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No growth plus gsa despite on-the-paper good conditions

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by AndersH, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. AndersH

    AndersH Junior Poster

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    Yup i'm more or less looking at the water to see how the co2 is. Pretty cloudy with the atomizer, and theres running more bubble through the bubblecounter than I can count (maybe 5-6 bps). A powerhead might be added at a point to help speed up the flow a bit. The co2 mist have no problem staying down though.

    I guess I'll give it some more weeks to see if anything changes with the modifications already made.

    Thanks for the help guys.
     
  2. AndersH

    AndersH Junior Poster

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    Some time has now passed. I've upped the co2 some. Lowered the time of light to first 5 hours and now up to 6 hours again. I tried with the MH again for the 5 hours, raised 55-60 cm above the tank after a seminar we had in Denmark, that was also visited by Amano. I did that to try out the more intense light for a shorter time to mimick the day of a river more, with only a short burst of light at midday when the sun gets over the treetops. This trick plus a few zebra snails helped loads on the gsa. I didn't get much of that afterwards. At the same time I added a lot of plants. 6 pots of eleocharis parvula. 5 pots of rotala rotundifolia, and around 10 more pots of various stuff. I can say it's not going that good. The elocharis put up new leaves quite fast after cutting and planting. I've recently cut it down again and waiting for new growth.
    The rotala and a few other stems like pogostemon erectus and rotala wallichii is also there. the rotundifolia is growing, thats more than what I can say about the others. They're practically not growing at all. Mostly withering on top of the fact that they have not set out as much as a single root in the time of 1.5 months :O. My crypts are doing really well. growing allright and rooting. The elocharis have grown since planting, but no rooting. I also remembered I have had a few plantlets of echinodorus tennelus since this june, that also havn't set out a single root. It has some white tips underneath and then a lot of brown rotten stuff. It's not dead at all. Just no growth what so ever. I also got a bit of HC cuba. It's not dieing, but it's not growing either.

    I'm now back to 6 hours of light with the 2 x 24w t5ho, 20 cm. above the water. And following the dosing guide on fluidsensoronline. So I'm close to square one, with f##k all idea whats up with my tank. Changed the 2kg co2 bottle with a 6kg. Weekly water changes, and removing some surfacefilm that has started to appear a few weeks ago.

    I'm hoping for a bit of help under the christmas tree. For some ada as. Atm I'm blaming the akadama of my troubles. I'm thinking it's too light weight so that plants can't figure outs it's been planted at all and therefore not rooting. Also that it's completely void of any ferts. Practically providing a quite bad plant/root environment.
    The plan is to throw some AS in my new 300l acrylic tank, put 2 x 1200l/h filters on, with maybe a powerhead to assist, 2x54w t5ho, and do a dutch style tank to learn how to grow plants, cause I clearly can't atm.

    Just a small update, and hoping for some very insightful mind with a brilliant idea that can pinpoint what I'm doing terribly terribly wrong.
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    If you ever see poor plant growth, then it's a sign something is not correct, period.
    I think in most cases, good CO2 and circulation are the main issues, light can go either way, but tends to be easier with less, as long as you do not dip too awful low etc.

    I think ADA AS will rule out some of the KH issues with the tap for awhile, and add more ferts.........

    But if the CO2 is still an issue...........the tank should be bubbling and growing well with that amount of light and fully planted.
     
  4. AndersH

    AndersH Junior Poster

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    Yes ofcourse something is not right :)
    co2 been upped again. Mixed a new batch of macro ferts, and generally added about 30% more than whats needed. I'm using this guide and following it pretty much spot on (Not this go though, with 30% more saltsm except epsom salts being the quantity written in the guide)

    Going away for christmas for a 1.5 week, and also hoping for another tetratec filter under the tree. Will hook that to the 128 liter tank when I get home if I get one, so see if that might solve anything. That should give me well over the 10x rule. Lets hope I get another filter.

    This is what the tank looked like a few weeks ago[attachment=923:name]

    I've moved the eleocharis and added alot of hydrocotyle to the foreground the otherday.

    Plan for the christmas is to lower the light to 5 hours a day, and squirt a bucketload of ferts tomorrow before I drive off. Am also doing an extra waterchange as I write this. I'll see how things go.
    (Edit: turned off the filter for that shot, thats why the surface is looking alittle odd.)

    IMG_5799.jpg
     
  5. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi,

    I like the look of your tank.....I especially like the fishes....I used to have a large school of them.. they are alestes tetras, yes?
     
  6. AndersH

    AndersH Junior Poster

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    Thanks alot :)

    Though I'm not really that keen on it. Maybe because I can see the planthealth up close.

    About the fish, I really havn't got a clue. The closest I can get when looking at google, is Hemmigrammus Hyanuary - January tetra. The dealer sold them to me as some wild caught stuff gotten while fishing for some other species. So he didn't knew.

    On a second note. Just googled Alestes tetra. Pretty much spot on, so thanks alot of clearing that up :D.
    I'm in the process of getting rid of them. I've caught them in eating bit and pieces of my plants.

