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Suggestions for light / substrate..

This is a discussion on Suggestions for light / substrate.. within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> Originally Posted by jennesque I will get picture of the anubias tonight.. if any more of the pennywort looks melty I will get a ...

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Suggestions for light / substrate..
Old 06-15-2012, 02:43 PM   #21
 
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Originally Posted by jennesque View Post
I will get picture of the anubias tonight.. if any more of the pennywort looks melty I will get a picture of that. I guess it's probably best if I get my water hardness tested this weekend. My LFS has the API liquid tests so they should be pretty accurate. If my water is like yours then maybe I will need to see about adding something like Mineralize or Equilibrium.

I wasn't really thinking I would switch to the AV line for ferts, but I was curious so I thought I would ask Seachem what they suggest. I laughed when they said the whole line. Of course they'd say that. But yes, I agree that at least the water conditioner seems like a good idea. I tried it out yesterday and no one died. And the dosing seems to be the same as prime so the price difference isn't too bad.

As of right now I can say I've got a 28gal, I dose once a week with Flourish comprehensive (should I dose twice like in your sticky?). I just in the last maybe 2-3 weeks switched from one 18" t8 to three 13watt CFLs, either way I had 6500k bulbs. Right now, since I removed the Vals I have one of the CFLs off for a couple days until I get my new plants in. This is because I've got some barely off white PFS as the substrate and the tank is very bright with all three lights on and so few plants. Because of my sponge filter, the floating pennywort is always pushed to the front half of my tank which also helps cover the anubias and java moss. So right now there is just light pouring onto bare sand in the back half of the tank; I felt that would make the fish feel stressed so I lessened the lighting. I should also mention the lights are on for 10 hours with
4 or 5 hour break where the tank gets a minimal amount of indirect lighting. I do this so I have more time to see my tank. Also, the cfl in the middle is over the brace in the middle or the tank so it doesn't let out the full amount of light. I thought this would still be OK since switching to the cfls more than doubles my light anyways.

Like I said, I will take some pics tonight. There were a couple months I did neglect to dose and I've just been keeping up for the last two months. I'm not sure if the yellow parts with green veins is something that happened because of the previous lack of consistent ferts. The new leaves aren't yellow, they're just a few shades lighter than the mature leaves.

Would the pennywort melt because of the increased light? I know that crypts can, but I didn't think any of my plants would.
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I will await the photos before suggesting in detail, but to answer a couple of your questions: yes, bright light is stressful on a white substrate so that's good. The more stuff you have on the substrate the better, meaning chunks of dark wood, plants, rocks if suitable to the fish, dried leaves.

And yes a change in light can impact many plants. My Ceratopteris cornuta reacts to any changes in parameters or light or nutrients. Even some swords will. Pennywort I would expect too. I base some ogf this on having moved plants from one tank to another, and they frequently react to the changes.

If you want to go with AquaVitro, I would suggest:
Premier (the conditioner)
Envy (this has some macro and some micro (trace) minerals, but no where near all that are necessary)
Carbonate (potassium, and bicarbonates)
Mineralize (only if hardness is an issue, as this will boost the calcium and magnesium)

Activate--is phosphorus with some potassium. It should not be necessary to dose any phosphorus as sufficient will come in with fish foods. The additional potassium in this might benefit, depending upon the amount supplied by Carbonate.
Activate--this is nitrogen, as ammonium, nitrate and urea. In a natural-method tank with fish I see no reason whatsoever for dosing nitrogen.
Propel--this is iron which I earlier suggested is probably not needed.

Some of these say 3 doses per week. This will get expensive. And nutrients are still missing. Flourish Comprehensive has all of them (except oxygen, hydrogen and carbon) and once a week is sufficient.
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Old 06-15-2012, 08:53 PM   #22
 
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Yeah, now I'm even more so sure that Aqua-Vitro isn't in my future for more than anything than a water conditioner. That's just too much stuff to be bothering with.

I took some pictures. Here goes:


Here's mainly to show the color of the anubias new growth.. I noticed that the leaves once fully opened seem normal in color so maybe this isn't an issue..


Here's a picture of the yellow & green veins.


Here's just an overall pic.. I don't know if the case with all the damage, but some snails did eat some holes and such in the leaves. They also suffered a lot hen I was first getting them in the tank ans shipment damaged them a bit. They hadn't grown much until I kept up with ferts, recently there has been noticeable growth.


