Ahh all my plants are getting sick! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-02-2010, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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Ahh all my plants are getting sick!

I just got my planted tank set up. I have all the test kits in the mail, so I can't tell you any water parameters past what I think they are.

I'm using AquariumPlants's own substrate, 130W PC lighting, injected CO2 at about 3bps, a few drops per 10 gallons of AquariumPlants' total liquid, and a capful (10ml) of Excel per day. I have no fish in the tank but a few hitchhiker snails.

According to my digital probe -- my pH is 5.6, water from our tap is 8.8 so I think there's a fair bit of CO2 in there (but the drop checker is still blue...). Photoperiod is 8-10 hours. Temperature is about 78F.

My red flame echinodorus is turning green/white on the tips. The edges (new growth?) of my hygrophila balsamica is white. My cryptocoryne crispatula is turning translucent in places.

How can I save this? I have a bottle of Flourish at home, should I start dosing that and stop dosing AquariumPlants total liquid? Right now I don't care if I swing back around too hard and grow some algae, I plan to stock nothing but algae eaters. I want to make sure I don't lose my stock!
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-02-2010, 09:42 PM
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Based on what you have said i would recommend supplementing some calcium into the tank. White growth can be a sign of a real calcium deficiency
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-02-2010, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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Wouldn't the hardness of my tap water handle that? My GH is (was, IIRC) over 180ppm.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-03-2010, 01:37 PM
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Personally, I wouldn't dive right in to dosing as much of everything as possible. Start slow and work your way up. 3bps and a capful (which I believe is 5ml) of Excel every day seems a bit heavy on the CO2 and no surprise that your ph went from 8.8 to 5.6. The plants are probably struggling to adjust.

How big is the tank? How many plants you got in there?

Echinodorus don't need much CO2 as it is and crypts are known to melt...especially in newly set up tanks.

aquariumplants liquid fertilizer is junk by the way...trust me, I have a half bottle left that is never used anymore. Do you know what's in it...cuz I don't. My guess is that it's trace elements.

65g planted tank - 200W heat - PC 192W/6700K - Eheim 2217 - Pressurized CO2 - EI Dosing
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-03-2010, 02:19 PM
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I agree with Franzi, it's quick and easy to blame it on a Ca+ deficiency but it's probably more to do with the new tank and C02 than anything else. I'd also make sure the photo period is closer to 8 hours than 10 just to keep the complexity down at first.

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-03-2010, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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Alright, so, if I follow right...

Drop CO2 to 2bps.
Drop light to 8hrs.
Do a 33% water change.
Stop dosing Excel.
Start dosing Flourish. (?)

I'd also assume aquariumplants' liquid is trace. Dosing instructions of '1 drop per 10 gallons twice a week' sounds a lot like the dosing instructions for Flourish.


edit: My tank stocking and size and stats and all that jazz is in my User Tanks part in my profile.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-03-2010, 03:20 PM
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With that much co2, light, etc, you need to dose MACROS. I would get dry ferts from aquariumfertilizer.com and dose EI per the recommendations. With that much co2 why are you dosing excel? For algacide purposes?

I don't trust aquariumplants.com at all and they are 10 miles from me. There CS is... well...


You should add root tabs to the substrate too, as I don't think their substrate really has any nutrients in it(I know they say otherwise), but I am positive it is just SMS.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-03-2010, 03:44 PM
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How big is your tank? 3 bps means nothing without knowing this. I have a 125 and I can't tell how many bps I have it's so fast. Drop checker being blue - not enough CO2 - if you have 4dkh water in it.

Did you get your plants from a store or a hobbyist. If your plants are from a hobbyist, I'd say you already have submersed growth so you shouldn't really have melting. If from a store they may be emersed growth and those leaves will melt/die as new submersed growth forms. It won't happen super fast however.

Since we don't know the size of your tank we can't know how well you are doing with light, ferts or anything.

Let your tap water sit for a while and see what the pH is. That's a huge swing in pH. If it were from your CO2 your drop checker would definitely be yellow.

Just keeping on keeping on....


