bad luck with plants! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-23-2009, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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bad luck with plants!

hi all,

this is my first post. i'd like to share my total bad luck with plants and thinking what could be the problem. i'm keeping:

one anubias nana (just sits there)
7 or 8 stalks anacharis (problems problems for a year now)
some java fern (hasn't done anything, at least its not dying)
one bit of hair grass (hasn't done anything in a month)
7 or 8 strands of hornwort (never gets big and tends to just dissappear)
some duckweed (tends to die out faster than it reproduces)
light fish load, 6 danios, 15-20 guppies of various ages (they breed)

its a 80gal tank with two 36w 6500k tubes (with full mirrors/reflectors). its low light and low tech, no Co2, little to no dosing, but a very light plant load too. eheim 2217. riversand substrate. temp 75 degrees.

as i understand it, these plants are reputed to be "easy" and "hardy" and anacharis are "fast growing". HOWEVER, i've never had any luck with any of these. anacharis i kept it in a tub for a while and it started turning transparent, i shifted it to the tank, plants didnt recover, little growth. thats just my latest adventure with it. my other plants of which i don't have much of, they just sit there and don't grow. what am i doing wrong?

one theory is since my fish load is low, my eheim is working well and removing so much ammonia that my plants have little to go on. i've tested and found my levels are all very good/low. if i reduce the biological filtering in the eheim, the plants mite do better? should i chuck the filter?!?

another theory, i'm sending my spray bar up and letting it splash around to cool down the water (its HOT in india) i thought i might be losing Co2. but then again, isn't C02 outgassing only a problem if your injecting it?

i've ordered some seachem products, flourish, excel, and iron from the US hopefully those might help me. but i'm a total newbie when it comes to dosing, Co2 etc.

thanks for reading this!

sagar
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-23-2009, 05:40 PM
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You've answered your own question, low light, fish and plant load and no nutrients outside of the little trace from water changes.

You will need to dose C02 so Excel is a good low-tech option and flourish will work for starters but I'd also recommend a GH Booster for after each water change to boost the amounts of nutrients for your plants without going to crazy and causing algae blooms.

A good place to buy it (in the US) is: { http://www.greenleafaquariums.com/aq...h-booster.html }

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-23-2009, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradac56 View Post
You will need to dose C02 so Excel is a good low-tech option and flourish will work for starters but I'd also recommend a GH Booster for after each water change to boost the amounts of nutrients for your plants without going to crazy and causing algae blooms.
Would the gH booster still be necessary if the water already has a high gH? I don't know if it does or not, just a consideration, since I know my own water has a high gH level.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-23-2009, 07:56 PM
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You came to the right place, sagar. We'll help you out!

First of all, you have low light even for "low light" standards. You say you are using 36w tubes, but I don't know of any "tubes" at 36w so I don't know specifically what kind of light you have. The only 36w bulbs I know are power compacts, and at less than 1 wpg, you simply would not have enough light. In order to be using only 1 wpg, you'd better be using T5 fixtures.

As far as the spraybar is concerned, have no worries about it. CO2 offgassing is only a problem when you are injecting it. When you are not injecting it, surface turbulence actually serves to stabilize your CO2 levels, because it makes it equal with atmospheric concentrations. So keep doing what you're doing, and just upgrade your lighting!

Of course, once you upgrade your lighting, it will become more important to have a regular fert regimen and possibly the addition of Excel.

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-23-2009, 08:01 PM
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The gH shouldn't be a problem since your only dosing it once after each WC and not every day/other day. I only recommend it for the fert content for low-tech tanks. I use GH Booster and Excel for my fertilization in all of my low-tech sponge species and breeder tanks without any problems.

The other way would be to buy KN03, KH2P04, K2SO4, and Iron Chelate and mix your own light dose for once a week but that would require some work on your part to figure out what that does should be.

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If you do take Church's advice and upgrade your lighting then you will need to order all four of those ferts (or the commercial equivalent) as light is what powers photosynthesis.

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-24-2009, 04:17 AM Thread Starter
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thanks guys!

will look into the lighting issue, though i thought low lighting is ok for low plant load. i guess it depends on the water volume only?

proper dosing is gonna take some more research and work!

just a thought if i dose excel, won't it be outgassed from my spray bar very fast?
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-24-2009, 04:46 AM
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No Excel isn't a gas it's a bit different so nothing to worry about there.
Low light and low plant load are different things, you can have a heavy plant load as long as you have low-light plants and the right types of nutrients.
I have allot of hornwort, java moss, and duckweed in my breeding tanks with just a shoplight about six inches above the tanks.

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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-24-2009, 05:07 AM
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I personally wouldn't delve into C02. You don't need to. A nutrient rich substrate. Basic water column fertilizing of your micros and macros. Maybe some root tabs at the base of your heavy root feeding plants. Increase your fish load to Further increase your fertilization. I have a 40 gallon tall with basic petsmart lighting, maybe 30 watts of standard bottom of the barrel flourescent?!?! I grow all kinds of low light plants without any issues.

Don't strive for perfection initially, but do enough research so you feel comfortable with your choices. Don't trust chain pet stores, and do your own research!
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