HELP - Dying Anubias, Java Ferns, and Swords
LINK TO PICTURES AT THE BOTTOM
Hi all, I'm looking for some help with my planted tank. It is a 35 gallon long (weird size I know, 13"x13"x48") with a sand substrate and a sponge filter and is heated to about 80 degrees. It gets about 5 hours of light every day from a 6500K bulb. Its current residents are only one nerite snail and a colony of Malaysian trumpet snails. It housed a betta until recently (he succumbed to old age and chronic fin rot) and I would like to put another betta in there soon. I've been having a heck of the time with leaves dying on me recently and could use some help. The situation is a bit complicated but I will try to keep the history as brief as I can.
This tank has been established for about two years and before all this was much more lush. A few months ago a few leaves on each of my swords and java ferns looked a little unhealthy (some sort of browning or melting, I donít remember specifically). To try to fix that I increased the lighting to 8ish hours a day and got a breakout of green hair algae (perhaps worth noting I always have a little bit of green film algae on the decor and some leaves but never enough to cause a problem). In the beginning/middle of August I decreased the lighting and scrubbed/picked off as much algae as I could but I could not get it under control, so I decided to use AlgaeFix around the end of August. I used it about twice a week for about three weeks and that killed the hair algae which I was able to then scrape off and vacuum out of the tank. Algae problem solved, but it seemed to take a small toll on my plants. I think maybe the hair algae was choking them out a bit too because the problems got a little worse before the AlgaeFix and then significantly worse after it. See my imgur album for what the plants look like now and a little more description about the specific issues.
When I started the AlgaeFix I removed all but one of the Anubias plants because there was no hair algae on them (though there was slightly more green film algae than usual on the leaves). They temporarily went in an unheated 5 gallon with no light or fertilizer. I placed the tank in a window that gets lots of natural sunlight. This is when they started to deteriorate, but have continued to deteriorate in the main tank since I put them back. They went back in when the AlgaeFix treatment was complete and I had done a large water change.
Until recently the tank also housed a betta fish who had fin rot issues his whole life from biting. He was steadily getting weaker presumably due to that and his old age so I put him on a course of erythromycin and triple sulfa (at the same time) as a last ditch effort to save him, which unfortunately did not work. That was about 3-4 weeks ago (the end of September/beginning of October) and my cycle has since been reestablished. I also sometimes added blackwater extract and StressGuard for the betta.
Here is what I usually dose for my plants:
Seachem Flourish Excel every day around when the light goes on
Seachem Flourish (original) once or twice per week
Seachem Flourish Potassium once or twice per week, though I've increased that to every other day more recently because I thought a potassium deficiency might be the problem
Seachem Flourish Iron once or twice per week -Seachem Flourish Root Tabs replaced every few months
Current parameters are 0ppm ammonia, 0ppm nitrite, 10ppm nitrate, 6.7 pH, 75ppm GH, and 20ppm KH
Pictures of the affected plants plus descriptions