Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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scottysgirl 04-08-2007 09:18 PM

Java fern/amazon sword question
OK, so just in the last two weeks I have noticed troubling symptoms beginning in my swords and java fern, and to a lesser extent my bacopa. The leaves when they first appear are almost transparent. After a few days they darken up, and the leaves remain brittle. Sometimes holes appear in the leaves, almost as if the leaves have been worn away. Sometimes new leaves have a yellowish cast. I have had the plants for several months and they have been doing very well. The tank is 30 gallons, nothing has changed except the addition of 3 new neon tetras. The pH is 8.0. I suspect the problem is nitrates being too low (usually 10 ppm or under, and dropping lately) but am not sure. There are no nitrites or ammonia and I change 20-30% of the water weekly. Lighting is 2.5-3 wpg. I dose with flourish every day, kent freshwater (0-0-3) 1 tsp per week, plant grow by nutrafin (.15-0-0) 2 tsp per week. There are root tabs placed about a month ago for the swords. The tank is quite heavily planted. Any thoughts? I really appreciate it.

mr.bojangles 04-08-2007 10:06 PM

check ur phosphates. test ur water and if ther high test ur water source. if ur water source reads the same ... get a new 1. if its significantly lower. over the course of a week follow this plan.
day 1. take out all ur decorations and put them in seperate buckets over night. do a 25% water change

day 2. test the water in all the buckets ... any that r super r the colpurates. dont use em. if non r high do the same with ur gravel. 25% water change.

day 3. test gravel water. if fine rewash with ornaments and replae. 25% water change.

day 4-7. 25% water change.

that my way. its long and tetious but it gets the job done. if any1 has a better way please pipe up cuz id like to know

o and if ur phosphates rnt high dont bother doing this unless u find something that is high cuz it will help most things

herefishy 04-08-2007 10:19 PM

If pH is 8.0, that seems to be a tad high. Try to get them down closer to 7.0 and you should see a difference. Some leaf decomposition and dying off is to be expected as new leaf growth continues. I must continuously prune my plants in order to keep them healthy and looking their best. just another part of the fun of having an aquarium.

fish_4_all 04-08-2007 10:20 PM

If your sword has gotten a good root system going it is likely the culprit. When I had my red melon sword in my tank, it did really good for about 2 months. Once the leaves got growing really big and the roots got really massive it took the nitrates and phosphates as fast as I could give them.

This gives a list of deficiencies and their symptoms. Nitrates and phosphates will most often be the culprits but potassium will also be a major one especially with a nutrient hog like a sword. I dose a lot of K and even a lot of NO3 and PO4, (nitrates and phosphates.) With a weekly 50% water change my levels stay within proper levels and I never have too much but more important never have a deficiency.

scottysgirl 04-08-2007 10:51 PM

Thank you for the replies. I know 8 is high pH but from the stories I have heard about messing with water pH I think it is much safer to leave it the way it is. The plants were fine for several months so I don't think that is the culprit. Fish_for_all, thank you, that was a great site. I think I simply need to be fertilizing more, I'm just worried about hurting the fish. Neither of my ferts have any phosphorous in them, I've heard this can cause algae growth, but I have a feeling I need to buy a new fertilizer. Fish4all, I know you buy your chemicals in bulk and I'm sure that is a great way to go, but even for a chem nerd like me that scares me a little too much. Do you or anyone else have good all around fertilizer/root tabs suggestions? Also, dosing suggestions for a 30 gallon? Thanks.

fish_4_all 04-08-2007 11:04 PM

Don't feel bad, it took me 6 months to decide to get the dry ferts for the same reason. Once I got them and the calculator to figure the dosing it was so easy a caveman could do it. Just don't laught at my high brow too hard :wink: LOL.

Seachem flourish, nitrogen, phosphorus and the whole line will do all that you need. They also have what is considered the top of the line fertilizer tab but many others are coming out with comparable tabs at lower prices.
These tabs are supposed to be really good and I know some very good plant keepers that use them with good success. I use AP tabs and my plants love them.

The dry fertilizers are not that hard to use. Actually once you get used to it, they are very easy and even easier to dial in to your tank needs. Not to mention the $$ savings.

scottysgirl 04-09-2007 12:40 AM

Thank you, fish4all, that is very helpful. Some day I will brave the world of mixing my own ferts, until then I will try the ones you suggest. I have very hard green spot algae, so I am starting to suspect my problems may all be stemming from lack of phosphorous. I will try the ferts you suggest, thanks again.

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