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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

Can I aerate my soil using hydrogen peroxide? I'm having problem with my stem plants that failed to grow roots in my rescape tank. The soil is not deep, approximately 1.5 inch deep. The stem plants grow but the root is not developing for some reason. Unfortunately I don't have calcium & magnesium test kit which I think somehow cause this. The stem plants produced shoots with healthy leaves but on the ludwigia sp., new leaves little bit pale, sign of chlorosis. The stem plants not stunted, I already trimmed two times I think since rescape. I have stopped ferts for now & I'm doing big water change ~50% everyday, just in case there's excess nutrients that cause this. Ammonia is high though, one of the reason I stopped ferts for now. The tank already 5 weeks old but ammonia still high. I did put root tabs 2 weeks ago. Maybe that cause it, especially my substrate is not deep. Nitrate is between 10-20 ppm.

If I can, what ratio should I use to mix hydrogen peroxide with water? I only have hydrogen peroxide 6% food grade, not 3%.
 

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Folks do add hydrogen peroxide to tanks but only for the purpose of killing algae. The trouble is that it tends to murder plants and/or animals at the same time (different plants/animals depending on the concentration). There is no reason to 'aerate' plant roots in an aquarium. The plant roots themselves produce oxygen as a waste product of photosynthesis, they do not need or want oxygen themselves.

Instead I would 1) not disturb the soil around the plant as this will stress it. 2) continue using fertilizer as directed by the bottle (fertilizer does not add ammonia to a tank), 3) wait longer - new plants take longer to grow then established plants, 4) continue doing water changes as directed by where you are at in your cycle and fertilizer.
 

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I don’t think it has anything to do with oxygen level in the substrate. None of my stem plants develop strong roots, and they are in coarse gravel with good oxygenation. My rosette and boubous plants, on the other hand, develop extensive roots that I have to thin out from time to time. It’s just the nature of stems to focus on aerial roots rather than substrate roots, grow tall and dense up high but bare in the bottom, and eventually rot from the bottom and need to be replanted.

There may be exceptional strong rooted stems out there I’m not aware of or intensely lighted bottom setup that allows all stems to develop strong roots.
 

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to add on to minorhero if you have high ammonia than your tank isnt cycled and/or your substrate is leaching it out if it’s a type of aquasoil and/or youve got some dead fish in there and/or youve been stirring up your substrate and/or other reasons and/or youve been dosing ammonia.

I dont understand the logic behind why people think that removing fertilizers, the nutrients essential for plant growth, would help their plants grow. Why would you take their food away? Something doesnt add up here. I recommend you be patient. Whats the rest of your tank info? Lights? CO2? Water? Pic?
 
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Hey guys new to the forum but not to the industry lol... I design and install planted aquariums in NYC. I have stem plants that root super deep lol.... ludwigia is definitely one of them. I would recommend a deeper soil bed as 1.5 doesn’t offer tons of room for anchoring (I have 1-2 inches of soil if I’m growing a lawn) in my experience stem plants enjoy some space to really sink there roots. Also the substrate and lighting are key factors that directly influence plant growth. By the leaf color you described it seems your lighting could be on the lower side. Can you give some more details maybe a pic ? Also at times removing nutrient dosing is the proper route. It’s a fine line between nutrients being used by plants and your tank getting thrown off balance (aka algae bloom)
 

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Dosing nutrients isnt what is preventing his ludwiga from growing. An abundance of available nutrients does not equal poor plant growth. How about light and co2. This happens all too often. People don’t get the results they want right off the bat and then they quickly look at their fertilizer regime and start either dosing way more or stopping all together what is what this op is doing...

His ludwiga js growing it’s just not rooting the way the op wants. We dont have more info here. Again- lights and co2 and water quality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Hello guys! Thank you for responding. The only parameter that I can give is ammonia & nitrate. Ammonia is around 8 ppm & nitrate is betwee 10 to 20 ppm. pH is 6-7. I will post picture of the tank later. (edit: pictures can be found at the end)

The reason why I decided to stop fertilizer because two weeks ago I did add root tabs. The root tabs I use are repacked & no mention of its origin. I suspect it use urea for Nitrogen source & probably the reason why ammonia is soo high. Even though I stop ferts but the plants should able to get food from the soil. Also I read if calcium & magnesium imbalance, especially if magnesium is too high or calcium is too low, roots will failed to developed.

