Plants not looking healthy (Is it because of carbon?) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-24-2004, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
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Plants not looking healthy (Is it because of carbon?)

Well my plants arn't looking that great and I couldn't work out why. I then read that carbon in your filter takes away nutrients the plants need to grow.

I had a large bag of it in my Eheim to get rid of tannins but have now removed it, was the info I read true?
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-24-2004, 01:46 PM
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First it would be helpful to know all your tank's info. Dosing, nutrient levels, lighting, CO2?, what plants, and whats wrong with them. Just too many unknowns now to simply pin the problem solely on carbon. But yes to a degree carbon does impact nutrients.

Last edited by Rolo; 08-24-2004 at 04:50 PM.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-24-2004, 04:12 PM
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Agreed. Carbon strips more out of the water than just tannins. A lot of factor do play a part in the overall health of your plants than just this however. Post more specific info about your tank please.

Eric


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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-24-2004, 09:03 PM
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while carbon does strip good stuff outta the water, my guess is it's not the primary culprit.
we'll have to get the details first though...the things Rolo asked about.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-25-2004, 01:37 AM Thread Starter
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Ok well I'm buying a Mini Master Test kit today so I can give you those details tonight.

Its 2 weeks old, 30x18x18.
4 x 30w Fluoro's (2x6700K Life Glo, 2x10000K Aqua Glo)
DIY Co2, 2 x 2 litre bottles, getting about 1 bubble per 5 seconds.
Laterite on bottom lavel of 3mm gravel.
Eheim 2228

No fertilizers yet since its new.

My Ambulia is growing all light colours (brown/yellow)
My Amazon Sword is growing brown wrinkly curved leaves
Java Fern is getting holes in it and Java moss is going brown even though its spread thinly on a log.
Hairgrass seems to be doing ok. But its only a week old.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-25-2004, 12:26 PM
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You are running around 3 wpg on the tank. And you don't know the nutrient levels in the tank. I'm betting the plants are starving.

The brown color on the Ambulia could be diatom algae but the yellow growth is a sign of nutrient deficiency.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-25-2004, 04:50 PM
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Your tank is around 42ish gallons (40 or so after water displacement from the decor/substrate/plants).

Java moss grows light green at the tips, initially, and the overall color is a darker green. The brown that you're siting sounds more like the plant is decomposing...

It does sound like a nutrient deficiency to me also (similar reason to Rex's). This isn't too surprising, if the tank is filled with lots of plants, which are fast growers (ambulia is one such plant that tends to strip the tank of its nutrients rather quickly).

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-25-2004, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
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Ok well I was following this... http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_newtank.htm

...which said not to add anything till week 8.

So what should I be adding?
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-26-2004, 01:32 AM Thread Starter
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OK tested the water, results are:

pH - 7.2
Nitrite - 0.1
Ammonia - 0.5

GH - 140mg/L
KH - 80mg/L
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-26-2004, 02:38 AM
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Do you know nitrate and phosphate levels?
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-26-2004, 03:50 AM Thread Starter
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Thats the only test kits I have at the moment.

How would I find out Nitrates and Phosphate levels? Which tests should I buy?
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-26-2004, 03:58 AM
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Phosphate and Nitrate test kits.
These are essential, along with your pH tester, and kH becomes important if you intend to inject CO2.

Len

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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-26-2004, 07:58 AM
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Your current CO2 level is about 8.5mg/l. At 3wpg, this CO2 level is definately too low. You need to get it up to around 20-25. At your KH, that means enough CO2 injection to lower the pH to 6.8 or 6.7.

Your tank is also still cycling with those ammonia and nitrite readings. Raise the CO2 levels and the plants will help you soak those up...
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-26-2004, 12:30 PM
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With co2 and high light you will defeinitely want to start dosing nutrients earlier than 8 weeks. Like everyone has said, you also need to get phosphate and nitrate test kits and see what your levels of those are. Are you dosing any micronutrients such as Flourish or something alont those lines?

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-26-2004, 12:33 PM
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Also if it's a healthy planted tank you should see NO ammonia readings. At least as long as you have it planted with fast growing stem plants. See my FAQ on how to start a planted tank. I have never seen an ammonia or nitrite reading on a new planted tank that I have started.
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