Plants dying! Please help! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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Angry Plants not doing well! Help!

Hey everyone,
I need some help! I have a 50 gallon planted aquarium and the plants aren't doing well at all. I recently changed over my subtrate to Caribsea Ecocomplete Black. I use root tabs and Seachem Flourish liquid. Nothing seems to be helping. I'm wondering if it's my lighting. I currently have 2 lights running:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

and

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I don't know if these lights aren't reaching the plants well enough or what. Any suggestions?

Thanks!

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 07:56 PM
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what are the dimensions of your tank?

btw, is your tank fully cycled? changing all your substrate puts a huge hit on your biological filtration, even with ecocomplete.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 11:40 PM
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Those links aren’t working for me.
Amazon returns ‘page not found’
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 04:09 AM
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Links aren't working. in any case, tell us much more about your setup:

- Can you search this forum and the web to get an estimate of what your PAR is at the substrate? See this link for an explanation: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...ml#post1951160
- What is your photoperiod?
- Do you inject CO2? If so, do you know what the ppm of your CO2 is?
- How long has your tank been set up?
- What is your fish load?
- Do you measure NO3, PO4, GH, KH, pH and TDS ? If so, what are the readings?
- Cleaning regimen (filter and water change frequency and amount)?
- Circulation (all plants gently moving from top to bottom)?
- Do you use a water softener?

Off hand, I'd suspect that you are, at least, low on macros, but would rather have you fill in the blanks first.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 05:59 AM
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What ferts and tabs do you use? I agree you look to be low on macros.

I also use ecocomplete in most if my tanks. It's good for the biofilter, mulm can accumulate at roots instead of in water column with out compacting, and it can store extra micros, but it has zero nitrogen, phosphorus or potassium. You have to add those for sure with ecocomplete.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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Hi all,
I will get you all that info asap.
I do think the tank is fully cycled. I was having issues with these plants before I changed the substrate as well, so it's starting to seem like it's not the substrate. I also added several more root tabs yesterday, so maybe that will help.

Here are the lights I'm using:

Yescom 129 Multi-Color LED Aquarium Light Extendable Full Spectrum Lamp For 36"-43inches Fish Tank

NICREW SkyLED Aquarium Light for Planted Tanks, Full Spectrum Freshwater Fish Tank Light, 30 to 36-Inch, 15W

How long should I have my lights on for? I'm using the root tabs and Seachem Flourish right now. I had a DIY CO2 thing in the tank for a while but it didn't seem to have any sort of impact on the plants, so the last time it ran out I didn't refill it.

Let me know what you think about the lights.
Thanks everyone!

What are Macros? And is there an easy solution to put something in the tank to add them?

Also, I have a smaller, 10 gallon tank and the plants in there are doing amazing. I wonder if it's possible that I don't have enough fish in my 55 gallon tank to provide enough nutrients through their waste for the plants in the big tank. I currently have 2 panda corys, 5 platties, 1 female betta, 1 german blue ram, and a few other small tropical fish.

Do I need more fish????

Thanks!

Last edited by Darkblade48; 05-02-2019 at 04:43 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marchlang View Post
Also, I have a smaller, 10 gallon tank and the plants in there are doing amazing
Thanks!

Same substrate or different?
not to be too much of an "alarmist" but some of the black soils, being mostly industrial waste products,

have heavy metals issues...

even different lots can be different though..
Se how much of it sticks to a magnet..

"A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure."
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marchlang View Post
Yescom 129 Multi-Color LED Aquarium Light Extendable Full Spectrum Lamp For 36"-43inches Fish Tank

NICREW SkyLED Aquarium Light for Planted Tanks, Full Spectrum Freshwater Fish Tank Light, 30 to 36-Inch, 15W
See these threads regarding your lights:
[Ebay Link Removed]
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...-review-6.html
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...led-light.html
https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...ium-light.html

I’m not familiar with them, but the NICREW looks like it is a little weak, which may be good for a low-tech setup (no injected CO2), which is what you have. The Yescom, however, may be too strong. If you have too much light, and not enough CO2, you can over-drive the plants and ‘burn them out’ in a way.

