about to give up -_-, need help.. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-26-2009, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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about to give up -_-, need help..

tank setup: 36 gallon 36wx12dx18h, aquaclear 50, Diy C02 2bubbles per second with a red sea 200 defuser/counter, 2x39 watt hagen Glow T5 light fixture with 2x 6700K bulbs. water : ph 6.4, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 5, kh 3, temp 80 F. substrate Flourite black. Driftwood and current plants are 4 baby dearf tears, 3 corkscrew vals, 1 wisteria, 1 anub nana, 1 amazon sword, 3 dwarf sags, 1 chain sword. current fish: 7 cardinal tetra, 3 black skirt tetra, 1 amano shrimp,1 rummynose tetra. (think thats everything you guys will need to help out.)

my tank finished its cycle about 3 weeks ago and ever since ive been trying to keep live plants. first i was told lighting was too low so i went from a single 20watt bulb to a t5 light fixture. then i was told i need root tabs and flourish so ive been using that once every 3 days. i bought a co2 drop checker and its on green so i have the right ammount of co2 in my tank. the first round of plants i got online 20 of them for $30. 17 of the 20 died...... everything from swords to vals to crypts (not melting, just fell over and were clear stem and all) Even managed to kill a java fern -_-... (this was also before the t5 lights.) so after i got the lights i bought 6 more plants and have them now but the new swords are yellow not green, and the vals are clear again. the new dwarf sags are clear also and the baby dwarf tears are starting to die... the guy at the store told me to leave the tears in there pots im pretty sure thats one of the reasons they are about to die. i dont know what else to do or what plants to try now. any ideas or suggestions would be great ! Ps happy thanksgiving!!!!!!!!!
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-26-2009, 02:43 PM
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Hmm, maybe the more experienced here can help. All the fundamentals you list seem fine. Only thing that sticks out to me is that using Flourish every 3 days seems a little light and yellow amazons sounds like a nutrient deficiency. I'd look at increasing fertz and maybe the placement density of your root tabs.

Hang in there. I'm betting its ONE thing that once resolved will see things take off.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-26-2009, 03:04 PM
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Could you post a pic so we can see what we're working with?

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-26-2009, 03:04 PM
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The lighting seems a little low for HC, especially since it is a plant requiring high light. Also I would start dosing the water column, since with your set up you are making your plants grow very quickly and they need the right nutrients to build healthy leaf structures. Another question though, how do the plants look when you get them?

Another thing that I want to mention is that the water is a little warm. I'd dial back the temp to 76, only do it slowly.

Good luck. First thing I would do is turn down the temp. Then see what happens, since everything else involves buying stuff.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-26-2009, 03:22 PM
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HC isn't a high light plant; it can grow at 40mmol PAR. The trick of it is that it's CO2 demanding; its natural habitat is pretty high flow, and it isn't submersed quite often. Besides, 2x39w of T5HO is more like 3wpg of CF; plenty of light.

Honestly Jason, you didn't have to get most of that equipment unless you're looking to go high tech specifically. There are very low tech planted tanks that keep simpler species with far less work. What it sounds like you've been missing is good column fertilization. Alos, odds are while your drop checker is the right color in once place, it's not the right color in every place. Move it around; check out where your dead spaces are.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-26-2009, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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plants.

my drop checker is on the side of the tank where the filter is. and my co2 is on the other side of the tank. so its not like its not moving around in the water. as for the lighting i was told by a number of ppl what i have should be fine for growing plants in a tank my size also from what i hear Wpg doesnt apply to T5 lighting. and im lost with the "hc" abrev. what plant are you guys talking about. and should i be dosing with flourish more than once every 3 days? maybe every other day.
how deep should i be planting stuff. someone i spoke to told me vals cant be planted too deep or they will die is that right?
what are some good plants for me to grow with my current setup im tired of spending money i dont need. seems like pet stores near me have no clue what they are talking about. i plan on getting more cardinals and some corys i know they need heavly planted tanks
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-26-2009, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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photo

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cloudy cause i changed from regular gravel to flourite this photo was taken with the first set of plants and the old lights. working At the moment i can give an updated pic later today.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-26-2009, 05:07 PM
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Lighting is fine. Which Flourish? I bet low nutrients and/or low co2 is your problem. 5ppm nitrates is pretty low.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-26-2009, 07:01 PM
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It would seem the only thing missing are the macro nutrients. NPK. Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. Since your substrate is new, clean, and not loaded with fish waste, and your fish load is light and your root tabs (guessing Flourish Tabs) and the liquid Flourish (assuming regular Flourish) have rather little of the macros that COULD be it. That you're not complaining about algae all over the place makes me think it is.

Read up in the Fertilizing parts of the forum for a popular dosing method that fits your life.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-26-2009, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
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tank.

idk whats going on i just bought 8 cardinals 1 rummynose and 3 amano shrimp last saturday. came home today and the rummy and another card died. tested water its the same as 3 days ago cept no3 was at 10 so i did a 25% W/c and replaced my Carbon cause the water was a bit cloudy from the gravel change still. got alot better with todays water change. but idk why im losing fish maybe from stress still. got them a few days ago+ the petstore got them in the day i bought them, so alot of travel. the black skirt tetra i have had from the begining and nothing is wrong with them, do you guys think i sbould go ahead and buy some more cards or rasbora maybe help out with loading the gravel with poop O_o. i also took the dwarf baby tear out of the pots today ill see how they do and found a Baby Val growing off the main one, some sign of growth is nice
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-26-2009, 10:02 PM
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I wouldn't buy any more until your water parameters are stable. That's just me, though.


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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-26-2009, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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Water parameters have been the same since it was cycled (3 weeks now). 0ammo 0 no2 6.4ph and 5-20 ppm no3.... tested every other Day for the last 3 weeks.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-27-2009, 02:17 AM Thread Starter
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pic

took today. updated pic. sorry about the Tv reflection ! giants game was on O_O.

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 11-27-2009, 04:13 AM
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I mean you should move the drop checker around within the tank so that you can tell where your CO2 is sitting. Keeping it in one place is only going to give you CO2 concentrations in one place.

You need macro fertilizers if you want to grow plants under that level of light. You will find yourself landing with dead plants every time when it's paired with that inert substrate. Your substrate will also gain nutrients if you fertilize NPK properly because of its cation exchange capacity. Without directly adding macros through ferts, or going low light with a nutrient rich substrate, there's no way you're going to keep plants successfully. There's really no way of keeping the simplest of plants in good condition with mid to high light, CO2, but no macros. Start with PPS pro or EI if you want to keep going the high tech way; both are proven methods.

I think in terms of fish, it's hard to make a call without knowing details. Were there symptoms? Is the LFS reputable? How do their other tanks look? What adaptation methods did you use? Any information would offer the rest of us some place to look.

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-10-2009, 07:05 AM
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i was reading your post jason, is everything fine, i hope you didnt give up, let us know. BTW we are in same boat im 3 months new and lost 2 plants in the beginning, have recently bought 15 low light plants . with macro(NPK+iron)/micro, co2 and low light (1.8wpg CF).
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