pointing the cause. My amazon swords have been getting transparent leaves which eventually die off, my temple plants lower leaves have been getting crumpling and getting holes in, and my water wisteria's lower leaves turn brown and look sickly. I also have Brazilian pennywort, and it leaves frequently turn to mush as well. For the temple plants and water wisteria, their higher leaves are in fine shape. I've think I've narrowed it down to two things, but I'm still unsure:

1. Lighting
I have a 48" long light fixture that has a 40W bulb in it that I've had for about a year that I got when I got my tank a year ago. I know bulbs lose their power over time, and I don't know how long the people who I got it from had it before I started using it. I also don't know the color temperature of the bulb, so that might be a problem as well.

2. Nutrient Deficiency
I've read that swords' leaves turn transparent when they are deprived of metals such as iron and potassium. I was wondering if that might be the cause of death of the leaves.

I should also add that a few months ago, I cleaned my tank thoroughly and changed my sand substrate to new sand because the old was dirty. While I was changing it, I put water in the bathtub and placed my plants in there. The thing is, my bathtub faucets is broken, and it only expels hot water. I'm thinking that the warmer water may have instigated plant death, but why would my plants still be losing leaves now?

Please help me because I'm tired of my aquarium to looking so scarce! I would appreciate any help I could get! Thank you!
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Old 08-10-2010, 09:38 PM   #2
 
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I should probably also mention that all my plants were growing magnificently before I cleaned the tank, and I had never used fertilizer except for root tabs when I first got the plants way before I started using sand. Please help me guys!
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Old 08-11-2010, 04:30 AM   #3
 
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first you already know whats wrong. 1 lighting.change it to a 48" T8 6500k tube. no 2 after stress the added nutrient is a must to help the plants bounce back. no 3 plants grow in cool water not hot.you were cooking them in there. the old sand contained a lot of beneficial bacteria.a gravel cleaner should have suffice now you have to start cycling the tank again.
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Old 08-11-2010, 01:52 PM   #4
 
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Hi and welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

I think kitten is basically correct. On the light, is it a T8 or T12 tube (the "T" number is the diameter, T12 are "fatter" like the original fluorescents, T8 is thinner). I mention this because T12 lose their efficiency faster, within a year; T8 can go 3 years. But also, the colour (kelvin) is significant, as kitten mentioned. A 6500K or close would be perfect, a full spectrum or daylight type. You can buy these made by Phillips, Sylvania, GE at hardware stores for a couple dollars. Just make sure it is around 6500K.

When you say "transparent" do you mean you can actually almost see through the leaf? Or is it more like yellowing? The latter is nutrient, the former could be a combination of issues. A photo would help. But in any case, a new tube and proper fertilizer should do wonders. I recommend Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium if you can get it locally. Nutrafin's Plant-Gro liquid is my second choice if Flourish is not available, but of the two Flourish will be better. Make sure it is the Comprehensive, they make several products in the Flourish line.

Byron.
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Old 08-11-2010, 08:07 PM   #5
 
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I never knew what the "T" stood for on lights but now I know! But the one I am currently using on my 48" is a fatter bulb, so I would say it's a T12, and judging by what you said, it's probably been inefficient for a long time. I am actually switching my 48" light for two 24" lights. I already bought one of the two 24" lights that I want, and it comes with an 18" 15W 8,000K T8 bulb. Would you recommend switching the bulbs to one's of a lower color temperature (like 6,500, like you said) or is 8,000K in the ok range? And if I were to switch to 6,500K bulbs (which I will probably end up doing in the future here), what kind of wattage should I be looking for?

As for the leaves, it's like I can actually see through the leaf, no yellowing whatsoever. I'm sorry, but I do not have a picture; I pruned all the leaves that were clear/getting clear already. As for fertilizer, I have TetraPlant FloraPride liquid fertilizer, and Nutrafin Plant Gro fertilizer sticks (which I have not used yet). I know these are not what you suggested, but would these be suitable forms of fertilizer?

And I know now never to put my plants in super warm water again; that was just an idiotic move on my part. The new sand that I've put in has been in for 2 months now, so hopefully it should be getting some bacteria back in it.

Thank you both kitten and Byron!
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Old 08-11-2010, 09:02 PM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cornelius1208 View Post
I never knew what the "T" stood for on lights but now I know! But the one I am currently using on my 48" is a fatter bulb, so I would say it's a T12, and judging by what you said, it's probably been inefficient for a long time. I am actually switching my 48" light for two 24" lights. I already bought one of the two 24" lights that I want, and it comes with an 18" 15W 8,000K T8 bulb. Would you recommend switching the bulbs to one's of a lower color temperature (like 6,500, like you said) or is 8,000K in the ok range? And if I were to switch to 6,500K bulbs (which I will probably end up doing in the future here), what kind of wattage should I be looking for?

As for the leaves, it's like I can actually see through the leaf, no yellowing whatsoever. I'm sorry, but I do not have a picture; I pruned all the leaves that were clear/getting clear already. As for fertilizer, I have TetraPlant FloraPride liquid fertilizer, and Nutrafin Plant Gro fertilizer sticks (which I have not used yet). I know these are not what you suggested, but would these be suitable forms of fertilizer?

And I know now never to put my plants in super warm water again; that was just an idiotic move on my part. The new sand that I've put in has been in for 2 months now, so hopefully it should be getting some bacteria back in it.

Thank you both kitten and Byron!
First on the FloraPride, I do not recommend this fertilizer because it only contains iron, potash and molybdenum. Plants need 17 nutrients, of which 15 are minerals, so obviously much is lacking. Sometimes these can occur in harder water (calcium and magnesium), fish foods, etc., but that may be assuming too much. I would get the Flourish Comprehensive, I believe you will see a big difference.

The Nutrafin sticks are excellent; I used these a year or so ago and my swords exploded (not literally). They will certainly help your swords, stick one next to each plant, sort of down into the roots. In a couple weeks you should see a difference. Existing affected leaves will not recover, but new growth will be lush and green.

On the tubes, each length comes in a standard wattage, e.g., 48-inch is 40 watts. However, some manufacturers now use special coatings that intensify the light, and use less energy which lowers the wattage (watts is simply the measure of energy used to produce the light, it has no direct bearing on intensity generally speaking). So ZooMed for instance produce 48-inch tubes at 32w or 36w (depending upon the colour type) but they are the same (relative) intensity as the 40w by some other manufacturer. I would check your hardware stores for GE, Phillips or Sylvania tubes, if they have them in the length you need, look for "daylight" "full spectrum" :enhanced daylight" or similar names, the kelvin rating should be around 6500K. I use the Phillips 6500K as the second tube on some of my tanks. These will be much better than what you have, and they only cost a few dollars. Tubes in fish stores are equally good but more expensive, but if you want to go that route the best I have used are the _Glo series by Hagen/Nutrafin esp Life-Glo at 6700K, ideal tube. Or Zoo Med's Ultra Sun at (I think) 6500K or around that. All these should be T8, the T12 is being phased out as it uses more energy and in these days that is frowned on.
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Old 08-13-2010, 12:52 AM   #7
 
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Ok, thank you very much, this is all so helpful! I'll run out and get new bulbs and fertilizer as soon as I get the money. Hopefully my plants will turn around! Thank you so much!
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