Should I be doing something different with my plants? Advice needed!
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Old 03-05-2013, 01:33 AM   #1
K8xp
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Should I be doing something different with my plants? Advice needed!


Hello : ) new to forum, still kinda new to planted aquariums. Quick run down: I started my 20gal all natural tank in October, fishless cycled with an amazon sword, anubias nana, and a java fern, then stocked with some green tiger barbs after cycling. Fish are doing wonderfully, no illness, but the plants... Ehh... I need some help!

Current plant stock: Anubias Nana, Amazon Sword, Italian Val, Java Fern, some water lettuce (which isn't doing well) and a new Bacopa (also kinda not doing well.)

Equipment: Regular Petco gravel. I have an Aqueon Dual bulb T5 fixture with the 6.7k and colormax bulbs. Flourish root tabs, and liquid API Leaf Zone.

I really love the bacopa! but it is turning slimy and some leaves are brown? And my water lettuce the leaves are constantly dissolving.

I will soon be upgrading this tank for my barbs, either a 30 or 40 gal, and if I need better lights/substrate for my plants I want to make sure I have everything set : )


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Old 03-05-2013, 04:00 AM   #2
Mattymo92
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When you do your upgrade you should consider either doing a dirted tank with a cap of something like fluorite or black fluorite sand.. your amazon sword would sure appreciate it... You could also just do straight fluorite or eco complete... but I would still use root tabs. And as far as lighting goes, I started with the aqueon 25 gallon set up and ended up buying a second aqueon duel t5 fixture. It bumped me up way over 2 watts per gallon and its been working very well for me!

Also, you should consider using either API CO2 booster or Seachem Flourish Excel... I use API CO2 booster and have no problems with my corkscrew vals and anacharis as people have reported excel caused problems for those plants for them.

Hope that helps!

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Old 03-05-2013, 04:03 AM   #3
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I've heard the same thing about excel. I don't really like my vals though haha. I meant to get the corkscrew ones... So might just ditch these and buy another background one that excel won't hurt.

I'll def get the dirt. Can you put a thin layer of gravel over the dirt, too?
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:20 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K8xp View Post
Hello : ) new to forum, still kinda new to planted aquariums. Quick run down: I started my 20gal all natural tank in October, fishless cycled with an amazon sword, anubias nana, and a java fern, then stocked with some green tiger barbs after cycling. Fish are doing wonderfully, no illness, but the plants... Ehh... I need some help!

Current plant stock: Anubias Nana, Amazon Sword, Italian Val, Java Fern, some water lettuce (which isn't doing well) and a new Bacopa (also kinda not doing well.)

Equipment: Regular Petco gravel. I have an Aqueon Dual bulb T5 fixture with the 6.7k and colormax bulbs. Flourish root tabs, and liquid API Leaf Zone.

I really love the bacopa! but it is turning slimy and some leaves are brown? And my water lettuce the leaves are constantly dissolving.

I will soon be upgrading this tank for my barbs, either a 30 or 40 gal, and if I need better lights/substrate for my plants I want to make sure I have everything set : )


I think your setup is ok. All it need is more Co2. I have similar setup and I have the same issue b4. then I added API co2 booster and everything grew.even my java fern which took forever to grow and now have baby plantlet. If you decide to try the liquid co2 route, dose slowly and gradually build it up to recommended dosage for your vals sake
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:38 AM   #5
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Quote:
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I've heard the same thing about excel. I don't really like my vals though haha. I meant to get the corkscrew ones... So might just ditch these and buy another background one that excel won't hurt.

I'll def get the dirt. Can you put a thin layer of gravel over the dirt, too?
Im very new to this too, but I don't see why you couldn't! the only reason I recommend fluorite or fluorite sand as a cap is that it is a mineralized substrate, and gravel is instead inert ( having no value to the plants other than to anchor it) So in short a fluorite cap would make your substrate as a whole more fertile than gravel would. The black fluorite sand is very attractive too. But its up to you, its all personal preference.

Oh and make sure you get organic potting soil with no fertalizers or chemicals in it.. or you could go the ADA aquasoil route yet another option for substrate.

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Old 03-05-2013, 04:47 AM   #6
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Thanks I'll def consider the CO2 and just a whole different background plant anyway, so not gonna worry about the vals.

