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New plants slowly dieing

742 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Wormhauler
Feb 24, purchased some plants to start growing in my established 29 gal tank. Went with the LFS recommendations of Anubius and Crypts. Went back two weeks later and bought amazon sword.
Almost a month later plants still not doing great so I bought a new light. Current Satellite. It is running now full blast on Sunlight setting from 7a to 5p, some algae growing on the glass.
Plants are in floredepot gravel substrate with root tabs in it. It is about an inch and a half deep with a fine sand on top of it. And we are dosing with propel iron 2 – 3 times a week.
I have a HOB filter that has a sponge, some of the bioball stones and I have added a phosphate silica filter hoping to help with the algae.
Phosphates are elevated slightly .25 - .5 and Nitrates are elevated 5.0. I haven’t got a hardness test kit.
Anubius are doing well, Crypts are not melting. They are just not standing up straight and some leaves turning yellow. The Sword has a lot of yellow leaves.
What do I try next?


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I am on a well,I use softnened water for the planted tank. Will that make a difference?
Are you only dosing iron? You need to dose more than just iron. Also that's kind of low nitrates. Typically best range is 10-30ppm and .5-2ppm phosphates are ideal. Seems that you have trace fert deficiencies.

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If I were you I would get the all in one fert from NilocG. Thrive. Works great and just a couple few pumps a day and you know ferts are taken care of. By adding more light you then gave the plants more fuel but seems to not have enough nutrients to keep up.

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I am on a well,I use softnened water for the planted tank. Will that make a difference?

Am sure but typically want to make sure your water has a gh of 3 or more. This ensures there is enough calcium and magnesium in the water. Too low can cause ca/mg deficiencies.

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I am on a well,I use softnened water for the planted tank. Will that make a difference?
The water softener replaces calcium and magnesium with sodium, last I heard.
I am on a well as well. If you are using a water softener that uses salt for the mineral exchange your parameters are definitely deficient. Typically GH coming out of a softener is going to be zero 00 and KH will be untouched. For example my well water is 22dgh and 15dkh... After the softener I am at 0dgh and 15dkh.

So you have a couple options. Test your water pre-softener, if it's close to adequate then you could use water straight from the well.. if you don't have a pre-softener tap, typically garden hose outlets are pre-softener and you can get your water that way..

If your pre-softener water is less than Ideal but your KH is ok post softener, you could just add minerals to get a little GH boost.

Or third you can mix straight well water with RO or distilled water to the appropriate parameters...
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Sounds like I go back to the store for more test kits and some fertilizer. I was hoping the root tabs would have been enough. I will try dosing and doing the water tests pre and post water softener.


Bump: PS I wasn't checking the web site for answers, I thought I was subscribed. I didn't see any replies until today. Thanks again
Out of the softener GH was 35.8 ppm and KH off the scale at about 400 PPM. It took 23 drops to change color. Out of the well, GH was 24 drops, that made it 400 ppm and KH was not changed.
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