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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all,

Currently have a planted Fluval Spec V in the later stages of fishless cycling. I have some Dwarf Hair Grass (not sure which type, but got it from Greenpro on Amazon), Anubias Nana, Echinodorus Parviflorus (mini sword), and 4 stems of Rotala H'ra Vietnam. I'm using the stock, updated Spec V light, which throws about 60 PAR at the substrate level, as tested on spec-tanks.com, 7000K. I'm using Seachem Flourite Black and Seachem Flourish Tabs, as well as dosing Seachem Flourish fert into my water column. I have API Leaf Zone for some macros coming in the mail, so I'll be adding that to my dosing routine in a few days. I won't be running CO2 until ~5 more months down the road when I start my job (current college student = broke), so I'm making due without for now.

Like mentioned before, I'm in my later stages of fishless cycling, with readings as:
Ammonia: 0.5 PPM (started at 1 PPM two weeks ago, slowly dropping)
Nitrite: 0 PPM (had a small spike to 0.5PPM a few days ago, but went away)
Nitrate: 20 PPM (was at 40 PPM for a while, but added Purigen yesterday and it dropped to 20)
I used Tetra SafeStart and Ace pure ammonia to cycle.
pH: 7.4
Temp: constant 79 degrees F (intended betta tank, will keep at 79)

I have some general questions about the plants, as I'm new to all of this.

One of my anubias's rhizome was covered in the slightest white fuzz, and I removed it daily with tweezers, and even gave it a diluted peroxide dip when I started noticing that stems/leaves were falling off. The rhizome became mushy and I couldn't save the plant. My second anubias just started showing signs of this same process, so I have it a diluted peroxide dip as well, and it's now in quarantine with original tank water. Any tips to help save this one? I had it barely planted in the substrate, with the rhizome and some visible root above the substrate. Minimal sign of melting on leaves. Anubias is supposed to be a tank, but I've managed to kill 1.5/2 of them so far lol.

My dwarf hairgrass seems to come out of the substrate if I disturb it in the slightest way (adjusting anubias, planting my new Rotala H'ra, etc.). When will it start to root? Does not seem to be melting or losing color, so I have high hopes for it.

My Echinodorus Parviflorus's (mini sword) are melting at the tips, but hanging in there. Doesn't seem to be dying dying, just melting. The leaf stems are starting to darken and get softer, so I am starting to worry a bit. When should I expect to see new growth/it bounce back? One of the small leaves on one of the plants has slight white fuzz on it, but not enough for my camera to pick up. Any advice?

I just got my Rotala H'ra today. I know they're considered to be a high light plant that needs CO2, but I think I may be able to pull it off with my decent light (~66-70 PAR at their mid level), root tabs, and liquid ferts. There's not much info out there for non-CO2 set ups, so I was wondering if you all had any advice for this plant in my set up.

My photoperiod is 6 hours a day right now, since the plants are still transitioning. I've heard that I should start at around 6 hours for a bit, and then slowly increase. When should I start extending the photo period? I currently have it set for 9am-12pm, and again from 3pm-6pm.

Any advice and tips on plant success (and cycling — my nitrites and nitrates have been changing as expected, but no proportional/significant change in ammonia after about 2 weeks of cycling now. Went from 1PPM to 0.5PPM) would be greatly appreciated. I really want my plants to thrive, but I won't be able to upgrade my light or run CO2 until late summer, when I start working. I got this tank a bit earlier than planned, because I wanted to move my betta from his 1.7 gal over to a bigger tank ASAP so he can be 100% happy.

I know this was a loooong post, but thanks again for reading, and hope you are all staying safe and healthy during this whole COVID-19 show.

- K
 

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Nice tank! I have a Spec 3 that I've used as a marine shrimp tank before but not sure what to do with it now. I want to start a FW planted tank and like the Spec series (would get a 5) but now I'm thinking I may go the glass rimless route now.

Anyways - not experienced enough yet to really give you much advice but my understanding is that a lot of new plants melt away - in particular if they were grown emersed (only the roots submerged in water) and the shock of being immersed (lower Co2) causes the leaves to melt away. I think they're still alive though, cut off the dead leaves and wait for it to regrow new ones.

Last thing - I am wondering - in the FW planted world is it normal to have a 2 part light cycle with a break in-between?
 