This tank is originally a balanced/established planted tank with good growth. The plants are healthy except there's stubborn BBA growing on the edge of old leaves. It is not blooming but still annoying. After tried a couple of things, I decided to bleach dip all of the plant which ultimately killed most of the plants. The original plants have very healthy roots. I can feel it holding to the substrate very well. I have bristlenose pleco in there, like to graze on the leaves & I never have problem where the plants get pull out from the soil.

After over a month since rescape, roots still failed to developed, that's why I decided to stop fertilizer & doing 50% water change everyday for a week, to reset nutrients in the water. Just in case if there's imbalance nutrients in the water, especially calcium & magnesium.

This tank originally don't have co2 injection. But after rescape, I startes using DIY co2.

Right now this tank only have Bacopa Caroliniana & Ludwigia sp 'Dark orange'. When this roots problem solved, I may add more plants.

Ferts dosing schedule; after rescape (Jan, 9th), I continued my original dosing schedule which are Monday & Friday with partial water change on Sunday. I dose Seachem Flourish for micro & a couple minutes later followed by Aquaforest AF Macro for macro. I did this for three weeks. I noticed the roots not growing. Then I changed to dosing ferts, macro & micro on alternate days. For three weeks, nothing changed. Then I changed again, Flourish on Monday & Friday while macro everyday except Sunday. Sunday is water change day.

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These are close up pics. You can see new leaves on Ludwigia sp. are yellowish with dark vein. It is Iron deficiency right? Is this because I use DIY co2, it want more iron? Never have this before with original plants & without co2 back then. The damaged leaves are old leaves, likely melting because this plant was from my other tank, or maybe also necrosis, other sign of deficiency maybe.
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Bacopa caroliniana produced healthy new leaves. However this plant affected the most. Not only roots failed to grow, on some of the plants, the lower parts that buried under the soil tend to melt. Only some plants, not all.
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How are you lighting this tank and whats your co2 look like (i see you just started diy co2 but how is it diffusing??) your plants do not look healthy, your substrate depth is fine btw.

tell us more about your light and your co2 levels? If your ammonia is 8ppm than take those fish out of there.

Is this a filterless tank that is sitting by a window??
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
How are you lighting this tank and whats your co2 look like (i see you just started diy co2 but how is it diffusing??) your plants do not look healthy, your substrate depth is fine btw.

tell us more about your light and your co2 levels? If your ammonia is 8ppm than take those fish out of there.

Is this a filterless tank that is sitting by a window??
I'm just using regular led light. Two of this.
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DIY co2, one bps. This tank is filterless & not sit near the windows. I make diy co2 just because it's interesting & most co2 gas probably go wasted because there's nothing in there to help distribute it around the tank.
 

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Well...you’ve got a lot of issues here that are resulting in poor plant growth. One big issue are those submersible LED lights. They are not the best lights for growing plants. Do you sit them right along the top of the tank? Even if you do, I imagine their output is extremely weak. What size tank is this? 10gallon? You are not providing adequate light for your plants to grow for one.

Now...the majority of the plants available in the hobby are low light plants in the wild and will adapt to a ton of different conditions in order to survive. That’s what you are probably seeing in the poor growth of your stems. You see new growth at the top and horrible rotting growth below because the plant is struggling to survive and essentially using all that‘s available nutrient and lighting and co2 wise to grow the few new leaves you do see. Your ammonia is high because of a number of things. One being you don’t have enough bacteria in there to convert it to nitrite and then the bacteria to convert the nitrite to nitrate. You should have ZERO ammonia in that tank, and the fact that you have 8 is...well...es no bueno. It means that your tank is not cycled...and I don’t think your ammonia levels will ever go down to zero without any sort of filtration in there.

