Can someone lend a hand please? I have read and read and read all the posts about planting a tank and keep finding conflicting views. Maybe I can get some answers from you guys?
This is my first planted tank.
Im wondering if Im doing something blindingly obviously wrong here.
I have a tall (28") corner pentagonal 30 gallon tank which is cycling at the moment with no livestock. Im using pure ammonia.
I really want this tank to look beautiful, with lots of colourful plants and a lovely lush green carpet - but apart from having no exp at all of aquascaping, Im wondering if my current setup is all wrong.
Basically theres only 2 x T5 light tubes each of 17watts
and they are wired into a canopy. They came with the tank which I bought 2nd hand.
The plants I put in are:
- this has dissolved in2 brown mush that floats around the tank or gets stuck in the fluval filter claw. I cant get it to stay in the substrate so its now floating at the surface, shedding gunge balls like mad!
- started small and lush green. 3 weeks on they have grown a bit BUT 2/3 of the leaves from tips downwards have turned browny yellow and there are brown spots over them. Its not algae. It doesnt rub off, I tried. Looks like burns or scorches? Or disease?
- well they arent dead but they havent grown at all. They Look exactly the same as when they went in. They are forever uprooting from the substrate and floating off to the top.
- another plant which wont stay put in the substrate. They seem to shed their fluffy-spines all over the tank too, but are the only plant in there that has stayed green.
- think thats what they are called? ( Very tall, willowy/narrow leaves which ripple nicely in the filter flow) Well these things started lovely but they have literally melted away! I knew to expect some
meltdown but they have all nearly dissolved. The few that are left are going the same way - start nice and green, tips go soft and brown then whole stem breaks down and disappears into fluval-land.
I will say that I havent used any fertz at all except the Tetraplant
'completesubstrate' in the setting up. I originally layed the fertz to a depth of 5cm then covered with 3 inches of fine quartz gravel and topped off with a little black moonsand. After my clumsy attempts to plant in it, all 3 components are mixed together now -it actually looks better. There are some random piles of smooth pebbles with the swords and crypts planted in between them and a large piece of bogwood waiting to have plants on it.
So....are my lights adequate? I assume this is what is termed as low-lighting?
Did I pick the wrong plants? I have high nitrates in my tapwater so want plants that will help me there.
I feel sure I should be fertilizing the remaining plants? What should I use and how often?
What are root tabs?
Do I need CO2?
I want a lush carpet in the tank - what should I use? Is it possible to grow carpet plants 'up' the sides of the tank as well as over the floor? Ive seen some sort of mesh for carpet plants on ebay?
Some plants dont go in the gravel and have to have their roots exposed? Do they get anchored to rocks/wood/decors etc?
I know some people have said that i should be able to grow plants with the current lighting with no CO2 but so far only the swords have really survived and as I said, the leaves look diseased. Tank temp is around 80 -82 degrees and im keeping the lights on 12 - 14 hrs a day.
Im sure Im doing something wrong, but I dont know what.
Any help would be much appreciated. (photos are in my 2nd album)