Mystified why plants not doing well - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 03:27 AM Thread Starter
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Mystified why plants not doing well

For past several months my plants have not been doing well. I upgraded to a 90 gal. and for the first few months the plants were doing amazing. Now algae quickly covers plants and their growth is weak and stunted. I have IceCap Ballasts and am running 5 T-5s (3 10K and 2 6.7K) for at least 8 hrs/day as well as CO2 (although I run out of it quickly and sometimes it takes me a few days to get more). I do water changes about every 2 weeks and change anywhere from 20 to 50 gallons. Filter is an Eheim. I am in a hard water area and am using tap water. Thinking of going to RO/RI water, but I have read in some media that hard water should not impact plants that much, if at all. When I had a 45 gallon plants were growing like crazy. Hopefully pictures of tank and sick plant example are attached. Thanks for any ideas you can provide.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 03:40 AM
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What kind of fertilizers do you give those plants? They look like plants that are deficient in multiple nutrients.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 03:42 AM
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Your problem was stated in the fourth sentence you typed. Co2. Keep it running constantly and your plants will do great.


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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 03:52 AM Thread Starter
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Use Flourish Comprehensive and Flourish Iron, plus have put plugs in several times over past 6+ monhts. Dose weekly. 2 cap fulls of Comprehensive and 1 of Iron. Was worried putting in more would give me more algae problems ...
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 03:55 AM
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Micro ferts aren't your problem. Its co2 I guarantee you.


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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 04:04 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks! Is there a particular diffuser you would recommend, or is it jump up the volume regardless? Also, any thoughts if non-RO water could also be a factor (am on the fence about investing in such a system)?
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 04:24 AM
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I see no reason why you should need a ro system. Plain old (treated with prime or your dechlor of choice) will be just fine.


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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 04:36 AM
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Low CO2 will definitely cause stunted growth. The yellow leaves make me think there's something else missing as well though.

Why do you run out of CO2 quickly? Is the tank very small?
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 05:02 AM
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seems like you have fairly high light
the more light the more the demand for co2 and ferts
make sure you have enough co2
you dose iron once a week, flourish iron lasts a day in my tanks
where is the nitrogen, phosphate, potassium coming from

Last edited by willknowitall; 08-28-2011 at 07:51 AM.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, bought a paintball tank system. Will see if I can find much larger tanks that will allow CO2 to run without interruption as I cannot get back to CO2 store fast enough with the small tanks I have.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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Just dosing Flourish in addition to iron supp. Is there another good supp to use?
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 03:24 PM
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You need to be dosing Nitrates (KNO3), 10 - 20 ppm, and Phosphates (KH2PO4) 1-2 ppm. You can get the dry fertilizers here.

http://www.greenleafaquariums.com/aq...ertilizer.html

They say you get enough potassium from the KN03, but since you are defficent, it might be a good idea to dose potassium for a while to, you can use Flourish potassium or K2S04 from the link above.

If the T-5's you are running are T-5 HO's with good reflectors, you have way to much light. Turn at least 2 of them off. Your co2 has to be a very constant 30ppm or you will never have a balanced aquarium with those lights. Look at the second chart, here:

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/li...t5-t12-pc.html

You also should be doing consitant 50% weekly water changes in hi tech tanks.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 03:29 PM
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Most of us are using dry fertilizers, but there are other ways. Seachem has several different products (Flourish N, etc.) but you have to buy the whole line, and they are not only expensive, but very dilute. Over_stocked sells his own liquid line, as I believe does ADA.

The problem with bottles you buy at a pet store is that they are mostly water, so they run out quickly, and have to be dosed in much larger amounts. The Flourish comprehensive you have been using is a decent source of trace elements, but is far too light on nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cedartank View Post
Yes, bought a paintball tank system. Will see if I can find much larger tanks that will allow CO2 to run without interruption as I cannot get back to CO2 store fast enough with the small tanks I have.
Get a couple extra tanks, always try to keep one as a safety. Have one on the tank, one sitting in wait for when the other runs out. Try to keep a third in a case of emergency.


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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-28-2011, 09:48 PM
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A standard 75 gallon tank is only about 20 inches high. At 20 inches one T5HO bulb, with a good reflector, gives you about 60 micromols of PAR. That alone is too much light to use without having very good CO2, good fertilizing, good water circulation in the tank, good water surface ripple over the whole surface, etc. Since the tank is 18 inches front to back depth, one bulb can't do a very good job lighting the whole substrate, so running two widely separated bulbs works best - like the 2 outer bulbs of the 5 you now have. Then if you raise the light fixture 4-6 inches, you can reduce the intensity down to around 40 micromols, get very good uniformity of light intensity, good access for reaching into the tank daily to pick out dead leaves, other debris, fluff the plants, etc., and you will have far less difficulty with algae, and more wiggle room if you aren't a perfect tank maintainer.

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