New plants in new tank- beautiful but fading - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-29-2013, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
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New plants in new tank- beautiful but fading

Hi everyone!

I just set up a new tank and got some new plants last weekend. They are gorgeous. I got:

Ludwigia Peruensis Red
-Rotala Wallichii
-Glossosstigma
-Baby tears
-Dwarf baby tears
-Temple (narrow leaves)
-Amazon Sword

My tank situation:
-29 gallon tank (30" x 13" x 18")
-Fish: none yet
-1 T5HO light fixture with two 24-watt bulbs
-CO2 tank and diffuser
-Aqueon Quietflow 30 filter. I had a new cartridge in there, but today I switched it for a used cartridge from my other tank so that I can add fish this weekend.
-Gravel with natural iron in it
-Flourish Nitrogen fertilizer
-pH 8-8.2 without the CO2; pH 7.2 with the CO2
-KH: seems to be about 107.4 ppm (though this is the first time I have ever measured kh, and I am not sure how yellow the kit expects it to turn, so I am not sure) (it took me 6 drops of solution to get to the yellow color needed for the test.
-GH: 89.5 ppm
-CO2 concentration: A guy at an aquarium store gave me a chart, and it only goes up to 20.0 on the KH scale, so I don't know. Using the 6 drops needed to turn the solution yellow (6), it would seem that the CO2 level is 12 ppm, which the chart says is too high. Since I JUST checked this, I will turn down the CO2 a little bit. I do NOT have any fish in the tank yet.

My problem:
Today I noticed that the coloring of some of the plants is fading, especially on the ludwigia peruensis red. I spent a lot of money on my plants, so I am especially invested in these plants doing well. (In my other tank, which is low tech, I have plants that I want to do well, but I am not very attentive to because they are more prone to dying, so I just use root tabs and trim on occasion.) Since I just learned that I might have too much CO2 based on these tests (if I am interpreting the CO2 concentration chart correctly), I will lower the level of CO2. I also ordered another 48-watt T5HO light fixture, which will be here on Wednesday, I think. Is there anything else that I should be doing for my plants?

Also, is it safe to add fish this weekend?

Thank you for your help!
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-29-2013, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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I just checked another chart, and it said my CO2 is NOT too high. So, I am leaving it where it is for now.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-29-2013, 11:18 PM
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No, you don't have enough CO2. Assuming your KH is 6 degree, at 7.2, you only have 12ppm CO2. Ideally, you should shoot for 30ppm for optimal plant growth and to fight off algae. You need to increase your CO2 until your ph drops to 6.8 to 6.7 to reach to 30ppm of CO2.

Second, you have more than enough light right now. You don't need a second fixture. Your problem or your potential problem is the amount of ferts you are dosing. Look up EI dosing and beginning to dose dry ferts with both macro and micro nutrients. Using commercial fert liquids in a high tech tank with CO2 aren't ideal. You would need to add a lot of solution to achieve the desired level of nutrients. Root tabs only help with heavy root feeder plants.

For the moment, I would think you should reduce your light intensity greatly until you have everything sorted out (dosing routine and CO2 level). Try to elevate your light or putting a screen over the tank surface. If not, most of your plants won't make it in the next 2 weeks.


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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-30-2013, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your reply!

I just put a layer of printer paper over the glass top of my tank, so the amount of light going in is much less. I am worried that my plants will die. I was hoping not to do the EI method, because at some point this year, I will be away for three weeks and was going to pay someone to come in and clean the tank once or twice during that time. (This is a necessary trip out of state.) However, I will look into the EI method again.

I am definitely going to WAIT to get fish until everything with the plants is sorted out.

I turned up the CO2, but it was already set at a rate of probably like 4 bubbles per second. The woman at the fish store told me that the kind of filter I have makes it hard for CO2 to stay in the water. I was hoping I could make it work, but I am not sure if that is reasonable. Financially, if I need to put in this much CO2, it might be cheaper in the long run to get a new filter as opposed to going through a ton of CO2 over time.

I did notice a tiny bit of algae growing on the glass top of the tank today. I am going to buy an algae pad and get it off, as well as wiping down the inside of the glass walls.

It seems so counterintuitive that my plants need less light until they get more CO2 and nutrients. I am glad I asked here, because I would have just added the second light fixture.

I would greatly appreciate any other feedback you (or anyone else) has, because I did a lot of research on this before I got it (although I fill ill prepared at the moment), I really love aquariums, and I spent like $150 on plants so I want them to live.

Also, how safe are fertilizers for fish? They will be the most important part of the tank.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-30-2013, 01:13 AM
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Originally Posted by All that is Fishy View Post
Thanks for your reply!

I just put a layer of printer paper over the glass top of my tank, so the amount of light going in is much less. I am worried that my plants will die. I was hoping not to do the EI method, because at some point this year, I will be away for three weeks and was going to pay someone to come in and clean the tank once or twice during that time. (This is a necessary trip out of state.) However, I will look into the EI method again.

I am definitely going to WAIT to get fish until everything with the plants is sorted out.

