Plants rotting from roots up/lighting question - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 6 Old 05-03-2014, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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Plants rotting from roots up/lighting question

1. Tank size

2. Watts and type of lighting
Life-Glo 20W 6700k (on for about 11 hours, off for 13)

3. Number and types of plants
I couldn't tell you the names if you paid me... There's about 5 plants in there right now.

4. Substrate type
Regular aquarium gravel

5. Age of tank
Hard to say. I had all these rocks in an old aquarium for some years, and I recently moved to this 25L, but I also did a big clean to move the aquarium. It's been in it's new aquarium with all the plants and everything for a solid 4 months.

I'm at my wits end with live plants and I'm about to rip up all the remaining ones and go back to fake ones. I'm really sorry this is so long.

I have no problems with any short plant (anubias, amazon sword) but I can not keep any tall plants alive. My only two non-small plants (but not tall) are a bushy, long leaved one, and one that looks like tiny lily pads on stems, and they don't give me issues.

Any other tall plant I've put in my aquarium tends to lose all it's leaves from the gravel up, until it reaches about half way. Then the stem starts turning black and then the rest of the plant dies off.

Could anyone give me any tips on how to make them survive? I'm picking leaves daily and cleaning my gravel almost once a week and now I'm getting tiny pests in my tank (that I know are from rotting leaves because I am not over feeding. Any left over food within 2 minutes is taken out with a turkey baster, and my frogs are fed the food directly from tube to mouth just twice a week.)

I am adding liquid called 'Flourish' once a week and it doesn't seem to help at all.

I've thought about maybe planting each stem further apart from the others, because I think the plant is shading itself or something? I've done that right now for my remaining tall plant that's not quite to the rotting stage yet in hopes of saving it. It looks horrible though and I'm hoping that's not what I'll have to do with any (if any...) future plants.

I also have a question regarding the algae issue.

I'm constantly dealing with algae (even with 5/6 oto fish. I had 6 but I'm missing a tiny one which I've looked everywhere for and I think it was probably eaten by a frog. :/) so I know my light is enough for the plants. But I'm constantly rubbing algae off plants/roots and I'm wondering if I'm doing something wrong with that as well. I'm not expecting a sparkling tank, but any plant that had dangling roots (like the amazon sword, it has a tall piece floating above it) are COVERED with algae. My one bushy plant is always covered in algae and I keep rubbing globs of it off as many leaves as I can. How can I prevent this?

I'm no plant artist so even when all the plants are alive it doesn't look nearly as good as everyone's I see here. But when the plants are dying and there's leaves everywhere it's a real eye sore. :(

Thank you to anyone who takes the time to offer suggestions. I apologize for my ignorance with names/terms, I'm still a newbie and the pet store here doesn't offer much information.
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post #2 of 6 Old 05-04-2014, 11:17 AM
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Quick question... the Flourish... Is it "Excel" or "Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Tank"?

Every kid, regardless of what they are going through, is ONE caring adult away from being a success story. ~ Josh Shipp, Teen Behavior Expert
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post #3 of 6 Old 05-04-2014, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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"Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Tank" :)
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post #4 of 6 Old 05-06-2014, 01:47 PM
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I have the exact same problem and I've posted about it before as well. I wish I had answers for you, but I'm still struggling and doing a lot of trial and error.

My single tube T-8 (even at 6500K) just wasn't cutting it. I think my tank was too deep 'cause it was "dark" down by the roots. I decided to try 3 clip lamps from Walmart with 3 compact fluorescent daylight bulbs (6500K) and it is SO much brighter. The light gets all the way down to the substrate and to the bottoms of the plants. I've only had this set up for about a week, but I'm seeing some new growth on my "tall" plants. I have wisteria and water sprite.

Another issue of mine might be that I get my water from a tap that is connected to a water softener. Don't know where you are getting your water from. But I think that has limited me to certain plants that I can keep.

I also want to try root tabs for my swords because they don't seem to be thriving. Lots of dead leaves.

I know how frustrated you are...cause I'm in the same boat. I just keep trying new things and hopefully I'll find something that works. Good luck!

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post #5 of 6 Old 05-12-2014, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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Since I'm also having massive amounts of algae, I decided not to get a brighter light. I did some research and decided to try a co2 injection system.

I've read it helps a lot and I've read it does nothing. Since I wasn't getting any advice elsewhere, I decided to try it out. It's only been going for a few days so it's not long enough to say if it works or not.

Supposedly I should see a difference in 15-20 days so I guess I'll see then. If it keeps up like this I'll probably just trash any tall plants left and stick with the short ones, or just go back to fake ones.
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post #6 of 6 Old 05-17-2014, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Just posting to update in case someone else comes across this post with the same problem.

It's only been two weeks since I spread the plant apart and started cutting off the rotted part. I cut off the rotted part up to root furthest from the rot, and replanted it.

It's only been a week since I started co2 drip, so I'm not sure if I can say 100% it's helping.

But just today I started seeing little leaves starting to grow on the bare parts of the stems where all the other leaves died off.

So I'm assuming my guess was correct; the plant was shading itself and causing itself to rot off. :/ I'm hoping that with the co2 drip that things will start surviving better.

I'm hoping in some months this little guy will be back to it's previous state. So far so good. :)
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