Sudden problems with anubias, swords, dwarf sag
I have a 29 gallon planted tank with dirt and clay capped with gravel. I have 1wph T5NO. My plants have been doing great since I got them back in October and seemed to be loving the dirt. Never had any problems with them. Now since I added new plants (last week) my older plants began going downhill. :( I don't know what the problem is, don't know if maybe the dirt could suddenly be causing problems. The dirt isn't anaerobic and I don't have any problems with algae. These plants were doing amazing before this happened, they had great, healthy growth since I got them and this sudden disaster is very discouraging. :oops:
Amazon sword: leaves slowly losing all green pigment and melting out, leaving behind brown veins to make up the leaf. Slowly happening but spreading through all leaves on all the amazon swords. OR some leaves still have good green color but dark brown veins, becoming darker each day.
Dwarf sag: some blades doing the same thing as the swords, some blades just turning brown and dying.
Anubias giant and skinny (nana seems to not be affected): Getting yellow spots which spread, then once they reach the edge of the leaf it turns brown and breaks off. Some yellow is darker yellow than other spots. Thought it might be too close to the light but even with it much lower in the tank it's getting worse. Seems to only be affecting the biggest, oldest leaves.
Sword (can't remember what type): All leaves began turning brown on edges and each day the browns grows inwards
The other plants seem fine so far. I'm very worried that I might lose these plants. I tried some Comprehensive Flourish but it didn't seem to do anything. Before all this happened I had bought some (easy care level) stem plants so I was planning on upgrading my lighting this week for them (and moving the anubias to a different tank), but I shouldn't now that this is happening, right? Or would it be better to just upgrade lighting and then balance things out? I've never had problems with plants so I really don't know where to start, any suggestions would be great
I have a few questions. 1st what kind of dirt did you use? You said all the plants were doing great since October is that when you added the dirt?
I did a dirt tank once with just some from my back yard which has clay in it. The tank did amazingly great for a few months then all of a sudden it started doing pretty much like yours is from your description.
I recently switch substrates with a different kind of dirt (miracle grow organic choice potting mix). My sword is now putting out new leaves about one a week and are looking great again.
My thoughts on this matter is that the dirt ran out of something nutritional wise. Once that happens the plants can stop photosynthesizing altogether. Which means over time will start dieing.
You can try using some root tablets for the swords as they primarily get their nutrients from their roots but with my experience from the same situation they didn't seem to help.
Thanks for the replies! I realized earlier that when they were potted the roots were fully submersed in dirt then when I dirted I added way too much gravel and didn't get the roots down in the dirt. I don't know if it makes all that much difference but tonight I took out half the gravel and put all the plant roots in the dirt. The anubias was never planted though, it's been in rocks. Tonight I cut off a leaf of giant anubias, it was the worse yellow leaf which spread yellow to the rhizome. :(
I originally had the plants in sand with root tabs and they didn't grow so shortly after I potted them in dirt and they did great. I got around to actually dirting the tank earlier this month. I used Miracle Gro Organic Choice too. Then I mixed in with it red clay which was recommended. I don't think it would run out so soon but now I'm hoping that it being in the dirt roots it'll help them. I'm hesitant to use root tabs again since they turns anaerobic smell last time I tried them, but I'll try them again if I need to.
I'm just confused on what to do now. Not sure if the roots being in dirt will make a difference or not, and still have no idea what to do with the anubias so any suggestions would be great.
And yes this is strange to me. I don't want to bother a user unless I have to lol so I'll just see if he posts here or if my plants will heal sometime soon.
The roots should be in the dirt most definitely if you are using it for nutrients. If the roots are not they won't get any nutrients unless you add it.
How deep is your dirt and how deep is your gravel? I wouldn't have anymore then about a 1"and half of each.
I am also kinda confused here because if the plants were doing fine since October they should have put out new roots if they were growing. Which means they should have found the dirt unless you have too much gravel and not enough dirt. The clay part is just for iron which some plants need more of then others.
The root tablets shouldn't put off an anaerobic smell but if the substrate is compacted it will. I have used root tablets in the past with good success as have many others best kind to use is the flourish root tablets.
As far as the anubias you didn't bury the rhizome did you? Also how bright are your lights. They do best in low light. I have one that does great even with low nutrients. As I don't really add nutrients to the water column anymore but it has roots going into the substrate now. If yours don't have roots making it to the substrate it might be a good idea to add flourish comprehensive once a week.
Soil tanks work best if you feed them 'heavily'. They hold a lot of bacteria, so the food breaks down extremely fast and replenished the nutrients in the soil, just like a compost pile. I would not let food pile up on the bottom, but simply feed your fish a lot more often. That's the only way to keep the ecosystem going... Otherwise the organics in the soil get broken down, and nutrients and CO2 drop like a rock suddenly.
A micronutrient suppliment could help- something like Flourish, but root tabs would be a better idea... Fine something that provides Macros.. (Macros are also known as NPK- Potassium and Phosphate seem to be the first things to run out in a soil planted tank. Nitrogen is usually not an issue unless you are just using ridiculous amounts of light.)
Flourish comprehensive has phosphorus and potassium, but not nearly enough for high-growth aquariums...Try finding some root tabs for ponds (water lillies really) and break them into pieces the size of a dime and use them.
Also Thanks for the advice and help on this matter as I am still learning myself.
Large stores like lowes or home depot will have them in their garden center usually...
I dose liquids typically and use homemade root tabs...
Here's my liquid I use-
1 teaspoon trace mix "CSM+B"
2 teaspoons K2SO4
1 tablespoon KNO3 (is in the stock recipe, but my nitrates stay at 15-20 so I don't dose this.)
In a 20 oz bottle of water, dose 2 capful (about 10 ml) once or twice a week. an empty cleaned bottle of peroxide is better since dark plastic can protect the chelates... but I haven't had any problems. (I dose capful a time on my tanks, but mine are also 10 gallons.)
I also make my own root tabs out of clay-rich soil, food-grade gelatin, Time-release fertiliser pellets, and CSM+B.
Sort of have to experiment.. I actually dose a little more on one of my 10's, and my 20 gallon tanks gets less than my high-light 10. If you're afraid of algae and have the time, you might want to look into EI Dosing (Estimative Index)
I have looked into EI dosing am planning doing that in my 40B when I get it up and running.
Have you ever used Osmocote Plus Capsules for root tablets? I thought making those and using them.
Osmocote pellets are pretty much the same thing as the pellets I use in my tabs... I'd feel better covering them in clay and gelatin to keep the copper from leaching out and killing my snails.
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