The fertilizers you are using are having a minimal effect because your plants are not getting enough beneficial light. So a lot of those ferts are just sitting there in the water column. You can have low light plants for sure as well as low co2, but those stem plants you have are going to need more light than what you are providing. But you need filtration and water movement and flow and circulation...and right now you don’t have any of those things. You have a little aquarium full of ammonia and your fish are going to get sick and die soon. Ammonia levels that high in your aquarium is a death sentence for them. Please do some research here, but it sucks for your fish and you should take them out of the tank. That bristlenose creates a lot of waste too and needs a bigger tank than what you are providing.

Your DIY co2 isn’t doing anything with your lighting being so poor.

AGAIN- I really think you need to do a lot of research about what plants need in order to successfully grow them in your aquarium. I don‘t know what you mean when you say “most co2 gas probably go wasted because there’s nothing in there to help distribute it around the tank.” If this is an issue, than find a way, as a hobbyist, to distribute the co2 in your aquarium. Find a better way to provide the best environment for your plants and fish to survive. But again, with those submersible lights you are using, it doesn’t really matter, because the plants are struggling to survive and will waste away soon because of your water conditions. Algae is going to set in and take advantage of your poor environment and that’s what you will have soon...dead fish...dead plants...and algae.

Best of luck to you on your planted tank journey. I hope you read the above and you take some action to improve the conditions in your tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
This is not new tank, not new substrate or not new light. Except BBA issue that I did mentioned, the plants are growing well. The ones that I trimmed & replanted have no problem growing roots. Ammonia was 0 ppm which I did checked occasionally. The tank was cycled with the same light I'm using right now & with the same bristlenose pleco. The problem started appearing after I bleach dip all of the plants in an attempt to kill BBA which I succeed. Just to be clear, I took out all of the plants & beach dip in the other container & rinse/submerge in a lot of dechlorinated water before re-planted them back in the tank. However majority of the plants died too. So, I replanted new plants (same kind of plants; bacopa caroliniana & Ludwigia sp. 'Dark Orange') that I took from my other tank. Every single new plants was from cutting, so they don't have roots. Evidently something did changed because the plants performed poorly & roots failed to developed. I suspect the soil but I don't want to start over which is why I asked here if I can aerate the soil using H2O2. Even though I don't believe this happen because lack of oxygen in the soil because the soil is not deep & it's not even compact, but the symptom point to that.

I'm doing 50% water change everyday & I'm using water conditioner to lock the ammonia. I'm also monitoring pH level. If I see any of my fish showing sign of stress, I will move them to another tank. Ammonia right now down to 2 ppm yesterday. It is still too high I know.

Regarding co2, actually I don't want to use co2. I want to keep my tank low tech. But recently there is a lot of discussion on diy CO2 in local group using just one bottle which make me excited to try. I know it is best to have filter because the out flow can help distribute co2 to entire tank. Right now I just don't care much about CO2, whether the co2 is being wasted or not because I just want to solve the root problem first. The plants can grow well without additional co2, so it's not important for me right now.

Nitrate is increasing if I checked before doing water changed. Between 10-20 ppm. I don't know whether the bacteria is doing their job or because of the ferts. I did not do anything to kill beneficial bacteria. 50% of me don't believe it increase because of the ferts because the dosage I think is low, around 7 ppm daily. On the other hand, it maybe because of the ferts.

This is picture before I bleach dip the plants.
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Thanks for the info. If your tank is 5 weeks old as you said in your original post, and you have zero filtration with those fish and plants and substrate in there then your ammonia levels were never zero and your tank has never cycled. So when you say this is not a “new” tank, well...everything you have provided in your posts says: New Tank. 5 weeks old = New Tank.

