Plants dying -too much light? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-07-2013, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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Plants dying -too much light?

I just set up a 10 gallon tank last week with Miracle gro organic potting mix, capped with an inch of play sand. Got some plants shipped to me and also got some cuttings in person. Now all of my plants are turning brown and really mushy/clear - within 2 days of planting usually. I know plants go through a shock phase when they are first planted, but everything is turning mushy and brown and worse each day I get home from work - I have vallisneria, water grass, bacopa australis, guppy grass, frogbit, dwarf sag, anacharis, and some sort of milfoil.

I'm trying to figure out what is causing it - I don't have a heater or filter, and nothing in the tank except for tap water, substrate, and plants. Could it be my light? I have a 4 foot light that I partially hung over the tank - I forgot who made it and how many watts it is, but I think is around 80 - I will make a post in the lighting forum to see if people can figure it out. If I have that light basically 2 inches above the aquarium rim, is that enough to fry the plants?

I went to home depot and bought two clamp lights with 9 watt CFL daylight bulbs. Hoping that will save them.

If anyone can give some input it would be appreciated. Thanks

Last edited by chenoth; 06-07-2013 at 11:15 PM. Reason: Accidentally clicked submit before completing my title.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-07-2013, 11:37 PM
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Light is unlikely the cause of death; most plants will survive in sunlight which is far more intense, and most plants will survive a few days of darkness as well. Transplant shock is almost certainly the cause especially if you got the samples from tanks that had very different parameters from yours. Check whether the newest/top leaves are green, if so then they may revive with time, but if even the newest leaves are brown/dead, you may want to change your water parameters.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-07-2013, 11:49 PM
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Sometimes plants "melt" after being moved/transported to a new tank. Some people have even said that their plant completely disintegrated only to come back a month later with new growth after the plant has adjusted to the new tank. What are your water parameters? Like Xiaozhuang said, light is almost never the issue.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-08-2013, 03:34 AM
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I would think the clamp lights from home depot would be a better option than a large 4 foot light for a 10 gallon tank. The 2 of those lights will provide a more focused light. Like the other said, I doubt it's the light that is hurting your plants. Most plants melt a bit when transplanted. Make sure the lights are in the 6500k range. If you don't have fish in the tank, you probably need to have something like a bit of liquid ferts to help feed the plants a little bit. Some of the plants you listed, particularly the frogbit and anacharis feed from the water column so they aren't getting any nutrients from the soil. They will hopefully come back for you with a bit of patience and some TLC. Good luck.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-08-2013, 03:55 AM
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Does your house use a water softener? That can be hard on plants.

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-12-2013, 01:14 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice guys. I think it was probably a combination of no nutrients in the water column and transplant shock. I added some Nutrafin plant gro to the tank and saw some improvement, and I just put in some diy CO2 this morning and I already see a big color improvement in some of the plants. I just didn't think plants could deteriorate so quickly in a matter of days and then rebound almost as quickly too.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-12-2013, 02:10 AM
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You need circulation as well. The pants are sitting in stagnant water. With a dirt substrate that is probably still leaking a bunch of stuff. So my guess is your water is also somewhat brown.

I'd add a filter or something to circulate the water and do regular water changes to speed up the cycle.


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