A week old tank, plants already dying - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-17-2014, 03:20 AM Thread Starter
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A week old tank, plants already dying

Hi, been a lurker for a while..posting for the first time because I'm having trouble already.

I started a tank about a week ago as soon as plants arrived. Some of them didn't look good out of package but figured this was normal so I put them in, thinking as long as I have lights on moderately they would grow. Since this is low tech I didn't think I would have any trouble but I see plants browning already. This is my first attempt at plants so I'm new at this.

Size: 20 Long
Filter: Fluval Aquaclear 50
Light: Current USA Satellite LED+ (12 hours a day)
Substrate: Eco-complete (2 bags, about 2 inches deep)
Temperature: 75-78 degrees
Plants: Amazon Sword, Anubias, Cabomba, Chain Sword, Undulata, Java Fern, Ludwigia, Micro Sword, Water Sprite, Hornwort

No CO2 injection. Been using Flourish Excel daily. I also have Flouish Tabs for fertilizer but haven't used them yet.

I doubt the tank is cycled yet but ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, chlorine levels were all very low, so my Zebra Danios are very active and healthy for now. But my pH level seemed very high, close to 8 if I remember correctly. Does this affect plants? Not sure of other measurements. Also I've been considering changing the light fixture to Finnex Fugeray since Satellite+ has a fairly low PAR. But since most of my plants are low light based I thought this wouldn't be an issue.

So what do you think I should do? They're still alive but I think it's only a matter of time.


Here's the picture from when I first started:



This is what it looks like now (took it few hours ago)



Anubias dying



This one is better but that's not saying much



Cabomba (middle) looks good on top, but not so good near the substrate. Ludwigia on left looks bad too.



Water Sprite on the other hand looks good on bottom but top is turning brown.



Hornworts looked like this from the start and never improved, although some seemed to have grown.

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-17-2014, 03:57 AM
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You'll likely have trouble/w the Camoba as it's not a low light plant.
Don't expect all plants to be on here but you can look up most of what you have
and check the perameters it would like. Like, as in what is listed really means the environment they are most often found in when in their native environment.
Most can be shifted to the next bracket over and still grow but not as good.
http://www.aqua-fish.net/index.php?c...=not&speed=not
But a suggestion only...do 7.5-8.5 hrs on the light. You can increase it later after faster growth is obtained/established. If you want a low tech tank...12 hrs of light is not consistant/w that.
For the next few weeks, the plants will change both appearence and growth speed.
Each has it's own pattern for this and you can't cater to all of them. By allowing
them to adjust before trying to fix them, some may not make it. But most will get new growth in accordance/w their new perameters/environment.
I usually let that go as-it-likes and when new parts develope on any particular plant and it looks good, then after it is growing well(that part) I cut it off, replant it where the original was and throw out the original leaving me with a plant fully acclimated to that tank but the whole plant instead of just a part of one and old growth for the rest of it. Anubias is actually a low light plant to the extent that it may be burning in that long of hrs. Place under some other plant for shade and hope for the best. They also have a Rhisome which looks like a stem running across the bottom of the leaves.
You can't plant that part, but only the roots which hang down from it. For this reason they are often tied to wood/rocks instaed of planted in the sub.

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-17-2014, 04:12 AM
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You also want to check which plants can handle excel and which ones melt. Some may melt initially and then regrow as they get acclimatized. Others may not be able to handle the excel at all and will melt into nothing. Make sure your excel dose is correct too, overdosing will do more harm than good.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-17-2014, 02:06 PM
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I'll also chime in and say 12 hours is too much with the light. Keep it down at 8 hours or so a day; and maybe even split that up into two 4 hour periods.

You should expect to see all of your plants go through a transition in your tank. Whether or not they were grown submerged or immersed to begin with will be a factor there; but no matter what these plants were not originally grown in this tank with your water parameters so they will go through a change. Its pretty normal. Some of the plants will change and kick back and others might die off. Again, pretty normal. You may need to eventually try some different plants to see what will grow well in your tank with your setup. Its all a learning process and what works for one person may never work for another!

I'd say it took a good 45-60 days when I first set my planted tank up before things looked like they were growing instead of dying!

I too had been using excel when I first set up my planted tank. I stopped using it all together as it seemed to kill off any vals in the tank. I may have stopped using it prematurely as the plants could have gotten used to it; but decided to just stop all together.
One other comment is in regard to the anubias. It looks like you have it planted in the substrate and you buried the rhizome. Anubias should not be "planted" like other aquatic plants. Usually easiest to tie it to driftwood or a rock or something like that. If you're dead set on "planting" it, make sure only the roots are under the substrate and the rhizome should be out in the open. Pull those out of the substrate and check the rhizome to see if its "dead". It should NOT be black, soft, squishy or smelly.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-17-2014, 02:52 PM
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also, some of your swords look to be planted too deeply.They will eventually die and rot. The crown needs to be slightly above the surface of the substrate.


