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

So I have some issues with my plants that I don't know if they're part of the adjustment period or if there is a deficiency.

Tank was just set up 4/2/16

29 gallon tank (30 x 12 x 18)
~1 inch of miracle grow potting mix
~1 inch of pool filter sand cap
Satellite Freshwater LED plus --> Manufacturer says about 28 par at 18 inches

Fishless cycling was started 4/3/16 using 10% Ammonium Hydoxide

..as of 4/5/16
Temperature: 78*F
Light Cycle: 7 hours
dGH: 11
dKH: 6 (I hope i'm understanding my API test kit correctly. 11 drops for my GH, and 6 drops for my KH)
pH: 7.2 - 7.4 I can't tell. Using API Freshwater master test kit
Ammonia: ~3.0 ppm? In between 4.0 and 2.0 on the graph lol
Nitrites: 0ppm
Nitrates: 0ppm (might be a problem)
(Ammonia hasn't dropped since I dosed. I was going to give it another 3-5 days before I did a water change to lower)
Below are some pictures have I have attached:

One is the leaf of my anubias nana. It has some yellow discoloration.

Another picture is of my dwarf sag. Maybe the light is being blocked from it? The others only have 1 or 2 leaves that look like that.

The other pictures are of a mystery plant. My LFS called it a Ranger (something) [Forgot the name, sorry]

The circles in the picture are to show the full setup and the location of the plants I mentioned.

Finally, there is a white film on the surface of my water. I don't know what this is. I have the spray bar from my cannister filter pointed towards the surface to create agitation which I thought was the solution.

Everything else seem to still be doing Ok except for my poor frogbit (sorry Pat if you read this). Those poor guys are going through hell with my filter.

I haven't been dosing anything because I figured my soil would have a flood of nutrients for the first few months.

Thanks!

-Lime
 

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I'll take a stab at this, though I'm not an expert on deficiencies. So here's my thinking - while the plants look a bit like N deficiency, I'm actually wondering if maybe they need a bit more light. My reasoning for this is that between the ammonia and the dirt, I would have thought N to be plentiful, especially since a number of aquatic plants have shown a preference for uptaking ammonia directly. I would also expect the dirt to cover all other bases in terms of nutrients, especially since it's all new. Now 28 par is def on the low light end of the spectrum, and while these are all low light plants, I'm wondering if it isn't just a bit too low. Do you have a hood or canopy on the tank? If so that could reduce PAR. Also the water looks a tad cloudy in the pics, which would also reduce PAR. At any rate, it's easy enough to test. You can either try adding more light or try adding more N and see if either works.

The scum on the surface, if I recall correctly, is caused by bacteria that build protein chains to maintain surface tension. Surface turbidity breaks it apart, so if you're getting it, then my guess is that the spray bar just isn't causing enough to break it all up. You can use a container 'skim' the surface and manually remove some, though it will grow back quickly. I've also heard that reducing organic matter helps since that seems to be a source of food for the bacteria in question.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm going to do a 30% water change and increase the lighting to 8 hours. Getting another light source isn't an option right now. Hopefully I'll see improvement. It's pretty discouraging seeing new issues with my plants everyday after work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The tank looks clearer now but I think most of that was just the heavy amount of tannins. Getting new lights would be a real let down since i just spend all this time and money getting my current set up to make sure my tank stays in the low light/low tech zone. Worst case I'll scrap everything and keep pet rocks in water.
 
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