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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well my tank has been up and running flawlessly now for about a month, no fish yet waiting until I get the hang of taking care of live plants. I take weekly readings (very consistent), since I have no fish I use the following: Flourish Excel (liquid Carbon) & Flourish Iron Supplement, two capfuls each and everyday. I am starting to notice growth from all my plants except my Vals, they are appearing see thru?? Not green and beautiful like they should. I was just wondering if anyone have any suggestions for me? I have attached close ups of my Vals.
 

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excel melts vals. do not dose directly over the vals. your tank does not look heavily planted.you may want to cut back to every 2 days on the dosing.the plants i see are column feeders like java fern and root feeders like your melon sword. use root tabs for the root feeders. and look at flourish comprehensive for the over all tank.it looks like your tank is in the low light category,as far as the plant species.correct?what kind of lighting are you using? you may not need to dose co2 very much at all.i have a few low light tanks that i do not dose co2 in.
 

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agree, excel is the likely culprit. Sometimes the Val's will come back when using excel (had it happen once), but soft water will also cause a die back. Val's do best in hard water.
 

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Try adding some fish and stop dosing the excel.

and don't add food for a week.

I do like you gettting the plants established though. At this point I think the plants are doing fine.


my .02
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
excel melts vals. do not dose directly over the vals. your tank does not look heavily planted.you may want to cut back to every 2 days on the dosing.the plants i see are column feeders like java fern and root feeders like your melon sword. use root tabs for the root feeders. and look at flourish comprehensive for the over all tank.it looks like your tank is in the low light category,as far as the plant species.correct?what kind of lighting are you using? you may not need to dose co2 very much at all.i have a few low light tanks that i do not dose co2 in.
First and foremost, Thanks for the insight. I am not intentionally trying to have a low light tank (honestly I have to look this up, just learned something new) I am using the lamp that I picked up off Craigslist until I learn alittle more. Currently I am using a Coralife fixture with the following bulbs:

1. Actinic 120V F28-T5-BP (gives off a bluish light)
2. CoralLife 10K 120V F28-T5-BP

On the back wall of my tank I have a a bit of Java Moss growing, once I have enough Java Moss then Ill laying in on the floor of the tank. I will cut back on the CO2, I thought since I do not have any fish yet I had to substitute by using the Excel. I will go and pick up some tablets this weekend. I have attached a pic of my whole tank. Thanks again for the info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
agree, excel is the likely culprit. Sometimes the Val's will come back when using excel (had it happen once), but soft water will also cause a die back. Val's do best in hard water.
Thanks DKRST, my water has been a steady 75 hardness (soft) and again I will cut back on the excel. Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Try adding some fish and stop dosing the excel.

and don't add food for a week.

I do like you gettting the plants established though. At this point I think the plants are doing fine.


my .02
Thanks beaslbob (Love the name :lol:), Im holding off on the fish because Im currently not working and the two options I have are:

Option 1
Zebra Plec L106 or Siamese Flying Fox
Red Fin Shark and White form Red Fin

Option 2
Zebra Plec L106 or Siamese Flying Fox
Rosy Barb, Black Ruby Barb, Golden Barb, and/or African Barbs.

Either option is going to set me back some so either I wait till Im working again or sell/trade computer parts and tank equipment on Craigs to raise the money whichever comes first. So in the mean time Im educating myself on aquarium live plants and plucking the minds of the underwater green thumbs here. :-D
 

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That's a very nice piece of Mopani wood you have in the tank - my complements!
 

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have you ever considered making your own root tabs? osmocote plus and gelatin capsules size 00. will last you a very long time. in the long run much,much cheaper. you can also roll the osmocote into red clay and make little balls shaped ferts. make sure they are put deep into the substrate. the red clay will help by giving a good source of iron.you will need to let the balls dry completely before use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That's a very nice piece of Mopani wood you have in the tank - my complements!
Thanks, a gentleman that has been maintaining aquariums for more then 20 years was selling some of his items and once we started talking he gave me a heck of a deal but also gave me a wealth of priceless knowledge also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
have you ever considered making your own root tabs? osmocote plus and gelatin capsules size 00. will last you a very long time. in the long run much,much cheaper. you can also roll the osmocote into red clay and make little balls shaped ferts. make sure they are put deep into the substrate. the red clay will help by giving a good source of iron.you will need to let the balls dry completely before use.
I love this idea, where do you get your clay from and is there a particular type of clay that I should use? Also, do you have a DIY write up on this? This is a great idea!!! I will be research osmocote and low lighting tonight. :-D
 

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natural red clay. i think most hobby stores have it.some states have natural deposits of it.when all else fails,ask a highschool or elementary art teacher. i use a bit of clay half the size a marble,work a pinch of osmocote into the clay well,form the tablet into the desired shape and let dry. as long as you put the root tabs deep enough and securely in place there will be no problems. if they are not you will invite an algae bloom. you can make a bunch up at once and store them in an airtight container. also great for house plants. lasts about 2 months per dose.i should mention that the clay will turn into a slimy clay glob. but it will not hurt anything.just a little residual remains at the end.in a npt you would never notice.
 

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natural red clay

For red clay I use Pro choice select which is a baked red clay and is used in baseball infields.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Stopped by The Vitamin Shoppe and Home Depot picked up everything that was needed. Made about 100 caps and installed them into the tank. Thank you all again for the help, now to wait and see the results. :-D
 

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just make sure that whichever clay you are using is natural red clay with no added polymers.


oh, i see you already made up some capsules. cool,glad i could help. show me pics later, once you show new growth.
 

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i have seen these types of root ferts for sale on ebay/amazon for $10/50 capsules.
 
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