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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-17-2014, 03:23 PM
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Hornwort is a floating plant.

Like he said, get your anubias out of the gravel. It works well tied to an object in the tank (rock, driftwood).
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-17-2014, 04:11 PM
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I am familiar with the specifications of the Satellite+ as I almost bought this light. This is more than enough light for what you have in your tank. I agree with lksdrinker. With that light, 12 hours is way too much light. Try breaking it down as he said in 4 hour intervals. And don't be afraid to take it down to 6 hours. I can almost guarantee this is what is the biggest problem you are facing.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-18-2014, 02:08 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies guys. This was really helpful. I now have a better understanding in terms of adjustments.

I tried to revive the Anubias but it was too late. The leaves were already detached from the stem. I left the stem in the substrate in case it grows back but I'm not optimistic.

I'm still confused about one thing. How come some plants like my Ludwigia and Cabomba look healthy on top near the lights, but look terrible on the bottom? This would usually indicate substrate. But Eco-complete, while not the best, should be plenty sufficient.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-18-2014, 03:09 AM
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I'm by no means an expert, but usually if you don't have enough PAR near the substrate your plant leaves will die off down near the bottom. Also shading can occur depending on how close you plant things.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-18-2014, 03:34 AM
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New growth on the top and the old growth is adjusting on the lower levels.
Much more noticeable on a tall straight plant than a bushy one.
What derbyfb10 said can also apply but is more often seen in an established tank
or for example when a "bunch" type plant is planted without being broken up into
sets of three or less stems each. Like Rotala are stemmed plants sold in bunches of 6-8-10 pieces. Also is more common in tall tanks like a 55g though not at all limited to those type tanks.
The top of those Camoba are growing well. Watch near or at the bottom of them for a new stem to start. When it gets about 3" tall you can cut off the top part of the old stem leaving about 1-1.5 inches of the lower part below the new growth on it for that part you will plant. Then cut off the part you left of the older part of the stem just leaving that new stem which came up along side of it.
Try this with only one at first as the tops can be tricky to plant well. Hold at the very bottom/w tweezers and pull down into the sub.

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Last edited by Raymond S.; 06-18-2014 at 03:50 AM. Reason: The top of etc.
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-18-2014, 04:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chipndale9 View Post
Thanks for the replies guys. This was really helpful. I now have a better understanding in terms of adjustments.

I tried to revive the Anubias but it was too late. The leaves were already detached from the stem. I left the stem in the substrate in case it grows back but I'm not optimistic.

I'm still confused about one thing. How come some plants like my Ludwigia and Cabomba look healthy on top near the lights, but look terrible on the bottom? This would usually indicate substrate. But Eco-complete, while not the best, should be plenty sufficient.
Anubias do best if attached to rocks or driftwood. It is sure to die if left buried in the substrate.

Well that's just like.........your opinion man.


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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 06-18-2014, 04:49 AM
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Anubias are pretty hardy. Mine had all the leaves gone and only the roots left.
After I left it alone for a couple of weeks new leafs formed. Now it looks normal on my driftwood.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-03-2014, 05:11 AM Thread Starter
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Hi, it's been a couple of weeks since my last post, and thanks to your help my tank is starting to look decent. Anubias I planted into the substrate died like you guys said, so I got one tied to a rock. Backgrounds like the Hornwort and Cabomba are growing well, and the Water Sprite, which I thought wouldn't make it, is growing new leaves. But I still need help from here so if you can give me further advice I'd appreciate it.

I noticed some of my plants are browning and some leaves have holes in them. I read that this is due to potassium deficiency, so I got API Leaf Zone and have been dosing accordingly, but no sign of improvement. This whole fertilizing and macro/micro nutrients is confusing. Which product should I be getting next? I've only been using Excel and Leaf Zone so far.

I damn near destroyed my plants trying to get rid of my Zebra Danios (catching fish from planted tank is almost impossible!), as a result a lot of them broke off. Can I plant these or should I throw them away?

I got a new plant which came tied to a tower-like support, (can anyone identify? I bought as Bolbitis but doesn't look like it. Far right in the tank), and only few days in this white stuff has been spreading around it. When I take it out of a tank it is very hard to see. Didn't want to scrub it off yet thinking it would hurt the plant.

And lastly..the fish. I recently introduced about a dozen Neon Tetras, and they are scared ****less of the Zebra Danios. They have been chased constantly to the point they only stay in the far right corner now. I took out the Danios today but the Neons still seem traumatized. They won't even come up for food. Should I return these or give more time? I'm starting to miss the Danios just because they were so active. Didn't expect them to be aggressive though.

Thanks again!
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-03-2014, 06:53 AM
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The crypt melting is normal
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-03-2014, 06:57 AM
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I think the Ludwigia is starved for light, need to remove some of the floaters above it.


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