fluval desktop spec plant growing problems :/
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Old 11-20-2013, 06:47 AM   #1
kane90
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fluval desktop spec plant growing problems :/


hi new to this forum but thought i would join as im not having much look with plants in my 7.6litre fluval spec .... it has a heater along with over hanging stock LED light and a betta living in there .... so far i tried anacharis, java fern and ludwigia. recently bought some taiwan moss to see how it goes as i would like it as carpet. any suggestions why my last lot of plants didnt grow??? i dont use fertilisers or c02 could this be the problem?

regards kane
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Old 11-20-2013, 12:18 PM   #2
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Did you cycle your tank? (create positive bacteria by running the filter wtih amonia to properly eiminate the amonia and nitrites to create nitrates?). How long have you had the tank?
What are you water parameters? Ph, etc?

You dont need c02 for sure. You can grow moss in a coffee mug. I would know
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Old 11-20-2013, 12:35 PM   #3
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Not cycling a tank shouldn't keep plants from growing. I plant all my tanks long before I cycle.

What sort of substrate are you using? And what sort of water? If you're using plain old aquarium gravel and jugs of demineralized water then there is zero in the tank for your plants to "eat." Plants need more than water and light, they need nutrients.

Also, know that the lights that come with the specs are pretty low light. So while moss will grow, and java fern, not much else might. Stick with those at first. Make sure you have looked into how to grow them properly (do not burry the java fern "roots"!) and try again.

If you didn't have enough plant material in the tank to start algae taking over may have choked the plants out. There are tons of possibilities. Pictures could help.
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Old 11-20-2013, 01:37 PM   #4
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My guess goes to the stock light. those things are pretty weak. I replaced mine with the 13w fluval compact.
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Old 11-20-2013, 03:25 PM   #5
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I agree that the stock light is weak, but this what I'm getting with it.

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Old 11-20-2013, 03:32 PM   #6
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kane90 please post pictures of the damaged plants.

How long after you add the plants do they deteriorate?

What are the symptoms of the plant problem and where do you see the issue on the plant (old leaves or new)?
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Old 11-20-2013, 07:55 PM   #7
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had the tank now for year and half .... was cycled when first bought ... plants go in they last for couple of months then tend to go a light brown and stop growing and with the anacharis leaves came off and a right pig to get out aswel .... java fern was put in months ago and still alive but only a couple of leaves left that look healthy and new ones do grow .... as for ph its all fine just above 7 when i do a check not sure on other levels .... an i agree about the light it is shocking the adapter has come apart and iv put it back together but light isnt always the brightest think maybe down to a loose connection :/ .... iv recenty bought taiwan moss and trying to carpet with mesh to grow on .... water changes dont get done as often as they should could this help?? as for substrate i am using very small type of black gravel

cheers for the replies people its much appreciated
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Old 11-20-2013, 07:59 PM   #8
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this is the tank as it stands tonight i took out a big fake rock that i had in there as after seeing some of the tanks on here less is definately more
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Old 11-20-2013, 08:11 PM   #9
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Java fern leaves get nasty looking as they age. You trim off the old, encourage the new.

I assume those ferns aren't buried? They do best tied (or super glued) to wood. Tied to a rock will work OK too, but they need to be exposed to water! If they are sitting UNDER those rocks that's part of the problem (it looks like they might be.)

My suggestion:
1. Replace the light. Don't over do it, but get a light that will put you in solid low/medium light range. Get a timer and give it a 8 hour photo period to start. This will mean you never forget to turn it off or on. Consistent light is important.
2. I'd suggest looking into dosing weekly with a general fertilizer like Seachem Flourish. Don't over do it or you'll have algae, but give your plants something to work with. You have one fish in there it isn't creating a lot of waste for the bacteria to process or for the plants to use. So supplement. You don't have to get fancy, you don't need CO2, but a little fert wouldn't hurt.

Frankly I'd try tying that moss to a piece of wood, tie the java fern to it as well and then leave it alone for a couple months. I'm guessing it will start to grow with a little fertilizer and a better light. Moss through mesh will take a long time, at least that's what I've seen. And some varieties of moss just don't grow quickly.
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Old 11-20-2013, 10:31 PM   #10
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tandaina's suggestions are good ones.

Judging by the time it takes your plants to die the problem is probably a lack of nutrients. If the lighting were too low they'd die much faster so it probably isn't that. Though a decent light fixture will make life easier.

I want to add that java ferns are nearly useless to identify deficiencies with. Their natural growth patterns make it difficult to draw any conclusions regarding nutrient deficiencies.

Also, in the future when posting photos please rotate them upright. It makes it a lot easier to identify relevant details when things are in their normal positions.
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Old 11-21-2013, 02:41 PM   #11
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if i was going to superglue the fern do i need a specific type? and they arent sat under the rock iv put a piece of led around them to weigh them down and just hid em at the back sorry about the pic i uploaded from iphone camera library dnt no why it turned it around ..... will have a look at buying some kind of fert to put in when i next have chance along with buy some tandainas

thanks for all the help
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Old 11-21-2013, 03:03 PM   #12
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Cyanoacrylate gel works best. Just read the fine print where it tells you what the glue is. Typically superglue gel or crazy glue gel.

Last edited by jrh; 11-21-2013 at 03:04 PM.. Reason: Typo
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Old 11-21-2013, 06:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kane90 View Post
if i was going to superglue the fern do i need a specific type? and they arent sat under the rock iv put a piece of led around them to weigh them down and just hid em at the back sorry about the pic i uploaded from iphone camera library dnt no why it turned it around ..... will have a look at buying some kind of fert to put in when i next have chance along with buy some tandainas

thanks for all the help
Just get the gel super glue as it sets under water. No need to take anything out of the tank, just apply, hold plant in place for 10 seconds, done. I "paint" all my driftwood with moss this way, so much easier, and so much less swearing than tying it.
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Old 11-26-2013, 07:49 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tandaina View Post
Just get the gel super glue as it sets under water. No need to take anything out of the tank, just apply, hold plant in place for 10 seconds, done. I "paint" all my driftwood with moss this way, so much easier, and so much less swearing than tying it.
thank you so much for the help will pick some up today and paint my stones with moss and one with java fern fingers crossed will all grow well an orderd some fert so will see how it goes
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