Plants are starting to look a little see through
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Plants are starting to look a little see through

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Plants are starting to look a little see through
Old 06-25-2009, 11:24 AM   #1
 
Question Plants are starting to look a little see through

Ok, first thing's first:

20 gallon high
Aqueon 30 HOB
Fluval 305 (my tank is a little overstocked thus the exuberant amount of filtration, am planning on upgrading within the week to a 30 extra high)
No CO2 unit
Regular gravel
A few Amazon Sword sprouts, some Jungle Val, water wysteria, some red lugwiga, a banana plant, and I wanna say a crypt of some sort? I'm not 100% certain, I bought it not expecting it tolive but it's flourished.
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0
pH 6.8ish (ran out of tests, that was the last reading, plan on picking more up soon, that was about 5 days ago)

If I missed anything let me know. Now, onto the reason for the post.

A few days ago I noticed that the crypt (?) was starting to get a few small spots on it's lower leaves, and the leaves were starting to look see through. I examined the others more closely and noticed that the banana plant, although it's leaves were still a very bright green, were starting to just barely look like they might trying to become see through as well. The only corolation I've really noticed is when i put in the amazon swords it might have started then. I also wondered if it could have something to do with the fact that I now have no nitrates that are reading (given that was a strip test and my next tests will be liquid). Now I'm going to be completely honest, my tank was a mess, I had gotten extremely busy and neglected doing water changes or tests and my nitrates were very very high at one point, so when I tested it the other day to discover they were at 0 I was astounded. Could their new invisibility attempt be due to lack of food? I did dose with some FloraPride made by TetraPlant and that seemed to help. When I switch my tank over to the 30 XH I plan on putting plant gravel in instead of the regular gravel, not sure which yet. Thanks in advance for your time and I hope I provided enough information. (I can also provide pictures and will hunt down the name of that plant)

- Tiffani
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Old 06-25-2009, 11:28 AM   #2
 
Oh, and I have one Flora-Glo light in my strip light. NOW I think that's everything
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Old 06-26-2009, 08:33 AM   #3
 
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hmmmmm sounds to me like there could be a lack of iron. You mentioned ferts but i dont know anything about those kind. Try getting an iron enriched fert

hope all goes well :D
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Old 06-27-2009, 01:31 AM   #4
 
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I agree probably iron, although I have had other nutrient deficiencies appear much the same. A good liquid fertilizer will solve that issue, Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Plant Supplement is good, and Kent's Freshwater Plant Supplement is good. Make sure it is a complete fertilizer, as plants need a number of macro- and micro-nutrients in porportion and that is the best way to provide it. Using only iron for instance might cause more trouble (I did this many years ago). Things have to be balanced.

One other thing is the light; I assume the tube on a 20g high would be 15 watts? Try the fertilizer before spending money on more lights, but if the fertilizer doesn't improve things in 2 weeks, it may be the light. A stronger tube might be all that is needed then, say a Life-Glo or Power-Glo instead of the Flora-Glo. But try the fertilizer first.

I use Flourish now twice a week. Twice in the last five months I have gone down to once a week as an experiment [no point over-dosing if not needed] and both times within 1-2 weeks the plants started getting yellowing leaves and some had the transparency. After returning to twice a week, within another 1-2 weeks the new leaves were bright green again. Obviously the nutrients.
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Old 06-27-2009, 09:11 AM   #5
 
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I just want to add that seeing your nitrAtes go to zero and stay there is common in a well planted tank. I was a little taken aback when my readings for nitrAtes started showing zero as I thought, "Oh no, my tank is crashing" but recently learned that this is the norm for a well planted tank.

I agree with Byron's info; I now follow the same protocol and my plants are definitely improving.
PS. Swords are heavy root feeders and benefit from root tabs (I use the Flourish brand). My sword plants get a tab right at the roots. Other plants like crypts and stem plants get a piece of broken tab in between them. HTH

Last edited by aunt kymmie; 06-27-2009 at 09:15 AM..
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Old 06-27-2009, 05:04 PM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aunt kymmie View Post
I just want to add that seeing your nitrAtes go to zero and stay there is common in a well planted tank. I was a little taken aback when my readings for nitrAtes started showing zero as I thought, "Oh no, my tank is crashing" but recently learned that this is the norm for a well planted tank.