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Anubis should not be in the substrate. Anchor or tie them down them down on hardscape. The roots will attach themselves. I always expect plants to lose a lot of leaves at first, but once the get use to being submerged in your tank, you should see new growth. With cryps, I’ve seen a seen folks cut off all the leaves and just plant the roots (such as Green Aqua on YouTube). Maybe here someone could verify. Since seriously starting my first planted (nano) tank 7 months ago, I’ve read and watched all the above many times over.

Bump: Anubis should not be in the substrate. Anchor or tie them down them down on hardscape. The roots will attach themselves. I always expect plants to lose a lot of leaves at first, but once the get use to being submerged in your tank, you should see new growth. With cryps, I’ve seen a seen folks cut off all the leaves and just plant the roots (such as Green Aqua on YouTube). Maybe here someone could verify. Since seriously starting my first planted (nano) tank 7 months ago, I’ve read and watched all the above many times over.
 

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API Leaf Zone is Potassium (macro) and Iron (micro). Fluorish is everything but NPK (macros) , they sell those in separate bottles.

With Leaf Zone you’ll be doubling up on iron, which at your tanks current uptake rate (very, very low) shouldn’t be needed. Fluorish at 1/2 strength dosed every other day (3x wk) should be plenty of everything at this stage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Nice tank! I have a Spec 3 that I've used as a marine shrimp tank before but not sure what to do with it now. I want to start a FW planted tank and like the Spec series (would get a 5) but now I'm thinking I may go the glass rimless route now.

Anyways - not experienced enough yet to really give you much advice but my understanding is that a lot of new plants melt away - in particular if they were grown emersed (only the roots submerged in water) and the shock of being immersed (lower Co2) causes the leaves to melt away. I think they're still alive though, cut off the dead leaves and wait for it to regrow new ones.

Last thing - I am wondering - in the FW planted world is it normal to have a 2 part light cycle with a break in-between?
Hey ajmckay,

Thanks for the reply. Both of my anubias nanas rotted away and the rhizomes turned to mush. Tossed em.
I've known that my plants will melt away and transition, but I didn't expect the swords to turn clear at the stems as well — only thought they would really melt at the leaves. My leaves are still green/yellow with some browning at the tips, but yeah, only my stems are clear and flimsy as of right now.

I think the photoperiod with a break is common in planted tanks. Gives plants time to grow + CO2 to build back up in the water before the latter lighting sessions. Seems decently popular from what I've seen.

Good luck with that rimless tank!

- Kevin

Bump:
Anubis should not be in the substrate. Anchor or tie them down them down on hardscape. The roots will attach themselves. I always expect plants to lose a lot of leaves at first, but once the get use to being submerged in your tank, you should see new growth. With cryps, I’ve seen a seen folks cut off all the leaves and just plant the roots (such as Green Aqua on YouTube). Maybe here someone could verify. Since seriously starting my first planted (nano) tank 7 months ago, I’ve read and watched all the above many times over.

Bump: Anubis should not be in the substrate. Anchor or tie them down them down on hardscape. The roots will attach themselves. I always expect plants to lose a lot of leaves at first, but once the get use to being submerged in your tank, you should see new growth. With cryps, I’ve seen a seen folks cut off all the leaves and just plant the roots (such as Green Aqua on YouTube). Maybe here someone could verify. Since seriously starting my first planted (nano) tank 7 months ago, I’ve read and watched all the above many times over.
Hey JCnyc,

Thanks for the reply. My anubias were practically hovering above the substrate, with about 20% of the root system exposed, and the rhizome well above the substrate, so I'm not sure what I did wrong. Regardless, both ended up rotting away, with the rhizomes turning to mush. I ended up tossing them.

Love GreenAqua on Youtube! I don't think that my current plants would be able to handle the heavy trimming they suggest with crypts, especially since I have inert substrate with root tabs and no CO2.

My swords are doing the typical melting thing on the leaves, but the stems are turning clear and flimsy — is this normal? Never head of the stems turning clear and flimsy during transition.

Thanks!
Kevin
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
API Leaf Zone is Potassium (macro) and Iron (micro). Fluorish is everything but NPK (macros) , they sell those in separate bottles.

