Plants suddenly in poor health - Page 2
Tropical Fish

Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources » Freshwater Fish and Aquariums » Beginner Freshwater Aquarium » Beginner Planted Aquarium » Plants suddenly in poor health

Plants suddenly in poor health

This is a discussion on Plants suddenly in poor health within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Originally Posted by Granberry Well, I wanted to give a little update! Before tackling my 29-gallon tank, I set up a 13.5-gallon tank with ...

Reply
LinkBack Thread Tools vBmenu Seperating Image Search this Thread vBmenu Seperating Image
Plants suddenly in poor health
Old 03-22-2012, 12:17 PM   #11
 
Byron's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Granberry View Post
Well, I wanted to give a little update! Before tackling my 29-gallon tank, I set up a 13.5-gallon tank with 6 gallons softened tap water and 7 gallons of unsoftened water from our well. It changed from orange to green at 11 drops (using the API GH test). Note that this smaller tank has sand as substrate instead of the specialty substrate from aquariumplants. (Someday I'm going to ask somebody why we can put a man on the moon but can't sell sand that doesn't require so much rinsing!).

A few days later (it's a pain in the neck to traipse to the well to gather the unsoftened water), we took out 10 gallons of my 29-gallon tank and replaced it with 10 gallons of unsoftened water. After doing so, the water changed color after 9 drops.

I had moved all the plants from the 29-gallon to the smaller tank (didn't plant them, just plopped them in), and then added liquid fertilizer to the small tank and moved the light to where it would shine indirectly on the smaller tank. I'm going out of town for a few days, but I'm hopeful that when I come back the plants will be healthy and I can spread the plants out over both tanks in the final form.

The advice I've gotten from this board has been invaluable! I would have continued losing plants forever I guess because I wouldn't have ever figured things out on my own. Thanks again!
Keep us posted. One comment on your absence, just in case you are not aware--do not leave the light on 24/7. If you have a timer, the type sold for a couple dollars in hardware stores for table lamps will do, fine; but if not, leaving the light off is less trouble than leaving it on. Algae is bound to appear under continual light, plus it is very stressful on fish and would likely cause an outbreak of ich.
Byron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2012, 02:06 PM   #12
 
Granberry's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Byron View Post
Keep us posted. One comment on your absence, just in case you are not aware--do not leave the light on 24/7. If you have a timer, the type sold for a couple dollars in hardware stores for table lamps will do, fine; but if not, leaving the light off is less trouble than leaving it on. Algae is bound to appear under continual light, plus it is very stressful on fish and would likely cause an outbreak of ich.
Posted via Mobile Device
Granberry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2012, 02:13 PM   #13
 
Granberry's Avatar
 
I have a housekeeper and gave specific instructions for that so hopefully all will be well! I am anxious to get things planted. Plus my Celestial Pearl Danios are probably out of quarantine at the shop so I can get them and see if they like the plants too:)
Posted via Mobile Device
Granberry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2012, 01:27 AM   #14
 
Granberry's Avatar
 
Byron, I tested the water hardness again this evening in my tanks. The unstocked 13.5-gallon tank is holding steady, but my 29-gallon tank (the one with the substrate from aquariumplants.com) is not. You may recall that it had gone from transparent immediately to green when I first tested it; I then performed a 33% water change using unsoftened water directly from my well, and it then reacted after 9 drops. Well this time, the water reacted after 5 drops. I am really surprised because it was only the 21st when I tested it before, and I hadn't treated the water in any way (other than adding plants and permanently removing a piece of driftwood). It got a lot softer in just a few days, and this concerns me that I am going to continue having nutrient problems in this tank.

Do you suggest I take out the aquariumplants.com substrate and switch it for something else? I have some aragonite bio-active sand which I had picked up from Petco because I liked the color. I was planning to return it because I think it's actually unsuitable for freshwater because it makes the pH unstable or something, but if it's usable I have it. I can easily pick up whatever would be best though.

Not to cram too much into one question, but I also have to make a decision about lighting. I have one AquaticLife T5 HO fixture (2x24) with one 6000K bulb plus one other bulb (for saltwater). For the past couple of days, I have been moving that light back and forth between my 2 tanks, having it shine indirectly on each tank for about 8 hours a day each so as not to overwhelm either tank with intense light. What light system would be the best for the smaller tank? I intend for it to house Celestial Pearl Danios only, and to have heavy plants which require low to moderate light (dwarf hairgrass and red and green wendtii). If the T5 system is best for that, then the light I already have will work because it is adjustable in length, so I'll just keep switching it out throughout the day or buy another one just like it. but if it is too strong, then I'm open to suggestions for something better.

