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My First Planted Tank! Need Your Input!

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My First Planted Tank! Need Your Input!
Old 09-17-2010, 03:56 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
This is not the sort of post I like to see. There is always a reason, we must help you find it.

Can you start by describing things; water parameters (pH, hardness, temp), frequency and amount of water changes, light specs, tank size. Specific fertilizers being used and how often. Type of substrate. Plant species, and what is occurring.

A photo would help.

Byron.
I tried to follow all of your advice Byron but Iím seriously doing something wrong. My tank is a 55gal and I'm running two 48in 40w full spectrum bulbs for 10 Ĺhrs. a day. One is 6700k and the other is 6500k. My pH levels are around 7.6 to 7.8 and the test strips say my water is on the soft side. I keep my tank at 78 degrees and I do a 25% to 30% water change ever week. Currently I'm not using any fertilizers because when I was using the Seachem Flourish comprehensive at the recommended dose all my plants and my tank were covered in algae. I'm also using standard aquarium gravel and these are the plants that I started with.


Foreground
11 Sagittaria Subulata
3 Cryptocoryne Parva Pot
1 Anubias Barteri var. Nana 'Petite'

Midground
2 Cryptocoryne Wendtii Green
2 Cryptocoryne Wendtii Red
2 Cryptocoryne Walkeri
2 Cryptocoryne Crispatula
1 Anubias Barteri Var. Coffeefolia Pot
1 Pennywort (Hydocotyle Leucocephyala)
1 Java Fern LG (MIcrosorium Pteropus)

Background

6 Vallisneria Spiralis 'Leopard' (Italian Leopard Val)
2 Echinodorus bleherae (Amazon Sword)
2 Cryptocoryne Retrospiralis
1 Crinum Calamistratum
1 Ceratopteris Thalictroides (Water Sprite )
1 Nymphaea Stellata Bulbs (Dwarf Lily)

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Old 09-17-2010, 04:45 PM   #12
 
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I can see a couple of issues right off. First, the plants are almost certain to deteriorate without some fertilizer. The macro- and micro-nutrients they need can partially be found in tap water (though your "soft" water, like mine, removes that option), fish foods, and organics, but not all of them or enough.

The light is too much esp without fertilizer. Plants will only grow to the minimum requirement present; adding more light without balanced nutrients will not allow them to grow, but will encourage algae--and thus we come to your other problem. Algae is solely due to excess light.

Can you remove one of the two tubes? If not, a cover of floating plants will help. I see you have Water Sprite, is it floating? Reduce the light period as well, down to 8 hours each day, and use Flourish Comprehensive twice a week.

Crypts are not easy plants. Any change--light, even changing an old tube; pH; temp; hardness; fertilizer--can cause crypts to "melt" or disintegrate into mush, some species more than others. They usually recover, if the roots are left alone. And they must never be moved once planted, that also causes the melt.

The sword, are the leaves yellowing? That is a sure sign of insufficient nutrients. Swords are heavy feeders. If I don't use Flourish twice a week, my swords within one week will begin to yellow. They need food.

The Anubias and Java Fern cannot be planted in the substrate, they should be attached to wood or rock. Burying the rhizome will usually make it rot. Mention this just in case.

Are any of the listed plants doing OK? This may help to identify specific issues.
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Old 09-17-2010, 05:14 PM   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
I can see a couple of issues right off. First, the plants are almost certain to deteriorate without some fertilizer. The macro- and micro-nutrients they need can partially be found in tap water (though your "soft" water, like mine, removes that option), fish foods, and organics, but not all of them or enough.

The light is too much esp without fertilizer. Plants will only grow to the minimum requirement present; adding more light without balanced nutrients will not allow them to grow, but will encourage algae--and thus we come to your other problem. Algae is solely due to excess light.

Can you remove one of the two tubes? If not, a cover of floating plants will help. I see you have Water Sprite, is it floating? Reduce the light period as well, down to 8 hours each day, and use Flourish Comprehensive twice a week.

Crypts are not easy plants. Any change--light, even changing an old tube; pH; temp; hardness; fertilizer--can cause crypts to "melt" or disintegrate into mush, some species more than others. They usually recover, if the roots are left alone. And they must never be moved once planted, that also causes the melt.

The sword, are the leaves yellowing? That is a sure sign of insufficient nutrients. Swords are heavy feeders. If I don't use Flourish twice a week, my swords within one week will begin to yellow. They need food.

The Anubias and Java Fern cannot be planted in the substrate, they should be attached to wood or rock. Burying the rhizome will usually make it rot. Mention this just in case.

Are any of the listed plants doing OK? This may help to identify specific issues.
Thanks Byron, I will get the plants back on the flourish. I will also cut down my light duration. The only reason I stopped was because my tank exploded with algae and it was covering everything. Currently none of the listed plants are doing well and a number have flat out died. The sword leaves that are still alive aren’t yellow yet but are covered with brown patches. I will try to get some pictures uploaded soon.

Last edited by IceBerg; 09-17-2010 at 05:29 PM..
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Old 09-17-2010, 07:12 PM   #14
 
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Originally Posted by IceBerg View Post
Thanks Byron, I will get the plants back on the flourish. I will also cut down my light duration. The only reason I stopped was because my tank exploded with algae and it was covering everything. Currently none of the listed plants are doing well and a number have flat out died. The sword leaves that are still alive arenít yellow yet but are covered with brown patches. I will try to get some pictures uploaded soon.
Brown patches is sometimes an excess of iron--but can be other things. Diagnosing plant ailments can be tricky. But it is usually one of the essentials not being provided.

I understand the thinking behind fertilizer and algae; it is our natural reaction to reduce fertilizer when algae appears, but in actuality this is the worst thing to do, because it then deprives the plants of their food and things only worsen. I have gone through this. I had a tank with cyanobacteria, and I did the same thing; nothing happened. I was advised to increase fert, so I did; the cyano disappeared in a couple weeks and the plants grew stronger. When brush and hair algae began to increase, I cut back one hour on thelighting, it stopped increasing.

The photos may help, but in the meantime, less light and more fert.
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Old 09-19-2010, 03:49 PM   #15
 
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Also, you should go out and buy a nice liquid test kit... The strips can be wildly inaccurate...

(It's nearly impossible to have a low KH and high ph)

If the brown patches rub off easily, it could be diatoms... A form of algae that is always in new aquariums- it goes away after a little while.
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