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Old Today, 05:56 PM   #1
deltaphi
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Advice Needed! - 10g Low Tech Planted Tank


Hello - total newb here,

I have just recently set up a 10g tank (also happens to be my first tank ever). I am currently in the process of cycling my tank with ammonia (no fish, although there are 4 mature ramshorns).

I've added some plants about 4 days ago (anubias nana, java fern, java or xmas moss, water sprite and cryptocoryne broadleaf) but they are not doing so well (already)

I would really appreciate some advice on what I can do to make them thrive! (Don't worry about using complex language - I'm a chemist)

Set-up:
tank: 10g
substrate: normal black gravel
lighting: basic LEd strip that came with the hood (wattage calculated to be ~1.8 (?)) - already looking for a better hood with screw-in bulb capability
photoperiod: 12hours
Temp: 27C
CO2: none (and would like to keep it that way)
ferts/supplements: none
tank is also filtered and has an air stone

water:
pH: 7.8
hardness: listed as 2 degrees for my city (online source)

Is it that I need ferts/supplements? If so, could you recommend a specific brand and dosing frequency?

Thank you!
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Old Today, 06:08 PM   #2
Mariostg
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Welcome deltaphi.
Because you are using gravel, and not dosing anything, it won't be long that the plants will starve. Even well fed, some plants may degrade or melt when move to a new environment.

The plants you have are considered low lights so in theory, your strip might be ok. For comparison purposes, if you will, in my 10 gal I use 2 CFL 13 watts, 6500K)

Personnally, I fert wilth K2SO4. It's much cheaper that way. And that's for my 4 tanks, the 3 others are dirt tanks. None use CO2. I also add chelated iron. This is the two most important element as they are not found in fish food in quantity large enough.

As far as dosing go, I will let someone chime in. I don't really dose, I add small quantities in a rather random manner, and so small, I don't even bother making a solution.

Nice to see a chemist here BTW
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Old Today, 06:10 PM   #3
jorstrick
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Not sure about light as plants need a certain spectrum to thrive as for ferts this site has a lot of sellers also greenleafaquarium.com has good ones. Look up ei method of dosing and flourish excel for carbon and algae control also a different substrate may be beneficial for tank and plants. That's just my 2 cents. I'm no expert lol

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Old Today, 06:12 PM   #4
Nano-Nater
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deltaphi View Post
Hello - total newb here,

-I have just recently set up a 10g tank . I am currently in the process of cycling my tank.

-I've added some plants about 4 days ago (anubias nana, java fern, java or xmas moss, water sprite and cryptocoryne broadleaf) but they are not doing so well (already)
Hi and welcome to this wonderful hobby!

It is very common for plants to "melt" when first introduced to a new aquarium because it has been growing under different conditions prior to being added to your tank. the plants will first concentrate on growing their roots and old leaves may decay rapidly(or the plant just generally will look "bad") while the plant is "acclimating" to your tank's water chemistry. it usually takes a week or 2 to see signs of new growth once added.
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Old Today, 06:19 PM   #5
xmpjx
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Totally agree ^

My plants are on day 3 in my aquarium and look horrid right now. But a few have some new growth!
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Old Today, 06:23 PM   #6
deltaphi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mariostg View Post
Welcome deltaphi.
Because you are using gravel, and not dosing anything, it won't be long that the plants will starve. Even well fed, some plants may degrade or melt when move to a new environment.

The plants you have are considered low lights so in theory, your strip might be ok. For comparison purposes, if you will, in my 10 gal I use 2 CFL 13 watts, 6500K)

Personnally, I fert wilth K2SO4. It's much cheaper that way. And that's for my 4 tanks, the 3 others are dirt tanks. None use CO2. I also add chelated iron. This is the two most important element as they are not found in fish food in quantity large enough.

As far as dosing go, I will let someone chime in. I don't really dose, I add small quantities in a rather random manner, and so small, I don't even bother making a solution.

Nice to see a chemist here BTW
Thanks Mariostg!

Should I be trimming back the melted/holey pieces?

Where do you go about buying your K2SO4 and chelated iron for your tanks? (I could in theory get some from my research lab, but who knows what it would be contaminated with..)

Also, since I don't have any fish in there at the moment (hence, no fish food), should I use a more all-round fert in the meantime? or just go get some fish food?
side note: I'm planning to keep dwarf puffers, so there will not be pellet/flake food going in on a regular basis..

thank you! I'm currently getting my PhD in chemistry, however I mainly focus on transition metal stuff, so there's not a lot of cross-over to planted tanks..

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nano-Nater View Post
Hi and welcome to this wonderful hobby!

It is very common for plants to "melt" when first introduced to a new aquarium because it has been growing under different conditions prior to being added to your tank. the plants will first concentrate on growing their roots and old leaves may decay rapidly(or the plant just generally will look "bad") while the plant is "acclimating" to your tank's water chemistry. it usually takes a week or 2 to see signs of new growth once added.
Thank you Nano-Nater!
Do I just start picking off the dying pieces?
I read somewhere that you can float dead-looking java fern leaves and they will reward you with new growth.. true?
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