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Old 02-13-2013, 02:05 PM   #1
CatoeSc
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Browning Plants-Help


So, I'm sure nearly everybody here has faced this challenge, but my plants appear to be unhealthy and most are browning around.

The following are the plants I have and how they are doing.

2 Banana - okay.
2 Red Melon Swords - Lots of brown
Anacharis - Outstanding
Micro sword - okay, but not spreading.
Balansae - terrible

I used some API root tabs last week and it seems to have helped some, but I'm looking for tips to keep them nice and green. Many appear have algae growth in stems.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

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Old 02-13-2013, 03:23 PM   #2
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Hello Cat...

Plants take weeks to get used to new tank conditions. So, patience is a must. Newly planted plants will look poorly for a time and die back, but most will recover.

Check the lighting requirements of your plants and make sure you're providing the right amount. 6500K bulbs are recommended for most aquarium plants, because this color value best mimics natural daylight at 5500K.

Large, weekly water changes are helpful because they maintain healthy levels of phosphate, nitrate and sulfate in the water. All are necessary for plant growth.

I prefer liquid ferts, but there are others in granules, dry and tablets. Just dose according to the instructions. I recommend cycling different ferts every few weeks. Plants are much like people, they do best with a variety.

Just some suggestions, there are always alternatives.

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Old 02-13-2013, 03:30 PM   #3
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Large, weekly water changes are not necessarily helpful for your tank. If they're not necessary? Don't do them - they can be wasteful and potentially harmful, livestock depending.

Switching fertilizers sounds unnecessary and is a potential waste of money. If you have something that works, use it. The cheapest method for your tank will be root tabs. The next cheapest is to use dry fertilizers to your own specifications. $20 worth of ferts could potentially last you a couple years.

What kind of lighting do you have (T5NO/T5HO/etc)? It looks pretty strong. If you have too much light and aren't using pressurized CO2 and proper ferts, you're begging for an algae farm.

How old is your tank? What are your water parameters?
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Old 02-13-2013, 04:03 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
Large, weekly water changes are not necessarily helpful for your tank. If they're not necessary? Don't do them - they can be wasteful and potentially harmful, livestock depending.

Switching fertilizers sounds unnecessary and is a potential waste of money. If you have something that works, use it. The cheapest method for your tank will be root tabs. The next cheapest is to use dry fertilizers to your own specifications. $20 worth of ferts could potentially last you a couple years.

What kind of lighting do you have (T5NO/T5HO/etc)? It looks pretty strong. If you have too much light and aren't using pressurized CO2 and proper ferts, you're begging for an algae farm.

How old is your tank? What are your water parameters?
My tank is a 40 gallon breeder (36x18x16) and was set up at the beginning of January.

I borrowed a light until just a few days ago and did get an algae problem as evidenced by what are supposed to be white rocks that are green in the pics above. I have removed and cleaned these rocks since then. I have 7 otos and a bushy nose pleco to help fight the algae as well. Tried RCS, but they appear to have become an expensive snack for my swords.

My new lights are AquaticLife HO T5. I have 2 fixtures for a total of 2 39W 650 nm pink roseate bulbs and 2 39W 6,000K bulbs. They are on a timer now for 10 hours per day.

I'm using RO water from the LFS and my ammonia and nitrites are at zero. My nitrates have been as high 80 PPM. I keep it at 78 to 80 degrees and its pH is 7.6.

I'm not using any ferts yet other than the tabs I tried and don't know anything about CO2 yet.

What type of root tabs/granules/etc. do you recommend?
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Old 02-13-2013, 04:19 PM   #5
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You have medium to high light, most likely high light. If you use that much light the plants will quickly use up whatever nutrients they can get from the substrate and then starve. The light intensity drives the plants to grow very fast, so they need all of the nutrients needed to build plant tissue at that rate. Those nutrients include carbon, which, for that light intensity, needs to be CO2 dissolved in the water.

All of the plants you have can grow very well with much less light, and would then need far less nutrients and might be able to get by with just the atmospheric CO2 that dissolves into the water. Just one of those Aquaticlife 2 bulb T5HO lights, hanging about 1 to 2 feet above the top of the tank, would give you enough of light.
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:18 PM   #6
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I can't hang the lights, but would it be worth considering to only put 1 light on the timer and only run the 2nd light in evenings or weekends or to put the 2nd light on a different timer for a shorter "on" time?
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:43 PM   #7
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If you can't hang the lights, you'll want to use some fiberglass window screen between the tank and the fixture in order to cut lighting down. May not be the most attractive but it works really well.

About RO/DI water. What are you using to remineralize the water?
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:46 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
If you can't hang the lights, you'll want to use some fiberglass window screen between the tank and the fixture in order to cut lighting down. May not be the most attractive but it works really well.

About RO/DI water. What are you using to remineralize the water?
I'm only using salt- 1 TBLSPN per 5 gallons. Nothing else right now.
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:31 AM   #9
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What else should I use aside from the salt?
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Old 02-14-2013, 12:09 PM   #10
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It depends upon your needs in the tank. Are you keeping soft water critters or plants?

There are quite a few products on the market to add the minerals back to RO/DI (without waste and yucky stuff) that you remove during the filtration process. Kent, Seachem, Mosura, Shirakura, et al make decent products but there are others on the market. If you're not keeping something sensitive like shrimp, you could even make your own mix. Just do a search here on the forum to find a solution that works for you.
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:51 PM   #11
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I am keeping shrimp, otos, 1 BN pleco, cardinal tetras and Livebearers. As far as plays go, they are listed in my original post, but I don't know if they are soft/hard water plants.
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Old 02-15-2013, 03:47 AM   #12
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Picked up a bottle of Sechem Aquavitro Envy. 7mL 3x/ week. Hoping this is a good "all around" fert.

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Old 02-15-2013, 04:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Picked up a bottle of Sechem Aquavitro Envy. 7mL 3x/ week. Hoping this is a good "all around" fert.

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Has anybody had any luck with this?
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Old 02-15-2013, 04:31 PM   #14
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That stuff isn't a fertilizer. It is a lure to get you to buy it. A fertilizer would have N, in the form of NO3 or NH4, K, and P, in the form of PO4. It would also have iron, magnesium, sulfur, etc. There are few, if any, all-in-one aquatic plant fertilizers that are complete enough to use alone. This isn't even close to being one.
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Old 02-15-2013, 04:58 PM   #15
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I thought i was reading the lable to an energy drink....looks like red bull. How ever here is a link to a forum discussing it and the differences from a Seachem rep. http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...questions.html

According to seachem...its what plants crave...
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