Plants turning yellow and swords have holes - The Planted Tank Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-20-2009, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
michu's Avatar
 
PTrader: (13/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Addison, TX
Posts: 435
Plants turning yellow and swords have holes

I'm not sure which forum to post this question. Since I'm doing mineralized soil, I decided to post here. If the wrong forum, please let me know where I should post, and I will gladly delete this one and place in the correct forum.

I setup my mineralized top soil tank last Thursday not knowing what I was doing since this is my first planted tank since my old one decades ago where I just threw plants into the gravel under stock hood lights and they grew.

I put in the soil capped with CQ T-grade. I did not have any clay; so I dug river silt which is 35% clay and calculated accordingly. Filled the tank, added Stability, then planted. Tank specs are as follows:

72X18X28.4 tank. (Water level 2 inches from top)
3X24 28 T5 HO 10K Nova Extreme
3X24 28 TG HO 6.8K (I think... says plant light and are pink) Nova Extreme
(Lights are 2.5 inches from tank top making 4.5 inches total from water)

Eheim 2078

With API test strips (I know I need real testing kits, but my biz folded two weeks ago and hubbie was laid off last Thurs, so... I'm stuck for now.)

Ammonia:0
Nitrate:5
Nitrate:0
pH:7
kH:80
gH:120

Fish: 4 juvie angels and 3 cories

The first three days, the plants grew like crazy... just tons of new growth on everything. I expected 90% to melt since I didn't know how to plant them, didn't know what the vast majority of the plants were, didn't care... just stuck them in to heavily plant per Tom Barr. I intended to keep those that survived and go from there. I didn't scape at all... just stuck them in without rhyme or reason planning to move the survivors later and build a scape around those.

I did have this horrid white stuff growing on the stumps I got from the river. Originally I intended to purchase manzanita from a member on another forum, but the layoff occurred; so I put in the river stumps I had found earlier to use for now. I don't believe I cleaned them adequately. I yanked the stumps and the smell was putrid. I spent 4 hours scraping all the rot, soaked them in chlorine, rinsed and rinsed, and put them back in the tank.

Yesterday, I pulled the sword (the one plant I know) and removed all the icky leaves and replaced. The remaining leaves are now turning yellow on the ends. Many of the other plants are turning yellow. All the new growth has come to a standstill. No more beautiful light green on most of the plants. I do have some kind of leggy plant that is growing. My (what I think to be a Val... long thinnish leaves that look twisty.... is holding its own. Half the leaves were melted when I got it in the mail. I just left them and the rest are still there... no growth, no death... just existing. About three plants are melting that I don't know what they are and couldn't identify now to save my life since the leaves are shot. Basically, I think they're all going down because the overall look of the vast majority of the plants are yellow... not green.

What do do?

The tank is deep; so I don't know if the light is getting down there. I bought HOs due to a recommendation from someone that thought those would have a better chance of cutting through all that water. Or... the light is making it and I need CO2? As you can see, I am at a loss and don't know which way to turn to try to fix this.

Oh... and no algae at all so far (except for the plants that arrived in the mail with algae); so I should say no new algae.

Any help you guys could give me would be greatly appreciated!
michu is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-20-2009, 05:17 PM
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,785
After reading your post, I am having second thoughts about experimenting with mineralized topsoil. As I have never experienced anything like that I can only speculate and hope more experienced folks who have undergone similar issues will chime in.

It almost sounds like your substrate may have compacted and may be going anaerobic and roots may be negatively effected by leading to the collapse in growth. If this is the case and hopefully I am mistaken and it is not, the only way to remedy this is to replace the substrate and salvage what you can. You can poke the substrate with the tip of a coat hanger to help oxygenate it, but if this causes the release of hydrogen sulphite gas, it could kill fish so I am reluctant to suggest this. Otherwise, your tank has major nutrient deficiencies. And this could be related to anaerobic conditions. If you roots are growing poorly and you are not dosing water column ferts which you would not do with minearlized topsoil, it would stand to reason that plants would or could not uptake nutrients that they need to keep growing well. Your initial spurt in growth may have been due to the plants using up built up reserves of nutrients to fluorish. Yellowing of leaves often signals a potassium deficiency. Without knowing which of these could be your problem, I am reluctant to advise you to start dosing anything as it could make things worse and if you start dosing you will have to coordinate it with sufficient lighting and c02 to get maximum benefit.

