New to Planted Tanks. Help! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-06-2013, 02:24 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: South Florida
Posts: 6
New to Planted Tanks. Help!

So this is my first attempt at a planted tank and I have made some mistakes so far to say the least. I'm having a problem keeping my water wisteria healthy. The new growth at the top always looks good but all the leaves below are curling down and turning brown at the tips. (what causes this?) The plant was extremely lush when I first added it to my tank as it was growing in my brother's 10g for a couple months. Since transplanting to my tank most of the leaves have died off and I am only left with one halfway decent stem and a decent little piece that I am floating.

The java ferns are healthy and growing at a decent rate. They have attached themselves to the driftwood nicely and are growing new plantlets and rhizomes bi-weekly.

I guess my question is do I have inadequate lighting/nutrients and should I invest in a better light to grow plants such as WW or water sprite? Any and all help is appreciated.

Tank specs:
40g breeder
36" Marineland DB LED (12 hour photo-period)
PFS substrate
2x Penguin 200 HOB
200watt heater
250gph powerhead

2x Java Fern
3x Water Wisteria

1 Firemouth
4x Bosemani Rainbows
2x Green Cory
2x Panda Cory
3x Swordtails(soon to be relocated)
1 Roseline Shark
1 BN Pleco

4 months ago:

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-06-2013, 03:56 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 514
I posted some helpful articles I have come acorss:

Help Starting a 5 gallon
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-06-2013, 08:38 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: California vacaville
Posts: 414
I'm new to planted tanks my self so take what I say with a grain of salt.
First thing people are going to want to know is what fertilizers are you using if any.
The lighting issue I don't know enough about LEDs to answer your question about up grading but from I could find on that lamp set I'd say yes. Don't take that for gospel though.
If I were to guess most of your issues are lighting being to low the wysteria from what I can find will loose leaves at the base when planted in a tight bunch and not having enough light to keep them going
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-06-2013, 09:07 AM
Planted Member
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Dickson TN
Posts: 156
Do you dose ferts or Excel? I know mine took off when i started dosing excel...and i know alot of stem plants will lose the lower leaves and grow taller when they are not getting enough light. By the looks of your picture it seems that its shaded in the back away from the light. Try moving it to see if you get better results.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-06-2013, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: South Florida
Posts: 6
The only fert I am using is Terta FloraPride after water changes. I can see lots of roots developing on the floating pieces but not much change in the stems in sand. Should I get a secondary light for the back of the tank since its so deep like a Dual T5NO or T8 to supplement to LED? I just want to be able to grow water sprite and wisteria.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-06-2013, 11:13 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Greeley, CO
Posts: 1,935
Water wisteria

Hello $$...

Plants take time to get used to new water conditions and usually look poorly for a time and even die back. Some recover and some don't.

Water wisteria is finicky about lighting. I kept it for a time and it did best in stronger lighting and floating rather than planted. When you plant it, the lower branches get too much shade and die, leaving you with a plant that's mostly stem.

I'd suggest floating it, so all the branches are exposed to the light. A much better choice is Anacharis or Brazilian waterweed. It's easier to grow and I think it looks just as nice. Attached are a couple of pics of some. It's the plant with the long leaves. The other, that looks like a lily pad is Pennywort, It's a nice floating stem plant too. Both are easy and will grow in moderate light.


"Fear not my child, just change the tank water."

Last edited by BBradbury; 05-01-2013 at 08:56 PM.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-07-2013, 07:51 AM
Planted Member
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Dickson TN
Posts: 156
You might not need a new light. It might be as simple as moving the light back a bit if you can. Looks like you don't have many plants in the front of the tank that need strong light but i can't be sure by your pics. My Bacopa dropped its lower leaves before i got my Finnex LED but with the stronger light they did fine.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-15-2013, 01:31 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: South Florida
Posts: 6
So I went ahead and got a second light fixture (T5NO 2x21watts) and it's made a world of difference. I am now dosing Flourish once a week along with Excel every other day and that seems to help as well. I added some more wisteria to the back and am floating some water sprite which has even started to grow out of the water. I also bought a couple plants at my LFS that I believe to be Crypt Wendtii but really have no clue what they are(added root tabs anyway). Any help with the ID is much appreciated. I also have another plant that must have been mixed in with the water sprite but can tell what it is yet. Thanks for all the help everyone.

Cryp Wendtii???
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-15-2013, 02:09 AM
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Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 2,769
Your tank looks very nice right now - you must be doing some things quite right - keep up the good work.

Last edited by discuspaul; 04-15-2013 at 02:11 AM. Reason: Typo
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