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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am writing this today to get some help about my failing plants.
Here is the problem I am facing. I am new to this hobby- started this for engaging the kids.

I planted most of the cuttings I got from a friend ( through plantedtank.net) in my 10G aquarium.
(These are the plants I got :
Rotala rotundifolia
Bacopa monieri
Cabomba sp. "Green"
Cryptocoryne dewittii
Cryptocoryne lucens
Sagittaria subulata
Vesicularia dubyana)

Lighted up with 2 CFLs.
Lights , Aeration and filtration running some 10 hours a day. It has
5 fishes ( tetra, guppy, albino cat fish ) and a mystery snail. I am
attaching some pics. Looks like the plants are OK in it.

Remaining cuttings I planted in small (tea candle)glasses in garden dirt/soil and
kept them in a small water filled tank in the balcony. Now it is 7-8
days and they do not seem to be doing good. This small tank did not
have Aeration. It has some 1-2 hours direct sunlight. No fishes in it.
The Rotala rotundifolia looks pale while Bacopa monieri looks Ok.I
used tap water with beta safe softener.

I started running a small aquarium pump half immersed so that it
runs water with bubbles, for aeration. Questions about this tank:
- Is aeration necessary for plants , in a tank without fishes?
- Are fishes necessary in the tank ( for nitrates) ?
- Is direct sunlight a problem ?( I do not see Algae on the plants now)

I am attaching the pics. Any suggestions/advice are welcome.
 

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Plants can go through a transition period when changing tanks and water parameters.

What kind of bulbs are the CFLs? Look at the base where the pins connect into the light fixture - there should be a name and a K rating like 7600K or similar. Knowing that and the wattage should help. Please report back.

The plants in the cups, are they in water or air?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I will check the CFL ratings are reply soon.
Here I am keeping two tanks:

1) 10 G with CFLs , which does almost OK.
2) 2.5 G in balcony-direct sunlight for 1 hour., in which the cups are placed. Yes they are in water.


For 10G tank I see brown color on leaves of plants . I think this could be diatoms. Need to change water and clean them .
I have an in water power filter , in 10G . I need to use a power head to create better water flows.

Thanks for taking time to read my post and reply.
 

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I guess the main issue you raise here is concerning the plants in glasses. Soil can be very nutritious, in particular in the first days it releases a nutrient (NH4) that is toxic to fish in small quantities, promotes algae and if high enough, melts plants. It looks like the plants have a lot of soil in a small aquarium, that may be a problem.

The second problem is sunlight. Especially now in summer the sun is very intense and can raise the temperature of the water above 'safe for plants'. It is also too long and too intense. Even in aquariums that were CO2 suplemented I would get algae in the part that received direct sunlight. Wait 2 weeks and the algae will be there. Indirect sunlight is better and enough for some of the plants you have.

Aeration is not required but water movement is . N can be added from other source than fish , such as KNO3, substrate or topsoil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you @dukydaf
You are right. My smaller tank , exposed to sunlight is now full of green algae.
I need to clean it up and change the location to a shaded area.

Thanks for the advice.
 

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The soil, especially if it already has the ferts in it as mentioned above and sunlight wil create a perfect green storm. Just keep up pwc for a couple weeks on the soil plant cups tank.
 

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Look's to be plain sand in the cup's?
Sand is inert, so little in the way of nutrient's.
If it is soil in the cup's, then might just be transition period while plant's adapt to new condition's and being stingy on lighting period during this time is often suggested.
Diatom's are common with newly established tank's,bowl's,etc and usually go away as the tank,bowl matures IME.

OOP'S my bad,I see now after reading again that soil is in place, so it will take some time for bacterial activity to break down organic matter and render it in a form of nutrient's that plant's can use.
Ammonia will be readily available at the outset, and too much light plus ammonia can trigger all manner of algae.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you everyone.

I guess pwc is - "partial water change" , which I have started already.
The small tank plants - some are doing OK .. I think as most of you opined , it takes time to stabilize the new tank.

About the 10G tank: I am waiting for the diatoms to clear off , also trying options like more water flow more light. etc.

The CFLs I use ( I use 2 CFLs ,which are some 3 inches above the water level ) are of 5000K and 14 W rating. 800 Lumens. Are they enough?

My preference is a low maintenance , zero expense tank :) . I go for DIY every time.
 

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I would get a higher K rated CFL. Around this area I had a hard time finding them, but did find them at ACE Hardware and I think they are ~7600K (close to that - can't remember for sure at the moment) Daylight rating and there are boxes of 1 - 2 or 4 ACE brand but I also saw some that might have been GE. If you like plants in general I would go with the larger box or better value. I use them in my lamps where there were plants growing - potted and planted bowls where plants are growing out the top of the bowl or vase.
 

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Philips CFL Light Bulb 13W Daylight 6500K, 60 Watt Equivalent
You can get it from Home Depot for below $8 (4 pack) or amazon slightly more. Make sure you change the bulbs after 6 months or earlier.
 

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Thanks @AutumnSky and @Watercrayfish.

But I did not get the point , why I should change the bulbs ( CFLs) before every 6 months .
Does the CFLs lose the power/light?
Yes they do, all fluorescent blubs fades.

Check this article which explains it very well. Here

Point is a 20-30% less light as they get old. You can reuse them for other purposes though. Its not detectable by human eyes.
 

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I can come over any time and give you a hand too, or vice versa you are welcome to come back and check out my tanks.

Sent from my SM-N915T using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks every one for the advices and help.
My 10g tank looks good now. I did a water change.

The diatoms are gone. Most of the plants are doing good.
I have only 5 small fishes now. I need to get some more small guppies or tetras.

Will post pictures soon.
 

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Looking good!

We learn once more that patience and perseverance are key to this hobby.
 

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Thanks every one for the advices and help.
My 10g tank looks good now. I did a water change.

The diatoms are gone. Most of the plants are doing good.
I have only 5 small fishes now. I need to get some more small guppies or tetras.

Will post pictures soon.
Yay, glad to hear
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I put some duck weed , collected from a nearby pond, in the tank - 1 month back. It was nice .
But the duck weed has a lot of pond snail eggs with it and soon the tank had so many ( 60-70 ) baby snails.

During the water change I collected most of these snails and moved to an outside tank. Now the snail count should be around 10. I am OK with it now. I will have to do occasional snail removal.

For those who are interested , the spec is as follows:

10g Tank.
Planted the shown plants in regular garden soil/mud. First I filled some plastic trays ( cake packaging from safe way - the black/brown bottom part where the cake sits) with mud . Covered them with gravel /sand.
Two CFLs ( regular ones .. a bit old) - at 3 inches above water level.
light , in-water power filter, air bubbles are on for about 10 hours a day.
2-3 drops of Flourish nutrient every week( If I do not forget :))
 

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I put some duck weed , collected from a nearby pond, in the tank - 1 month back. It was nice .
But the duck weed has a lot of pond snail eggs with it and soon the tank had so many ( 60-70 ) baby snails.

During the water change I collected most of these snails and moved to an outside tank. Now the snail count should be around 10. I am OK with it now. I will have to do occasional snail removal.
A prepared alum dip is good to do before you put plants in your tank.

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/33-plants/157929-sterilizing-new-plants.html
 
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