What could be wrong with my low-tech tank? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-11-2017, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2017
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What could be wrong with my low-tech tank?

New to this forum! Everything was going fine and I was happy until, like any aquarium enthusiast, I got a case of multi tank disease and I got a new tank. Unfortunately because I have an apartment both are only ten gallons. My aquarium plant problems started with my old tank when I decided to try plants for the first time. I just thought I was doomed and plants were not meant for me. Originally I purchased a Green Cabomba and a Rotala rotundifolia and tried them in my existing low-tech tank. I noticed that my plants were not dying, but also not growing that well either. Enentually they started to get some algae growth on them and looked rather ugly. The rotala would grow slowly (about 1 cm per 2 weeks) and would root however the cabomba wouldn't root but wasn't shedding its needles either. Because they weren't growing I tried replacing my light to a life-glo 2. After replacement I saw no change in growth. I also started to treat with fluorish, fluorish excel, and Seachem root tabs and again saw no change in growth. Eventually I just basically accepted I was doomed to this fate because I didn't have proper substrate (I just have standard aquarium gravel) and just let the non-growing plants sit there in a state of stasis. I Was eventually just satisfied with this fate.

My frustrations started up again when I got my new tank. I bought it second hand off of someone and again went with aquarium gravel (my gf likes the look). Decided, "Hey, what the heck. Lets try to throw a couple new plants in this thing.". I purchased a water Wisteria and a Hygro sp. plant (LFS didn't know the exact type). Wouldn't you know plants are taking off in this tank and growing well. I have already had to trim the wisteria twice. I thought maybe it was just the plant type so I brought over a wisteria from this new tank to the old tank and again it is not dying but not growing either. I have since added a val to the new tank and it is growing also. What the heck could the difference be? The old tank has a presumably better light (the new tank is a generic light that just came with the hood). Both substrates presumably aren't great for plants. Both tanks are treated with the exact same chemicals and get the same tap water! I love that my new tank has growth but now it just made me anxious to get my old tank working too! Thanks for any help/suggestions!

Picture of Old Tank

Picture of some algae on Water Wisteria in old tank

Picture of New Tank
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Last edited by Scinocca; 01-11-2017 at 07:04 PM. Reason: Added Pictures
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-12-2017, 03:27 PM
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I am no expert, but have you checked tha actual water quality in each tank, ie PH, KH....
That would make a difference.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-12-2017, 03:40 PM
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I think it's been said no 2 tanks are the same.Might have something to do with how much mulm is in the substrate,or maybe nitrate levels.Without knowing the levels,can only guess.IME,in some of my tanks,the plants have growth spurts when I add micros.

MTS? no,I just need one more tank...
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-14-2017, 02:39 AM
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What sort of lighting do you have on these tanks?
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-14-2017, 02:59 AM
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If your old tank was an already cycled aquarium and you kept up with water changes, nutrient levels should have been low which makes sense why your plants had trouble getting started. Maybe your new tank is more successful due to the plants being added at a time when your nutrient levels were higher and they were better able to establish?
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-14-2017, 03:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Scinocca View Post
I also started to treat with fluorish, fluorish excel, and Seachem root tabs and again saw no change in growth.
I have brought this issue up on a different forum in the past year.
Who in all creation decided that Flourish Comprehensive would save the day?
Macro's are in much greater demand for plants than micro's.

I have no issues with the quality of Seachem's products.
They also profess a very lean dosing schedule to CTA.

Is it the people in the LFS that sell this to everyone?
I am unsure, LFS near me tries to sell everything to anyone. Salesman Technology I guess.

Sorry for my rant.
Back to original issue.

No two tanks are alike even with the same source water.
I have a 55G that will kill any java fern I put in it, go figure.
It grows crypts better than any of my tanks even with an inert quartz substrate.

Macros as in NPK, Nitrogen, Phosphate, and Potassium are the largest consumed elements by aquatic plants.
A loss of one of these elements is most likely causing a stall in plant growth.
To explain recent growth in the other tank, these elements are not yet depleted from tap water introduction.

I would recommend a more complete fert regime.
PPS Pro or an EI solution.

Swimming is not that difficult.
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