Again, take my advice with a grain of salt as I am only speculating here.
Homer_Simpson is offline  
post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-20-2009, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
michu's Avatar
 
PTrader: (13/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Addison, TX
Posts: 435
Thanks for the reply, Homer; although it doesn't sound too promising. Yikes!
michu is offline  
 
post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-20-2009, 07:15 PM
Planted Tank Guru
 
PTrader: (84/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 21,015
I have always doubted that mineralized topsoil would work with higher light and no fertilizing. I suspect your fast initial growth was using leached nutrients in the water, so now you are starving the plants. Why not try dosing the tank per the EI fertilizing method?

I think you have too much light to do without CO2, also. But, that is just a guess. Sword plants are very easy to grow and they will quickly fill up the tank with massive leaves and lots of new plants on runners if they are well fertilized. That suggests a nutrient shortage too.

Hoppy
Hoppy is offline  
post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-20-2009, 08:05 PM
Many plants...little time
 
Coltonorr's Avatar
 
PTrader: (66/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Northern New Jersey
Posts: 1,634
I see a few problems that make it hard to nail down exactly what is going on...Please don't take this the wrong way.
Locally collected wood, that you don't know what was growing on or in it.
and river silt...that also may have nasty stuff in it...like pollutants etc.
I think it's important to stick with the Mineralized Soil "recipe", because there are some variables that can occur along the way with the soil, and IMO the less variables to control in an aquarium, the easier it will be to have success.

Don't poke holes into it...you will release the soil into the water column then you will have more problems.
I seem to remember that with mineralized soil you will get an initial burst of nutrients in the water, but it takes a bit for the plants to be able to access the nutrients in mineralized soil initially, remember you sort of locked the nutrients under the sand, its going to take some time for the roots to get to it depending on how deep you planted your plants.
Your tank is 150 gallons and is very deep. You are at about 1 wpg. If we are going to follow that rule, I would say you may not have enough light. CO2 usually is added with higher light levels.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Coltonorr is offline  
post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-20-2009, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
michu's Avatar
 
PTrader: (13/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Addison, TX
Posts: 435
I've accidentally poked holes into the water column many times the first 3 days dealing with plants that floated up. Then I bought some super-duper long plastic tweezer thingies and no more mud release. I considered Hoppy's suggestion prior to writing.

Should I take the stumps back out? The fish are fine. I would have thought the stumps would wipe out the fish if they were toxic... or the silt, too. No? Plants susceptible to things that fish are not?
michu is offline  
post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-20-2009, 11:16 PM
Many plants...little time
 
Coltonorr's Avatar
 
PTrader: (66/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Northern New Jersey
Posts: 1,634
The stumps had a white fungus like material growing on them? I have had that on new driftwood I have purchased and it does go away on its own.
My point was that by adding variables to the equation its harder to pinpoint what is going on.
Am I right that you have a 150 gal. tank? I still think you may be lacking light...
I'm not sure I would do anything for awhile though, the tank is only a week old, see what happens. Don't make sweeping or drastic changes. You may loose some plants.
If it were my tank I'd probably not do anything for a bit and just monitor the tank and pull out dead plant matter. Keep testing your water too.
Maybe Hoppy will chime on the dosing again, I don't know though, if I understand the mineralized soil idea, you don't need to dose anything other than the occasional Potassium.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Coltonorr is offline  
post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-20-2009, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
michu's Avatar
 
PTrader: (13/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Addison, TX
Posts: 435
Yes, it looked like white fungus. Maybe I didn't get all the cholorine off them even though I rinsed and rinsed. I'd think the chlorine would have wiped out the angels, though. I'm going to add some more prime, just in case. I'm now wishing I'd just left those darned stumps out. They don't look too hot anyway.

