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Discussion Starter #1
Alright, I just got a tank a little over a week ago. After letting it cycle and adding some of my other tanks water and play sand substrate I went to the store to buy plants. I came home with java fern, amazon swords and jungle Val. My java fern are just fine but the Val and swords are all turning brown. Help?(I'm at school right now so ill post pictures later)
 

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We will need some more data. And the photos later will help.

What is the GH of your tap water? You can ascertain this from the municipal water people, they probably have a website. Post the link if you can't figure it out.

Are you using any fertilizers, and if so, which and how often?

What is your light? Be specific.

Initial browning on new plants is rather common, but we need to be certain it is just this and not an on-going issue, hence the above questions.

Byron.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
We will need some more data. And the photos later will help.

What is the GH of your tap water? You can ascertain this from the municipal water people, they probably have a website. Post the link if you can't figure it out.

Are you using any fertilizers, and if so, which and how often?

What is your light? Be specific.

Initial browning on new plants is rather common, but we need to be certain it is just this and not an on-going issue, hence the above questions.

Byron.
My tank ph is 7.1 ATM had my brother test it. I'm using Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquariums to ferlitlize and ive done it twoce in the first dive days with the plants.(so probably twice a week)My lights are Lighting Coralife 48 Inch Aqualight With 2-65W Actinic / 2-65W 10,000K Lamp Straight Pin Base (with fans). Oh and I had a fluval 305 filter.
 

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Ah, there's your problem. Looks to me like you don't have the right kind of lighting, unfortunately. You'd be best to switch the bulbs with something in the 5000k-7000k spectrum (6,700k is what I get a lot of success from, personally). I think a lot of people use 'Life-Glo' bulbs for T8 fixtures (Are the bulbs T8s or T5s? HO or NO? I'm having a hard time finding the specific fixture you're using, seems to be a few varieties of it)...Plants don't like actinic lights, those are more geared towards saltwater.


Also...are you saying you have 4 bulbs on your tank? Or 2? A bit confused there :-?
 

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The pH is fine, but we do need to know the GH (general hardness) as this is the prime source of the "hard" minerals like calcium and magnesium that are essential to plants. Have a look at your municipality's water supply website for this, no need to waste money on a test kit just for GH.

The light could be improved, long-term. Actinic tubes are not the best for plants, these tubes are designed for salt water tanks that need the blue more. Replacing the tubes is simple enough. Coralife makes a 6700K Lamp that is ideal. The Daylight 10,000K tube is OK as a second tube with the other.

Can you only use two of the four tubes? The issue here is that this is a lot of light intensity, and you will almost certainly have algae issues.

Byron.
 
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Nope there not but I can turn two of them on rather then all 4 and how do you tell GH
Of the tubes mentioned, the 10,000K Daylight will be the best. So they cannot be taken out and replaced? What happens when they burn out (as all tubes do eventually)?

GH you can ascertain from your municipal water people, they likely have a website. If you find it and can't figure it out, as these water data charts are sometimes confusing to many of us, post the link and one of us will look.

Byron.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Of the tubes mentioned, the 10,000K Daylight will be the best. So they cannot be taken out and replaced? What happens when they burn out (as all tubes do eventually)?

GH you can ascertain from your municipal water people, they likely have a website. If you find it and can't figure it out, as these water data charts are sometimes confusing to many of us, post the link and one of us will look.

Byron.
Can't find water charts for San Diego and ill check my lights when I get home
 

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Can't find water charts for San Diego and ill check my lights when I get home
I found San Diego water data:
| Public Utilities: Water

It says the GH is 263 ppm, which is 14 d GH. This is "fairly hard" to use a subjective term. So there is certainly no shortage of the "hard" minerals, which is fine for most plants.

A photo of the tank so I can see the plants, to ID the species and also the issue, will help later.

Byron.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Of the tubes mentioned, the 10,000K Daylight will be the best. So they cannot be taken out and replaced? What happens when they burn out (as all tubes do eventually)?

GH you can ascertain from your municipal water people, they likely have a website. If you find it and can't figure it out, as these water data charts are sometimes confusing to many of us, post the link and one of us will look.

Byron.
I found San Diego water data:
| Public Utilities: Water

It says the GH is 263 ppm, which is 14 d GH. This is "fairly hard" to use a subjective term. So there is certainly no shortage of the "hard" minerals, which is fine for most plants.

A photo of the tank so I can see the plants, to ID the species and also the issue, will help later.

Byron.
It might not be tell tonight because ill be at school all day for football. But you said it's normal for some browning?
 

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It might not be tell tonight because ill be at school all day for football. But you said it's normal for some browning?
Well, it depends. A day won't hurt, if you can get some photos posted tomorrow we will have a much better idea of what you are talking about with "browning."

But yes, when plants are moved to a new environment, loss of some existing leaves is common on certain species. But it might also be due to something missing (nutrients, light) or too much light. There has to be a balance between light and all 17 nutrients in order for plants to grow (by photosynthesis).

Byron.
 

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Nothing to worry about there.

In the first photos, the small sword plant, does that "brown" rub off at all? It looks like it might be diatoms, or what some call brown algae, which can appear in newish tanks. Or it might be true algae.
 

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Ill try rubbing it off at home. Do you know what plant the large one is because the smaller ones are just runners? Do you think the brown on the larger plant is bad?
 

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Ill try rubbing it off at home. Do you know what plant the large one is because the smaller ones are just runners? Do you think the brown on the larger plant is bad?
The species is Echinodorus bleherae, it is the most common "amazon sword" plant and a very lovely plant too.

The brown on the larger is fine, that was from the past. Now, as this plant adjusts, new leaves will appear from the centre of the crown, and the older existing leaves will all slowly yellow. Leave them for the present, until there are several new leaves that are fairly large, at which point you can remove the yellowing ones.

Some nutrients are what we term mobile; these will move within the plant, as from dying leaves to new leaves, so the new leaf is better fed with that nutrient. As these plants are newly introduced, it is best to leave the yellowing leaves (when they occur) for a time so the plant benefits from the mobile nutrients stored in those leaves.

Something else that really helps this species are substrate tabs, such as Seachem's Flourish Tabs. Just one inserted into the substrate an inch or two from the plant crown will last 3 months and provide additional nutrients to the roots. Echinodorus plants are heavy feeders, meaning they use a lot of nutrients compared to some other plants. Not essential, but you will see a difference.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The species is Echinodorus bleherae, it is the most common "amazon sword" plant and a very lovely plant too.

The brown on the larger is fine, that was from the past. Now, as this plant adjusts, new leaves will appear from the centre of the crown, and the older existing leaves will all slowly yellow. Leave them for the present, until there are several new leaves that are fairly large, at which point you can remove the yellowing ones.

Some nutrients are what we term mobile; these will move within the plant, as from dying leaves to new leaves, so the new leaf is better fed with that nutrient. As these plants are newly introduced, it is best to leave the yellowing leaves (when they occur) for a time so the plant benefits from the mobile nutrients stored in those leaves.

Something else that really helps this species are substrate tabs, such as Seachem's Flourish Tabs. Just one inserted into the substrate an inch or two from the plant crown will last 3 months and provide additional nutrients to the roots. Echinodorus plants are heavy feeders, meaning they use a lot of nutrients compared to some other plants. Not essential, but you will see a difference.:)

Was thinking about doing the tabs but I'm afraid the swords will take over the whole tank. Should I completely bury the roots of the swords.
 

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Was thinking about doing the tabs but I'm afraid the swords will take over the whole tank. Should I completely bury the roots of the swords.
Yes.
 
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