This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Plant problems, help me fix the situation.

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by ccLansman, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. ccLansman

    ccLansman Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    375
    Likes Received:
    0
    Here is my current problem. I cannot for the life of me figure out why I am not getting the desired results from my tank. I am constantly loosing plants, or killing plants, or watching plants slowly wither away with little to no growth. Some however seem to flourish such as my Cambomba and the sunset hygro. I can only assume it’s due to their fast growing, low maintenance nature.
    Here are the specs on my current setup:
    60 long
    4 x 60W PC lights, 2 are 50/50’s about 6months old, 2 are 8000k brand new. I run the lights for 10 hrs (1hr 2x, 8hrs 4x, 1hr 2x)
    2 filters, eheim 2026 and fluval 305
    1 koralia 1, and 1 harbor freight sealed mag drive, does about 200+ gph
    I have the eheim and mag positioned on the right side blowing left. I have the fluval on the right pointing straight towards the front glass, and the koralia on the front right blowing back towards the left, so as to create a circular flow. So far I believe my circulation is good.
    I run EI dosing, aprox current readings using lame API test kits.
    Dose 1 teaspoon gh booster at water change.
    Measured GH ~5
    Not sure on KH, I posted my local water report and users said I should be good.
    NO3 ~ 30ppm-40ppm
    P ~ 3ppm
    PH ~ 6.4
    50% weekly water changes.
    I add 5ml excel every day.
    I use CSM+B + chelated Iron for micros, I use 1/8 teaspoon of each every other day.
    Ecco complete substrate about 2 years old.
    5lbs pressurized co2 around 4bps, into diy inline reaction chamber; no small bubbles come out so I get 100% dissolution. I run it 1 hr before lights on and 1 hr before lights off. I have two drop checkers with ref solution. They stay green all day and usually all night, I try and add some aeration.
    Wew, I think I have listed everything.

    Ill post some pictures later but here are the descriptions in a nut shell. I cannot get HC to grow ever. My anubis gets black spot on the older leaves from bba that’s eaten by my SAES. My cork screw val shot runners but the runners are yellowing and thin. The grass in the front of my tank is yellowing from the outside in and older leaves have black stuff on them. The tank looks burnt 24x7. I have poor growth rates other than the sunset and the cambomba sort of grows fast. Glosso is slowly starting to grow out.

    With what I believe are optimal conditions as far as light,co2 and ferts are obviously not, as my plant growth is extremely poor.

    Please let me know what you think.

    Thanks!

    Pics will be up tonight.
     
  2. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,618
    Likes Received:
    17
    Hi,

    I would say you have insufficient c02/nutes/flow for the lighting level.

    You are using a high amount of light which will require high c02 and nutrient levels.

    1. Could you detail more on your c02 reactor? You may not be giving it enough for the tank. Drop checkers can also be yellowish as long as the fish are okay. You may want to raise this SLOWLY.

    2. What dosages of EI are you giving?

    3. Just because you have a lot of flow does not mean that it is placed most efficiently for the plants. could the current be blocked by rocks/wood/etc? Do you have too many plants where the flow cannot get through?

    4. Are your filters clean and in good shape? Are they sufficient for your bio-load?

    If most plants are not doing well, then it is an overall approach thing.

    Try the following for 2-3 weeks and see if there is improvement:

    1. Reduce your lighting if possible by a bulb or two. Or stagger them so not all 4 are on for 8 hrs. Raising the fixture will also work. Just make sure you still get light to all plants.....

    2. Dose EI for a 100 gallon tank. Or just double the 60 gallon dosage. THIS WILL NOT HARM your fish or plants.

    3. Clean your filters and ensure good flow through the media.

    4. Position the flow so that you can see EVERY plant get some movement. This may take awhile based on your scaping.

    5. INCREASE THE C02 bubble, slowly watching the fish and plants. If the fish lose color, appear listless, gasp at surface, etc turn it back down. Turn it up just a bit every couple hours, watching in between for any issues.

    6. Perform an extra mid-week 50% water change and dose after the WC.

    7. Switch EI to daily dosing if not already doing so. divide the total weekly amoun by 7 to get a daily dosage.

    8. Lightly gravel vac the substrate (before cleaning the filters). Trim off any unhealthy leaves/stems/etc. Replant the best portions. If all goes well, they will grow quickly.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. ccLansman

    ccLansman Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    375
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the quick response and all the tips Gerry.