Now I've made another mess. While waiting for you guys to respond, I put in mineralized soil in a 20 gallon tank to move my plants to it in case I needed to get them out of there. When I added the clay soil (from my yard that has been mineralizing), I don't think I added enough because I have a mud bomb going in that tank. LOL That one is going to have to be taken back down. You'd think I'd know by now not to react in panic.
michu is offline  
post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-21-2009, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
michu's Avatar
 
PTrader: (13/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Addison, TX
Posts: 435
Yes, Coltonorr, the tank is 150, but I have the lights close to the top (2.5 inches) and didn't fill the tank to the top (2 inches). There is 20 inches from top of the substrate to the top of the water on one side and 22 inches on the other. I have my substrate higher due to my son throwing in a pleco that he thought I wouldn't mind that he hates that went under the substrate and churned it all up. I had to recap to cover the mud. Since I have too much substrate, Hoppy may be right that it has compacted. I have 4-6 inches of soil total including the bottom grate, 1 to 1/4 inches of soil, 2.5 to 4.5 inches of cap.
michu is offline  
post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-21-2009, 12:27 AM
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,785
I have been reading cases where people set up natural planted tanks with more than a 1/4" layer who experienced poor growth and compacting of the substrate. Deep caps were not the issue in such cases. Perhaps the same thing applies to mineralized topsoil substrates. I asked AaronT about this and he suggested 1/2" layer of mineralized topsoil as the best for the mineralized topsoil layer.
Homer_Simpson is offline  
post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-21-2009, 12:35 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
michu's Avatar
 
PTrader: (13/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Addison, TX
Posts: 435
Oh boy. That might be my problem then. You have no idea how much I shudder at the thought of tearing down that tank... especially since I have no more soil mineralizing and no money to go buy a nutrient-rich substrate. I could go get river silt, but I think I read on Tom Barr's site that it only lasts 6 months to 2 years. :/ This is a big, darned tank to have to keep redoing.

If I do have to redo it due to my plants continuing to go downhill, how much cap should I put? Should I put more to try to get the plants closer to the lights or stick with the 1 to 3 inches as per AaronT?
michu is offline  
post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-21-2009, 12:46 AM
 
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,785
Quote:
Originally Posted by michu View Post
Oh boy. That might be my problem then. You have no idea how much I shudder at the thought of tearing down that tank... especially since I have no more soil mineralizing and no money to go buy a nutrient-rich substrate. I could go get river silt, but I think I read on Tom Barr's site that it only lasts 6 months to 2 years. :/ This is a big, darned tank to have to keep redoing.

If I do have to redo it due to my plants continuing to go downhill, how much cap should I put? Should I put more to try to get the plants closer to the lights or stick with the 1 to 3 inches as per AaronT?
The cap is not a problem and even SCMurphy indicates that a deep cap within reason should not cause issues. I think it is the bottom or first layer of soil if over 1/2" could cause problems, but even this is not without controversy. That is why it is hard to say for sure if this is even the problem. Normally when you have deep rooting plants like swords and cryptocornes it is stated that the rooting action itself causes the release of oxygen into the substrate and this should prevent compacting.
Homer_Simpson is offline  
post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-21-2009, 12:51 AM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
 
michu's Avatar
 
PTrader: (13/100%)
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Addison, TX
Posts: 435
Should I stick the swords further down into the CQ? I watched a video that I found the link on here that said to cut off the roots to 1.5 inches and stick the sword in the gravel which is what I did. It had nice long roots that I could have got down to the soil if I hadn't cut them off. Or should I just be patient and hope the sword grows roots deeply before it croaks? Maybe stick a fert tab underneath them?
michu is offline  
post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-21-2009, 01:57 AM
Many plants...little time
 
Coltonorr's Avatar
 
PTrader: (66/100%)
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Northern New Jersey
Posts: 1,634
michu,
clipping the roots should stimulate growth of more roots, it "shocks" the plant. don't add a root tab...the point of the mineralized soil is the soil provides plenty of nutrients for the plant...so much nutrients in fact that if you stir it up and get it in the water column you can expect major green water and other algae problems...
I think you are heading toward disaster...Slow down.
I too think you may have a little too much mineralized soil substrate, but don't over react. Again the tank is just over a week old...and again, I would let the tank run for a month to 6 weeks before I even attempted to make a small change.
How long are your lights running for?
Are you dosing anything?
don't do anything drastic...let it ride...the tank is a week old.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Coltonorr is offline  
post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-21-2009, 02:12 AM
Planted Tank VIP
 
Gatekeeper's Avatar
 
PTrader: (96/100%)
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Earth
Posts: 6,628
Yep, slow down. best advise I have seen. Leave it alone. perhaps dose a weee bit of K, but other then that....get your hands out of the water.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Gatekeeper is offline  
Reply

Tags
None

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome