Need help getting my planted tank to thrive again
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:06 AM   #1
gudgeon_42
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Default Need help getting my planted tank to thrive again

A year ago i planted out my 5 gal tank with Ambulia, At first it had a hard time but then after a few weeks it set in and grew like a weed, my tank looked nice. I rescued a goldfish at some point and kept him in the tank temporarly untill i could find a pond for him to go in. A few months before i re homed him he ate all the plants after months of leaving them alone. I figured i would replant the tank once he was re homed. Anyway i found a home for him last week. Went to my local lfs and bought some Wisteria. It was in poor shape but i know it can recover easily. I cut off the healthy shoots and planted them. A week later all the regrowth is stunted and yellow. I'm trying to work out what deficiency is causing it. When i used to have Ambulia i occasionally would dose liquid ferts and that was it. I want to achieve the same thing again but obviously something is no longer right in my tank to achieve that. I also have one stalk of Ambulia in the tank with the wisteria and it is sick too. The tank is stocked with 3 Pepperd cory's i know that is too much but i started off with 2 and the third one is their offspring that i missed in my fry tank when i gave the fry away. They are really happy and always breed. Anyway can you guys help me to get my tank thick and green again.
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:09 AM   #2
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Here are some photos of the sick wisteria and a photo of how the tank used to be. Also my lighting is a Philips Daylight 14W cfl.
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:11 AM   #3
aokashi
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Default Need help getting my planted tank to thrive again

I would suggest stocking the tank with something more... dosing macros is also a solution...

edit: reread what I wrote and it makes little sense >.> i think it's getting late...

anyway, here's a link that might help you
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3641/...03c264a5_o.jpg
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Old 02-10-2013, 06:29 AM   #4
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When i look at the deficiency chart it makes me think nitrogen deficiency. Which could make sense because the one goldfish would have produced heaps of waste which would mean more nitrates. Unfortunately i only have a ammonia tester so i can't test nitrates. The liquid ferts i have i think are about as good as colored water in a bottle, I've been thinking of trying API leaf zone and excel.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:31 AM   #5
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The longer growth between the leaves of the ambrosia/ cabomba lead me to believe that the light isn't sufficient so the plant is reaching a bit. Macros/ micros would help but use very little in respect to the overall volume of the tank as these plant normally grow like weeds without much effort.
Try spreading the plant apart so that the individual stems don't shade each other as much as a test. Trimming also makes the plant sprout new growth so consider doing a bit as well.

Looking back at the photo, the tank certainly is a low light tank so there wouldn't be a growth explosion to be expected.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:42 AM   #6
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I remember back when the tank had healthy plants i tried a 18w cfl in it because the 14w is worn out and 18w was all i could get. I had to switch back to the 14w because the 18w would make all the tops of the plants bleach white and die. Probably because they where trying to grow faster but couldn't get the food they needed. Also when i had the old plants i had to cut and replant at least once a week, sometimes twice. The liquid ferts i have is Aqua Master plant food N,P,K (2.6,0,5) Chealates of Iron, Copper, Manganese, Boron and zinc. I think i need to up the lighting and start dosing proper ferts. I don't even know where to start :/

Last edited by gudgeon_42; 02-10-2013 at 11:52 AM.. Reason: Added more info
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:32 AM   #7
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Smaller tanks are much harder to maintain. It's possible to overdose on nutrients if water changes are not kept up. I think the wisteria problem was due to lack of dissolved carbon (CO2) and light.

Some recommendations:
1) Go DIY YEAST CO2, for a 5gal this method is ideal. Get 2 bottles going.

2) I would get a full spectrum fluorescent T5 or two 6500K, 1600lumens, 26watt CFLs.

3) Ludwigia repens, aponogetons, and wisteria are great starter plants.

4) Schools of neon tetras, guppies, celestial pearl danios or other small fish. Might want to try 3 pygmy cories, 2 otos and a female betta. A nerite or some trumpet snails help also.
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Old 02-11-2013, 04:01 AM   #8
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Default Need help getting my planted tank to thrive again

^ I honestly don't agree with the small tank part... especially since small tanks (quart tanks anyone?) are all I've ever done and I'm probably the laziest water changer on the planet (what's a water change?)

What I've realized is that stocking is very important. only when you have a good amount of livestock (snails included) will the plants thrive...

Full spectrum lighting is great, and definitely recommended.
I've also grown wisteria under 3200k lighting before, so I'm not sure if lighting is really your problem....

looking at the wisteria, I don't think it looks unhealthy... give it a while...
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:25 AM   #9
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I know when i used to have the plants healthy i would only do small water changes every few weeks or they would get upset. I bought some dechlorinator yesterday and did a water change using my municipal water, the plants seem to have greened up a little bit. I have been using rain water for ages but i used to use water from my municipal when i had plants. As for diy co2 i really want to keep my 5 gal moderately low tech like it used to be. I was thinking of using excel instead? I've brought my lighting up to a 18w 1100 lumen 6500k bulb. The plants are directly under it and it looks fairly bright. Also as for stocking i thought i would be already slightly over stocked for a 5?
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