I turned up the CO2, but it was already set at a rate of probably like 4 bubbles per second. The woman at the fish store told me that the kind of filter I have makes it hard for CO2 to stay in the water. I was hoping I could make it work, but I am not sure if that is reasonable. Financially, if I need to put in this much CO2, it might be cheaper in the long run to get a new filter as opposed to going through a ton of CO2 over time.

I did notice a tiny bit of algae growing on the glass top of the tank today. I am going to buy an algae pad and get it off, as well as wiping down the inside of the glass walls.

It seems so counterintuitive that my plants need less light until they get more CO2 and nutrients. I am glad I asked here, because I would have just added the second light fixture.

I would greatly appreciate any other feedback you (or anyone else) has, because I did a lot of research on this before I got it (although I fill ill prepared at the moment), I really love aquariums, and I spent like $150 on plants so I want them to live.

Also, how safe are fertilizers for fish? They will be the most important part of the tank.
There are plenty of hobbyists using a sump or wet/dry filter in their tanks with CO2. They gas off more CO2 than a HOB!!!! Keep increase you CO2 until you have reached 30ppm+, when you have the fert routine sorted out. What CO2 system you have? A 10lb CO2 tank refill only costs me $25. It can last me up to 3 months the most. My CO2 level in around 50PPM+.

There are too many factors affecting your CO2 level requirement. Higher intensity lighting would require more CO2. More plants you have, more CO2 you need. More water surface movement, more CO2 you need. The worst thing you could do is to limit your CO2 because of cost. If you want to limit your CO2, limit your light intensity and water surface movement. Then, again, your plants may not grow as fast. Some plants just won't thrive if your light intensity isn't enough.


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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-30-2013, 01:25 AM Thread Starter
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I don't want to lower my CO2 because of cost. I just meant that it might be more cost effective to buy a new filter that allowed the CO2 to stay in the water better than to keep the current filter and pay for the wasted CO2 (wasted to the air over the tank). What is a HOB? What kind of filter is the best to use?

Do the high levels of CO2 hurt the fish? I heard I should keep CO2 levels at between 10 and 20 ppm?! How will I know if the levels are too high for the fish BEFORE they suffer or die?

My CO2 tank is 2.5 lbs.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-30-2013, 01:31 AM
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Originally Posted by All that is Fishy View Post
I don't want to lower my CO2 because of cost. I just meant that it might be more cost effective to buy a new filter that allowed the CO2 to stay in the water better than to keep the current filter and pay for the wasted CO2 (wasted to the air over the tank). What is a HOB? What kind of filter is the best to use?

Do the high levels of CO2 hurt the fish? I heard I should keep CO2 levels at between 10 and 20 ppm?! How will I know if the levels are too high for the fish BEFORE they suffer or die?

My CO2 tank is 2.5 lbs.
HOB== hang on the back tank filter. You can add a sponge in front of the outlet to reduce water surface movement. Or fill up the tank with more water to prevent water splashing by the filter outlet. You have a medium lighting. From my experience, CO2 level lower than 30ppm would not encourage good plant growth and combating algae. Most fish would do fine at 30ppm of CO2. You can even add more as long as you have sufficient water surface movement and gas exchange. When your fish begins to swim near the surface and grasping for air, you know you have too much CO2. Usually, you would see one or 2 fish to do that. Some fish can tolerate higher CO2 than others. That's the time to back down your CO2. When you begin to see all of your fish doing that, you REALLY have too much CO2.


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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-30-2013, 01:34 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you!
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-30-2013, 02:36 AM
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I'd say you don't have enough light. You have 48 watts over 18 inches of water. You might have 100 par in the bottom center of your tank if you're lucky. You'll never grow high light plants like HC with that. I have a quad T5HO with 96 watts over an 18 inch tall tank. If I cut the light down to 2 bulbs even my anubias starts fading to yellow in a few days.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-30-2013, 03:03 AM
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I'd say you don't have enough light. You have 48 watts over 18 inches of water. You might have 100 par in the bottom center of your tank if you're lucky. You'll never grow high light plants like HC with that. I have a quad T5HO with 96 watts over an 18 inch tall tank. If I cut the light down to 2 bulbs even my anubias starts fading to yellow in a few days.
Please dont listen to this post. I used 2 t5ho bulbs over a 75gallon raised a foot off the tank and got great growth all the way to the substrate where the ug was growing.

More is NOT always better with light. You're doing right by dealing with co2 first.

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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-30-2013, 10:30 AM
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You have enough light to grow almost anything. Focus on co2 and fertilization.

Plants that get moved from one tank to another need time to adjust. They also just went through shock of being cut, shipped, and being out of the water and in the dark. I bet you won't feel that great either if that happened to you . Give them time.

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-30-2013, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
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Plants that get moved from one tank to another need time to adjust. They also just went through shock of being cut, shipped, and being out of the water and in the dark. I bet you won't feel that great either if that happened to you . Give them time.

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That's for sure! I will give them time and work on increasing the CO2 and fertilizer levels.


Thank you all!
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