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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-03-2010, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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I do have root tabs (AP.com's...). If you're that close, please go over there and smack some people around for me. They bugged the bejesus out of me. I trust their products but ... grr ... it was probably the last time I'll buy from them.

I'm dosing Excel and CO2 because (from what I've read) each does something the other doesn't, and they overlap well.

I'm trying to find a local source of KNO3 and K2HPO4. I'm wanting to make my own macro solution. I didn't realize I was missing macros ... seems obvious now that I think about it.

But, as is the downside of posting at work, I just got paged so I'll see if anyone has added more information. I plan to hit up a local greenhouse and look for raw powder chemicals over lunch.

edit: I have a 29G, and all my plants were from AquariumPlants.com. They grow theirs underwater.
edit2: Not trying to be a dick, but is my profile not publically visible or something? All of my tank's information is in my one user tank
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-03-2010, 03:58 PM
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oh my, it's a 29g (according to the "view user tanks")? you're totally overdoing the CO2. just for reference, I get about 1 to 1.5 bubbles per second on my 65g and am right in the target range (30) for CO2 with a kh of 4 and ph of 6.6.

I have nothing against aquariumplants.com's substrate and root ferts. I've been using them for months now and my plants grow out of control. As mentioned above though, you should look in to dosing dry ferts since you clearly have plenty of CO2 and plenty of WPG. Check out the EI Dosing sticky and then aquariumfertilizers.com. (It's way cheaper than buying SeaChem stuff every couple months)

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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-03-2010, 03:58 PM
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Local sourcing of small quantities is usually hard unless you have a hydroponics store. Just go to aquariumfertilizer.com and order the macros. 6 bucks for shipping. Will usually be there in 2-3 days. They have been great. Greenhouse fertilizers are going to use urea for a major source, which is not so good for aquariums.

Save yourself the trouble. The chemicals we use are usually purchased in 55 kg drums or 50 lb bags.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-03-2010, 04:01 PM
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It is really hard to assume someone is overdoing co2 unless we see the tank, know the ppm of co2(using a drop checker) and understand what is being lost.

Different diffusion methods could mean different things. Say the OP is diffusing 3 bps of co2 into the tank by just putting the hose in... Well, that would do nada. But say it is inline, that could be way too much. But if the fish aren't gasping, it isn't hurting anything, assuming all other nutrients are non limiting.

Getting nutrients to non limiting levels(co2, light, micros and macros) is the idea of EI. It is what makes it easy to say that you know what is NOT the problem.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-03-2010, 04:57 PM
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Small quantities of ferts is easy, greenleaf's "Green Fertilizer Package" gets you all the basics for $20.

~

Excel and DIY/Pressurized C02 does not contribute different things they are exactly the same with Excel being the slightly worse product tho great for low-light tanks.

~

I think your on the right track it just takes awhile to tweak a tank into harmony.

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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-03-2010, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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over_stocked, I'm using a reactor. I have a near 100% diffusion rate (occasionally a bubble will 'sklorsh' out of the reactor but that happens about twice a day), and no surface agitation. The water moves, but it doesn't break/bubble/foam. I have no livestock yet, outside of some hitchhiking snails -- I wanted to get the plants established and growing first.

I was able to find local cheap sources of potassium nitrate and triple super phosphate -- I have a few pounds of each now. I also have at my disposal ammonium nitrate, aqueous sodium nitrate, sulfuric acid, magnesium sulfate, and sodium disulfite.

I'd obviously rather make a macro solution first, as I can't seem to shake the love of DIY. Is a half-teaspoon each of KNO3 and Ca(H2PO4)2 in my 29G going to kill anything while I'm waiting for my test kits?
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-03-2010, 06:15 PM
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For a 29gal you should be dosing about:

1/4 tsp KN03 3x a week
1/16 tsp KH2P04 3x a week
1/16 tsp K2SO4 3x a week
1/16 tsp Trace 3x a week
50% weekly water change

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Last edited by bradac56; 03-03-2010 at 06:38 PM. Reason: Me no spell good.
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