Am I really this dumb? Help? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-21-2005, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Am I really this dumb? Help?

Hello,
I need help desperately. I have about 1.5 WPG over a 75 gallon right now. Eco Complete is my substrate of choice. I currently do not have CO2 and don't plan on it anytime soon. My swords started off about 10" tall when I got them. They have grown to about 14-16" with turface mvp substrate and light differing from .5 to 3.5 to .5 WPG. They are now settled in the Eco and 1.5 WPG and are looking aweful. They look like they are melting away. You can see the veins that make up the leaves but the green part is going away. Not on all leaves just about 25% so far. I have changed my setup plans from high light to low light and am staying that way. I know I need to look into crypts and java ferns and anubias and other low light plants, but should I just give these to someone who has a higher light setup? Will these swords survive and thrive with the level of lighting I have? I am looking into using maybe some Flourish and Flourish Excel if that would help. I am kind of lost here. This live plant deal can make a smart person feel real dumb sometimes. Please help me feel not so dumb. Thanks, Jim
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-21-2005, 06:40 PM
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It sounds like a deficiency check out this site and see if they mention your symptoms http://www.aquabotanic.com/diagnose.htm

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Hygrophila polysperma 'Rosanervig'
Echinodorus Uruguayensis "Amazon Sword"
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Cryptocoryne wendtii ''green''
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-21-2005, 07:50 PM
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I see no mention of any nutrients being added to the tank. My guess is that your plants are starving to death.

And Flourish and Flourish Excel really are not going to help. You are lacking macro nutrients.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-21-2005, 08:11 PM
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I agree... more light is going to make things worse. Buy a NO3 kit and see if you got any. If not, there's your first step to success.


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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-21-2005, 08:44 PM
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Plants slowly melting away is pretty typical in tanks with no co2.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-21-2005, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hypancistrus
Plants slowly melting away is pretty typical in tanks with no co2.
No, it's not, except for a small percentage of demanding plants. They only melt away when nutrients deprived. Swords in general can do fine without CO2.


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40w T6 ODNO4x, no CO2. Discus grow out.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-21-2005, 10:29 PM
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Don't swords typically get the majority of their nutrients through their roots?
Would some root tabs would help things out?


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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-21-2005, 10:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheeseybacon
Don't swords typically get the majority of their nutrients through their roots?
Would some root tabs would help things out?

No and no.

The most commonly used root tab is mainly sulfur and calcium. If the sword in nitrogen deprived they won't help. Yeah I know. Here I am ranting about root tabs again.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-21-2005, 10:34 PM
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No one is really dumb when it comes to planted tank. Plants are very challenging and demanding indeed. I think is just a matter of learning and more learning constantly. I tend to agree with what most people already forementioned, your plants are probably lacking some sort of nutrients. Regards, JC.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-22-2005, 12:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shalu
No, it's not, except for a small percentage of demanding plants. They only melt away when nutrients deprived. Swords in general can do fine without CO2.

Quote:
CO2 in the Planted Aquarium

By: Greg Morin, Ph.D.
President/CEO, Seachem Laboratories, Inc.


Carbon is the backbone of all life. Every organic molecule of every living organism is predominantly carbon based. Given this simple fact, it becomes clear why carbon dioxide (CO2) plays a pivotal role in the planted aquarium. Aquatic plants extract CO2 from their environment and employ it in a process called photosynthesis. Photosynthesis combines CO2, water and light energy to produce simple carbohydrates and oxygen (O2).

Growth rates of aquatic plants are strongly correlated1 with availability of carbon and the plant's affinity for carbon uptake. Studies1 have shown that plants with the greatest carbon affinity have the greatest growth rates, whereas those with lower carbon affinity have correspondingly slower growth rates. Because carbon availability is normally the limiting factor to growth, addition of CO2 to a planted aquarium will always result in large increases in growth (assuming other critical elements are not lacking).

Without additional CO2 the growth rate will be dependent on the rate at which atmospheric CO2 equilibrates into the water. CO2 will dissolve into CO2-free water to a degree that is dependent on the air pressure, temperature, pH and bicarbonate/carbonate content of the water. The final concentration of CO2 in the water depends entirely on those factors. Once that concentration is achieved, the level of CO2 will not change unless the plants remove it or one of the other factors is altered.

Plants remove CO2 at a rate much greater than the rate at which it equilibrates into the water. So at the height of CO2 utilization, the plants limit their own growth by using up all available CO2. Because CO2 is an integral component of the bicarbonate buffer system, a drop in CO2 will necessarily result in a rise in pH. As the pH rises, the influx of additional atmospheric CO2 will be diminished by its conversion to bicarbonate.

This is offset somewhat by hard water plants that can utilize bicarbonate directly. However, without routine water changes or buffer additions, this path will eventually lead to complete depletion of the KH (carbonate hardness) which will result in dramatic pH swings from day to night (5.7 - 9.6) [1. Walstad, Diana, Ecology of the Planted Aquarium, Echinodorus Publishing, 1999, pp. 94-97.]

CO2 injection bypasses this predicament by delivering a constant source of CO2. Because the introduction of CO2 will lower pH, you have two options: (1) Monitor and calibrate the rate of CO2 addition to precisely match the usage by the plants or (2) use a pH feedback metering system, such as a pH controller. Option (2) is ideal because as the pH falls below a certain point, the CO2 turns off, thus avoiding catastrophic pH drops.
Also see Aquarium Plants Manual by Ines Scheurmann, page 12.

I personally have never had a sword do well without CO2 injection.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-22-2005, 04:23 AM
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I wonder how people grew sword plants 10 years ago? Before CO2 injection became what it is today. I wonder how they grew them 40-50 years ago?
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-22-2005, 04:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Grigg
I wonder how people grew sword plants 10 years ago? Before CO2 injection became what it is today. I wonder how they grew them 40-50 years ago?
they exhaled into a straw in the water each time they passed the tank!

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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-22-2005, 05:49 AM
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Quote:
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they exhaled into a straw in the water each time they passed the tank!

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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-22-2005, 12:52 PM
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If you look at my original statement, I said Plants slowly melting away is pretty typical in tanks with no co2. In my own experience, swords grow much more vibrant and lush when there's CO2 injection.

Most of the general info I've read in books and seen posted in forums seems to corroborate this.

So, I am very confused at what everyone is trying to argue in this thread. CO2 injection isn't needed? You are saying that everyone who has hooked up CO2 to their tanks is doing so because they have poor skills?

I never cease to be suprised when I get attacked out of the blue. Right now it really feels like a hostile atmosphere.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-22-2005, 01:04 PM
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I have swords in all my non C02 tanks and they all grow just fine and look great, I do not however put them into my Hightech tanks simply because they get to massive way to fast, not much skill needed to grow weeds underwater if you just feed the plants, C02 or not.

Craig

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