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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-11-2004, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Hi, my friend just set up his 55g tank with a anubias, bolbitus, and crypts. We had set his canister filter up with some peat in order to reduce the PH and hardness, in preparation for the Angelfish we intend to stock it with. The morning after the setup, he called complaining that the plants had started to "wilt". Upon further discussion it seems they're turning brown and dying. The bolbitus arrived in pretty poor condition to begin with, so I wasn't surprised with that one, but the other plants were in perfect health when we planted, so I was a bit alarmed. It turns out that the PH was in the ~5 neighborhood, so I had him change the water out last night and kill the filtration until we can determine how much peat is enough. Clearly this was too much.

What steps can I take to bring these plants back from the brink? Is there anything that will help them recover or should I just keep things stable. They currently have too little lighting, and this is going to be remedied soon. Is an increase in lighting going to hurt or help?

Any help would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-11-2004, 03:13 PM
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A water change will bring water parameters closer to normal. More lighting will definitely help as well.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-11-2004, 09:45 PM
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What are the parameters you two are trying to reduce?

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-12-2004, 05:29 PM Thread Starter
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I pretty much know how to reduce the PH, that's not really what I was asking... I kind of wanted to know if there were any known tricks or supplements that we could add to help the plants turn around from dying.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-12-2004, 05:47 PM
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Well, as far as I know there are no tricks to getting your plants to thrive and come back, other than patience and awareness and understanding of a planted tank. Knowing how to tinker with the pH isn't going to help them any either. The key to understanding your plants starts with understanding your water and what the type of plants that you have require.

In order for us to help you and your friend with the plants, you need to provide more specifics about the tank.

IE how long has it been set up, what type of fish are in it, what's the substrate, is there additional co2, how many wpg from your lights, what kind of bulbs, what's the temp, what's the water params, what's the deal with all these whats?

The plants may not be thriving for a number of reasons and until you give us the specs, there won't be any way to find a solution.

Let's start with figuring out the what's of the tank, plants, water, and overall setup then go from there. Even the water paramaters out of your tap are vital

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-12-2004, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, sorry I need to be more clear.
- There are no fish in this aquarium (yet). There will eventually be altum angels.
- The tank was set up the day the plants arrived in the mail.
- All of the plants were in great shape, except the bolbitus, which was dried out, with browning leaves and mottled coloring.
- The substrate is flourite under, eco-complete on top. About 3" average depth.
- Tap water has a GH and KH of 5, PH of 7.
- Lighting at this time is insufficient. Totaling 62 watts (55g tank)... 130w PC lights arrive Friday (tomorrow).
- After setup, the tank PH was checked 1 day later and had dropped to 5
- No ferts or water additives had been involved, this was due to peat in the canister filter.
- Plants showed browning leaves (all of them, not just the bolbitus) and drooping about 36 hours after planting.

Solution so far:

New lights and timer arrive Friday (tomorrow).
Water changed out, PH is now 7, filtration turned off temporarily.
Asked you folks for additional advice.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-12-2004, 06:09 PM
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Cool beans yo.

Alright, I think that the addition of the lights will help come tomorrow giving you more wpgs. What kind of pc Light set up did you get?

If there's nothing in the tank, then your plants are probably starving a little because there aren't any nutrients in there for them to consume, but you don't have that much light so photosynthesis has slowed down.

Do you plan on fertilizing with CO2? At 2.36wpg, it may not be a bad idea.

The plants that you have in there aren't that demanding as to light and should do fine once you give them nutrients and light. I'm still not sure if you want to add the peat, but if you're going for a black water affect, I guess you can. I wouldn't add any pete to the tank. If you add co2, you can help your plants and your pH for the angels.

What are your ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels?

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-12-2004, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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I do not know ammonia, nitrate/ite, and phosphate levels. Since this is esentially a tapwater tank right now, I would imagine everything is pretty low.. Should I add some nutrients to the water in the short term just to make sure they have something to work with? I could go with an Iron supplement (seachem), or pro-plant in the water. I figured that whatever they needed in the short term (until fish arrived) would be found in sufficient quantities in the substrate. Although I suppose the bolbitus, being on the driftwood will have difficulty accessing said substrate... hrm.

The lighting setup is the Coralife Aqualight 65x2 @6700K light system. I have the 65x4 setup on one of my tanks and like it a lot.

As for CO2, that will have to wait if it happens at all. I'm not sure he will go for any additional expense at this time. I had hoped the Peat in the filter would help us drop the ph a Little, and reduce hardness a Little. I didn't realize we'd have such a hard PH crash, especially with such a new tank and no fish.

Hopefully we can turn it around so I don't owe him a batch of plants.

So what's the verdict. In the short term should I add some ferts just to get things started or no... keeping in mind there are no fish in there poo-ing yet.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-12-2004, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asmodion
I do not know ammonia, nitrate/ite, and phosphate levels. Since this is esentially a tapwater tank right now, I would imagine everything is pretty low..
D'ope!!! that slipped my mind. I was just curious because there wasn't anything in the tank I guess I'm getting to the fact that your plants and bacteria in the Ecco complete are doing pourly because it's a tapwater tank. I think that the addition of ferts won't really do anything now. I think the best bet is to add fish. You'll need to add something with the ecco complete because it already has established bacteria in it.

However, I'd take it slow on how many fish you introduce at once. You may cause harm to the fish because of the not so established bacteria in the tank and the not so established plants. Just have patience and take it slow. Can the ferts now. You'd just be dosing micros, but right now your plants need the macros.

FG

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