    I am using a DIY pvc style reactor plumbed into my return on my eheim 2026. The fish are never gasping at the surface as of now.

    Currently using the EI for 60 gals

    I have 3 pieces of drift wood and a few rocks, ill have some pics later to better explain but the pumps are not blocked by any rocks or wood. They have straight shots down the back side and the front of the tank. Im sure I do not have too many plants to block the flow.

    I just cleaned them both. I have a bag of ceramic rings in both and eheim filter rings in the eheim. Large pore filter sponge in both and fine filter floss in the eheim.


    The fixture is currently mounted in my DIY hood, about 9 inches or so above the water so with either set of bulbs I get full coverage of the tank.

    I will give this a go tonight, i have about 4 hours of free time.

    I have been off school for a few weeks so I have been doing 3-4 WC per week.

    I am doing daily EI dosing, not all at once.
     
  4. tedr108

    tedr108 Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2007
    Messages:
    514
    Likes Received:
    0
    A few thoughts:

    1) 4wpg is way more light than you need -- too much. I'd only run 2 x 60w for 10 hours -- if you want a noon blast, only run 4x for an hour or two. At 2wpg, you can grow just about anything, including HC.

    2) What macro fertilizer doses (KH2PO4 and KNO3) are you doing for EI?

    3) I think Excel burns corkscrew vals. A friend of mine who uses Excel type fertilizer cannot keep a val alive for anything. My vals are like weeds in a non-CO2, so they should really go crazy in a CO2 tank.

    4) It seems like you have good flow and plenty of CO2 coming in. Your symptoms, however, seem to cry not enough CO2. Perhaps lack of nutrients could cause some of these problems.

    I think you are really close on this...

    Edit: Well, as usual, Gerry beat me to the punch! :)
     
  5. ccLansman

    ccLansman Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    375
    Likes Received:
    0
    Gerry is a machine most likely :)

    Thanks for the info tedr108, i was not aware of excel burning vals.

    To answer question 2, i use bulk dry ferts from aquariumfertalizer.com
    I blieve they are KNO3, KH2PO4, KSO4, but i do not add any KH2PO4 as my test kit tells me my tap has about 1ppm.
    So every other day i add 1 tsp, of KNO3, and KS04, i was also adding two tsp of MGSO4, i add 1/8tsp of iron and CSM+B on the odd days during lights off.
     
  6. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,517
    Likes Received:
    405
    HC is a weed, so is Gloss.............if..............you have good CO2.

    You mention Cabomba and Hygro doing well and being fast growing easy maintenance.........but others not doign so well.

    Why do you think Cabomba is so well adapted to the submersed conditions? Hygro?

    What is the single most limiting nutrient in aquatic submersed environments?
    CO2.............

    Competition for nutrients between plants is far more relevant than between algae and plants(that's joke comparatively speaking), and CO2 is the largest % and has the greatest effect after light.

    Would you assume that all plants are equal at acquiring CO2?

    Just because some plants are doing well, does not imply that the CO2 is good for all plants. Many people make this assumption and then assume it must be nutrients, not CO2. This is entirely incorrect and I might be the only hobbyists posti ng that points this out.

    Most do not give CO2 or plantplant competition much more than a glance.
    It's a huge issue and explains why even if the other nutrients are non limiting(easy to do WC's and EI) and the light is relatively non limiting, you still have some plants that do well and others that do not.

    Fine needle plants have far more surface to area ratio, so they have more exposure to CO2 in the water. Others like Egeria and Hydrilla are very very very good at concentrating CO2, same with algae.

    Something like Isoteses can take it up at night when no one else is using CO2,
    something like Erio's or HC are not that good at taking up CO2.

    Light drives the rates of CO2 and then that drives the uptake of nutrients, so in theory, the moderately low light will allow more species to be kept together with less issues. It certainly will take off more CO2 demand stress between species.

    It's not about adding more and more CO2 in that context, it's about lowering light, which is not something many like to do, but if you add more CO2, and reduce the light, now you have a better route to success.

    I've seen this dozens of times.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  7. ccLansman

    ccLansman Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    375
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Tom, your wealth of knowlege is priceless. I have to admit the cambomba and sunset are the first to get hit with the outlet from the co2 chamber. So i guess its a no brainer as to why they are doing so well. Did not dawn on me until you mentioned competition for co2.