I agree with Byron's info; I now follow the same protocol and my plants are definitely improving.
PS. Swords are heavy root feeders and benefit from root tabs (I use the Flourish brand). My sword plants get a tab right at the roots. Other plants like crypts and stem plants get a piece of broken tab in between them. HTH
Good points Kym. Also I see test strips were mentioned, and the new liquid test kit may yield different results.

Also forgot to comment that with the crypts, they may melt completely. They do not like any change in water parameters, and your fluctuating nitrates might trigger this. Mine have melted several times due to pH or temperature fluctuations (accidental) that were more than they prefer. If they do, leave them alone (other than removing the "mess" of dissolved leaves quickly) and they should recover with new leaves. The roots usually remain alive when the leaves "melt".

One last point Tiffani, and not scolding, but do not neglect the weekly partial water change. I know we sometimes get busy with things, but even if you go a day or two longer, or do it a day sooner, do the change rather than wait another week. I can assure you it makes a world of difference to the tank's biological equilibrium, the plants and the fish.
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Old 06-29-2009, 11:38 PM   #7
 
Ok so lots is happening at the moment. I did a water change (kind of) today, took out about 3 gallons of water mostly for the good bacteria to add to a tank i had broken down to actually turn into a nifty little betta tank, but is now being used to house a gold gourami with fungus and red on it, and yeah i'm not sure all that's wrong but i got guilted into taking it bc otherwise it would have just died and I'm a pushover for playing the hero. It'll probably die but I'm trying. That's also how I ended up with a half dead lobo brain coral but more on that in another post.

Ok so basically i did that water change (not a gravel siphon, just pulled the water from the top) and added in some flourish tablets, 3 all together, one at the base of the crypt(?) plant, one for the swords and one over by where the banana plant and other guys are growing. It is a standard 20 gal light so yes, i'm fairly sure it's 15 watts. Another question, what do I do when I switch over the the 30 extra high? I imagine I'll need more lighting since the tank is deeper? or will what i have be fine?

Time now to just bide my time until i start to see progress or decline. Wish me luck!
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Old 06-30-2009, 12:55 AM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadowcat0789 View Post
Ok so lots is happening at the moment. I did a water change (kind of) today, took out about 3 gallons of water mostly for the good bacteria to add to a tank i had broken down to actually turn into a nifty little betta tank, but is now being used to house a gold gourami with fungus and red on it, and yeah i'm not sure all that's wrong but i got guilted into taking it bc otherwise it would have just died and I'm a pushover for playing the hero. It'll probably die but I'm trying. That's also how I ended up with a half dead lobo brain coral but more on that in another post.

Ok so basically i did that water change (not a gravel siphon, just pulled the water from the top) and added in some flourish tablets, 3 all together, one at the base of the crypt(?) plant, one for the swords and one over by where the banana plant and other guys are growing. It is a standard 20 gal light so yes, i'm fairly sure it's 15 watts. Another question, what do I do when I switch over the the 30 extra high? I imagine I'll need more lighting since the tank is deeper? or will what i have be fine?

Time now to just bide my time until i start to see progress or decline. Wish me luck!
For the 30g, probably need two tubes. I have a 33g which is 36 inches long so not a high, and one tube which is a 25w at that size (30 inch tube) and it works but probably just. For a high 30g which would be a shorter tank the fixture would probably hold only a 20w. However, a more intense tube such as a Power-Glo from Hagen or a Lightning Rod T6 Superlux Ultra Daylight [T6 is just their name, not a special compact or anything] might work; the light penetrates the water better, but it is a bit cool/blue looking. Partially depends upon what plants you want. Low light such as crypts, annubias, java fern should fare OK, and with luck maybe swords like Echinodorus bleheri. But a two-tube fixture, or if you're going with something new than get one of the newer compact tube fixtures that are more intense and brighter light for the same wattage; I'm thinking of the T5 fluorescents. I need a new fixture for my 70g and I'm planning on one of these unless something else comes along.
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