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Discussion Starter #1
I've redone my whole set up a few times now, and I can't get plants to grow and not die. BLAH!! I finally decieded to go with some easy growing plants, and just deal with them for a while, see if I could do that. I got this grassy stuff, (sorry i dont know the name) and It was growing "ok" then a couple of weeks ago my water was real real green, so I bought this Alage Fix stuff, which was recommended by my lfs and it cleared my water right up. I cut my lighting back to 6 hrs a day and kept with the aglae treatment for a 1 1/2 weeks. Well now my plants dont look so hot, and I got green stuff growing on my driftwood. THESE PLANTS ARE SUPPOSE TO BE GROWING LIKE WEEDS, AND THEY'RE DYING TOO?

Its a 55G, sand bottom, 130W light, native us fish

 

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algae killers harm plants too....

1) next time you have colored water, do a blackout. Cover the tank for 4-5 straight days with towlels. Put in an airstone if you have fish. Dont feed them. After 5 days, your green water will be gone, much of your algae dead, and the plants will have spurted in growth.
2) co2 is needed, so look into DIY or pressurized. Or at least Flourish Excel. Even a couple ppm of CO2 is better than none.
3) Put the algae killer away...
4) plant a ton of fast growing plants like hornwort
5) buy SAEs / siamese flying foxes and otos.
6) give it time to balance
7) plants need 10 hours of light. Set a timer to give it 10 hours. To prevent algae, add a 2-3 hour siesta in the afternoon.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I know I'm anoying but its a native fish tank, ex usa fish, so I want something that looks pretty native to the usa, doesn't have to be native, just not tropical "looking" do you have any suggestions for plants? these plants should be pretty fast growing shouldn't they?

I also have one of those $30 co2 things going. I know I should probably get another one, but I dont think this one is working very well. I dont know if your familar with this kind of co2, but that plastic thing with the lines is suppose to make the bubbles that come out of the tube go back and forth as they go up, making the bubbles get smaller. But just one big bubble comes up and floats to the top, hence I dont think very much co2 is getting into the water

also, what about this green aglae on my driftwood, do I just need to take the wood out, and scrub it?

heres a pic of that co2 thing I have

 

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You'll probably need another of the Plant-Gro systems (possibly two) for a tank of that size.

Initially, the bubbles will zoom their way through the ladder without changing size (i.e. without releasing carbon into the water column). After a few weeks, however, a biofilm will develop on the ladder giving the bubbles a bit of friction that'll make the bubbles do what they're supposed to do—get smaller.

I urge you to not give up on planted tanks. I mean, the fact that you're so frustrated now is a pretty good indication of the tremendous high you'll have once get your tank going. And you will. A planted tank just takes time, patience, research, and then some more patience.

Take pedietz's advice and put some hornwort in there. With it's lighting-fast growth, it'll eat up any excess nutrients the algae would have used to grow and to piss you off.
 

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You could just attach more bottles to your current CO2 system.

Also it's possible that the grass type plant you are showing is not a true aquatic plant. But it appears to be some sort of Val or Sag. I never had much luck with Vals but have done very well with Sag.

What are your tank pH, kH, gH and are you testing for nitrates and phosphates?
 

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In my (limited) experience, grassy plants (particularly sag. sp.) take a while to adjust to a new tank. Its also difficult (for me, anyway) to tell whether or not they are sold as emersed or submersed growth. The transition could take a month or more.

And Rex is right--the grassy plant might not be a true aquatic.

^iMp^
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My bubbles dont follow up the ladder, they just float up to the top, I think I have it set up right, but maybe its just a little off.

How would I hook up more bottles to the one I have?

What are vals? is sag, sagetary?

I dont know what my ph, gh, kh and phosphate, I've taken my water to my lfs a couple times, and he doesn't tell me the numbers, he just said it was ok.

Chad
 

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get the numbers. "okay" may be okay for some plants but not okay for others...if you have plants that like 6.8 acidic water, and you have them in 8.0 alkaline water...you have unhappy plants. i suggest at a minimum get a pH test kit from petco/smart for like 8 dollars that comes with a tube, some test fluid, and a comparison chart. then youll at least be able to keep track of your pH and get specific numbers from your petstore...and make sure they test ALL your readings, not just pH. in addition, double check your co2 setup....planted tanks are so much nicer than standard fishtanks....dont give up before youve at least had it work.
 

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Griggs2121,
Welcome to the club :D I'm also having quite a hard time with my newly planted tanks. This is actually my second try building a planted tank. I'll give it a shot for one more month. I've been following many advices from other forum also. Sometimes I just don't understand, I've been breeding so many fish, even FW exotic fish, yet I can't have a single plant grows healthily.

