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Old 03-05-2012, 06:02 PM   #1
Ahenobarb
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Plants Sad, but Determined


I have a 20 gallon tank that I have put various live plants in over time. However, apart from Anubias and Hygrophilia, none of the others have lasted.

[I had some successful tall thin grass growing once, but the loaches kept digging them up until i just gave up on them.]

The thing about the Anubias is that I put it in the tank a nice big healthy plant, over the next few days the leaves turn yellow and start to fall off, then I have these micro growth buds that would indicate the plant is trying to grow, but the never develop. Sort of like they're stunted or something.

I started treating the water with FloraPride (Iron, Potassium) and that seems to have stopped the yellowing problem. Also, I put liquid CO2 in the tank from time to time (but I have a wave maker in the tank which I've been told sort of blends out the CO2).

So what am I missing to get these plants flourishing and bubbling out oxygen for my fishes?
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:19 PM   #2
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whats your lighting? substrate? temp? lighting period?
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:09 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahenobarb View Post
I have a 20 gallon tank that I have put various live plants in over time. However, apart from Anubias and Hygrophilia, none of the others have lasted.

[I had some successful tall thin grass growing once, but the loaches kept digging them up until i just gave up on them.]

The thing about the Anubias is that I put it in the tank a nice big healthy plant, over the next few days the leaves turn yellow and start to fall off, then I have these micro growth buds that would indicate the plant is trying to grow, but the never develop. Sort of like they're stunted or something.

I started treating the water with FloraPride (Iron, Potassium) and that seems to have stopped the yellowing problem. Also, I put liquid CO2 in the tank from time to time (but I have a wave maker in the tank which I've been told sort of blends out the CO2).

So what am I missing to get these plants flourishing and bubbling out oxygen for my fishes?
Hello A...

Lighting is most important. I just researched the plants I wanted and got the appropriate lighting. If you can get the total watts between 1.5 and 2 watts per gallon of tank volume, you can grow most of the aquatic plants available. I use 6500 K bulbs, they come closest to natural daylight at 5500 K.

Fertilizer is important too. I rely on the kind the fish produce and that seems to work fine, but I have very heavily fish stocked tanks. I also use a hydroponics liquid from Earth Juice called "Microblast". My plants do well with the combination of this and the fish wastes.

My plants never did real well until I started to change out half the tank water every week. Apparently, the plants weren't getting enough minerals and the large, weekly water changes keep the mineral levels up.

B
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:28 PM   #4
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+1 to lighting and water changes. Your fish will be happier too!
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:14 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by johnny313 View Post
whats your lighting? substrate? temp? lighting period?
This is what we need to know to give meaningful advice. By lighting, we mean what kind of light, T8, CFL, T5HO, T5NO, etc. and hopefully who made the light fixture.
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Old 03-06-2012, 05:04 AM   #6
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This is what we need to know to give meaningful advice. By lighting, we mean what kind of light, T8, CFL, T5HO, T5NO, etc. and hopefully who made the light fixture.
Should have mentioned:

The lighting is from Coralife, the one that fits with the 20 gallon tank, with "high output" (according to the box) T5 lights offering 10,000K and 24 watts.
[looks like this: http://www.shopping.com/Coralife-Cor...-Coralife/info ]

The substrate is a dark rock mixture (I forget the brand) that is specifically meant for growing live plants.

I believe the soil and lights are appropriate, but still no flourishing.

Perhaps, I should just do more frequent water changes? Would they really react that much to this? Are they highly sensitive to nitrates (I change when I go from yellow to orange (12.5 mg/l)?

I think there's something I'm missing (or have too much of) in the water.
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Old 03-06-2012, 04:21 PM   #7
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I believe that tank is 16 inches high and 24 inches long. With that height and that light you definitely do have high light. But, with high light you have to use CO2 and you have to dose nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium and a complete trace element mix. You aren't doing those things, so the plants will be unhealthy. You can raise that light 6-8 inches above the top of the tank, reducing the intensity down to low to medium. That will reduce the plants needs for all of those nutrients, and they will be much healthier.
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:29 AM   #8
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I see. So I'm cooking them almost. would reducing the number of hours of light help? Or do I have to raise it up? That might be a bit difficult. I could call coralife again and see if they have higher feet.

Hmm, I might do that anyway because the light is interfering with me getting access to the tank sometimes.
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:39 PM   #9
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Update: Spoke with coralife today, they don't have higher legs.

Looks like I'll have to go to hardware store and see if I can rig something on my own.
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:47 PM   #10
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You can hang it depending on where it is, but rigging a stand might be easier.
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:00 PM   #11
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You can hang it depending on where it is, but rigging a stand might be easier.
I'd prefer to hang the light, but I'm in an apartment. Probably get quite a few questions about that on move out.

I'll see what I can make stable with brackets from the hardware store.
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