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greenthumb1 12-17-2012 02:33 AM

Poor plant growth
I have a conundrum and I am really hoping someone can help me! My plants are not doing well at all. The good news is the fish are looking good! Most of the plants seem to just rot after a few weeks. The water is sort of a very light greenish/brown color almost like the wood is still leaching tannins into the water. Tank was set up Oct. 5 2012. The java fern and anubias barteri are the only plants that seem to be holding up ‘ok’. Even the moss is not really growing very well.
Tank specs…
- 90gal tank, Aquaclear 70 HOB filter and AquaTop CF400-UV canister filter, Aqualife 48’’ T5 HO lights X2 running from 7am-8pm, CO2 (injected just shy of 1 bubble per/sec), 6 bags of EcoComplete and 5 bags of Dark Flourite, 2 pieces of wood both soaked for 5 wks before being put into the tank and have been in the tank for 2 months. No fish have dead up until Dec 15th I had one dead Serpae. I have Angels, Serpaes, panda corys, emperor tetras in the tank.
pH was 8.3 and EC 1.3, and I started putting in acid buffer and pH is still 8.3 and EC is up to 1.8.
Someone thought maybe heavy metals so I have pouch in there absorbing those if that is the issue…
If anyone has any thoughts as to what else I can check or try to get this tank flourishing I would greatly appreciate it!!

Higher Thinking 12-17-2012 05:02 AM

Well first I would advise against using any sort of pH buffers. They are highly unpredictable and more often than not, just prove to cause more problems than solutions. What kinds if plants are you having trouble with? Do you have a drop checker? Using bubbles per second is useless because numerous variables make co2 concentrations different even with the same "bubble count." Use a drop checker or your fish to gauge co2 concentrations. How are you diffusing it?

Is your water stained with tannins or a green water algae outbreak? Both of which can prevent light from reaching your plants with adequate force. Depending on what is going on will dictate how you handle it. If it's only tannins then keep changing your water. If you want softer water then you might have to use R/O or deionized water. If you have good co2 and diffusion, adequate light, plus fertilizers, you should see growth. Are you dosing ferts?

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