White powder substance on plants? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-18-2015, 02:53 AM Thread Starter
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White powder substance on plants?

Hello everyone. I know this is my first post and im already with a problem but I am very new to the planted tank world. Anyways Hopefully you guys and gals can help me .

Info:
29 Gallon Top Fin Tank with Hood, with heater, and Top Fin 30 Filter (Upgrading the filter with Marineland Emperor 400 Pro Series tomorrow)

Sand: Cant remember I thought it was 10lbs of Top Fin. Ill find out for ya.

Lights= Finnex 24/7 Planted+ and Aqueon® Floramax T8 Fluorescent Aquarium Lamp (in the hood).
I use the 24/7 automatic setting on the Finnex unit and on my Flormax T8 I have a timer set to only turn on from 11AM to 5PM.

Plants: Dwarf Hair Grass, Spathiphyllum, Dracaena, Amazon Sword? May replace all with Amazon Sword.

Decor: Fake Drift wood in tank (Main Piece)

Chemicals: Flourish Potassium, Flourish Iron, Flourish Seachem. API Stress Zyme+, API Stress Coat+ (Tomorrow I will have Fluval CO2 88 unit.)

Food: MarineLand Algae Wafers with Zucchini. Aqueon Shrimp Pellets.

Fish: (2) Albino Cory. Getting more waiting for prices to go down. Ill be doing a build??? (sorry car guy) thread here as well. So I can talk more about that there.

Adding Tomorrow: Hydor Koralia Nano 425

Issue: I am getting this white looking powder substance on my plants as well as my wood decor. I cant tell if its on my sand because well its white lol. I have noticed that some areas are a little stringy. My first thought is White Algae but like I said I have no idea. Any ideas and what I can do to get rid of, as well as keep this from happening?

Test Strip results.
Nitrate(No3):1 Safe Maybe 5
Nitrate (No2): Safe (0)
Total Hardness: Very Hard (300)
Total Chroline: Safe (0)
Total Alkalinity: Ideal (135-140)
PH: Alkaline (7.8-8.4)

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-18-2015, 03:48 AM
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I once used a Nat Geo white sand that made my plants and hardscape look like what's in your pictures. I rinsed it very well, but it still threw out particles like that. I changed it to a much coarser sand, rinsed everything, problem gone.

Does it come off easily with a little bit of wipe with fingers? Or water movement close to the surface of the affected item? That's how it behaved in my tank.

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According to my husband, I have a habit of jumping right in!

Last edited by Daisy Mae; 09-18-2015 at 03:50 AM. Reason: Typo
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-18-2015, 03:21 PM
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Looks like debris from the sand. Adding a powerhead is a good idea. I think the problem will go away after some water changes as the fine particulate should get vacuumed up. Unless of course all of your substrate is that fine.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-18-2015, 03:50 PM
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Don't know about the white particles.

But I am fairly certain most Dracaena (the one with the green leaves with white tips/edges) are terrestrial plants only, meaning they can only be grown above water, if the leaves are submersed, it will die shortly after since it's not a aquatic plant.
Most plants that have variegated leaves are usually not true aquatic plants (there are some, but not commonly found in most stores)

Not sure what Spathiphyllum you have either, but I remember hearing it might not be a true aquatic plant either, but can survive months under water, and can live for longer if the leaves can get out of the water.

The other look fine being submersed. Dwarf Hair Grass might not grow so well with that set up.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-18-2015, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your comments! After reading your comments I believe you may be right which is a relief. Daisy Mae, I never thought that if you buy your sand from a pet store that you have to still go through the cleaning process of it. Tonight I am going to drain a good portion out of the tank. I shall be receiving the Python 25 foot vacuum and going to stir the sand up and keep filling and draining about 7 times or until water is clear. If it doesnt get clear I guess drain all water and go the bucket route. Loach Guy, I am hoping the powerhead that I bought is a decent one I was reading online about them and said they were really good. Just hope its not too much for my little Cory Catfish.

WaterLife: Yeah I think I may just end up pulling them out and doing more research on plants. Do you have any recommendations? I really like the amazon sward but will that be to cluttered in a small tank like this if thats all I do? I have noticed the dwarf hair grass was brown but now green is starting to show a lot more since the new light was installed. Ill be posting a build thread here soon.

Last edited by jahmarley420; 09-18-2015 at 04:07 PM. Reason: Reply to another user.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-18-2015, 04:35 PM
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Welcome aboard.

Sand or gravel, whatever the source of supply must be rinsed prior use in the tank if you want to minimize dirty/cloudy water.

If you have terrestrial plants in your tank, lots of them will be happy with just their feet wet. Many people like me use shower caddies to hold plants. Search the forum for ideas.

I have and amazon sword in my 75 gal. They get big if you let it go like I did. it could fill in a good portion of your tank if not all.


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-18-2015, 08:22 PM
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Others seem to have covered the white detritus...

Quote:
Originally Posted by jahmarley420 View Post
Test Strip results.
Nitrate(No3):1 Safe Maybe 5
I wouldn't really trust a test strip's numbers at face value, particularly when testing nitrate where tests are so notoriously miscalibrated (I have one liquid test kit that reads 6x the actual levels when tested against a reference solution!)...

That said a NO3 level of 1 or 5 is probably too low for plants, particularly without any kind of dirt or substrate fertilizers. Once you get more stock this should remedy itself, but I wouldn't call this level 'Safe' for plants.. Most aim for 20ppm in planted setups.

Non-planted folks try to keep nitrate and phosphate down as low as possible to suppress all plant life, since the only plants they have are undesirable algae, but that doesn't work out so well in planted tanks.

New to planted tanks, avid gardener/tinkerer.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-19-2015, 02:46 AM
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I find that otos will help clean off the sand as they clean the leaves. But I agree that it is just sand particles.
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