am i doing something wrong with my planted tank? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-27-2015, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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am i doing something wrong with my planted tank?

Hi everyone.

I have a question about my setup, i'm an experienced aquarium keeping but have only been keeping planted tanks for the last 2 years.

Last year i had a small 170 litre tank as a tester, i got some fair growth but nothing to cheer about.

I've now moved and got myself my dream tank, a lovely 450 litre (DP and sump) tank and have began to fill it with plants, having set this up around 2 months using mature filter media from my old tank and being very under stocked. I'm seeing any real growth (plants seem to be dying more than anything)
  • I have an auto water change system which dumps out 2L of water 5 times a day and is replaced automatically with water treated with 2 carbon blocks to remove chlorine.
  • I have an auto doser with doses ferts in smaller doses over the day when the lights are on, this a macro and micro ferts solution.
  • Co2 is injected into the sump and my drop checkers show green.
  • Substrate is a florite black, especially for plants. 3" deep.
  • Sump based filter is filled with 3 powerheads which blows all of the debris towards the pump which removes water during water changes.
  • Lighting is via 4 GE 6500k (Daylight) T8's (30w), 2 of which run for 10 hours per day and the other 2 for 12 hours.
  • Two wave makers ensure good flow in the display tank

I cant see any reason that the plants i have (some densa, anubias and sword and java fern) shouldn't be growing mad as they are rather un-demanding

Only the anubias seems to have grown roots into the wood its attached too.
Java fern has began to die and grow plantlets so i've trimmed this back.
Sword is very sad looking. Leaves are light green and full of holes.

I'm dubious about putting more plants in there until i know they will thrive (or that i'm being impatient)

i'm currently also getting an issue with Diatoms on the glass which following a clean re-appears within a matter of days. My water (mains water) shows very high Phosphates (5 on my test kit) so I've put into some media to reduce this.

Does anyone have any advice that may help to get my plants to thrive?

Thanks

Louis

Bump: A few pics incase anyone notices something i may be doing wrong







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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-27-2015, 09:20 PM
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Hmm I can't see the pics so hard to say right off..

The plants you listed are slow growers tho and if its only been two weeks it could just be some standard melting and then they'll bounce back.

My only other initial thought is the fert dosing, are you alternating days that the micros and macros are getting dosed or are both getting dosed on the same days? Same time/day for all the ferts could cause some of them to mix and precipitate out of the water leaving the plants unable to use them.

High phosphates aren't really a huge deal as long as the other ferts are in balance, of anything lower the amount of phosphorus you're dosing.

The pinholes in the leaves usually means not enough potassium. Swords are heavy root feeders tho and would probably benefit better from some root tabs.

Diatoms are totally normal for a new tank, especially if you have a high amount of silica in the source water.

So id say again, the big question is the ferts you're dosing, what, when, and how much?

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-27-2015, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
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Hi and thanks for your reply. I've been dosing this. [Ebay Link Removed] As per the instructions on the listing but spread over a 10 hour period.

The plants have been in the tank around 7-8 weeks now. I changed the tubes around a week ago as they had been in the tank as a display tank for some time and were most probably 6 months old.

Bump: Sorry here's the details from eBay on the fert mix. It's a dry fert

Aquarium Plants Fertilizer Mix / Plant Food
Green High
100g of premixed aquarium plant fertilizer/ plant food
‘High’ stands for high-tech CO2 gas enriched tank.
If you do not use CO2 refer to our Green Low fertilizer.
Much more efficient and cheaper than commercial fertilizers!
You do not have to pay for the water and shipment of water!
Have a look at the video to see one of our High-tech tanks dosed with Green High.


Contains all Micro and Macro nutrients needed for healthy plant growth.

Instructions:
Mix with 1L of water.
Dose 5ml per 50L every day
One bottle will last you 15 weeks to dose CO2 enriched tanks and at least five times longer if you do not dose gas and use our Green Low mix
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-27-2015, 10:31 PM
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another challenge for the plants here is an intert substrate. ive no doubt they are getting some carbon and some ferts but its not coming from below, so thats another challenge that balances out over time and organic accumulation. this is why dirted tanks have such a fast growth, organic heavy soil right off the bat and those plants you have there are rooters for sure.

what is the ppm of your co2, this needs to be known not just the approx. 18 vs 30 for example is really different regarding strong light plant growth rate allowances

also it would be helpful to know kh readings

small old reef tank:

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-27-2015, 11:32 PM
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Definitely fish damage, you can tell by the extensive raggedy appearance of the plant. Especially since the damage is happening to plants that are typically very hard to kill.

Several of your fish can damage plants, but if I had to guess which fish was responsible I'd say it is most likely the torpedo barbs. If you move them to another tank the damage will likely stop immediately unless another species of fish is also damaging the plants.

Here is a link to another post where the guy added torpedo barbs and then his plants started developing bite marks all over them: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=137141

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-28-2015, 01:43 AM
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definitely fish damage on the sword


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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-28-2015, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice, ill get some figures tonight on water conditions. I dont have a measure for CO2 but i normally up it bit by bit until its coming close to orange and then back it down a tiny bit.

I've not caught any of the fishing eating the plants but i did imagine it was probably the case.

The substrait isn't the inert kind, Flourite black is a plant gravel.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-28-2015, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HolyAngel View Post
High phosphates aren't really a huge deal as long as the other ferts are in balance.

The pinholes in the leaves usually means not enough potassium. Swords are heavy root feeders tho and would probably benefit better from some root tabs.

Diatoms are totally normal for a new tank, especially if you have a high amount of silica in the source water.
+1
Phosphate is an absolutely esential macro nutrient, removing it WILL cause reduced plant growth! (google Liebigs Law)
Remove the phosphate media immediatly!
It has been disproven, by virtually everyone using EI dosing method, that phosphate does not (in and of itself) cause algae.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brandon429 View Post
another challenge for the plants here is an intert substrate.
+1
Buy or DIY some root tabs and put a few at the base of all the rooted plants. and the Anubias on your driftwood are slow growers, nothing you can do there.

Also,
New tanks will grow algae until balance is achieved, and will eventually subside, but if it bothers you (it bothered me, I didn't want algae to get a start) get 2 spray bottles and put 1 sprayer ON THE BOTTLE of Hydrogen Peroxide (bear in mind light will degrade hydrogen peroxide, so put the sprayer on the black bottle it came it in)

Put Seachem Flourish Excel (not just flourish, flourish EXCEL) in the other spray bottle. Spot treat algae as necessary, )spray HP sparingly, as too much can interfere with your biological filter bacteria), or spray the HP and dose the Excel at twice the reccommended dose.

40 breeder - 1.25" Dirt/1.25" Black Diamond cap - Pressurized CO2 (2.25bps) - 2x54watt T5HO and 42watt LED (total 150watts; 14,500 lumens) - EI dosing - 50% weekly WC - H.O.T. Magnum 250 canister - SunSun 530 gph pump - Set-up 7-14-2015 - Cycled 8-1-2015

"Whatever is inconsistent with the facts,
no matter of how fond of it we are,
MUST be discarded or revised." - Carl Sagan
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-28-2015, 09:38 PM
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What are the dimensions of the tank? It is possible that you have too little light, if the tank is unusually tall. Or, it is even possible that you have too much light, for the amount of nutrients you have. Four T8 bulbs should work ok for a tank about 30 inches high.

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