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Plants are having a hard time?

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Plants are having a hard time?
Old 04-11-2013, 08:06 PM   #11
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Your KH and GH are out of sync, the GH is typically (always?) higher so even just shooting an average puts you around 7dH, which is fine... if it is really 4 though, a little low but again, not critical.

Weekly fertilizer, root tabs, (I don't think those are going to do much for the cabomba though), low fish load for the tank size.

When do you fertilize? If too near water changes (assuming that you treat your water, I say that because I don't) then the fertilizer is being nullified by the treatment.

Byron mentioned the bubbler, definitely shut that off... actually, I see two, shut them both off.

I don't really know how much light the fixture is giving you but even if it is on the low side it still is workable. I run LEDs that are considered low light with floaters and still have 18 species thriving... 8 more are on test so I can't say all 27 are yet. Crypts, bacopa, dwarf hygrophila, java moss and fern, vals, swords, pennywort... etc. Cabomba melted and some sort of dwarf sword is languishing. The only real difference between mine and yours may be that my water is VERY hard and I have a higher relative fish load... and 14 hours of light.

The tank doesn't look overly tall that the lighting should be that much of an issue unless you were trying to grow really light demanding plants and your photo period is already 12 hours.

Only things that I might suggest to try:
- off the bubblers
- test the GH once your test is in and get it above 6dGH if it's not already(seachem's equilibrium sounds like it would work well, it's not like tinkering with pH)
- be sure to not fertilize within two days of water changes
- get more fish (only if you want to though)

Jeff.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:13 PM   #12
 
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hm...the water conditioner could be nullifying my liquid fert. I always fert every Weds. Which is also when I top off my tanks.

I actually have 1 bubbler going now. And I have it running to keep my floaters away from the HOB. The HOB pushes the floaters under the water. I'll be getting a canister this weekend, so hopefully I get it quick enough and I can stop the bubblers.

I think this may just be because I don't have much of a bio-load and the other plants aren't thriving because my water hardness isn't par with what they like. I'm getting new fish this weekend as well. Maybe that'll help? It'll probly be atleast 12 schooling fish.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:15 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by FishyFishy89 View Post
I top off my tank every week. When I did water changes in my betta's tank the plants seemed to do worse.
Only top it off? I'm sort of surprised that the tank water is not harder, your source must be really soft. Even if all you did was to scoop out a large jug each day and pour another back in it would help the water quality. Get into that habit and up it to two jugs a day and if they are decent sized pitcher's, that's 1 gallon a day or the equivalent (sort of) to a 10% water change each week. With your fish load that is probably all you really need.

Are you on city water? I don't think that untreated water changes in the 1% range need to be treated.... others might know better, but only the jug water needs treatment when you do this, not the whole tank.

My daughter replaced the water in her betta's tank, yes, 100%, every week as a minimum and her little plants needed to constantly be trimmed and tossed. Water changes will not harm plants... handling might.

Jeff.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:19 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by FishyFishy89 View Post
hm...the water conditioner could be nullifying my liquid fert. I always fert every Weds. Which is also when I top off my tanks.

I actually have 1 bubbler going now. And I have it running to keep my floaters away from the HOB. The HOB pushes the floaters under the water. I'll be getting a canister this weekend, so hopefully I get it quick enough and I can stop the bubblers.

I think this may just be because I don't have much of a bio-load and the other plants aren't thriving because my water hardness isn't par with what they like. I'm getting new fish this weekend as well. Maybe that'll help? It'll probly be atleast 12 schooling fish.
When I added fish my plants perked up... or more like shot up... for a couple of weeks until everything balanced out. 12 more will definitely add more plantfood... ammonia and CO2 basically.

If you weren't replacing the HOB, I suggest to baffle the outflow... but for the sake of a couple more days, skip it.

How much do you need to top off each week?

Jeff.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:20 PM   #15
 
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I did put them in a cup during water changes.

I am on city water. And it tests exactly the same on the strips. I top off 3" every week.
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:40 PM   #16
 
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I think I am beginning to see the trouble spots.

First on the GH at 75 ppm which is about 4 dGH. I run my tanks between 4 and 6 dGH [varies according to the tank, not meaning a range in each tank]. Vallisneria will not likely last at this low a GH. And this could be part of the Cabomba issue. GH is primarily calcium and magnesium, and these nutrients are minimal in prepared fertilizers which are intended for those with more "average" water that will have a higher GH. But this is not the whole story, so I'll move on.

