Plants not growing/thriving - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-28-2019, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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Plants not growing/thriving

Hello,
Here are my specs
75G - 48"Lx21"H width doesnt matter
Finnex Planted+ CC series 48" light (12 hrs of light)

Seachem Flourite substrate - about 2.5-3 inches
GH - 4
KH - 3
PH- 7.4
Plants - Amazon Swords, MicroSword, Monte Carlo, Lugwidia (I think) and Java Fern

They are in the tank for about 3 weeks now. Tank is still cycling (fishless). I am in nitrite spike step where Ammonia doesnt remain but Nirites donot get consumed fully. So the Nitrates are high 80ppm.
CO2 - DIY CO2 injection (12 hrs of injection along with light)



Dosage:
Seachem Flourish - 2 times a week
Seachem Phosphorous - 3 times a week

Seachem Potassium - 3 times a week
Seachem Iron - 3 times a week


All the plants have melted and come back about a 1.5 weeks ago. There is some algae in the tank. I think its because of high nitrates and since I add ammonia for cycling. I dont see growth for micro sword and monte carlo specifically. Please help!
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-28-2019, 11:25 PM
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DIY CO2 on a 75G is pretty daunting task to achieve any kind of real co2 levels. I don't know how strong the light is for a 21" Deep tank. 12 hours of light on a thinly planted tank is going to grow lots of algae.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-01-2019, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asteroid View Post
DIY CO2 on a 75G is pretty daunting task to achieve any kind of real co2 levels. I don't know how strong the light is for a 21" Deep tank. 12 hours of light on a thinly planted tank is going to grow lots of algae.

Agreed.



The PH and KH would indicate that there is a very minimal amount of CO2. That, coupled with the 12 hour lighting period and ferts, is all but guaranteed to cause a lot of algae growth rather than healthy plant growth. It's all a balancing act between CO2, fert, and light. I'd recommend using this site as a reference: https://www.advancedplantedtank.com/...h-plllars.html
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-03-2019, 05:38 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys! What do you think should be ideal light exposure?
I want add more plants in the future. I will up my lighting.

I understand that lot of light and ferts will lead to algae growth. But why is this inhibiting plant growth?
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-05-2019, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by sagarjoshi View Post
Thanks guys! What do you think should be ideal light exposure?
I want add more plants in the future. I will up my lighting.

I understand that lot of light and ferts will lead to algae growth. But why is this inhibiting plant growth?

Think of the inverse of what you said there - To help balance the light/fert/CO2, you would want to decrease the lighting and ferts. The inhibitor of the plant growth right now is the lack of CO2 (especially for the Monte Carlo). Plants are comprised of carbon more than any other element. If you don't provide them with enough CO2, then the light and ferts are mostly going to help the algae (as algae doesn't require CO2 to grow).

In your situation, I would cut back the lighting to 8 hours/day, and decrease the ferts to 1x/wk at most... maybe even less with how thinly planted the tank currently is. Once you are able to maintain the CO2 at a reasonable level (TBH - a DIY setup on a 75 gal will be near impossible) and the tank is more densely planted, you can slowly start to increase the lighting and ferts back to where they are now. On a 75 gal, I would recommend either buying a CO2 injection system or use a liquid CO2 like Sechem Flourish Excel. Also, for the time being, I would change 50% of the water weekly.

Last edited by Quicksilver2299; 03-05-2019 at 03:16 PM. Reason: Added content
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-09-2019, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you everyone for you inputs. In general I observed that everyone is recommending me to go for pressurized CO2 system instead of my current DIY. This is my first attempt at DIY so I am pretty new at this.

Can someone recommend CO2 systems? I am not sure how expensive they are. I live in Redmond, WA. If anyone knows places where I can reduce costs, please let me know, I really appreciate it.