Thanks for any advice!

Last edited by Granberry; 03-25-2012 at 01:33 AM.. Reason: typo
Granberry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2012, 06:54 AM   #15
 
Geomancer's Avatar
 
T5HO is more for saltwater where corals need very bright light, and the fish are use to being in relatively shallow water and direct sunlight all day.

Freshwater fish however mostly come from forests, rivers, swaps, and marshes and typically have tree cover so they don't get direct light.

For your tanks, I'd recommend just a single T8 fixture. The 29 gallon you could maybe do a dual T8 without crossing the line, but a single T8 will work.

Without injecting CO2 and heavy fert dosing, using a dual T5HO fixture algae is pretty much a guarantee.
Geomancer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2012, 12:01 PM   #16
 
Byron's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Granberry View Post
Byron, I tested the water hardness again this evening in my tanks. The unstocked 13.5-gallon tank is holding steady, but my 29-gallon tank (the one with the substrate from aquariumplants.com) is not. You may recall that it had gone from transparent immediately to green when I first tested it; I then performed a 33% water change using unsoftened water directly from my well, and it then reacted after 9 drops. Well this time, the water reacted after 5 drops. I am really surprised because it was only the 21st when I tested it before, and I hadn't treated the water in any way (other than adding plants and permanently removing a piece of driftwood). It got a lot softer in just a few days, and this concerns me that I am going to continue having nutrient problems in this tank.

Do you suggest I take out the aquariumplants.com substrate and switch it for something else? I have some aragonite bio-active sand which I had picked up from Petco because I liked the color. I was planning to return it because I think it's actually unsuitable for freshwater because it makes the pH unstable or something, but if it's usable I have it. I can easily pick up whatever would be best though.

Not to cram too much into one question, but I also have to make a decision about lighting. I have one AquaticLife T5 HO fixture (2x24) with one 6000K bulb plus one other bulb (for saltwater). For the past couple of days, I have been moving that light back and forth between my 2 tanks, having it shine indirectly on each tank for about 8 hours a day each so as not to overwhelm either tank with intense light. What light system would be the best for the smaller tank? I intend for it to house Celestial Pearl Danios only, and to have heavy plants which require low to moderate light (dwarf hairgrass and red and green wendtii). If the T5 system is best for that, then the light I already have will work because it is adjustable in length, so I'll just keep switching it out throughout the day or buy another one just like it. but if it is too strong, then I'm open to suggestions for something better.

Thanks for any advice!
You do not want to use aragonite substrates except in a tank that needs hard and basic water. Aragonite is calcareous, much like dolomite, and will release calcium and magnesium into the water over time. This lasts a long time too, years. I would only use a substrate like this in a marine tank or rift lake cichlids.

The aquariumplants substrate may affect GH and pH, I don't know. Some enriched substrates do for a short time, but I've no experience with this particular substrate.

An aquarium takes time to settle, it cannot be rushed. Rather than changing this or that, I would leave it and monitor it for a few weeks. The gradual changes will be less trouble to the fish than continually doing something which will only increase the fluctuations.

Another possibility is the effect of the water softener. I don't know how it softens; we earlier established it does not add sodium (salt), but it must do something to lower the GH. Whatever this is, may not be permanent. After all, these things are only intended to give you softer water for washing, not for keeping fish.

On the light, I'm with geomancer.
Byron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2012, 12:16 PM   #17
 
Granberry's Avatar
 
I was concerned the CPD would be stressed by using that light anyway because they're such small fish, and the light is quite bright and there is no cover to the smaller tank to come between the light and the tank.

This is the light I have been using BTW:
Amazon.com: 30 in. AquaticLife Dual Lamp T5 HO Freshwater Light Fixture - 2 x 24W: Pet Supplies Amazon.com: 30 in. AquaticLife Dual Lamp T5 HO Freshwater Light Fixture - 2 x 24W: Pet Supplies

I am wondering if the following would be a good system for the smaller tank:
Amazon.com: Hagen Glo T5 Ho Linear Fluorescent Lighting System, Single, 24-Inch: Pet Supplies Amazon.com: Hagen Glo T5 Ho Linear Fluorescent Lighting System, Single, 24-Inch: Pet Supplies

I realize that is still a T5 system, but since it is a single bulb, and I thought that might help. Besides, I cannot locate a 24 inch T8 system at the moment. Is there a specific T8 system you prefer? Will using a single bulb reduce the light intensity suffiently?

