What's missing? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 12:17 AM Thread Starter
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What's missing?

I got my first tank in January, now I have 4. I am hopeless. My 20g has black gravel, 2 bettas, 2 dwarf guarami, 9 neons, 2 corys, 4 guppies, and shrimp. I have a riparium? style w/ 2 ribbon plants, 1 bamboo, another roots only in water and a peace lily. I have an amazon bleheri doing real well, one on a moss ball doing poorly (pic), cabomba doing so/so, hornwart that was doing great, now not so much (pic) moneyworth so/so, and some anarchis that is still hanging around. I tried Frogbit and water lettuce with no luck.



I have an Aqueon LED light strip that is programmable, Marineland Penguin 150 Biowheel, an Aquapapa corner filter (air driven), and an air stone.

I am guessing I am considered low tech? Still have not found definition of high tech yet.....



My water testing: GH 7, KH 3, pH 7.4, Ammonia <0.25, nitrites 0, nitrates 60. This is pre water change. My water pH is 6.4 out of the tap (I will set some out over night and test it), but this tank is always at 7.6. I use Flourish regularly. I have Excel and Iron, but don't know when to use them. What can I do to help the plants? The Amazon on the moss ball was never very healthy. The hornwart has really gone downhill and almost looks like it is getting something nasty. I am open to suggestions!! I appreciate your time and advice!

Bump: shucks, I don't know how to post pics on this site....
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 06:26 AM
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Generally high tech tanks have CO2 injection. Low tech has no CO2 injection. I would guess your plant problems are fertilizer related. Do I understand correctly that only the 20 gallon has fish in it and all the others are just plants? Man places in the pacific northwest have very soft water. Soft water has very low levels of calcium and magnesium in the water. Your fertilizer has very low levels of calcium and magnesium which are essential for plant growth. In fact most fertilizers don't have calcium. So I would suggest getting GH (general hardness) and KH (carbonate hardness) test kit to determine if your water is soft or hard.

If your water is soft you probably need to increase the GH of your water with a GH booster. Seachem Equilibrium and Nilocg.com GH booster. Then use your GH KH test kit to monitor and keep your GH and KH stable. your fertilizer is probably Flourish comprehensive It has a wide variety of nutrients in it but most are at low levels except for iron. I see no reason to use your iron at this time.

Excel is an organic acid that most plants can use as a source of carbon. Normally plants get the carbon for Carbon dioxide. But in low tech aquarium CO2 levels can be very low. people often dose excel once per day. Unfortunately some plants are sensitive to it. It will likely kill your anacharis. If you want to keep the anacharis don't use Excel. If you don't want to keep the Anacharis i would use it according to the instructions on the bottle.

Long term you should consider switching to a better fertilizer such as Nilocg.com thrive, or Aquariumcoop.com Easy Green.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Capers7 View Post
Bump: shucks, I don't know how to post pics on this site....

When you are typing a post- click 'go advanced' and then it will have a button for attachments. Alternately you can host the images on a server like photobucket... or other free photo sharing service and include the link

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 06:39 PM Thread Starter
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When you are typing a post- click 'go advanced' and then it will have a button for attachments. Alternately you can host the images on a server like photobucket... or other free photo sharing service and include the link
Thank you for that!!

Thank you so much for your help!!

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Originally Posted by Surf View Post
Do I understand correctly that only the 20 gallon has fish in it and all the others are just plants?
All 4 tanks are planted with fish, 2 have shrimp, some have snails. I have an acquisition disease and the beauty of aquascaping has caught my creative eye.



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Originally Posted by Surf View Post
If your water is soft you probably need to increase the GH of your water with a GH booster. Seachem Equilibrium and Nilocg.com GH booster. Then use your GH KH test kit to monitor and keep your GH and KH stable.
I have a GH/KH kit, I had seen others putting in single numbers so thought it was common to put the number of drops. The GH took 7 drops, so ~120 ppm, the KH took 3, so <50.



What is the proper levels to keep them at?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Surf View Post
Excel is an organic acid that most plants can use as a source of carbon. Normally plants get the carbon for Carbon dioxide. But in low tech aquarium CO2 levels can be very low. people often dose excel once per day. Unfortunately some plants are sensitive to it. It will likely kill your anacharis. If you want to keep the anacharis don't use Excel. If you don't want to keep the Anacharis i would use it according to the instructions on the bottle.
Good to know. I will decide about the anachris. It is not my favorite plant. With a CO2 injection system, do you have to get one for every tank? Or can one cylinder inject multiple tanks?


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Originally Posted by Surf View Post
Long term you should consider switching to a better fertilizer such as Nilocg.com thrive, or Aquariumcoop.com Easy Green.
This is something I have been reading, so I will be upgrading when I can!



Once again, thank you so much for all the information!

Last edited by Darkblade48; 05-17-2019 at 12:01 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-16-2019, 11:32 PM
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...
I have a GH/KH kit, I had seen others putting in single numbers so thought it was common to put the number of drops. The GH took 7 drops, so ~120 ppm, the KH took 3, so <50.
If your KH is 3 and your GH is 7 you more than likely have enough Ca & Mg. Most plants we keep like soft water anyway and your getting some of these from your tap as well as the Flourish Comp.


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