Think I'll do Eco Complete as full substrate, read up on it and it seems the best. Maybe thin gravel on top, I just prefer a lighter colored substrate and my barbs like to peck at the rocks too
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Old 03-05-2013, 05:02 AM   #7
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I also noticed you have duckweed. I heared ppl says Vals emits chemicals to suppress or kill off duckweeds. I don't know it it works both ways but maybe worth some research
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Old 03-05-2013, 05:14 AM   #8
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Ooh, good info will check that out. Might even keep the vals in the 20 and move the duckweed to the new big tank, see if that works
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:30 PM   #9
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http://shop.plantedaquariumscentral....r-HYAUGUST.htm

Thinking about buying this to replace the Vals. What do you guys think? Good plant?
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:09 AM   #10
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Just my 2 cents, but your water lettuce shouldn't need co2 additives as it can draw it from the air. I am not sure as to the solution, but imho it would point to a nutrient deficiency of another sort. What is your dosing schedule?
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:47 AM   #11
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Default Re: Should I be doing something different with my plants? Advice needed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by K8xp View Post
Thanks I'll def consider the CO2 and just a whole different background plant anyway, so not gonna worry about the vals.

Think I'll do Eco Complete as full substrate, read up on it and it seems the best. Maybe thin gravel on top, I just prefer a lighter colored substrate and my barbs like to peck at the rocks too
I run eco complete in my 150 gallon planted puffer tank. Its not bad. Its basically inert lava rock thats easy to plant into. You will still have to root tab it to allow your plants to flourish. My plants were slow growing untill i root tabbed my substrate along with ei dosing. Now they grow pretty fast but i am battling hair algae pretty bad right now.

If you can i would do ada amazonia. It will make your plants grow beautifully and will not have the need to root tab it for about a year. Only issue is it leeches ammonia pretty bad until it cycles as to where eco complete wont. I would switch to ada ammazonia if i didnt need like $3-$400 worth of it to cover my bottom of my tank.


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Old 03-06-2013, 12:55 AM   #12
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Default Re: Should I be doing something different with my plants? Advice needed!

This is my puffer tank with brown and black mixed eco-complete. I had to redo my tank due to algae and had to trial and error plants with my fahaka to se which ones he wouldnt chop down... So far these are safe with him. Gotta do some more trials with other plant to fill it in with
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:39 AM   #13
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Don't like the water lettuce anyway. Think it is rotting from getting the top wet? Kinda dumb. Lol. So will be getting rid of that as well.

I started looking into pressurized Co2.. Omg so confusing. And looks very expensive. I'm going to keep my tank low light, get some good substrate and keep up on those root tabs. I dose the API leaf Zone once weekly, but I don't do the full amount, as I already have a small amount of bluegreen algae.

Thanks Boosted, I like the look of the substrate. And puffers are so damn cute : )

Oh and also what should I do about my bacopa? Do I just need to give it a chance to get used to my tank? I put a fresh root tab near it when planted. Woke up today to see yet another strand floating at the top with mushy stem though
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:41 AM   #14
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Default Re: Should I be doing something different with my plants? Advice needed!

Pressurized co2 for your 20 gal is pretty inexpensive. You can do paintball sized canister setup with a diffuser, bubble counter and drop checker for a low cost. Check your water parameters and see what they are at. Dosing usually wont cause algae, light, water quality causes it most the time. My issue is i use tap water. In arizona it is hard. I have a high kh, about 15 degrees which is high for a planted tank. My fahaka puffer needs high ph, hard water, so i have to take the bad with the good of doing a puffer planted tank cause those two usually dont mix. Plus a weekly water change on my 150 gallon woth r.o. Water would be expensive. Once he matures i will limely transfer my plants to my 55 gallon and do that one right. He will be more sensitive to co2 and lower ph when mature. Here he is. He is about 4-5 months old right now.
This was taken when he was about 2-3 months.
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:44 AM   #15
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Default Re: Should I be doing something different with my plants? Advice needed!

On your bacopa, give it a chance. Some will die off when newly planted. I alway lose some plants at first too. My rotalla magenta on the right of my tank started as 6 stems that withered down to 2 stems, the stronger ones thrived and now look how much grew. Look into dry ferts and ei dosing. Thats what i did and it helped alot.
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