The Planted Tank Forum banner

My plants always slowly die...PLEASE HELP!

877 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  JohnsTank
Hi all

I've been trying my hardest to try and get my plants to do well, but many of them are still struggling, so I'm hoping for some help / suggestions on what I can do.

Been running for 8 months
224L 36" x 20" x 19"
Arcadia OT2 4x39W (2x 6500 daylight T5, 2x Growlux T5) with 8 hr period, (2 tubes for 2 hours, 4 tubes for 4 hours, 2 tubes for 2 hours), mounted approx 5" above water level
2x Tetra EX1200 cannisters with spraybar return, pointed up at about 30 degrees to create surface movement
Tap water (water report below), Prime
Pressurised C02, approx 3 BPS (see vid), comes on 2 hours before lights on, green drop checker, micro bubbles sucked into filter intakes.
60% water change per week
EI ferts per week: 30ppm KN03, 30ppm K, 6ppm P04 (macro solution) 1ppm Fe (micro solution)
3x SAE, 6x Odessa Barb, 6x Dwarf rainbow, 4x Otto cats, 1x Banded barb

I put some new plants in about 2-3 weeks ago because alot of the previous ones died, and these seem to be going the same way. My hair grass is going brown, the Limnophila heterophylla is hardly there, the Pogostemon Erectus is not looking happy, tips of the java fern showing signs of deficiency of some sort (don't understand this based on my dosing levels), the Hottania Palustris seems to be vivid and bushy at the tops but everything below is stunted and has algae on the lower leaves.

The plants always seem to wither away or get coated in what I believe to be brown algae / diatoms?, you can see it in the vids on the red plants and on the 'tree' in front of them. I used to have a lot more of this algae over the walls of the tank and wood, but since I increased C02 rate and gave the tank a good scrub during a water change, it seems to be diminishing to a degree.

I thought I had all the elements, good turnover (more than 10x), good C02 levels and distribution, good amount of surface movement, unlimited EI ferts. That leaves light - in certain brighter areas, plants seem to be doing better (in some cases but not all). I thought my period and intensity was ok ?

I'm after that vivid vibrant explosive growth, but my plants (the second lot!) seem to be struggling again in a lot of cases. I've spent quite a bit of money now on plants and I lost as to why I cant ever make them happy !

I have uploaded the video's here: (sorry for the change of orientation near the end!)

Any suggestions please ?
I appreciate any help.


See less See more
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
What type of micro you dosing? What's inside beside iron?

Sent from my MX4 using Tapatalk
It's possible your alkalinity/hardness is too high? Everything else looks about right.
Maybe you could try diluting your tap water with some RO or distilled water when you do water changes.

Good luck!

Hi, thanks for your reply. I have asked about that previously on other forums where I have been told it's extra work which is not necessary

"If you're into breeding exotic soft water species or if your tap is high in pesticides, herbicides or pathogens then RO is worth the trouble - but it's a lot of trouble so you really should have a good reason. For very small tanks it may not be a big deal, but as tank size increases RO processing starts to become a burden because of the large and frequent water change priority."

"pay attention to the things that really matter=> CO2/flow/distribution."

Would you agree with this ? I don't really want to use RO unless its vital, and it seems that many other people have had success without it...
Can you post picture of your affected plants and whole tank? Video not very clear.

Water hardness do give negative effect on some plants. I personally do not need RO water because my water source are very soft.
Other factor which may affect your plants include temperature, transportation of substances (water flow) light intensity(overall is very bright but some shaded spots may receive less)

Sent from my MX4 using Tapatalk
Just curious Paul do you dose daily or less often and have you tried using excel or metricide along with the co2 ??
Sure here a link to some pictures...

I dose 6 days per week alternating macro's and micro's. I do have excel but haven't used it as well as the pressurised C02. Tank temp is maintained at 24 Deg C

Off to bed but will try to reply tomorrow evening now. Thanks for your support !

Your java fern is fine. Any irregularities you may see are consistent with the plant's normal aging and reproductive process. The Hottonia looks pretty rough but I don't have any experience with that plant so can't offer anything too specific. However I'd make sure it's receiving enough light (not getting shaded by other plants) and not receiving too much direct flow. I'd also dose each nutrient daily in smaller amounts instead of less regularly in larger amounts.

What's your substrate?
I'm just a novice myself but I would love to have a tank that looks like that! Your plants are beautiful. You might be overthinking this a bit. No ecosystem is perfect. It's easy to see that your best coloration appears to be where your plants get the most light. It stands to reason that areas that are shaded aren't going to look quite as nice. Honestly, I love the tank. Maybe I'm not seeing what you are seeing.
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.