With Leaf Zone you’ll be doubling up on iron, which at your tanks current uptake rate (very, very low) shouldn’t be needed. Fluorish at 1/2 strength dosed every other day (3x wk) should be plenty of everything at this stage.
Hey DaveKS,

Thanks for getting back to me. I'll look into the other Macros and tweak my dosing schedule. I don't think my current dosing (once a week at ~80% dose) is doing it for my plants.

My swords stems near the crown are basically all clear an flimsy — is this normal? I know the leaves will melt and turn brown/clear, but I've never heard of the stems doing so as well. I'm starting to think my swords are dying, not melting lol.

Recently got a Finnex 24/7+ HLC light to replace the stock one, and my Rotala H'Ras are turning nice and red, but i found some stem rot at the substrate level. Is this normal transitioning for stem plants, or is something else going on here? Don't know a lot about stem plants. Not as much info out there on Rotala

Thanks,
Kevin
 

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I think Rotala H'ra is a pretty new variety to the hobby so wouldn't be surprised if you can't find much info on it. Rotala in general though are incredibly popular, so if you haven't tried searching just that I'm sure you can find a ton of resources!

Not a stem plant expert myself so I won't comment on how to fix the stem rot but it is pretty common - don't think it's *supposed* to happen though.
 

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Your rotala was grown out of water, one of stalks even has flower bud on it. You just going to have to wait it out. Submerged leaf shape will totally change.



First thing I would change is get rid of sponge over output nozzle. Turn slot on nozzle vertical, aim it up a few degrees and aim it at back glass. You’ll get a nice surface ripple at surface of back glass for proper gas exchange and more water dispersing those gases around tank. The circulation is more important than any reason you have for putting that sponge on there.
 

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Any time I have ever fully dipped an anubias in hydrogen peroxide it has melted and died (mush) but is fine if I just quickly dip the effected leaf (not stem or rhizome) in it and rinse it off after 10 seconds or so. It is also fine when I inject a little on the effected area while it’s submerged in the tank.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Your rotala was grown out of water, one of stalks even has flower bud on it. You just going to have to wait it out. Submerged leaf shape will totally change.



First thing I would change is get rid of sponge over output nozzle. Turn slot on nozzle vertical, aim it up a few degrees and aim it at back glass. You’ll get a nice surface ripple at surface of back glass for proper gas exchange and more water dispersing those gases around tank. The circulation is more important than any reason you have for putting that sponge on there.
Thanks for the reply. I'm starting to get Rotala growth that looks exactly like the picture you posted. Pretty cool. However, the stems seem to be rotting under the substrate, and I don't know why. The top is growing nicely, roots and new shoots are coming out of nodes, and the leaves and turning a nice red. I'm using Flourite Black with Flourish Root Tabs. Any thoughts?

I have the sponge on my outflow nozzle because I'll have a betta in the tank. I have an airstone at the opposite end of the tank mildly agitating the surface — not enough to make big splashes, but there are small ripples on that side of the tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Any time I have ever fully dipped an anubias in hydrogen peroxide it has melted and died (mush) but is fine if I just quickly dip the effected leaf (not stem or rhizome) in it and rinse it off after 10 seconds or so. It is also fine when I inject a little on the effected area while it’s submerged in the tank.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Thanks for the reply. I was definitely wondering if it was the hydrogen peroxide/water solution I made. I dipped them for a few minutes, and then rinsed them off, but that may have been a bit much. They were healthy for about a week when I was waiting to plant them, and everything went downhill AFTER the peroxide dip. I'll try anubias without the dip in the future — thanks for the tip!
 

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Rotala is just going to have to finish transitioning, you’ve got new healthy root growth so all should be fine in few weeks.

Also it would be worth it to get KH, GH and phosphate test kits so you can monitor those parameters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Rotala is just going to have to finish transitioning, you’ve got new healthy root growth so all should be fine in few weeks.

Also it would be worth it to get KH, GH and phosphate test kits so you can monitor those parameters.
Awesome, thanks for the info. I just hope I get enough growth before I start running out of stem. Currently have some smaller stems floating vertically by interlocking them onto a larger, anchored stem. Hopefully that will address the stem rot in the floating plants.

Will purchase water hardness + phosphate tests a bit further down the road. Budget is a bit dry right now, on top of already being a college student haha
 
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