Java Fern not looking so good (pics) - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-22-2006, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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Java Fern not looking so good (pics)

Quick background: 90G AGA w/ overflow & wet/dry sump. Biweekly WC of 20-30%. Adding liquid ferts (Tropica Master Grow & Seachem Flourish) alternating weeks. I have a Current USA Satellite 2x65 w/ 10,000K and 460nm Actinic. I keep lights on for 7 hours (because of algae growth) and the bottoms of the plants are loosely tied to the driftwood. Even though the leaves look like death, they are still growing new plants on the tips. Anyways here's the pics...





(sorry for the bad pics, dirty glass and a lack of photo skills)

Any suggestions?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-22-2006, 10:07 PM
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Two suggestions: replace the actinic bulbs with 6700 to 10,000K bulbs, and start adding some nitrate and phosphate fertilizers, like KNO3 and KH2PO4 from GregWatson.com. With that light level you won't need to dose more than weekly, but you do need to provide some NPK.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-23-2006, 02:59 PM
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Agreed, my ferns soak up nitrates like it is going out of style. Also, how long has that tank been running? If you are going to start dosing, that plant load doesn't look like enough to get that tank cycled and you may run into issues with that. And from the sounds of the tank and lighting, did that tank have a history of saltwater?

And welcome to the board from another NJ'ian...


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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-23-2006, 04:27 PM
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my ferns soak it up to, but the leaves are less broad. they're narrower and more wispy. on a side note, i love my tiger barbs! besides the clown loach, they're the ones with the most personality. they'll follow my finger in front of the tank, and i can even hand feed them.


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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-23-2006, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the suggestions/compliment. It has always been a FW tank (for about 6 months now). I have a good amount of fish in there (Jack dempsey, Blood parrot, Firemouth, 10 tigers, 4 swordtails, and a pleco), my point is that my nitrates are always reaching 20ppm pretty quick. Thats why I do smaller bi-weekly WC's. Should I switch to just a larger weekly change? I don't want to stress/harm the fish.

I saw a phosphate potassium dry fert. Is that what you guys would suggest? I didn't see a straight phosphate dry fert.

Thanks again everyone.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-23-2006, 09:20 PM
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i don't know how many plants you have in there, but you might want to make it more heavily planted. that would probably change the nitrate absorption. you haven't really said what the rest of your flora is in there, and there isn't a full tank shot. if it's planted with just some java fern, then you could probably cut back on your liquid dosing. if you could provide a full-tank shot, that might be easier to assess the problem.


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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-23-2006, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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Just the one big fern and bunch of little ones. Most of the little ones aren't looking this bad. This pic is a bit dated, the leaves were looking a little more lively.

(oh and I forgot about my pair of loaches before...)
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-24-2006, 12:38 PM
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my guess is that since your tank is pretty lightly planted, maybe some of those liquid ferts are adding to your nitrate levels. are your ammonia levels also higher?


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-24-2006, 01:08 PM
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For more serious fun and less problem in the long run, just go full throttle into a planted tank.

You will want twice the amount of light from the current level (now only 130W which is far from enough for a good planted tank), dump the artinic for a daylight/10,000K bulb and add up more plant load (at least 3-4 times the current stock).

Try low maintenance plants if you want to keep it easy; take anubias, more ferns, java moss and cryptocorynes. You will also want to add 3-4 ottocinclus to keep that algae in check. Dont pick shrimps because I see you have nasty fish (snack for them). At current bio load, I believe you will need very little of macro elements (N and P) while still needing a bit of K and just enough TMG to complete the meal (just see those greedy tiger barbs and that huge parrotfish).

If you need more boost to the quality of the plant, CO2 addition will be a great blessing, even at just DIY level.

Remember it is all about the balance. Add more light, add CO2 and give just enough ferts accordingly to the plant load.


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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-24-2006, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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noobinator: I have not had any ammonia levels in the tank, per my weekly testing. Would dry ferts be a waste of time for such a small amount of plants?

Quote:
Originally Posted by medicineman
For more serious fun and less problem in the long run, just go full throttle into a planted tank.
Medicineman: not quite too cost efficient, new lights, new substrate, CO2, etc. Also, I've heard with an overflow/sump you need a lot of pressurized CO2. Plus, I kinda like the look of just a few plants in with the bigger cichlids. I want them to have some room to swim around. Not to mention, if I make this tank heavily planted, the wife won't be too thrilled with the idea of making the 55G (en route) tank heavily planted.

Thanks again.

90G - CA community tank (Jack Dempsey, Fire Mouth, Blood Parrot). 8 Tiger Barbs, 3 Clown Loaches, 3 bristlenose Pleco's.
20G (tall) - Planted. 4 neons, 8 rummy nose tetras, 3 ottos.
5.5G - Dwarf Hairgrass playland for Beta and 2 ottos.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-25-2006, 10:09 AM
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lol.... in that case it is best to switch into more managable plant like java moss and anubias instead. They will made it in such light level and tank condition without serious issue. That way there is no need to change your equipment, no need for CO2, no additional lighting plus you can give less TMG and other ferts, saving money in the process. Just keep the temp low enough in 22-24C range and you will be good with moss.

Java fern is actually not quite a very low light plant, in fact it is actually a good nitrate buster and cope better in medium-high light with maximum growth. Unlike anubias, which lives happily in low to medium light but will get algae issue under high light.

You are right on the CO2 to wet n dry fltration issue, but as far as I've been using, overflow (wet type) is no problem at all.


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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-26-2006, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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ready for this newbie Q...

Quote:
Originally Posted by medicineman
you can give less TMG and other ferts, saving money in the process.
what is TMG??? Haven't seen that one on the cichlid boards.

thanks.

90G - CA community tank (Jack Dempsey, Fire Mouth, Blood Parrot). 8 Tiger Barbs, 3 Clown Loaches, 3 bristlenose Pleco's.
20G (tall) - Planted. 4 neons, 8 rummy nose tetras, 3 ottos.
5.5G - Dwarf Hairgrass playland for Beta and 2 ottos.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-26-2006, 07:54 PM
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Tropica Master Gro = TMG


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