I’ll let at @jeffkrol comment on the lights, as he is our resident expert in this area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marchlang View Post
How long should I have my lights on for?
Start with 4-5 hours for a few weeks, once you make changes to your dosing regimen. It will take at least that long to notice any improvement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marchlang View Post
I'm using the root tabs and Seachem Flourish right now.
Root tabs are unnecessary, since everything can be supplied in the water column.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marchlang View Post
What are Macros? And is there an easy solution to put something in the tank to add them?
Macros are the three primary fertilizers: nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium (N-P-K). While the Flourish has some in it, it is usually not nearly enough. This is why it would be helpful to know what your NO3 and PO4 test results are. Additionally there are other nutrients that should be tested, as they are important as well. These are calcium and magnesium and we can see them in the GH test kits.

Before you run out and buy a bunch of fertilizers, it would be best to know what you currently have in your tank so that we can suggest the best options for you. If you need a list of test kits, these are my favorites:

NO3: Salifert (good precision in the 5-20 ppm range and easy to use)
PO4 (<=3 ppm): Salifert
PO4 (>3 ppm) : API
K: Easy-Life Potassium (good precision in the 5-15 ppm range)
GH/KH: API (for levels <2 dGH /KH, use 5x the water, then divide results by 5)

I do think you would benefit by adding Flourish Excel or NilocG Enhance immediately. These are not fertilizers in the standard sense. They are carbon supplements which can be very effective in low-tech tanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marchlang View Post
Also, I have a smaller, 10 gallon tank and the plants in there are doing amazing.
I’m guessing that your 10 gal may be doing better because the fish will produce (via feeding them) nitrogen and phosphorus and your larger tank may not have enough of a fish load to do it. Plus, the 10 gal may have other aspects that are coming together better, such as light, circulation, etc.

Be sure to provide info requested earlier on the other attributes. The whole picture is important.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 05:55 AM
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Had a long post on the lights but lost it..
There are "anomalies" that I can't quite reconcile regarding the lighting data posted..
Throwing it out except wattage and common assumptions on efficiencies, and past history, lighting is fairy decent and possibly excessive for a new tank but depth could be a factor..

5000 lumens (regardless of published specs) is probably close for the sum of both lights..

Point is I don't think its really lighting related..
If you want to test is ta bit.. put one light on a 10hr (+/-) timer and another on a 4 hr timer for a dimming effect..
Skip the root tabs..and on a personal note .. skip any ferts (w/ livestock/fish) till plants show signs of growth (up for debate) or feed very minimally.

If the plants aren't growing good added ferts just feed algae..
Quote:
I do think you would benefit by adding Flourish Excel or NilocG Enhance immediately
Agreed Excel can keep algae at bay till plants start growing in.
Note though that "instructions" give you a very low dose and not very effective...
You need to research that a bit.
There are sensitive plants/fish though not too many.

personal use:
https://praquatics.com/forums/thread...complete.3311/

Whether "black" is slag or lava.. it's probably different than other Eco complete colors..


Oh and replacing substrate with what I assume is something different is a major shock to their Eco-system..
AND regardless of actual PAR the center of your tank wil have the highest light so, at least for establishment that is where the higher demand stem plants should be.

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Last edited by jeffkrol; 05-02-2019 at 06:17 AM. Reason: edit
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 07:49 AM
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Would also be nice to see your whole tank showing filter placement, water flow, surface agitation. If canister be nice to know flow rate? What your running in filters?

Also nice to know approximately distance from lights to substrate and if there is glass between them. Can guess a standard 50gal would probably be about 15” water depth but better to know for sure, you could have some custom sized cube tank or something.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-03-2019, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marchlang View Post
Hi all,
I will get you all that info asap.
I do think the tank is fully cycled. I was having issues with these plants before I changed the substrate as well, so it's starting to seem like it's not the substrate. I also added several more root tabs yesterday, so maybe that will help.

Here are the lights I'm using:

Yescom 129 Multi-Color LED Aquarium Light Extendable Full Spectrum Lamp For 36"-43inches Fish Tank

NICREW SkyLED Aquarium Light for Planted Tanks, Full Spectrum Freshwater Fish Tank Light, 30 to 36-Inch, 15W

How long should I have my lights on for? I'm using the root tabs and Seachem Flourish right now. I had a DIY CO2 thing in the tank for a while but it didn't seem to have any sort of impact on the plants, so the last time it ran out I didn't refill it.

