New to Planted Tanks; Should I be Concerned about What I am Seeing? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-03-2014, 01:47 AM Thread Starter
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New to Planted Tanks; Should I be Concerned about What I am Seeing?

Hi there,

I recently attended Aquatic Experience in Chicago, and after attending "Great Plants for Beginners" with Brandon McLane from FL and "Aquascaping Tank Setup" with Oliver Knott, I thought I would give a more heavily planted tank a try. Currently I only have a 5 gallon Betta tank, though I have plans for a larger systems in the near future. The tank had an Anubias species growing in gravel under a single 12 inch 8 Watt Power-Glo fluorescent bulb. The plant did ok, but I had serous algae issues (I was running the bulb about 12 hours a day).

Based on the talks I saw and conversations with people at the AGA booth, I replaced the substrate in my tank with 4" of Fluval Stratum. I then purchased the following from aquariumplants.com:

Cryptocoryne Parva
Sword, Amazon Compacta (Echinorodus bleheri 'Compacta')
Tissue Cultured Dwarf Hairgrass (Eleocharis Parvula)
Tissue Cultured Anubias Nana
Tissue Cultured Cryptocoryne Undulata
Tissue Cultured Cryptocoryne Wendtii Green

Based on my conversation with Mr. McClane, I reduced lighting time to 6 hours per day. The plants have now been in for a week and a half. While I fully expected and have seen the Crypto species "melt," I am concerned because the Sword is also having all of it's leaves die. Additonally, some leaves on the Nana are starting to turn brown. Finally, in the past few days the dwarf hairgrass, which I thought was doing pretty well as I was seeing roots reach down into the substrate, has also started to turn brown.

Should I be concerned about this, or is it normal and I just need to be patient?

Just for some additional info, the tank is fully cycled, it is kept at 80 F, and I have been doing 10-15% water changes every other day. The bulb is a year old.

Thanks for any input!

Rich
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-03-2014, 02:02 AM
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Well, the sword doesn't concern me... odds are it was grown emmersed (roots in water, leaves in air) rather than submersed (whole plant under water). Swords are one of those plants that can grow either way, but needs physically different leaves for air vs water. The plant will slowly loose its leaves one at a time, and grow back new ones that can deal with being underwater.

The anubias nana on the other hand, that suggests you have a nutrient deficiency.

Any chance of pictures of the browning leaves? If not, can you describe the browning? The way in which they are turning brown will usually suggest what nutrient is deficient (only old leaves, or only new leaves, starting from the tips, yellow with green veins first, brown forming in spots that turn into holes, etc).

defficiency finder has some good pictures of defficiencies to compare against... a few of which they specifically have images of anubias nana:

nitrogen: http://deficiencyfinder.com/?page_id=666

Phosphorus: http://deficiencyfinder.com/?page_id=319

Potassium: http://deficiencyfinder.com/?page_id=592
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-03-2014, 02:20 PM
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My best luck with swords is to plant them with real soil in a pot. Just planted one and it already has a new leaf on it in 4 days. It was grown out of water and I expect to loose all the leaves that were on it. Root tabs are very important for swords and cryps are you using them? You have to have pretty rich soil for swords.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-03-2014, 03:30 PM
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Tissue cultured plants are air grown and I would expect old leaves to die quickly under water. Watch for healthy new leaves that won't look exactly like the old ones. Hairgrass leaves don't look much different but it can be a horrible melter in a new tank, look for practically microscopic runners going everywhere.

No idea on the Anubias though except to mention that the rhizome might rot if buried under substrate. Usually Anubias looks best tied to rocks or wood and then let the roots find their way into substrate.

4" of substrate in a 5 gallon tank? I'd take out half of it and bank it up where the sword and crypts are planted. Remember it is fine to trim down roots when planting. Old roots die back the same as the leaves do when put into a new tank.

Sounds very sad that roots and leaves die when plants are moved. What we really are counting on are the plant crowns. Be careful with the crown and new roots and leaves will grow.


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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-04-2014, 12:30 AM Thread Starter
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Hi,

Thanks for the responses! I have attached a picture I took. Looking over the nutrient deficiencies, the leaves on the Nana look most like the Phosphate deficiency pictures, though the 3rd Potassium photo also looks very similar to me. If there is a deficiency, what should I do to correct this?

I went with the Fluval Stratum as a substrate because that is what both speakers were recommending (or other similar brand). Supposedly being made from Japanese volcanic ash made it very fertile if I understood correctly. One of the speakers indicated that I shouldn’t need to put any tabs in for swords and crypts for quite a while because of how good the substrate was. Is this incorrect?

I should correct myself and say that I have 4” of substrate in the back that slopes down to 3” in the front. I went with that particular depth on the recommendation of the person I spoke with from the AGA at Aquatic Exp. I was told that was ideal. Is this too much?

Thanks!
Rich
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-04-2014, 02:26 AM
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Well, the fluval stratum is great, but bear in mind where your anubias lives. It isn't in the substrate, it is up on driftwood.

Because of this the nutrients in the substrate aren't available to the anubias. However, it will readily take in fertilizers added to the water column. Those water column fertlizers will also help replenish the stratum, keeping it rich for your substrate-growers too.


Looking at the pictures, there's definitely some potassium defficiency going on, possibly a bit of phosphorus.

You have two basic approaches here:

1) go with pre-made bottled fertilizers from folks like API and/or seachem. With a 5 gallon low-tech tank, these should be fine and won't get terribly expensive (trying to use them on a 75 gallon high-tech tank gets very expensive).

If you go this path I would suggest starting with:
API leaf zone (potassium + iron) and Seachem phosporus (phosphorus, obviously).
-or-
Seachem Flourish complete (Iron+micros), Seachem potassium, and Seachem phosphorus.


2) the other option is to go with DIY dry fertilizers. This is by far the most cost effective way, but it involves learning a few things and measuring and mixing your own solutions in water. It isn't terribly hard. That said, it would probably take your tank 30 years to consume one starter pack order. nilocg sells them in the for sale area here, and also sells a few kits for making your own bottle-mixes, although they would need to be diluted down some for a 5 gallon tank...

https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=770210

green leaf aquariums is a good normal web-store vendor many here use (I have not):

http://greenleafaquariums.com/aquarium-fertilizer.html
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-05-2014, 02:36 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for examining the photo and taking the time to give me the thorough advice. I really appreciate it. I'm going to go with the SeaChem Flourish products for now. However, in the future after I hopefully get the hang of plants and have the money, I'd like to try a larger system. Your information on DIY fertilizers will be really helpful!

Thanks,
Rich
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-05-2014, 02:18 PM
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You will waste your time with liquid fertilizer for the swords. They get all there fertilizer from there roots. Mostly what they need is iron. As far as your soil it may have some of what plants need but swords will need there root tabs.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-05-2014, 03:28 PM
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You need co2 its cheap

Fluval co2 20 system costs fifteen bucks use one its all explanatory if you watch youtube vids on it

I used it w great success

Its not automated, but such an easy way to gas. Gas will throw leaves faster and more vigor

small old reef tank:

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-05-2014, 07:54 PM
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Not to say that Co2 doesn't cause fast, lush growth, but it clearly isn't going to fix nutrient deficiencies.
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