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My plants in my new tank arent doing as well as I hoped
My plants I planted on 12/6/08 don’t seem to be doing very well and I was hoping you guys could help me figure out why. The tank was set up on 11/19/08, and was planted 2 weeks ago, I know that plants experience some shock and usually die back a little but after a week should be doing great, mine just seem to be decaying. Let me give you some specs. The tank is a 37 gallon tall tank. The light is a 65watt 6500k PC bulb 12hours/day. The substrate is 20 lbs. of eco-complete underneath 20 lbs. of small aquarium gravel. The plants are Cryptocoryne Wendtii (red), Cryptocoryne Spiralis, Crispus, Ludwigia (red), Anubias Barteri (Congnisis), Radican Marble Queen, Corkscrew Val, Dwarf Lily, and Java Fern. I fertilize with Flourish comprehensive every 3rd day, and Flourish Excel every day, also feed a pinch of fishfood flakes every day although there are no fish. I tested the water today, ph – 8.0, KH – 10, ammonia and nitrite – 0, nitrate - 10. The plants that appear to be the worst are the corkscrew val. And the crispus, the dwarf lilly and the ludwiga have shown some improvement, and all others have varying degrees of decay. I also planted plants from this same batch of plants in one of my other tanks and they are all doing well save the crispus. There are many differences in the setups, for example my other tank is fully stocked with fish, has been setup for a year, has 2x the light and is co2 injected, no excel is added, and the other tank is exploding with plants. With the flourish comprehensive the plants in my new tank should be getting all the micro-nutrients they need. As I am writing this I realize that they may not getting a significant supply of macro-nutrients, maybe that could play a part. I am looking for other suggestions. I have ordered a supply of dry ferts from Rex Grigg and will start using those as soon as I get them.
Could too much fertilizer kill them? 20 lbs of eco ,is that 3" ? then 20lbs of gravel. Are the roots in the eco ? mmm i know if you bury the plant too deep you kill the stem and it rots. when i did my planted tank they advised me to use only flourish with iron every couple of weeks because my eco was new.i went thru some fragile plants myself now i know what my water supports. you have a few low light plants & perfect light. I have never heard of those products or such frequent usage, in my opinion it is overuse.my plants now help stabilize my tank and truthfully i haven't used fertilizer in well a couple months.
I lost the exact same plants when I first planted my tank. I lost my java ferns, the vals, and the radican. My red ludwiga, anacharis, anubias barteri all did just fine. I fert the exact same way you do, minus the co2 injection. Flourish Excel daily, Flourish & Kent Pro Plant every third day, root tabs once a month. I also moved some of the plants that weren't doing well the first week to another tank and they came back to life. In that other small tank I use no ferts, nothing other than eco for substrate. After a few weeks I moved the plants in the small tank back to the main tank and they are doing just fine, except for the vals. I can't grow those to save my life so I have given up on them.
Once my current ferts run out I'm also going to be getting dry ferts. Those liquid ferts are not cheap! It's been weeks & weeks since I first planted and the plants are all going "off" and I'm cutting, pruning & trimming on a weekly basis. I had an algae issue that occured a few weeks into the planting but that's abated. I received alot of help from fish_4_all so you may want to shoot him a PM....
Teh Excel says once a day or every other day. I use it every other day. I use flourish once a week. But I also agree with an earlier post. Soem plants grow great with my setup, others die no matter what I try. But I'd try cutting back on the ferts. Did you say there's no fish in the tank? Are you running a filter of some type to maintain water movement?
Call me stubborn but I dont think I am adding too much fertilizer. have a look at Iron for example, the directions suggest I use about 3ml. in 37 gallon tank, with a concentration of 0.32% thats about 0.07 ppm. Rex Grigg's website recommends adding 3 times that amount 3 times a week. Really I want to add more but for safety's sake I am sticking to the directions on the bottle. however I dont feel that iron or the other micro nutrients are the cause of the problem.
I feel that the problem may be that there is no significant source of macro nutrients, aside from the fact that I know the only macros being put in are from the fish flake and the tiny bit that is in the flourish, this is reflected by my nitrate levels at 10ppm.
I'd have to agree with you on the ferts. I have a low light planted tank and I have pure eco-complete gravel and I dose flourish excel every day. I don't use flourish because it just made my low light tank explode with algae.
My nitrates always stay in the 10 ppm range....
So, I just thought I'd give some imput even though I don't really know what your problem is. As a side note, my water kills java moss!
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