Oh, I also own that Hagen CO2 system. The first time I installed it, the bubble went straight up also. Then I realized I didn't place the end of the tube correctly. Double check the slanted tube end. The slant should face the ladder and should be place flat to the reactor. If the bubbles should pass the ladder.

Good luck with your tank :lol:
 

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Yeap, looks ok to me. When the bubble comes out, it should get trapped to the ladder though. That CO2 system is useless if the bubbles don't go through the reactors.

The first time I set it up, the bubble missed the ladder also. After a long stressful check, I found out that the plastic end (you know how you should insert it from the front to the back) didn't exactly clicked. It was off a little and the bubble missed the target.

I wonder if this CO2 system is good enough.
 

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I have never had much luck with vals. I have some in my tank now that have held on longer than I thought they would. I think some plants are just easier for some people. You need to find what grows good for you. Rotala Indica and sunset hygro are my current "weeds" This is the first time I have ever had swords do good for me. Now they are weeds too. It really does take some time to figure all this out and for the plants to settle in. You have no idea the plants I trashed while learning! Keep on! You can do it!
 

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Griggs2121 said:
My bubbles dont follow up the ladder, they just float up to the top, I think I have it set up right, but maybe its just a little off.

How would I hook up more bottles to the one I have?

What are vals? is sag, sagetary?
I hope you get that ladder working for you, I have a couple and I really like how they work.

To attach a second bottle, you would have to get an airline 'T' at your local fish store (LFS) or find one that fits at Home Depot or some place like that. Then you have to get a 2 liter soda bottle and set up the do-it-yourself (DIY) system that is in several threads on this forum. You can run the bottles on opposite weeks to ensure a steady flow of CO2.

Vallisneria and Sagittaria are groups of grassy aquatic plants that both have North American species that you can buy if you don't want to wait till spring to collect some yourself. There are a lot of other plants that are in the trade that are native as well. What part of NA are you trying to replicate, are you interested in plants native to the South East?

Quick recipe for the Hagen canister, sugar to the line in the bottle as the instructions say, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, 1/8 teaspoon of yeast, fill with lukewarm water. For the 2 liter bottle, 2 cups sugar, 1 table spoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon yeast, fill with 1.5 to 1.75 liters of lukewarm water. There are many other recipes, this is just a place to start.
 

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You really need to get some basic test kits. IMHO it's foolish to try and keep any aquarium without some basic test kits. For a planted tank you need at a bare minimum of a pH, kH, and nitrate kit. As has been said the LFS person telling you the parameters are OK just doesn't cut it. You need to check the pH as soon as you remove the water from the tank so you can determine the CO2 levels.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Ok, what are some native, or native "looking" easy to grow, fast growing plants I could get going with? I'm not trying to replicate any particualar part of the usa, just the usa in general, I just dont want anything from the amazon you know? I could maybe even go with a florida type setup, that way it could still be sorta tropical, but exist in the usa, I dont know, any suggestions?

I fidled with my co2 thing again, and it still doesn't seem to be going up the ladder, I guess I'll just keep fiddling with it. This thing came with packets of whatever that I have to go buy to replace when it runs out, if I use your recipe with the sugar, yeast and baking soda, I dont gotta buy those packets?

If I make a DIY system to add more co2 to my tank, then I wouldn't have another ladder to use, what then? Do people make their own ladder type things?

Alright, I'm gonna go pick up a basic test kit thing, I hope you guys will check back on this thread, cuz I'll give my numbers in a few days. I got work and class but maybe by weds

The green stuff growing on my driftwood, I see it growing on some plants, on my sand and even on some plants. Should I take the wood and rocks out and scrub em off? This is the first time I've had algae like this before.

Thanks for the help everyone
 

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the green stuff looks like BGA (b l u e g r e e n a l g a e)

sucks. A lot of people get it, but it hopefully will go away. You can rub it off with your finger and suck it up with your siphon. If it gets really bad, ie carpeting your aquarium, you can treat with arithromycin. I wouldn't worry about it right now, unless it's all over your tank.

hang in there.
 

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hey griggs, i'm very close to giving up too...you know what you could do ...this is what i'm doign now...just get easy plants.... java moss, java fern, riccia, anubias.... then go on from there.... these plants are real easy and real forgiving. the next step, maybe crypts. vals, sags, hygro polysperma, rotala rotundifolia but you can make a beautiful aquascape with just java fern and riccia. good luck.
 
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