Edited to add: Guess my response was crossing with yours. :) I have mentioned earlier that I'm a fidgeter, and waiting for things to settle isn't my strong suit, but I will try. :) On the softener issue, I had read this a couple of weeks ago, "Domestic water softeners do not produce soft water in the sense that aquarists mean. What domestic water softeners do is remove the temporary hardness (such as carbonates) that potentially furs up pipes and heaters by replacing it with permanent hardness (such as chlorides) that does not. While you can pass this softened water through a reverse-osmosis filter to remove the permanent hardness as well, until you have done so, you shouldn't consider the softened water as being suitable for soft water fish. In fact, aquarists are divided on whether the resulting softened water is safe for keeping fish at all. The odd balance of minerals in softened water is not typical of any of the environments from which tropical fish are collected. While the chloride levels are much higher than those soft water fish are adapted to, the levels of carbonate hardness are too low for the health of hard water fishes like Rift Valley cichlids, goldfish, and livebearers"

It makes sense using softened water for plants will be somewhat difficult to predict because of the weird water chemistry that never occurs in natural settings.

Thank everyone for all the help! If you have any suggestions for better light systems, I'd be grateful, but if not, I'm grateful anyway! :)

Last edited by Granberry; 03-25-2012 at 12:33 PM..
Granberry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2012, 01:28 PM   #18
 
Byron's Avatar
 
For light over a 20g, this is a situation where I would recommend incandescent. I have a two-socket incandescent fixture over my 20g and my 10g, with two 10w GE Daylight 6500K CFL bulbs, and the plants are thriving. I've also fewer (which is to say no) algae problems in these tanks--may or may not be related.

Incandescent fixtures are much less expensive, and they come with two sockets. The CFL bulbs can be acquired in hardware stores and come in wattages from 10w and up. I use the 10w.
Byron is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Byron For This Useful Post:
Granberry (03-25-2012)
Old 03-25-2012, 01:55 PM   #19
 
Quantum's Avatar
 
Quote:
Domestic water softeners do not produce soft water in the sense that aquarists mean. What domestic water softeners do is remove the temporary hardness (such as carbonates) that potentially furs up pipes and heaters by replacing it with permanent hardness (such as chlorides) that does not. While you can pass this softened water through a reverse-osmosis filter to remove the permanent hardness as well, until you have done so, you shouldn't consider the softened water as being suitable for soft water fish. In fact, aquarists are divided on whether the resulting softened water is safe for keeping fish at all. The odd balance of minerals in softened water is not typical of any of the environments from which tropical fish are collected. While the chloride levels are much higher than those soft water fish are adapted to, the levels of carbonate hardness are too low for the health of hard water fishes like Rift Valley cichlids, Goldfish, and livebearers"
most of this does not make any sense at all

hardness in this context refers to mineral content (GH), primarily Ca and Mg, this is what is called 'permanent' hardness, not chlorides, I've never heard chlorides referred to in any way as being related to hardness, either GH or KH

water softeners are for reducing mineral content/GH, most are called 'ion-exchange' in that they exchange the Ca and Mg cations with sodium from salt (NaCl), it is because of this increase in Na that water from this type of water softener is not recommended for aquarium use

Last edited by Quantum; 03-25-2012 at 01:57 PM..
Quantum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2012, 03:21 PM   #20
 
Granberry's Avatar
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quantum View Post
most of this does not make any sense at all

hardness in this context refers to mineral content (GH), primarily Ca and Mg, this is what is called 'permanent' hardness, not chlorides, I've never heard chlorides referred to in any way as being related to hardness, either GH or KH

water softeners are for reducing mineral content/GH, most are called 'ion-exchange' in that they exchange the Ca and Mg cations with sodium from salt (NaCl), it is because of this increase in Na that water from this type of water softener is not recommended for aquarium use

I tend to think of these situations as "Well, I have hard water; this fish/plants do better in soft water, so if I soften it, it will be just like the water in their natural habitat." The article points out that water that comes from a softener is unlike water in any natural environment. A lot of people think water softeners add salt to a system and are therefore unsuitable for fishkeeping. Even though they don't add salt, the water can still be unsuitable because it's out of balance nutrient wise.

My knowledge on this stuff is very basic, so it's quite likely I misunderstood the gist of the article.

Again, I appreciate all of the replies!
Granberry is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
coral health Talon Coral and Reef Creatures 12 03-24-2012 11:51 AM
Corys seem health but... riri1263 Catfish 4 02-04-2011 07:15 PM
Health question Betta gladiator Freshwater and Tropical Fish 1 08-13-2010 02:04 AM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:15 PM.