Let me know what you think about the lights.
Thanks everyone!

What are Macros? And is there an easy solution to put something in the tank to add them?

Also, I have a smaller, 10 gallon tank and the plants in there are doing amazing. I wonder if it's possible that I don't have enough fish in my 55 gallon tank to provide enough nutrients through their waste for the plants in the big tank. I currently have 2 panda corys, 5 platties, 1 female betta, 1 german blue ram, and a few other small tropical fish.

Do I need more fish????

Thanks!
ok i'll ask again. what are the dimensions of your tank? knowing the dimensions of your tank will in part determine your lighting needs. how are your lights arranged on the tank? lengthwise or widthwise? i think daveks is making the same case for more detail of your situation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveKS View Post
Would also be nice to see your whole tank showing filter placement, water flow, surface agitation. If canister be nice to know flow rate? What your running in filters?

Also nice to know approximately distance from lights to substrate and if there is glass between them. Can guess a standard 50gal would probably be about 15” water depth but better to know for sure, you could have some custom sized cube tank or something.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 05:56 AM
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Not much help but do have/had nicrew classic led plus on both my tanks.

On the 10g the one that fits across think its 18" does a great job. The plants are doing pretty good considering my experience level and growing well. Shoots are always falling off my java ferns. For that size tank low tech the light works great.

On my 40B I had I think its 24-36" light (same light) and it just wasnt cutting it. Lots of same issues with that same plant (sword or whatever it is you have, sorry not good with names yet). I switched to a fluval 3.0 36" and its much much nicer. Only had it 5 days so far so cant say if it will be the answer or a algae grower in my tank but should have me focusing more on light duration and other aspects now.

The 55g is a high tank so could be a contributing factor with a low powered light.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-04-2019, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
I use root tabs and Seachem Flourish liquid.
Quote:
What ferts and tabs do you use? I agree you look to be low on macros.
Quote:
What are Macros? And is there an easy solution to put something in the tank to add them?
Keep in mind Seachem Flourish is an entire line of products that includes:
Flourish Excel
Flourish Trace
Flourish Comprehensive
Flourish Nitrogen
Flourish Phosphate
Flourish Potassium
Flourish iron

So at present you have not answered one very important question "What fertilizers are you using?" We need to know the brand of your root tabs and how often you add them to the substrate. And what flourish product you use and home much you add per week.

In addition to Carbon Hydrogen, and oxygen plants need additional elements to grow. They are devided into two groups Macros and Micros:

Macros includes Nitrogen, potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, phosphorous, and sulfur. Phosphorous (P) is typically present as Phosphate (PO4) in the water. Nitrogen can be in the form or ammonia (toxic), Nitrite (toxic), Nitrate, and organics. Nitrate is typically used in fertilizers.

Micros are Iron, Chlorine, Manganese, boron, Zinc, Copper, Molybdenum, and Nickel. pLants don't need a lot of Micro nutrients.

IF you are short on any one macro or micro you plants may not grow or die. So they all need to be present in the water or substrate for plant growth to occur. Water and air can supply carbon Oxygen, and Hydrogen which make up 95% of the plants mass. The Macros and Micros make up the 5% of the plants mass. Your substrate will also have some macros and micros as well as tap water. But often something is in short supply. If you are using softened water, RO or Distilled water and or an inert substrate your water will not have any nutrient value.

Now many people think adding any fertilizer will provide everything plants need. They Don't. Many don't include all the elements needed, and others may have a very poor balance of nutrients that often leaves some plants short on nutrients. For example, Fourish Excel is just a carbon supplement. It doesn't supply any macro or micro elements. Flourish Trace has just micro nutrient but is short Iron. Flourish Comprehensive is has almost all of the macros and micros but has very low levels of nitrogen, calcium, Magnesium, and Phosphate> And Comprehensive is extremely low levels of Zinc and Copper and No Nickel. So if you use just Seachem products you would likely have to buy multiple Seachem product to get good results

So please tell us what fertilizers you are using. How much you add weekly of each, and how much water you change out of the tank weekly. Just looking at your photos I think it is likely you are short macros and micros.
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