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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-09-2008, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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Flourite Substrate

Hello,

I just redid my 20 gallon tank with flourite substrate. I bought a Red Sea CO2 with venturi, which is definitely helping the plants. Overall, my plants are growing really well, especially for the red rubin, and amazon sword. Also, my anarchis, and money are doing very well. My red temple is starting to respond better, but the plants I am having most trouble with are the dwarf chain tennelus and Ruffle sword.

The lighting I have is a 65 watt coralife lamp 6700k bulb. My water parameters are good. 0 nitrite, 0 ammonia... ph 6.8, and nitrate at about 20. Water temp steady around 78 degrees. Also, I fertilize with nitrogen, potassium, flourish, kent pro plant and kent freshwater, and trace... I usually do a regular dose batch one day of flourish, trace, and nitrogen. Then I fertilize every other day with small amounts of iron, potassium, and nitrogen. I use kent pro plant and kent freshwater on another day around the end of the week.

My question is, Are dwarf chain tennellus and ruffle swords more difficult to grow? The leaves are slowly decaying on the chain tennellus and the ruffle sword is just translucent... the new leaves are coming up translucent as well?

Also, the debris that comes from flourite substrate, meaning the cloudiness.. sediment is on the leaves of a lot of the plants. Will this go away eventually? Or do I need to clean the leaves?

Thanks for all the help, and sorry for such a long post.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-10-2008, 02:19 AM
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I had issues with growing the tenellis and getting algae on it also. As for the translucent leaves it is most likely an inbalance in your dosing. Do you test to see what your parameters are for Fe, KNO3, and Phosphate?

When I first setup a new tank I would always test until I know how the plants adsorb the nutrients.

As for the dusting on the plants. Did you rinse out the Flourite really good? I would not worry much if you are positive that the dust is from the substrate and not anything else.


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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-10-2008, 04:00 AM
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Welcome to TPT!

I've never kept ruffle swords (I think they're light-demanding?) but IME E. tenellus does tend to melt and then put out new growth adapted to the tank. I've always kept them in Flourite, and I do think they benefit from the high iron content in this substrate (swords in general tend to need a lot of iron). Every single one of the old leaves has fallen off each and every time I've transplanted mine, only to grow back. It's also a slow grower. If you just leave it alone I suspect it will probably come back.





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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-10-2008, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
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Aquaphish,
I actually do not test for Iron, KNO3, or phosphate. To do it accurately, I probably should test for them. I usually judge by how the leaves look or how they are growing. A lot of my local pet shops do not even have testing kits for Iron, KNO3, or phosphate. It would probably be about $30 for all three test kits I am assuming.

lauraleellbp,
Thanks for the welcome. Do your tennellus leaves start changing color and become transparent, basically dying? Also, when the new leaves are coming in, do they curl or not look as healthy as they should? That is how mine look, so I just want to make sure. Funny thing is, the other swords are doing really well, but these 2 kinds are struggling.

Thanks!
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 04:10 AM
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Yes, that's what happens with the old leaves, but the new leaves aren't usually curled- can you get a picture? That does sound like a deficiency. Have you tried any root tabs? Swords in general are big nutrient hogs, and IME do best when you feed their roots.





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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-11-2008, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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I will get you a picture, sometime later today, or maybe tomorrow. I am going to a baseball game tonight, but I do have root tabs. Currently, I have two in there but they are deep down in the gravel. All my plants are starting to turn brownish... the leaves are starting to get pinholes and are starting to become translucent. I think I need to get some dry ferts... since from what I have seen on this site, the liquids are mainly water. I'm going to buy some test kits as soon as possible to get it back in order. Thanks.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-15-2008, 02:21 AM Thread Starter
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Here are a few images... showing the tennellus and the other defects in my plants... arg!!!!
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-15-2008, 02:37 AM
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Some growers will farm these plants in emersed conditions; they grow faster and algae-free. However, when first submerged they will go thru a period of adjustment. Often throwing off the old emersed grown leaves and growing new foliage more suited to life underwater.

To me, your photos show this typical change over. Just prune away the old leaves as they become mostly yellow/brown.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-15-2008, 04:29 PM
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I agree, prune away all the leaves that are brown or turning brown, and this should encourage the plants to put more energy into putting out new leaves. Definitely also get root tabs under all those swords. I break mine in pieces with smaller swords.

If you start getting algae also on the new leaves then I'd say you need to reduce your lighting some (perhaps just reduce your photoperiod by an hour or two) and bump up your CO2.





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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-15-2008, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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I don't think I can bump my CO2 up... since I have a Red Sea CO2 containter. It does have a venturi that has an open and close... so I will open it up a little more. Should I have it turn on about an hour before my light turns on and maybe 2 hours after it goes off? My light right now is on from about 11am to 9pm. So about 10 hours... can I go less than that with the plants I have. Some say 12 hours and I have heard a lot of plants will survive with about 7 hours of light. THanks again for all the help... now, I just need to get the test kits... hopefully someone will respond to that thread on the water parameters page... "PH and plants"
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-15-2008, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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I forgot to ask, from those images... does it look like that gravel is too big?
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-15-2008, 09:02 PM
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The gravel doesn't look to bad but I would be worried about the male pink convict(or is that a blood parrot?) I see in the backround doing most of the damage.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-15-2008, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
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I believe it is a pink convict... he can be a nuisance but, he has been alright. He does not pick at the plants and I have not had much trouble with him. When I got him, he was labeled wrong at the fish store (ignorance by me)... I did not know much about fish and we have had him for a long time now... and he hasn't been much trouble. The damage is not from him either... its just lack of nutrients of some sort and I'm still waiting on what test kits I should buy.
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