Light. You have exactly the same as I have over my 70g. This should be OK for the named plants, though Cabomba might be marginal.

Liquid fertilizer needs to be more regular, at least once a week. Presumably this is Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement ["Flourish" is mentioned in your log]. Be regular, once a week, on the day after the water change. I suspect this will not be sufficient for Cabomba.

To the Cabomba which I mention often above. This is a stem plant and thus fast growing, which means higher light and more nutrients than many other plants. Substrate tabs will not provide much, as stem plants take up nutrients via the leaves as well as the roots, and some only via leaves. Without regular liquid it will not make it, and you might have to do twice weekly. But I am fairly certain the CO2 would be insufficient. Increasing this would not have much benefit unless the GH is raised as well to keep the balance. But you could try twice weekly Flourish Comp and see; give it 4-5 weeks after any such change.

Considering the plants are not thriving, what about algae? Light for 12 hours is pretty extensive when there are nutrients less than what is likely needed.

Water changes should be done every week, no less than 1/3 of the tank volume, preferably 1/2. I agree this is not going to have that much impact on the plants, but it will on the fish. There are no where near sufficient plants in this tank to balance the fish. What is the nitrate level?

Byron.
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:02 PM   #17
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I did put them in a cup during water changes.

I am on city water. And it tests exactly the same on the strips. I top off 3" every week.
3"? Really? heck that's like 10-11 gallons. I don't lose any to evaporation so I am always surprised at some of what people's tanks do lose.

Here's a little anecdote as to what I would expect to have happen.

A great example is my office tank. It is a 20 gallon that was being only topped off since December and the evaporation was not huge, I think maybe 5%, a few plants, not that many fish... similar situation.

I measured the GH and it was 16dGH, city water. The nitrates were well over 80ppm, not good for the fish at all.

The tap was 9dGH.

So I'm also surprised that your tank water hardness tests the same as the tap. What normally happens is your water might come in at 4dGH, that hardness is basically dissolved solids (DS for short). When the water evaporates it leaves ALL the DS in the leftover water so if you lose, for an extreme example, 50% of your water in a week but you don't lose the DS. If you let the tank dry out you would see a large amount of build up on the bottom and sides, that's the hardness, it's persistent.

You have the same DS and half as much water, the hardness, if you measured it, would be near 6dGH. You add 50% water that is 4dGH from the tap and it dilutes the whole tank down to 5dGH.

The next week the same thing happens and you go to 7dGH.

The next week it goes to 10dGH....etc.

All this while the nitrates are building up as well as they have nowhere to go either.

I am sure that you will see people post that you should be doing at least 25% water changes weekly for the fish... this won't affect the plants so much but it can't hurt them either. I think that you could get away with smaller daily changes but you might be wise to do a couple of larger ones first, hit that nitrate as it may be climbing and, even if slowly, it adds up.

BTW, if you test the water with the new kits and the dGH is way different than the testing with the strips, pm Mitch and tell him that strips have been proven to be less accurate than liquid.

Jeff.
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:27 PM   #18
 
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There's no algae. There was diatoms, but I reduced my lighting by a few hours. It was from 8am-11pm. Liquid fert is given once a week. I suppose I could do it on a different day than my "top off" day. And just turn my "top off" day into a water change day.

Oh and Nitrates are testing at a consistent 15ppm. It hasn't changed since the second week of adding fish. It spiked(like normal) when cycling my tank. But when I got the fish/had them for approx 2 weeks, it hasn't changed.

Last edited by FishyFishy89; 04-11-2013 at 09:30 PM..
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:33 PM   #19
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FishyFishy89 View Post
There's no algae. There was diatoms, but I reduced my lighting by a few hours. It was from 8am-11pm. Liquid fert is given once a week. I suppose I could do it on a different day than my "top off" day. And just turn my "top off" day into a water change day.

Oh and Nitrates are testing at a consistent 15ppm. It hasn't changed since the second week of adding fish. It spiked(like normal) when cycling my tank. But when I got the fish/had them for approx 2 weeks, it hasn't changed.
I would implement water changes. Nitrates at 15 ppm is not dangerous, but it is much higher than these fish appreciate. The plants are obviously not utilizing them either, which should improve as things get balanced out.
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Old 04-11-2013, 09:39 PM   #20
 
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I thought nitrates were okay until they reached 20ppm? Whats an acceptable level?
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