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my plants are turning brown

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my plants are turning brown
Old 11-18-2012, 07:37 PM   #11
 
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The light should be fine. How long is it on each day?

Flourish Comp once a week is fine, though I might suggest twice weekly. But first, what is the GH of your tap water? You mentioned pH in the 6's which is good, but the GH is where most of the "hard" minerals (calcium and magnesium) occur, so knowing this may clue us in to something. Rather than test for GH, you can get this from the water supply folks, they may have a website.

Are you doing weekly water changes? And how much?

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Old 11-19-2012, 05:55 AM   #12
 
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The light should be fine. How long is it on each day?

Flourish Comp once a week is fine, though I might suggest twice weekly. But first, what is the GH of your tap water? You mentioned pH in the 6's which is good, but the GH is where most of the "hard" minerals (calcium and magnesium) occur, so knowing this may clue us in to something. Rather than test for GH, you can get this from the water supply folks, they may have a website.

Are you doing weekly water changes? And how much?

Byron.
When I called a few month's ago they said our water is between 7 and 14 MC. (so very soft they said).

I just did a 50% water change 2 weeks ago. I think I should probably be doing a water change weekly however I'm unsure as to how often I need to do that.

I won't be getting any other fish for a while I want to give my plants time to grow and may get some more after a while. I also need to determine if I want to keep all of my bristle nose pleco's. I hope they aren't the one's ruining my amazon sword. I thought someone told me the small one's don't ruin plants but I"m starting to wonder.


My light is one for 12 hours a day

Last edited by aklick; 11-19-2012 at 06:00 AM..
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:19 AM   #13
 
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This explains things. And now that I've looked closer at your photograph, it confirms it.

You need to raise the GH. What we term "hard" minerals like calcium and magnesium are the minerals that largely determine the GH of water. And while these minerals are included in the good commercial fertilizers (like Flourish Comp and Brightwell's FlorinMulti) the amount is not sufficient to make up for very soft water. Most areas of NA and the UK have medium hard or harder water, so these minerals will be in ample supply. Those of us like you and me who have very soft water must add them.

The easiest way I have found is with a product like Seachem's Equilibrium. I have experimented with crushed coral, aragonite and dolomite. If you can find dolomite, it can work; I found the other two did little to raise the GH but sent the pH through the roof. Equilibrium does not do this. For your 50g, about two level tablespoons of Equilibrium added after the water change should suffice to maintain the GH around 5 or 6 dGH and this will provide sufficient calcium and magnesium for the plants but not harm soft water fish.

There are two other products I am aware of that also deal with this GH issue. Brightwell Aquatics' has a line of plant products called Florin, and they make a GH booster. There is also a new line from Seachem called AquaVitro, and it has a GH product. I'm using the Equilibrium because long-term it is much less expensive and I have several tanks running.

Water changes are best every week. About 1/3 of the tank should work for you, though 1/2 would be even better. I change 50% of my tanks every week, but I have more fish in them and they are heavily planted.

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Old 11-19-2012, 11:25 AM   #14
 
Thank you I have ordered some of Seachem's Equilibrium and should get it in 2 days!

Is KH the same as GH? I just want to make sure i didn't mess up the numbers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
This explains things. And now that I've looked closer at your photograph, it confirms it.

You need to raise the GH. What we term "hard" minerals like calcium and magnesium are the minerals that largely determine the GH of water. And while these minerals are included in the good commercial fertilizers (like Flourish Comp and Brightwell's FlorinMulti) the amount is not sufficient to make up for very soft water. Most areas of NA and the UK have medium hard or harder water, so these minerals will be in ample supply. Those of us like you and me who have very soft water must add them.

The easiest way I have found is with a product like Seachem's Equilibrium. I have experimented with crushed coral, aragonite and dolomite. If you can find dolomite, it can work; I found the other two did little to raise the GH but sent the pH through the roof. Equilibrium does not do this. For your 50g, about two level tablespoons of Equilibrium added after the water change should suffice to maintain the GH around 5 or 6 dGH and this will provide sufficient calcium and magnesium for the plants but not harm soft water fish.

There are two other products I am aware of that also deal with this GH issue. Brightwell Aquatics' has a line of plant products called Florin, and they make a GH booster. There is also a new line from Seachem called AquaVitro, and it has a GH product. I'm using the Equilibrium because long-term it is much less expensive and I have several tanks running.

Water changes are best every week. About 1/3 of the tank should work for you, though 1/2 would be even better. I change 50% of my tanks every week, but I have more fish in them and they are heavily planted.