Here's a wilty pennywort leaf.. I'm not sure if maybe these are being covered in algae and that's causing them to die off?


And here's another problem area of pennywort. This is about all I could find between these two pics though so most of it is OK.

I did ask my LFS about testing the water and they can do a liquid test for GH and test the tap water if I want. They said for my area the tap water GH is usually between 4-7.. and I'm assuming the water is getting softer as it ages in my tank (or is just that it gets more acidic typically in the tank?). I have some pretty soft water I'm dealing with..

They charge $3 for a full water test unless I spend at least $5.. lol. Hopefully I find something I need to buy I guess.

When I say this I'm not ignoring your advise in regards iron.. I don't plan on supplementing irn on it's own, but I have some red plants being delivered (two Ludwigia hybrids which I can't think of the name but they are supposed to survive in medium, possibly lower lights..). I know they absorb more iron.. just concerned about that being a possibly issue. Although from what I'm reading online my symptoms can be from lack or iron, potassium, and/manganese.. the only one I think I'm lacking from flourish in manganese. I won't be surprised if I'm completely wrong.. lol. Looking forward to you sharing your experience and knowledge. :)

Last edited by jennesque; 06-15-2012 at 09:07 PM.. Reason: pictures werent showing up..
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Old 06-15-2012, 09:31 PM   #23
 
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Don't think those pictures are showing up.. same pics, same order as the descriptions.. here's attempt number three lol. Sorry if they're large and poor quality.













Also MTS like to climb up to the pennywort.. would they munch on the leaves?
Btw, I'm going to try Red Root Floater out but if it doesn't work I'm thinking of changing to frogbit.. I'm probably replacing the pennywort so if I can keep everything happy but the pennywort that's OK too. I want more of a root system.. my gourami loves hanging out at the top with floating plants. :)
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Old 06-16-2012, 01:37 PM   #24
 
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I read back through this thread to refresh my memory. This is the 28g, with three 13w CFL 6500K bulbs, on for 5 hours, off 4-5, on 5 hours daily. Flourish Comp once weekly. And the Pennywort is new.

The new Anubias leaf being yellow is likely nutrient deficiency. Your Pennywort leaf is similar to what I've had recently. Potassium might be low, but as this is connected to the GH issue (Equilibrium) I would suggest first course of action should be raising the GH a tad. And I do see some slight evidence of excess iron (the brown patches) which is almost certainly due to a calcium deficiency, as it was with me.

If you do get the tank water tested, take the sample the day prior to the water change so it will be after 6-7 days. This will give you a better idea of the GH prior to a water change which will replenish the calcium/magnesium and the fertilizer which will add more as well. When I was working out the dose for Equilibrium i tested GH the day of the water change, just as i started, and when I saw this number remaining at 5-6 dGH I was satisfied I was dosing sufficient. The GH should lower during the week as the plants use the minerals. If testing this way you find the GH below 4, then i would use Equilibrium which will add calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and manganese. After maybe 4 weeks, the plants may respond favourably and that will be it. If they don't, potassium may be next. But we don't know how much of this is in your source water, so i would try Equilibrium first.

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Old 06-17-2012, 09:28 PM   #25
 
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OK, thank you..
You're right that it is the 28gal tank. The pennywort isn't new but the lighting is new. Last night I just added some ludwigia hybrids.. Red and then the cross between repens and another one. I can't remember right now. I'm also giving some Red Root floaters a try but I won't be surprised if they don't work in my lighting.

I did a water change between planting the new plants so I will have to wait a week to test my water. Now, I did switch to using premier as a water conditioner so if my water's GH is at like 4 should I maybe hold off on using Equilibrium since I am adding potassium now and taking out less from my tap water since I was previously using Prime? I'm thinking if my GH is almost nonexistent then it sounds like Equilibrium (or Mineralize) will be needed regardless. Just didn't know if I could hold off.

Should I maybe start dosing Flourish twice a week, since comparing it to Equilibrium, it just looks like Equilibrium just adds more Magnesium and Manganese.. Premier adds more potassium. But I know a second dose of flourish also adds a lot more stuff than Equilibrium on it's own.

