Brown, transparent, dying plants - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-12-2008, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
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Brown, transparent, dying plants

I just set up a new tank. It has a Dupla heating cable suspended in about an 1" of Quartz fine sand. Next is a 3" layer of clay based iron rich substrate. Finally I have a 1" layer of natural gravel. It is a 70 Gal Tank (20X2018) with a 405 Fluval Filter (no charcoal). Lighting is from 4 T5 Actinic bulbs and 4 T5 10K bulbs. They are on timers so that the tank receives 5 hour light followed by a 3 hour "siesta" and then another 5 hours of light. The water was 50% from an established 3 year old planted tank that is doing great. The other 50% was aged tap water (same as I use in the established tank that is doing so well). I added some of the mulm from the mulm from the established tank to the substrate of the new tank.

After allowing the tank about 60 days to cycle I transfered a few vals, crypts, Java moss and Java Fern to the new tank. It has been a week and all of my plants have turned brown and the leaves are disinegrating. The one exception is the Java Moss - it is doing fine. The val is sending up 'wide' transparent leaves with brown veins. The plants are all bubbling so I assume that photosynthisis is occouring at a high rate.

Does anyone know why the plants are browning, disenegrating and dying in spite of appearing to be photosynthesizing so well? The surface of the tank is covered with a mass of small bubbles that are being given off by the plants.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-12-2008, 02:27 PM
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Sounds odd how your plants are acting like that. Few questions first though, how many watts of light all together are you putting on your tank? Are you dosing ferts and co2?
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-13-2008, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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I have 8X54 watt T5HO lights (Nova Extreme Fixture). I am using CO2 and the ph is 6.6 I am dosing with AquariumPlants Total Fertilizer at 1 drop/gal as directed and have placed solid Total pellets under the main plants.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-13-2008, 07:18 PM
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hmm.. lets see, crypts tent to melt when they are pulled up and disturbed, just be patient and new growth will come out. And I've also read somewhere that java fern's new growth come out almost transparent when they are exposed to too much light. Maybe the brown on your vals is diatoms or brown algae. I dont see why your tank would have any problems growing any of the plants you listed. Be patient I think your tank will be alright.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-13-2008, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amunso01 View Post
It is a 70 Gal Tank (20X2018)
Huh? That size doesn't make sense. If you use 4ft bulbs I assume your tank is 48x20x18.

Anywho, seems like you have a boatload of light over that, worthy of a reef. That requires regular and plenty nutrient dosing, or your plants burn out (bubble, turn white, then brown).

Does the Aquarium Plants Total Fertilizer have any macros in it?


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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-14-2008, 01:18 AM Thread Starter
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You are correct in the 48X20X18. I published the Post before I saw the mistake. You are alos correct on the "bubble, turn white, then brown. I am new to this high tech stuff. My low tech tank is doing fine but I wanted to try more light, CO2 fert, etc. I hve been following the directions of the guys at aquariumplants.com - using there substrate and dosing with there fert both solid and liquid. I assume the Total has both macros and trace. I haven't tested yet as I was taken back by the plants poor activity. The Vals seem to be starting to take off - sending up wider leaves and becoming green at the tips. The Java Moss is completely brown and the Crypts are melting. The Java Fern seems to be coated with a brown algae and not the gravel is becomming covered with green algae. Sooo, do I cut back the Wattage? If so, how much? or do I cut back the hours of exposure from 10 to say 8!? or do I follow VallorG's advice and wait to see what happens? BTW, the pH is finally leveling out at 6.8
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-14-2008, 02:16 AM
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I have a feeling that the plants are starving for nutrients with the lighting being that high along with the CO2. I would look into the EI method of dosing ferts. You will need Nitrate, Potassium, and Phosphates. You might want to check out http://www.bestaquariumregulator.com/ for ferts.

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On hold for a while...
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