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Seeking advice on dealing w/ some non-thriving plants [pics]

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Here is my ~10G tank which I set up on 12/20/21 (so it's a little under 2 months old). I currently have 6 cherry red shrimp, which seem to be doing ok. The substrate is 2-3 in of Controsoil, and the light is Twinstar light 45B (which I leave on approx 12 hrs/day).

My current readings are approximately:
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0
Gh: 9
Kh: 2
Ph: 6.8

I use a very small filter Dymax Slim Flo the smallest size 120l/h. I don't have any CO2, air, or heater.

Some of my plants seem to be doing well:
1) Radican sword
2) Cryptocoryne Lutea
3) Dwarf hairgrass
4) Christmas moss
5) Anubias coffeefolia
6) Pogostemon Stellatus Octopus

Some seem to be struggling:
1) Green myrio (grows fast and new growth is bright green, but some older pieces become yellow/dull-- this is new growth but after the initial green stage it faded)
2) Hygrophila - this is really struggling and doesn't stop dropping leaves. I've had it over a month and it's still melting slowly.
3) Rotala - I cut back the melt and it's got new growth but it seems to be growing slowly, be pale, and move sideways like a carpet

Some pics:

Plant Leaf Organism Water Terrestrial plant


Crypt and sword looking ok. Hygrophila behind looking sparse.

Plant Plant community Botany Terrestrial plant Natural landscape


Dwarf hairgrass and moss doing well. You can see the melting on some of the hygrophila here.

Plant Plant community Terrestrial plant Branch Natural landscape


Here you see the weird look of the green myrio- it grows fast, and all of this is new growth (you can see how I cut it back- it had melted a lot when I first got it). Part of it is faded, but the new growth comes in quickly and is very green.

You can see the paleness of the rotala and how it is bushing out on the ground instead of growing up.

This is also a sad looking pic of another hygrophila.

A few weekends ago I started putting one pump of Aquarium Co-op Easy Green in the tank once a week. I'm not sure how the plants are taking it, but I have noticed some algae that looks like long hairs faintly growing out of this corner. I didn't put any in this weekend as a result pending what everyone says here.

My questions:

1) at what point do you just give up on a particular species of plant? The hygrophila just looks so sad here and has never seemed to thrive.
2) are the green myrio and/or the rotala still transitioning? or do you think they are struggling and we should try something else?
3) If I pull out the hygrophila, what could I replace it with?
4) What about the green myrio and rotala?

I think I would like a tallish plant, maybe something bushy, for the shrimp to hang out in. I'm thinking of vallisneria, pearl weed, or water wisteria. Thoughts? Thank you in advance!
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With zero nitrates, just some shrimp, the smallest filter, and that tank looks a tad cloudy. I am thinking you need more surface agitation and probably just better flow all together throughout the tank. If you are not dosing ferts you'll probably need to do that too. With soil and shrimp there is going to be some ammonia which turns into nitrates eventually, but if there is 0 in the tank then it's being sucked up by the plants.

Be sure you shake the every living crap out of those Nitrate test solution bottles and again once you add it to the water. They are notrious for reading zero if not shaken enough.

The agitation on the surface is important for both plants and livestock, it promotes gas exchange, or better circulation of both oxygen and carbon dioxide. If your filter is not strong enough you will be lacking here. An air stone can help but I find the bubbles to be annoying in the long run and often the agitation is not as much as I would like to see. I recommend more filter power in some form or other.

Plants often wilt or melt away and then come back. I suggest leaving any plant that drops all leaves for 2 months. In that time most plants would have begun to transition as many plants are grown emmersed, open to the air, instead of under water as they grow faster that way.

Also recommend looking into fertiliztion. You can read up a lot on that on this forum. Use the search bar, start with just "plant ferts" or "plant Fertilization" and then get more specific with your searches as things jump out at you and give you more questions. None of your plants should require CO2.
 

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My questions:

1) at what point do you just give up on a particular species of plant? The hygrophila just looks so sad here and has never seemed to thrive.
2) are the green myrio and/or the rotala still transitioning? or do you think they are struggling and we should try something else?
3) If I pull out the hygrophila, what could I replace it with?
4) What about the green myrio and rotala?

I think I would like a tallish plant, maybe something bushy, for the shrimp to hang out in. I'm thinking of vallisneria, pearl weed, or water wisteria. Thoughts? Thank you in advance![/QUOTE]

1. I have failed with hydro also I think my problem was aquarium got too hot not enough co2 and too much light. If all the old leaves fall off and you don’t get new growth it isn’t doing well.
2 the Myrio I’m guessing is showing nitrogen deficiency and co2 deficiency. Rotala will grow horizontal in high light, in high light Rotala has to be planted in tight groups and be trimmed often to grow vertical. If it’s growing slow it needs more nutrients.
3 we need to fix problems first, you need to decide if you want low light plants or high light plants,
4. They either need more fertilizer and co2 or less light.
Can you adjust your light it’s too bright without co2 and fertilizer.
If you decide to inject co2 you will need more flow I have the medium sized Dymax slim flow and it barely enough in a 10 gallon with injected co2. Your soil is providing some nutrients you just need to add some to the water column, do you have a liquid fertilizer.


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I can't say for sure, but it looks like you might have too much light and not enough nutrients. Light is an accelerator, it can drive fast healthy growth, but it's useless without fuel/nutrients. Nutrient dosing is much more important for aquatic plants than terrestrial plants. Terrestrial plants naturally have access to CO2 and basic potting soils are much more nutrient dense than substrates typically used in aquariums.

If you're nitrates really are zero, that's a problem. Plants need that nitrogen to grow.

You also need to increase the flow. Flow is important for distributing nutrients (liquid ferts and CO2 from gas exchange at the surface) to the plants.

I would keep dosing fertilizers, reduce the photoperiod by 2-4 hrs, and increase the flow either by getting a larger filter or getting a powerhead.

I'm not a pro though, so take my suggestion with a grain of salt.
 
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