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sgroove2011 10-17-2011 07:47 PM

Plants turning brown in new tank
 
So I just set up a 55 gallon tank about a month and a half ago and I am having some difficulty. I have money wart, amazon sword and another plant I am unsure of in my tank. I also have 2 Chio angel fish, 5 zebra danios and 5 orange catfish. I am also trying to plant baby tears by cutting the bunch I got into patches and planting them about 1 inch apart so that they will grow into a carpet.

The temperature is ~80 F, there is a 5lb Co2 tank w/ regulator with about 2bps and a Marineland 350 filter. I have 156 watts of light and just started using Flourish excel fertilizer. The lights and Co2 are on a timer for 12 hours a day and I feed the fish once a day and the ph is around 7.

The fish seem happy and are doing well, but my plants are not thriving like I would like them to. They are turning brown, rotting and falling off. I already had to take a bunch of dead ones out. The tank seems really cloudy, it is growing brown algae on the glass, and green algae on the wood. Is there anything I am doing wrong that is causing this? Basically how can I get my plants to thrive with out algae?

Thanks for any help

Boredomb 10-17-2011 08:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sgroove2011 (Post 865326)
So I just set up a 55 gallon tank about a month and a half ago and I am having some difficulty. I have money wart, amazon sword and another plant I am unsure of in my tank. I also have 2 Chio angel fish, 5 zebra danios and 5 orange catfish. I am also trying to plant baby tears by cutting the bunch I got into patches and planting them about 1 inch apart so that they will grow into a carpet.

The temperature is ~80 F, there is a 5lb Co2 tank w/ regulator with about 2bps and a Marineland 350 filter. I have 156 watts of light and just started using Flourish excel fertilizer. The lights and Co2 are on a timer for 12 hours a day and I feed the fish once a day and the ph is around 7.

The fish seem happy and are doing well, but my plants are not thriving like I would like them to. They are turning brown, rotting and falling off. I already had to take a bunch of dead ones out. The tank seems really cloudy, it is growing brown algae on the glass, and green algae on the wood. Is there anything I am doing wrong that is causing this? Basically how can I get my plants to thrive with out algae?

Thanks for any help

First off Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping!

When one supplements C02 one also needs to step up the nutrients as well. You are moving into a high tech tank with the lights you have and adding C02. With that said the reason I see you are having problems with a lack of nutrients for the plants. Plants require something like 17 different nutrients. Some natural happen from the tank some of it is in the tap water you use the others you will have to add. Co2 is one and since you are dosing that and dosing Excel ( which is a liquid carbonic acid supplyment basically the same as C02) you have a lack of nutrients.

I would suggest stop using Excel and look into dry fertilizer methods. Until you resource that try using Flourish Comprehensive. For the substrate rooted plants try some root tablets (flourish has some also). The brown algae is most likely daitoms they are common in new setups and should go away on their own. If not then there is others factors that can be addressed. The rest of the algae can be control by the hours of lighting and getting the nutrients in balance with the plant needs. This want happen over night though. There is going to be some trial and error since you have a high tech tank. The best method I know of (also the cheapest for this setup) is dry fertilizer. You might want to seriously look into it.

Byron 10-18-2011 12:07 PM

I agree with Boredomb and will expand a bit on a couple points.

Flourish Excel is a liquid carbon supplement and is unnecessary if you are adding diffused CO2. Plus, Excel is known to kill some plants, Vallisneria is one, there may likely be others. I would not use it.

As for fertilizers/nutrients, I would not recommend Flourish Comprehensive if you are adding CO2 via diffusion. Comp is "intended" for more natural (low-tech) setups; it is a comprehensive supplement containing all nutrients (except oxygen, carbon and hydrogen) that does work very well as a sole fertilizer in low-tech planted tanks. Once you add CO2 you are increasing the level of balance, requiring more light (which you appear to have) and a need for significantly more nutrients. Daily nutrient dosing may be necessary. The other Flourish products, such as Flourish iron, trace elements, potassium would be better, but that is very expensive. Mixing dry fertilizers is preferable, and as I've never gone down that road I will leave it for those who have to comment.