Also, this probably would just make things complicated, but I do already have a bottle of Kent's Marine liquid calcium, which is Calcium chloride, which I do see is in Flourish. Should I add a few drops of that? I'm guessing not.. just thought I'd ask since I already have some on hand.
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Old 06-18-2012, 03:58 PM   #26
 
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I did a water change between planting the new plants so I will have to wait a week to test my water. Now, I did switch to using premier as a water conditioner so if my water's GH is at like 4 should I maybe hold off on using Equilibrium since I am adding potassium now and taking out less from my tap water since I was previously using Prime? I'm thinking if my GH is almost nonexistent then it sounds like Equilibrium (or Mineralize) will be needed regardless. Just didn't know if I could hold off.
I would suggest one change/additive at a time. First, because this is the best way to determine what is lacking, second it prevents overdosing this or that when this or that isn't needed and something else is, and third it is less expensive. Three good reasons to me.

And yes, I would not start adding Equilibrium yet. With the mineral in the source water plus the Premier and Flourish Comp, there may be sufficient. Give that a couple weeks and see how the plants respond.

Quote:
Should I maybe start dosing Flourish twice a week, since comparing it to Equilibrium, it just looks like Equilibrium just adds more Magnesium and Manganese.. Premier adds more potassium. But I know a second dose of flourish also adds a lot more stuff than Equilibrium on it's own.
I tried this, it didn't work--but my hard minerals were non-existant, you at least have some in the tap water. But there is still the issue of adding too much of other stuff. I would go with the previous suggestion first.

Equilibrium is calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium and iron. Flourish has all these plus the other nutrients, and in proportion to each other. But Flourish Comp is intended as a supplement to tap water, whereas Equilibrium is intended as a replacement for non-existant minerals, whether by soft tap water or using RO.

Quote:
Also, this probably would just make things complicated, but I do already have a bottle of Kent's Marine liquid calcium, which is Calcium chloride, which I do see is in Flourish. Should I add a few drops of that? I'm guessing not.. just thought I'd ask since I already have some on hand.
I would wait, as explained above. This may not be necessary.
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Old 06-19-2012, 12:07 AM   #27
 
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Alright. I'll give a couple weeks and hopefully I won't be back here too quickly. I'm thinking it'll be a while to see a difference in the anubias since they grow so slowly. All but one of the new leaves looks healthy. :)

I will closely monitor my new plants. I hope they do well because I want the background of my tank to fill in!

The pennywort still looks kind of rough, but I'm hoping my new Red Root Floaters can take their place anyways. I read that they do really well in stagnant water outside so I've got some in a cup and hope to grow them and transplant them to the tank. Got my finger's crossed!

Thanks for all the help! I'm glad I was on the right track this time! :)
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Old 06-25-2012, 12:01 AM   #28
 
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Just wanted to post an update.. my new plants have been in for a week and I've noticed growth.. the only plant I've had problems with has been my Red Root Floater but I think that's mostly because my MTS are eating them.... I didn't expect those to really survive anyways. I may just get rid of the RRF and pennywort and switch to dwarf water lettuce or something.

Anyways, I did go ahead and scoop up the GH & KH test kit. I only tested the GH and the water turned orange after just one drop. I'm assuming this means I should probably still plan on buying something to increase the GH? What's annoying about this is that my LFS no longer has equilibrium and although I'm sure they could order it, when I asked the owner about my plants he said that the GH is not the problem, but my KH and pH are the problem. He seems to think that stabilizing my pH will resolve any issues.. but my pH is always right at 6.6, so I'm thinking he's wrong. I don't know that I want to blatantly ignore him though by asking him to get some Equilibrium for me, lol.

Instead of equilibrium, they do still have AquaVitro mineralize and they also have a few products from Brightwell Aquatics.. don't know if anyone uses them. I'm thinking that mineralize might be a good idea to go with instead of Equilibrium since I am using Premier which adds potassium already. I don't know much much longer I should wait on the new regimen, I know it's only been a week.. but my anubias look worse. The pennywort I believe to be doing a bit better, but I know they're at least not any worse off like the anubias. If the new plants continue to do well I may just replace the anubias with something else and keep with the same routine I'm already on. Maybe I'm not meant to have anubias.

