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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi..I am a beginner and just did my first tank - a 15G tank. Here are the specs

Tank size - 15G (24"x12"x12")
Substrate - Power sand special + ADA Amazonia
Flora - Java Ferns, Anubias Nana, Bacopa Monnier, Hygrophila Polysperma, and Monosoloneim Tenerum, Dwarf Sags
Fauna - none till now.
Light - 36W CFL
CO2 - No Co2. Planning for a low tech tank.
Filter - 200 GPH Marina Canister Filter

I set up the tank around a month ago, added the aquasoil, did water changes for the first few days and after around 15 days added the first lot of the plants - the java ferns, the dwarf sags and a couple of anubias. Around a week later I received my second order of plants by mail - the Hygrophila, the bacopa monnier, a couple more anubias and the Monosoloneium tenerum. Its been around 4 days that i added the plants. I am keeping the lights on for 6 hours a day. The water temperature is a good 27 deg C.

The problem is that the plants aren't doing well. The dwarf sags have rooted to the substrate but i noticed a few leaves becoming transparent, the hygrophilla polysperma is in a bad condition - i did a partial water change yesterday and during the water change it's leaves came off like crazy. There are black spots on the java fern and today i observed a hole in one of the leaves of an anubias. As for the Pelia (M. tenerum), its turned brown and is melting/breaking off. The only plant that seems to be doing well is the bacopa monnier.

What's happening to my tank !!! What did I do wrong?? Or is it just a transplantation shock that the plants are going through. (I received all the plants by mail). I did a nitrate test yesterday and got a reading of 0 ppm. I have ordered the complete api freshwater kit and should be receiving it in a couple of days.

Please help me - What should I be doing now...I was hoping to add fish in around one month when the plants begin to thrive.

Adding a pic of my tank.
 

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Planted Tanker
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The tank wont cycle until you get some fish poop going on. That's why you have no nitrates, which is also more than likely why your plants arent doing well after a month. Not sure if that's your entire problem or not, but I'd get some fish in there and feed them liberally for the first week or so.

Another option is to buy a full range of ferts, including nitrates, and supply the plants with nutrients that way. In a low tech set up like yours though, I'd just do the fish and let the tank cycle, then see where you're at.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The tank wont cycle until you get some fish poop going on. That's why you have no nitrates, which is also more than likely why your plants arent doing well after a month. Not sure if that's your entire problem or not, but I'd get some fish in there and feed them liberally for the first week or so.

Another option is to buy a full range of ferts, including nitrates, and supply the plants with nutrients that way. In a low tech set up like yours though, I'd just do the fish and let the tank cycle, then see where you're at.
I already have ferts with me KNO3, KH2PO4, Plantex+CSM B, and a few others...I haven't added them yet because i was told that the amazonia would supply the plants with enough ferts for the first couple of months...should i go ahead and add the ferts to my tank??
 

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I would, yes definitely. I would also still get some fish in there so your tank can be cycling. I believe you'll find in the near future you wont need as many ferts as you do right now.
 

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The tank wont cycle until you get some fish poop going on.
This is not true in this particular situation, since the OP is using ADA substrate.

I think the opposite is a possibility- you may have some ammonia burn going on in your tank. ADA throws off TONS of ammonia during the first month.

A set of test kits would definitely help figure out what's going on for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This is not true in this particular situation, since the OP is using ADA substrate.

I think the opposite is a possibility- you may have some ammonia burn going on in your tank. ADA throws off TONS of ammonia during the first month.

A set of test kits would definitely help figure out what's going on for sure.
I did cycle the ADA for the first few days with heavy and frequent Water changes...still I agree it could be ammonia burn going on..hoping to get my test kit soon.
 