Temperature. 80F is a bit warm, both for plants and fish. I would lower the tank temp to around 77-78F. Unless the angelfish are wild caught [I am not familiar with "Chio" angelfish], then 82F.

Last but not least, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

Byron.

Mikaila31 10-18-2011 12:11 PM

Yep you need to ditch the liquids and get some dry fertilizers. Look up EI dosing once you get your head around it its pretty simple.
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sgroove2011 10-18-2011 06:01 PM

Hey thanks for all the replies. The dry fertilizer looks like it will work well, but I do not think I can get it in time / master how it works quick enough. I will try and look more into it and figure out the best way to use it.

For the time being I would imagine that the best route to go would be to use the Flourish Comprehensive supplement for fertilizer. The bottle says only to use it once or maybe twice a week, but Byron, you say to use it more frequently so maybe ill try like 5 times a week? Also I did not mention that my substrate is for plants, so it should have necessary minerals.

Side note: Any good tips for growing baby tears into a nice carpet? I've been told that my lighting is not good enough but I'm going to try it since I like the way it looks. I tried micro sword and it failed pretty bad.

(*Koi Angelfish)

Byron 10-18-2011 06:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sgroove2011 (Post 866541)
Hey thanks for all the replies. The dry fertilizer looks like it will work well, but I do not think I can get it in time / master how it works quick enough. I will try and look more into it and figure out the best way to use it.

For the time being I would imagine that the best route to go would be to use the Flourish Comprehensive supplement for fertilizer. The bottle says only to use it once or maybe twice a week, but Byron, you say to use it more frequently so maybe ill try like 5 times a week? Also I did not mention that my substrate is for plants, so it should have necessary minerals.

Side note: Any good tips for growing baby tears into a nice carpet? I've been told that my lighting is not good enough but I'm going to try it since I like the way it looks. I tried micro sword and it failed pretty bad.

(*Koi Angelfish)

No, I did not say to use Flourish Comp more frequently. Once or twice a week is sufficient, but in low-tech systems. If you add diffused CO2, you need more nutrients to balance. But Flourish Comp is probably not the way to go. Having said that, I can't be certain that using it daily will be harmful to fish or plants; but it is not intended for that.

Mikaila is a better member to be advising you on high-tech, that is not my cup of tea. 1077 also uses dry ferts.

sgroove2011 10-18-2011 06:56 PM

Alright, I'll look more into it. Talking to some fish keepers it seemed like a co2 tank and high light was the way to go for plants, guess I just underestimated nutrients.

Byron 10-18-2011 08:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sgroove2011 (Post 866654)
Alright, I'll look more into it. Talking to some fish keepers it seemed like a co2 tank and high light was the way to go for plants, guess I just underestimated nutrients.

That is a prevalent perception that I don't agree with in the general sense. There are many different ways to have a thriving planted tank between low-tech and high-tech. The aquarist has to first decide what he/she wants. Many of us on this forum just happen to be "natural planted tank" enthusiasts, but even between us there is some variation. If you look at the photos of my tanks ["Aquariums" tab under my name at the left] you will see fairly low-tech setups with (I think) beautiful thriving plants. Fish are the reason I have aquaria, and the plants are secondary, so I select species that will do well in the conditions i am prepared to give them. At the opposite end are plant-first tanks with CO2, high light, daily dose of nutrients; the fish may be secondary, and some of these do not even have fish. There are some plants that will not survive in my natural system, so I don't bother with them. You might find my 4-part series stickied at the head of the Aquarium Plants section useful as background to a balanced approach. The "balance" can exist at many different levels, but whatever is chosen must balance or it will not work. Balance meaning light and the 17 nutrients, with the latter coming from many sources.

Byron.

Mikaila31 10-19-2011 12:00 AM

Flourish is only a trace fertilizer. Dosing it in excess may help a tiny bit, but its not going to do much. For heavy fertilizing most use 4 different kind of fertilizers. Three of these are the macros NPK and are what your tank is missing. These are what your plants need the most of.


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