    I also got columbian red fin tetra in there. Now they're awesome. Very beautiful
     
  7. detlef

    detlef Member

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    Hi,

    KH at high values is the main issue I see for your tank. AS will help of course BUT only for a while as Tom stated. This while might last for may be 2-3 months, probably less with your tap that high in minerals. Afterwards plant growth will go down hill again. So, instead of hoping for a second filter under the tree I would use RO water mixed with around 1/3 to 1/4 tap and see what happens.

    You have beautiful crypts by the way!

    Happy Christmas to you all,
    Detlef
     
    #27 detlef, Dec 23, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 23, 2011
  8. AndersH

    AndersH Junior Poster

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    Okay thanks alot for the answer. What is the problem with the kh? Is it because of its inhabiting the plants of absorbing nutrients or interfering with the CO2 in some way?

    Is there an easier way to soften the water rather than getting alot of gear with massive amounts of waste water as a concequence?

    I really appreciate that you tale your time to think about and write answers and suggestions. Thank you so much.
    And yeah the crypts are doing well :)

    Merry Christmas to you all
     
  9. detlef

    detlef Member

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    Most important questions! I still have to read a scientifically based introduction to these issues. Some so called experts say high KH slows plant growth due to inhibition of ion transport. Particularly iron uptake should be reduced. I don't know. IME with decreasing KH values plant growth generally increases.

    As for the interference of KH with CO2 there is none according to Tom (if I understand correctly). CO2 availability to plants, says Tom, is independent of KH values. If CO2 is low plants will go after the bicarbs of course. But this is another matter and no interference.

    R/O systems waste a lot of water inevitably. But the best ones come up to an acceptable ratio of about 1:2. Instead you can play with HCl to destroy carbonates provided your plants can tolerate higher chloride amounts. See for example this thread for more on the subject "I want my Rotala Macrandra to look like the pros' " or BarrReport Vol 2, Issue 7 about "Sodium and chloride's impact on aquatic macrophytes" where sensitive plants are said to suffer tip and leaf burn for chloride amounts exceeding 20ppm.

    Best regards,
    Detlef
     
    #29 detlef, Dec 24, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 24, 2011
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    KH does seem to effect some species more than others.
    I think hard KH water seem to help with less algae, but this is more good horticulture.
    Softer low KH's worked well for me also.

    I think it's VERY hard to say much about KH when using CO2 enrichment, but overall, I've had some REALLY nice planted tanks without using RO in hard KH's.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  11. AndersH

    AndersH Junior Poster

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    That second picture is really something. Very beautiful and so lush colors. That definately says kh shouldn't be a matter if the other parameters are spot on.

    I'm looking forward to see how the tank has coped with the week alone and the upped co2 and all the ferts in one go. Hopefully everything is great.
     
  12. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Well, depends on the species chosen.....but you have many plant species options.......and not keeping the fussy ones..really opens up the routine and issues etc, chose plant species that fit basically.

    You will run into a few that really do not thrive as easily in softer KH's.........but this is mainly 20 or so stem plant,s some Rotala's, maybe some Erios, S belem, but some folks have grown those in the mid KH's
     
  13. AndersH

    AndersH Junior Poster

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    I little update after the christmas holidays and me being away from the tank for over a week. I did 1 heavy dose of ferts and turned up the co2 more before I left. And I must say most of the plants looks really really good.
    The rotala have grown alot with beautiful leaves and as they're getting closer to trimmig high and closer to the surface they seem to be yellowing/redding up a bit. Look great.
    The hydrocotyle I added before I left have grown some too, with not close to no die off from the enviroment change when added. Staurogyne is looking alittle better, Very slow growing still. Pogostemon erectus seems better, although extreme slow grower, but the top looks nice and lush. I almost killed my rotala wallichii, but I can see now new red shoots here and there.
    Hairgrass have grown in well again. Not very fast either but coming along nicely and spreading.
    I got some red plant that I have no idea what is. I got it as a left over from the Amano works shop when he visites Denmark in october, and I just can't get it to root or grow at all. I have tried triming the tops but only a very few new leaves that just came out greenish, but no growth since.
    The pogostemon helferi I was unable to save from beeing eaten in general die off.
    Hc Cuba have sent out some nice new green leaves, but only a very few.

    So generally it has improved ALOT!.
    I think I'll pt it down to the change in method and amout of ferts added, plus the extra co2 can't have hurt. Might jsut aswell be co2 as ferts, as I changed 2 factors at the same time. I cannot raise the co2 any more. As I touched the regulator a little and soon after some of the fish were at the surface gasping.

    Well for now I think I can manage without a fert loaded and heavier substrate and the doubling of filtercapacity (another filter). I also don't think the heavy water have to be a problem. It might inhabit the growth a bit, but the plants seem to be able to mange.

    I'll give it a few weeks and see how things are then, and if things keep improving, I'll know for sure.

    Thank you for your inputs and your help.
     
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