Byron.
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:19 PM   #15
 
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Originally Posted by aklick View Post
Thank you I have ordered some of Seachem's Equilibrium and should get it in 2 days!

Is KH the same as GH? I just want to make sure i didn't mess up the numbers
No. KH is carbonate or bicarbonate hardness, often termed Akalinity. It has no direct effect on fish or plants. It will "buffer" pH. Read more detail in my article on hardness and pH:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-73276/

I never bother with KH. I have zero KH in my tap water, but my weekly 50% water changes and using Equilibrium and other fertilizers maintains a stable pH. This has worked for 15+ years.

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Old 11-19-2012, 12:33 PM   #16
 
Ok I think my nubers were correct. Here is what I found online:

Finished water production averages 2.5 million gallons per
day (MGD) summer usage and 1.5MGD winter usage,
with a 3.2MGD capacity and typically enters the distribution system at less than 0.050NTU, 0ptcu, <2.7mg/l TOC,
7.3 pH, 1.10 mg/l free chlorine, and a hardness of 7-20
mg/l (very soft).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
No. KH is carbonate or bicarbonate hardness, often termed Akalinity. It has no direct effect on fish or plants. It will "buffer" pH. Read more detail in my article on hardness and pH:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...quarium-73276/

I never bother with KH. I have zero KH in my tap water, but my weekly 50% water changes and using Equilibrium and other fertilizers maintains a stable pH. This has worked for 15+ years.

Byron.

Last edited by aklick; 11-19-2012 at 12:46 PM..
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Old 11-19-2012, 12:48 PM   #17
 
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Ok I think my nubers were correct. Here is what I found online:
Yes. 7-20 mg/l is equivalent to 7-20 ppm (parts per million). And 7 ppm is less than half of 1 dGH [this is what my tap water is, exactly], with 20ppm just a fraction above 1 dGH. This is insufficient calcium in particular. Equilibrium solves this. You want to get the GH up to 4 dGH minimum; I aim for 5-6 dGH. One level tablespoon of E per 20g will raise GH about 3 dGH, so in a 50g I would start with 3 tablespoons after the first water change, then use 2 the following week after that water change.

A GH test kit (the API is the one I use) is useful. Measure just prior to each water change to see where the GH is at that point. It took me a few weeks to get this down fairly exactly. I now just add the E and rarely test GH, just occassionally to ensure it is consistent.

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The Following User Says Thank You to Byron For This Useful Post:
aklick (01-14-2013)
Old 11-19-2012, 01:23 PM   #18
 
Like this one?

Amazon.com: API GH and KH Test Kit: Pet Supplies Amazon.com: API GH and KH Test Kit: Pet Supplies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Yes. 7-20 mg/l is equivalent to 7-20 ppm (parts per million). And 7 ppm is less than half of 1 dGH [this is what my tap water is, exactly], with 20ppm just a fraction above 1 dGH. This is insufficient calcium in particular. Equilibrium solves this. You want to get the GH up to 4 dGH minimum; I aim for 5-6 dGH. One level tablespoon of E per 20g will raise GH about 3 dGH, so in a 50g I would start with 3 tablespoons after the first water change, then use 2 the following week after that water change.

A GH test kit (the API is the one I use) is useful. Measure just prior to each water change to see where the GH is at that point. It took me a few weeks to get this down fairly exactly. I now just add the E and rarely test GH, just occassionally to ensure it is consistent.

Byron.
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:21 PM   #19
 
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Yes, that is the one I have. [I never use the KH test, but I believe they only come together.] The colours are a bit hard to decipher until you get the hang of it; I was never sure when it went from orange to green but after raising the GH with Equilibrium it is more obvious when they change.
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:39 AM   #20
 
flim on my plants

Any idea what this is? I supplement with flourish (not excel) 2x a week and do a weekly 50% water change.

my levels are:

PH : way to high it peaked at 8.8 but that's as high as my PH tester kit goes
GH 196.6 (11 drops)
Ammonia: 0.25-0.50
Nitrate: 0
Nitrite: 0

I have no fish right now. I'm not sure if that's an issue or not but the reason I don't have any is because the fish I want are expensive and I don't want to buy them just to have them die. I'd rather get the water levels where they should be and my plant flourishing.

any idea what I'm doing wrong?

Also I have a ton of snails. is that an issue?

My amazon sword (blurry picture) still has brown leaves. I can't get it to grow at all.
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