Another Newbie Needs Help With Dying Plants In 75 Gallon Tank

Leesah

New Member
May 19, 2020
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50
Lithonia,GA
Hello all,

Thanks for reading this, hopefully some of you will be able to help me out. I have a 75 gallon freshwater tank stock with a bala shark, 9 tetras, 6 danios and 2 albino bristle nose plecos. The tank had been experiencing extremely high nitrate level so I decided to get some plants to help regulate things. I purchased roughly $80 of low tech plants (anubias, java fern, water wisteria, water sprite, elodea, ludiwigia dark red, ludwigia repens, red flame sword, kleiner bar sword, hygro compact, hygro willow, creeping charlie, broadleaf saggitara, crypts and ludwigia peruensis. I got a black gravel and root tabs and Easy Green from Aquariun Co-op but almost all of the plants are dead or dying. I don't have CO2 but I dose CO2 booster from API daily. I have two 6500k Phillips CFL light bulbs along with a LED hood light that has white and a few blue LED. My husband turn lights on at around 7 am and then turn off all but the blue night mode at 8pm and then I turn all lights off between 11-12am. I have a Marineland HOB, Marineland internal polishing filter, a SUNSUN 304B canister with UV light sterlizer and a Elheim 3 tray canister. I am thinking about the PPS pro system and adding Fe gluconate to that. Im including some pics so you can see what I am talking about.

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Allwissend

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Jun 20, 2016
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Hello,

starting a planted tank can be a bit of a steep learning curve. But seems like you are on the right track.

A few quick points... no need to dose CO2 booster, it may even hurt the Elodea.
Easy green is good enough for the plant selection and growth conditions. No need to complicate fertilization more at first.

Sounds like the lights are on for 12h. This can be done, but it may not be the best starting point. I would much rather start at 8h, or even 6h if you see algae forming. I can't say if the light is strong or low but the species you selected are pretty adaptable to low light conditions. If you see algae lower the light duration.

Unbundle the stems in the first image and plant them individually with enough space between them. You can also allow them to float as this may help them adapt to the aquarium conditions. Many farms grow their plants above the water and it takes them some time and effort to adjust to conditions below the water. This is even harder without injected CO2 but with time and patience it can be done. Don't be discouraged. You are however likely to see damage or melting on the growth that was above the water. New submersed growt should appear and the plants can start looking nice again.

If your water is somewhat hard, Eldoea should grow fast. If you can find some Vallisneria for cheap, maybe from another person in the hobby, that would also fit great in your tank and grow fast regardless of conditions.

Keep us updated on the progress of the tank.
 

Leesah

New Member
May 19, 2020
9
1
3
50
Lithonia,GA
Thanks so much for your reply, it is really encouraging especially because I am new at this and started to think I should just quit and go back to plastic plants and tons of chemicals. I will remove the weights from the stems and just let them float and see how it goes. My water is extremely soft, Im in Georgia and it comes out the tap very soft and acidic. I will reduce the amount of time the lights are on to 8-9 hours, I thought the fish needed 10-12 hours of light. I don't have algae yet. I will look for vallisneria and see if I can get it to grow. Should the vallisneria be planted deep into the substrate or slightly above like Anubias and crypts? Thanks for help and advice.
 

Allwissend

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you can put the roots deep, the place where the leaves start from does better if it is just above the substrate. The new plants will extend themselves above the soil this way and you can control them better.
 

Pauld738

Member
Feb 24, 2019
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Modesto, CA
Good advice here. I just wanted to add that with soft water you need to pay attention to Gh.

If you have a Gh below 6 than that is a problem. Gh test kits are relatively cheap and easy to get. If you do find that your Gh is low than a Gh booster might yield so nice results.

And I will throw in my 2 cents on lighting. Fish don't require lighting other than ambient lighting, obviously a dark room is not enough but if there is a window or 2 on the room the tank is in that is plenty for the fish. Plants on the other hand need light but no where near 12 hrs. The exact number is obviously dependent on the strength of the light. Of course that doesn't mean that you can't do that and there are some amazing tanks out there that have 12hrs or more on them. But long photoperiods can be very problematic especially in the beginning when plants haven't established themselves yet.

To give you an example on the other end of the spectrum, my light on the tank pictured below is on for 6 hrs a day. Only 3 hours of that is at full strength. The rest is at 50% or less. I have medium light on this tank that has a ramping feature that goes from 0% to 100% over the course of hours. Light duration would be longer with lower light output.

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