I originally clicked on your thread because I thought it was interesting that you wanted to aerate your soil with H2O2. However upon reading your thread it’s clear that your soil is fine and that you are not providing suitable conditions in your aquarium to grow your plants well. As you said you had a BBA outbreak. When this appears in new set ups it means you have some thing seriously off.

and when you bleach dipped your plants, you made a serious mistake and damaged them. From the last picture you posted it looks like you took a shot of the beginning stages of when your plants were trying to grow after you planted them in the tank. The plants have reserves stored that will help them continue to grow when conditions are subpar or when they acclimate to a new environment when you first add healthy plants to a new tank. But that only lasts for so long. And if you don’t give them what they need to survive then well they start to look the way they do now in your tank.

you do not need to aerate your soil in a five week old tank with hydrogen peroxide. As I have said many times- You need to provide better lighting for these plants to grow other than your submersible LED lights. Those lights have a weak output.

so why not just get a better light, trim off the dead leaves and the rotting leaves of your plants, get a filter and be patient. It’s like you are skipping some major steps here and are focusing on details that don’t really apply to your plants right now. you need to encourage them to grow and right now they are suffering. And your fish will be suffering with all that ammonia.

I originally asked if this tank was a filterless tank set by the window thinking that maybe you were attempting to do a Walstad tank. But this is clearly not what you were doing. I highly recommend you read her book by the way. It is called “the ecology of the planted aquarium.” I think you and your tank would benefit from that information whether or not you wanted to try her method in the future. But setting your tank up the way that you have, and not seeming to grasp the fundamentals, is what is hindering your plants, your fish and your growth in the hobby. I think you need to focus on the fundamentals of what it takes to grow plants in a tank and pay particular attention to photosynthesis, water quality, light quality, co2 and fertilization. A lot of hobbyists focus on the latter- fertilization... which they struggle to understand when they are having issues with plant growth. That’s why I’ve asked so many questions about your tank because the issues aren’t fertilizers until you stop providing them. The issues are the other main big things you are not providing, namely- adequate lighting, carbon dioxide, filtration and healthy water quality. Start with those to get back on track. And then maybe farther down the road when your substrate is mature years from now and showing signs of being highly anaerobic, then that would be a good time to ask if you should aerate your soil with hydrogen peroxide.

I’m tapping out now. I think I have provided you a ton of food for thought and for your tank to get you back on track. Regardless of if you take my advice or not, your plants and the algae and the water quality will not lie to you and you will continue to have issues growing plants, which is why you’ve posted here on this forum in the first place.


el g
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You are getting it all wrong. Maybe because of my English. English is my secondary language.

The plant that you see in the last picture was first planted in the aquarium without filter on November, 2019. Over the time, when they grow, I trimmed & propogate all over the tank. After one year later, you can see in the last picture, that is the result, without filter. That bristlenose pleco also live in the tank around the same time, maybe earlier. I wish I did take a picture of the roots of the original plants when I take them out for bleach dip (January 2021). They are healthy & white in color. I even need to wiggle the plants when I take them out because the roots holding to the substrate really good.

I just wish I didn't bleach dip them. The BBA was not blooming like happen to many others. Yeah, the no filter does works. Just because you don't believe it, doesn't means it won't work. The tank cycled, ammonia was 0 ppm, without filter & same light. The light that I'm using works for plant. I even have mini planted aquarium that I put beside the tank, using same light.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
The conversation hasn't gone astray.

Forum members are attempting to give you advice and help you get to the bottom of what's occurring in your tank.
Not really. He got all wrong about it. Partly me to blame because I thought I have made it clear from the beginning. I have been using same light for more than a year without any problem growing plants in it. Right now I have fully rescape the tank but the new plants failed to grow root. The new plants are the same type of plants that I planted before. I believe the soil become anaerobic. So I want to find a way to oxigenate it. That is the question.
 

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Good grief.

People in this thread absolutely are attempting to give you advice and trying to help you get to the bottom of what's occurring in your tank. It's not their fault if you refuse to listen to them or take their advice. Re-read what people have written. If you don't understand, ask for clarification.

As a moderator, I'm telling you publicly (since we already advised you privately) - stop reporting this post because you think you aren't getting what you need from it. People are absolutely giving you proper advice.

There are also hundreds of thousands of relevant posts here on the forum to help you understand. Just use the search function if you want to find them. They'll reiterate what others are telling you here.

Closing your thread because you're being intentionally difficult with others.
 
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