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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-09-2019, 07:30 PM
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Try to go on offerup or any kind of local forum to see if someone is going to sell a co2 tank sometimes you get lucky and they are selling a whole setup. I and barely getting into co2 as well and Iíve spent about $200 for 2 5lb tanks, co2 art regulator and the diffuser. I donít think any of the ones you can get on amazon are going to be good.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-09-2019, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by tater12 View Post
Try to go on offerup or any kind of local forum to see if someone is going to sell a co2 tank sometimes you get lucky and they are selling a whole setup. I and barely getting into co2 as well and I’ve spent about $200 for 2 5lb tanks, co2 art regulator and the diffuser. I don’t think any of the ones you can get on amazon are going to be good.
Yeah TBH I wouldn't even bother with anything from amazon when we are talking about co2 failure = dead tank inhabitants.
That co2 art regulator looks pretty good, only $125 for a dual stage regulator is pretty crazy assuming the needle valve doesn't float.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-09-2019, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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Where will I find CO2 tanks?


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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-10-2019, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by sagarjoshi View Post
Where will I find CO2 tanks?


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You can look at a gas supply company like airgas.
I would price check their rent/lease price versus just outright buying a tank on amazon and exchanging it for a filled one with them.
The prices of this stuff is different everywhere so I would also shop around if you have more than one gas supply place near you (home brew shop, welding supply shop..etc).
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 01:17 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Quicksilver2299 View Post
Agreed.



The PH and KH would indicate that there is a very minimal amount of CO2. That, coupled with the 12 hour lighting period and ferts, is all but guaranteed to cause a lot of algae growth rather than healthy plant growth. It's all a balancing act between CO2, fert, and light. I'd recommend using this site as a reference: https://www.advancedplantedtank.com/...h-plllars.html


That website tells me to inject CO2 until I have 1 ph drop since my kH is 4. Now I am still trying to balance the input so as to not have ph drop below 1 point. Does this pH swing affect fish? At night ph will go up and CO2 gases off and in morning we injection again.
Any tips to help balance the swings?


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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by sagarjoshi View Post
That website tells me to inject CO2 until I have 1 ph drop since my kH is 4. Now I am still trying to balance the input so as to not have ph drop below 1 point. Does this pH swing affect fish? At night ph will go up and CO2 gases off and in morning we injection again.
Any tips to help balance the swings?

You got it - as long as your KH is somewhere between 1 and 10, you can aim for that 1 PH drop. A PH swing of 1 caused by CO2 injection will not affect livestock. KH fluctuations are a greater concern for harming livestock.


Gas exchange (or surface agitation) is the other aspect of balancing the PH swings. How much is necessary will be determined by the surface area of the tank versus the overall volume of water that it holds. Also, keep in mind that vertical water movement can be just as important as horizontal water movement. For example: My 36 gal tank is deep, and there isn't much surface area for gas exchange. (Far from ideal for keeping plants) So, I use a slightly oversized HOB filter along with a little sponge filter that I place near the bottom on the opposite end from the HOB. I have the outlet of the sponge filter pointed straight up at the surface so as to create vertical water movement and also increase the rate of gas exchange. If you have say a 20 gal long tank (not very deep w/ a lot of surface area), then it wouldn't require much surface agitation to provide proper gas exchange. It is possible to provide too much surface agitation and off-gas too much CO2, so as with just about anything aquarium-related, it's a balancing act.



May your plants be greener than grass in the Spring!
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 08:19 PM Thread Starter
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Plants not growing/thriving

So before I started CO2 my ph was 7.4 and kH was 4. Next 3 days I injected CO2 and ph came to 6.4. Since last night I havenít turned on CO2. Itís been more than 12 hours but my ph is 6.4 and kH is now 2.

What does this mean? How come KH reduced when I am injecting CO2 and ph is also reducing


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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by sagarjoshi View Post
So before I started CO2 my ph was 7.4 and kH was 3. Next 3 days I injected CO2 and ph came to 6.4. Since last night I havenít turned on CO2. Itís been more than 12 hours but my ph is 6.4 and kH is now 2.

What does this mean?


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It means your tests aren't very accurate. My kh test is +/- 1dkh for sure. pH still being 6.4 after CO2 being off for 12 hours is unusual though.
What is your tap water pH? What is your tank water pH if Co2 has been off for 24 hours or more?
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cl3537 View Post
It means your tests aren't very accurate. My kh test is +/- 1dkh for sure. pH still being 6.4 after CO2 being off for 12 hours is unusual though.

What is your tap water pH? What is your tank water pH if Co2 has been off for 24 hours or more?


Tap water is ph is 7.4.
What is your tank water pH if Co2 has been off for 24 hours or more? I will know tonight

I am using standard API test kits


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