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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-30-2011, 04:25 AM Thread Starter
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plant trouble

Hi everyone. This is my first post but been reading threads here for about 5 months and finally have found a great lfs. I cannot grow any plants. I mainly have gals that have been reduced to nothing. I have no ammonia no nitrites. My nitrates don't ever get to over 40 ppm in a weeks time(with weekly 40% water change). Ph is 7. I have a 55 gallon with 2 54 watt HO T5's. Been dosing flourish and excel for 2 weeks. I don't know what else to do. Wasn't planning on co2 until I got some plants started. Please help and thank u in advance for any advice
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-30-2011, 04:35 AM
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Check out the Planted Guide if you haven't already. It's helpful.

Plants need light, carbon (CO2 or excel, CO2 preferable), and nutrient (N-P-K-Ca-Mg, micros). Excel is known to melt vals if that's any help.


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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-30-2011, 05:28 AM Thread Starter
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The bald actually were reduced to nothing before the excel. Its hard to give a full background but I got the bald a couple months ago after getting the lights. I guess im just gonna have to buy the tests.for all the micros and digits out what is missing. I have flourite as a substrate and started also dosing potassium three days ago but haven't noticed any difference yet. The leaves seem to get holes inthem and certain leaves just turn brownish and if I don't tend them they just kinda wear away. Will add photos if anyone is interested.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-30-2011, 05:30 AM Thread Starter
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The vals I mean
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-30-2011, 05:57 AM
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Sound like lack of nutrients and CO2 to me.


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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-30-2011, 06:37 AM Thread Starter
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So what test. Kits do I need? I'll buy them all. Potassium. Water harness. Calcium? Phosphate? I can figure my co2 with my ph test and the water hardness one correct?
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-30-2011, 07:43 AM
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I know the drop checker isn't the most precise measuring tool...but I have found it to be most useful. It's cheap and does the job with accurate test solution. It's been very useful for me to keep a consistent amount of co2 in my tank. After a few weeks, I became very good at looking at the shade of green and knowing where the sweet spot was for my plants and fish. Lime green is the most my fish can handle...and my plants do well.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-30-2011, 11:24 AM
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You don't have to test for all those nutrients. Tests for micronutrients in particular are expensive, and you will be trying to test for miniscule amounts.

If you give us an idea of what kind of light you are using, and your tank size, we can give a better recomendation of how you should be fertilizing. If your light levels are fairly low, you may be able to get away with an all in one, comprehensive aquarium fertilizer of the type which is easily found in stores. If you're running high light and CO2, most of us buy dry fertilizer as mineral salts.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-30-2011, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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I have four corkscrew vals in a 55 gallon. Ammonia nitrites nitrates and ph r great. I have those tests. Emperor 400 filter with bio wheels and no carbon. Been dosing flourish and excel with no difference from when I wasn't. The plants just seem to eventually just melt away. Hard to describe. They just wear away. For lighting im using 2 54 watt HO T5s.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-30-2011, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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The leaves seem to get dark around the edges and then develop holes that deteriorate the leaves away
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-30-2011, 07:00 PM
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Just a thought, do you have any snails or plant eating fish in your system?
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-30-2011, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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Couple snails 2 or three. And I gave away the platys that were eating at them. I have two mommies a hatchetfish 5amano shrimp and about 15 cardinal tetras
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-30-2011, 09:45 PM
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Holes in leaves are usually a sign of low potassium.

You have quite a bit of light on that tank, so plants will need more nutrients than what the flourish bottle says to dose. Flourish is a decent source of micros, but contains little potassium or nitrogen (as your zero nitrate reading shows).

With that amount of light, you would really benefit from CO2 injection also.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 04-30-2011, 11:32 PM
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you stated you have T5's... what are they? 65k 10k?
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-01-2011, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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Not sure aboiut the K rating but I will check. I started recently dosing 7.5 ml of potassium every other day. I dose5 ml of flourish and 10ml of excel daily.
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