New to aquatic planting - are my plants healthy? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-27-2013, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Billerica, MA
Posts: 124
New to aquatic planting - are my plants healthy?

I'm relatively new to keeping live plants in an aquarium, and need some help figuring out whether or not the plants I got are doing well in my aquarium or need some sort of supplements/fertilizers, which I currently have not added any of.

My setup:

- 10 gallon
- ~80 degree water temp.
- Zoo Med - Flora Sun Max Plant Growth (5000k) (15 watts T8)
- 1 inch of Miracle-Gro Organic Choice Potting Mix (rinsed) capped with an inch of gravel

Here are some pics, one of the whole tank and the rest of the plants either individually or in small patches. Sorry in advance that the quality of the photos isn't the greatest.

These are the plants I'm most worried about, as they have been developing brown leaves, and I'm unsure on whether or not they are developing enough new growth.

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-27-2013, 03:01 PM
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Riverview, FL
Posts: 2,510
For starters, the last 2 pics are moss. These are generally tied to rocks or wood, not placed in the gravel.
Starting over at the top, the stems can be placed about 1 inch apart in groups. To get rid of the bare bottom of the stem, carefully pull them out and trim the bottoms off and replant. I would recommend getting many more plants for a soil tank. Crypts would be a good plant as they seem to really enjoy soil tanks and can handle just about any lighting. Plus, they are readily available just about everywhere.
Pic #7 looks like anubias. These don't like being buried in the soil below the rhizome. Roots in the soil are fine, just not the rhizome. These are also generally tied to a rock or wood. It looks like some moss is mixed in. As the moss grows, it could cover the anubias and cause problems. I would try to pull out all the moss strands.
The grass plant (Lilaeopsis brasiliensis I think) looks pretty good. I can see some new runners. This one is a slow grower and will take time to carpet your tank. Again, I can see moss strands mixed in. Try to pull them out.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-27-2013, 03:28 PM
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Location: ca
Posts: 601
Re: New to aquatic planting - are my plants healthy?

Everything looks fine. I got a good chuckle from that planted moss though

I give my fish coffee
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-27-2013, 03:32 PM
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Location: Bay Area,CA
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New to aquatic planting - are my plants healthy?

Let me point out another thing. Your 80 degree water temp is over heating the plants. I see it is a tetra preset heater, and they should only heat the water to 75 degree. Is there anyway you can bring the temperature down?

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-27-2013, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Billerica, MA
Posts: 124
Sorry about the moss. When I got it I had no idea of how to secure when I tried to stick it to the rock with the hole in it, but the current from the filter kept knocking it off. I plan in the future to use thread to secure java moss there instead. Interestingly though, the moss that I 'planted' in the soil is much greener and vibrant than the patches that are resting around the roots of the plants in the back for some reason. I do plan on getting more plants (I know it might upset the clay a bit, but I'm ok with that), and I know the store I go to had some nice looking moss balls and such.

I'll do my best to remove the moss strands in the other plants. As for the anubias, it came in a little pot so I thought it would be fine if I secured it in the gravel near the surface. It seems to be fine so far.

I'll also try to trim the plants in the back and see what I can do about the heater.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-28-2013, 12:20 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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Location: Billerica, MA
Posts: 124
Just checked the water with a temperate/thermometer probe, and apparently its the old thermometer that was wrong, not the heater. The water temp is around 74-76 degrees.

I've also bought a moss ball, a small patch of wysteria, and some duck weed (ok that was free). I know duck weed can spread rapidly, but I also know that it is a nutrient hog, so that should help in this early period of the tank.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-28-2013, 01:48 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Billerica, MA
Posts: 124
Ok, the tank is set up again.

Any problems with the plants or their set up? I tried to trim back the background plants as best as possible and spread them out more. I also attempted to remove as much of the moss from the foreground plants as I could.

I've also got some water tests done, especially since I had my water tested at the pet store. I was told that my ammonia was rather high and my pH was a bit off.

Will my plants be ok with these parameters? Also, should I add some snails and such so as to provide some CO2 for my plants as well?
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-04-2013, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Billerica, MA
Posts: 124
Just an update. Got some new plants a few days ago, including some java moss, which I've tied down to a rock with some fishing line. Still haven't made a DIY CO2 yet, mostly because most of my LFS don't carry diffusers.

I should note that it appears my ammonia spike is over as its levels are very low, and now my nitrates have gone up a bit while while nitrites appear to be spiking now.

Still doing only 20% water changes every other day, as well as adding a few fish flakes now and again to help promote cycling.

Once again I am sorry for the poor quality of my camera.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-04-2013, 03:46 PM
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Location: Boston, MA
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I'd just run the CO2 line into the pump intake. I don't think a diffuser will be necessary. When I did diy CO2 i just hooked it up to the pump like that.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-07-2013, 02:10 AM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Billerica, MA
Posts: 124
I'm just a bit worried about the following plants. I've started adding 'Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium', with 1 ml so far today and with a dosage once or twice a week. I've also started a DIY CO2 device this morning, though I'm still waiting for it to produce CO2 in a sizable amount (using two bottle method with a second "clean" bottle for purifying/bubble counting). Not sure why its taking so long to start, but when I squeeze the bottles hard enough bubbles come out of the attached airstone.

Would a better light (6500 compared to my 5000) help my plants more? Some other supplement?
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