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You will find high ammonia when you test. Could be you don't need fish for it to cycle/w the Amazonia sub...but then after it stops leaching ammonia the BB will die if no ammonia source exist.
1. Java fern normally have black spots but may have parts which dried out too much during shipping which would turn black but then rapidly deteriorate in those spots.
2. Java Fern and Anubias grow so slowly that any hole may have been there long ago.
Also they almost exclusively get ferts from the water as the Rizome should not be planted.
3. Hygrophila Polysperma & Monosoloneim Tenerum...no clue.
4. Dwarf Sags...see #6...but it's normal for some leaves to die off after planting.
5. Bacopa Monnier...not sure which Bacopa, but one loves very high light...easy to see why it's doing well as...
6. You, no exaggeration, have 3 x the normal light for low tech. The 13w bulbs are
what is used @ 6500K(5000K works also).
7. Depending on the plant and how long it was deprived of light and etc. it can take
up to a month to see results after planting. Adjustment period/growing new roots
instead of growing at the top at first.
The other ferts yu can just cut the amount easily but on the KH2PO4 the amount is
so small to begin/w that you will need to mix it in distilled water and dose x amount of drops of that...it's one of few ferts hat can be overdone. Actually doesn't "have to be"
distilled either. For 15g use a level 1/64 tsp mixed/w 1 tbl sp water and dose half that each dose(weekly). Aprx 1/64 tsp is the normal dose for a 10g but that much(yes that's
plenty) requires a 50% water change per week to keep from building up.
Just start very light for the first few weeks. The KNO3 will give you a Nitrarte reading
from the NO3) which would not be there if the tank is not cycled. But if the water was
cloudy during any of the second half of the first week after you put in water, likely
the ammonia leaching from the sub caused a cycle.
I would suggest a 1/16 tsp once a week dose of the KNO3 to start/w.
Unfortunately I don't use Plantex so no suggestions there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You will find high ammonia when you test. Could be you don't need fish for it to cycle/w the Amazonia sub...but then after it stops leaching ammonia the BB will die if no ammonia source exist.
1. Java fern normally have black spots but may have parts which dried out too much during shipping which would turn black but then rapidly deteriorate in those spots.
2. Java Fern and Anubias grow so slowly that any hole may have been there long ago. Agreed
Also they almost exclusively get ferts from the water as the Rizome should not be planted. have tied both to rocks
3. Hygrophila Polysperma & Monosoloneim Tenerum...no clue.
4. Dwarf Sags...see #6...but it's normal for some leaves to die off after planting.
5. Bacopa Monnier...not sure which Bacopa, but one loves very high light...easy to see why it's doing well as...
6. You, no exaggeration, have 3 x the normal light for low tech. The 13w bulbs are
what is used @ 6500K(5000K works also).i am using 36W , that's 2.4W per gallon...is it too high for a low tech tank??
7. Depending on the plant and how long it was deprived of light and etc. it can take
up to a month to see results after planting. Adjustment period/growing new roots
instead of growing at the top at first.
The other ferts yu can just cut the amount easily but on the KH2PO4 the amount is
so small to begin/w that you will need to mix it in distilled water and dose x amount of drops of that...it's one of few ferts hat can be overdone. Actually doesn't "have to be"
distilled either. For 15g use a level 1/64 tsp mixed/w 1 tbl sp water and dose half that each dose(weekly). Aprx 1/64 tsp is the normal dose for a 10g but that much(yes that's
plenty) requires a 50% water change per week to keep from building up.
Just start very light for the first few weeks. The KNO3 will give you a Nitrarte reading
from the NO3) which would not be there if the tank is not cycled. But if the water was
cloudy during any of the second half of the first week after you put in water, likely
the ammonia leaching from the sub caused a cycle. Initially after adding ada, i did daily 100% water changes for 3 days, then 50% every alternate day for around a week and now doing a weekly 50% wc. Water became crystal clear within a few days
I would suggest a 1/16 tsp once a week dose of the KNO3 to start/w.
Unfortunately I don't use Plantex so no suggestions there.
So I can start adding ferts as per EI right away ??
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I had two angel fish living in bucket. Transferred them to the tank today.hope they don't dig up the substrate.
 

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no angels are not diggers. they do like to eat plant matter but overall dont destroy plants. someone told me ADA takes 90 days to settle. i dont have exp. with it.

for a newbie, a planted tank can be quite challenging.

you are not injecting co2. seems like no liquid carbon (excel) either right? maybe there isnt enough co2 in your tank? if too much splashing is happening at the water surface too much co2 is off gassing into the air?

you need to be extra careful with the co2 as thats a precious resource in your tank. reading walstad's book will prove helpful since you seem dependent on natural processes (for co2 for e.g.).

I'm running 2 successful no co2/no excel tanks btw. One has a jungle already (I trim it every week, my cabomba grow 2+ feet) and the other is getting there (started 4 weeks ago, see its journal from my profile).

good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
no angels are not diggers. they do like to eat plant matter but overall dont destroy plants. someone told me ADA takes 90 days to settle. i dont have exp. with it.

for a newbie, a planted tank can be quite challenging.

you are not injecting co2. seems like no liquid carbon (excel) either right? maybe there isnt enough co2 in your tank? if too much splashing is happening at the water surface too much co2 is off gassing into the air?

you need to be extra careful with the co2 as thats a precious resource in your tank. reading walstad's book will prove helpful since you seem dependent on natural processes (for co2 for e.g.).

I'm running 2 successful no co2/no excel tanks btw. One has a jungle already (I trim it every week, my cabomba grow 2+ feet) and the other is getting there (started 4 weeks ago, see its journal from my profile).

good luck.
ADA settled in my tank in two weeks flat. I did some massive WC right at the start and I guess that helped. Plus I had a filter which was running in one of my earlier tanks, so i guess I already had a colony of BB in the filter. Also there was activated carbon in the canister which helped in reducing the ammonia.

I will be adding excel from tomorrow onwards. Let's hope my plants take it well. There is not much splashing at the water surface. The output of the filter is directed through a spray bar.

Could you share pics of your tank?
Thanks.
 

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ADA settled in my tank in two weeks flat. I did some massive WC right at the start and I guess that helped. Plus I had a filter which was running in one of my earlier tanks, so i guess I already had a colony of BB in the filter. Also there was activated carbon in the canister which helped in reducing the ammonia.

I will be adding excel from tomorrow onwards. Let's hope my plants take it well. There is not much splashing at the water surface. The output of the filter is directed through a spray bar.

Could you share pics of your tank?
Thanks.
My tank journal: http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/showthread.php?t=625258&highlight=

This is my 2nd tank. I havent put up pics of my main tank anywhere yet...

where do you get excel from in india?
 
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