I was curious, they do have a product that makes the tank a more "black water" environment which it said is also great for plants because it helps them to absorb more from the water.. is this true at all? I'm also not sure if my fish would enjoy that or not (Harlequin rasboras, rummynoses, corys, and a gourami). I don't think I'd want too dark of water, but I know this can really bring out the color in some fish..right? It's basically like tannins in the water if I'm not mistaken.
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Old 06-25-2012, 10:09 AM   #29
 
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Anyways, I did go ahead and scoop up the GH & KH test kit. I only tested the GH and the water turned orange after just one drop. I'm assuming this means I should probably still plan on buying something to increase the GH? What's annoying about this is that my LFS no longer has equilibrium and although I'm sure they could order it, when I asked the owner about my plants he said that the GH is not the problem, but my KH and pH are the problem. He seems to think that stabilizing my pH will resolve any issues.. but my pH is always right at 6.6, so I'm thinking he's wrong. I don't know that I want to blatantly ignore him though by asking him to get some Equilibrium for me, lol.
This is inaccurate advice. KH has no effect whatsoever on plants or fish. It does buffer the pH. The GH contains what we term hard minerals (since they make water hard) and these are essential to all plants. No general plant fertilizer on the market contains sufficient hard minerals to balance simply because most places have water that contains sufficient. Those of us with very soft water have to add them.

Your pH is perfect, I wouldn't start messing with that or the KH which is pointless.

Quote:
Instead of equilibrium, they do still have AquaVitro mineralize and they also have a few products from Brightwell Aquatics.. don't know if anyone uses them. I'm thinking that mineralize might be a good idea to go with instead of Equilibrium since I am using Premier which adds potassium already. I don't know much much longer I should wait on the new regimen, I know it's only been a week.. but my anubias look worse. The pennywort I believe to be doing a bit better, but I know they're at least not any worse off like the anubias. If the new plants continue to do well I may just replace the anubias with something else and keep with the same routine I'm already on. Maybe I'm not meant to have anubias.
The AquaVitro line will work, as I've previously mentioned, if you get enough of the products. The "Mineralize" has some hard minerals, along with the Premier and another I can't recall but i mentioned it in a previous post in this thread.

Brightwell Aquatics seems to be a good line, though I've not personally tried it (Seachem's Flourish/Equilibrium is less expensive for me and it is working). If i could get the BA line in large sizes online, I would likely switch just to try it, if it was no more expensive per volume.

I order my products online because they are considerably less expensive. I buy the largest sizes which saves even more per volume. For me it works out to about half the cost.

Quote:
I was curious, they do have a product that makes the tank a more "black water" environment which it said is also great for plants because it helps them to absorb more from the water.. is this true at all? I'm also not sure if my fish would enjoy that or not (Harlequin rasboras, rummynoses, corys, and a gourami). I don't think I'd want too dark of water, but I know this can really bring out the color in some fish..right? It's basically like tannins in the water if I'm not mistaken.
I've never messed with this because long-term it is very expensive for my several largish tanks. Also, having very soft water and low pH, the value of such a product is limited, since this is one of the primary reasons to use it (with harder water). Depending upon the manufacturer, it may contain various organics and tannins. Obviously wild caught fish would enjoy it and some of them do promise improved plant growth, but I've no evidence of this.
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Old 06-25-2012, 12:13 PM   #30
 
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Ok. I didn't think what he was saying made sense. I think he misunderstood me.. I did mention to him I assumed the GH and KH were both low because a way long time ago I was trying to change the pH and it was going crazy. I guess he thought I was still messing with it or something. That's the first advice from him that seems completely off though so I don't want to make it too obvious I didn't listen to him. They're still one of the best stores in my state so I want to stay on their good side. They hook me up from time to time. :) what struck me as strange too is that AquaVitro's product that raises KH is just potassium, and although it's from a different source than Premier, and also a bit higher of a dose, it made no sense to me to just add more potassium. I
m happy with where my pH is, I don't really want to bother with trying to change it anyways.

I saw there were quite a few different products that Brightwell sells that seem to change the GH. Am I just looking for something with Calcium, Manganese, Magnesium, and possibly potassium? Or do I need anything more? I thought that's what Equilibrium had. I know mineralize has those ingredients except the potassium.

Should I just hold off to see if any problems arise with the new plants? I can remove the anubias if they're the only ones not working in the tank... or are more problems just inevitable?
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