    Could you possibly offer up any advise on a flow pattern that may help disperse my co2 conecntrations better. I can post a pic later but here is a rough drawing from the top down.

    |-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
    |................................................................
     
  8. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,618
    Likes Received:
    17
    Hi,

    I AM NOT A MACHINE lol

    I think it just shows I have too much time on my hands.............even at work....

    Can you place the c02 outlet more towards the BOTTOM so it gets more of a chance to circulate upwards and stay in solution a bit longer? Maybe position it in the MIDDLE of the two opposing flows so it gets even more mixed?

    I played a lot with my flow and direction before I got it more optimal for my current scaping. I now have 6 loc-line outlets AND two Koralias...

    Also, you may have been underdosing doing 3-4 weekly WC..... I did the same thing for a while. Doing 2x70% weekly and was not adding enough N and P to make up for it.....

    Caution: when adjusting c02 levels, check every 15-20 minutes while doing so, to be safe. It may take several days before you get it set optimally. When you do, make a mental note on what it is for reference.

    Hope this helps........
     
  9. ccLansman

    ccLansman Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    375
    Likes Received:
    0
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,517
    Likes Received:
    405
    I think there's ample flow.
    Just not enough CO2 for the light you have.
    So reduce the light and/or also up the CO2(slowly, carefully, patiently).

    You should get results if you have been good about WC's , nutrients, and trimming, enough plant biomass, algae eaters etc.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  11. ccLansman

    ccLansman Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    375
    Likes Received:
    0
    thanks for the info Tom, i went ahead and slowly increase the co2 last night for 2 hours or so. I got going really fast so i recorded it with my digital camera and went frame by frame. Im sitting at 8-9bps, so its double what it was before. Ill let it run like that all day and check it when i get home tonight.
     
  12. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    Messages:
    2,913
    Likes Received:
    44
    It isn't a good idea to double the bubble rate, leave for the day, and check it when you get home. You may return to a tank of dead fish. Much better to just increase it by 20% or so, then check on it after an hour or less, to be sure nothing is going wrong. Adjusting bubble rate is best done on a day you will be home all day.
     
  13. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,517
    Likes Received:
    405
    I strongly agree with Vaughn, start much slower, say go from 4 bps to 5, etc, or if you use a pH monitor, drop it 0.1pH units and watch for a few few hours, particularly the last 4 hours if possible.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  14. ccLansman

    ccLansman Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    375
    Likes Received:
    0
    eh o boy :|
    Well i upped it slowy, every 30 mins last night and the fish were right as rain. Doing there normal swim around. I do have a small air leak on my fluval 305 due to some mods i did to get more flow rate (aka cut out the lame internal grates and removed the dumb plunger thing so the water had a straight shot into the chamber.) So a small bit of air gets injected for most of the day, i think it should be ok, and may have been a reason why my co2 levels were low in the first place.
     
  15. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,517
    Likes Received:
    405
    The air leak will certainly make things sour.

    Often it is the little things like this we overlook that mess with CO2 and O2 that throw us off. We can rule out the nutrients, light fairly easily.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  16. ccLansman

    ccLansman Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    375
    Likes Received:
    0
    so everything looked good. Seems like there is some very noticable growth in the glosso, a few of the grass shoots are over 6 inches long, and the ludwiga has perked up a bit. No fish gasping at the top, ph around 6.4, drop checkers were deep yellow.
    Just asking but what sort of trouble will the small air leak in the fluval 305 cause? It shoots bubbles into the tank every so often when it gets full.
     
  17. Dmaaaaax

    Dmaaaaax Prolific Poster

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    0
    This thread has been very helpful for me just starting out with EI method. Thanks Tom and others!!
     
  18. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,517
    Likes Received:
    405
    Even old timers have similar CO2 mysteries and can get fooled.

    Then they think it has to be one of those rare balancing just right issues with nutrients:rolleyes: that they have happened upon just by their ability of errors.

    But when others and they often go back and try induce it(rare they ever bother, it's easier to believe a non confirmed theory they made up and few pals also say "me too"), they cannot suggest that it is true/confirmed.

    I've found about n90-95% of most issues we have are CO2 related in one way or the other. So I know I have a good chance at solving it by looking there.

    But CO2 is far far more tricky than light or any other nutrient.
    I can measure and buy a decent O2 meter, CO2 meters are much more $$$ and rare.

    Air leaks, sump style set ups, over flows, too much vs too little current, drop checkers, pH/KH/CO2 tables, pH meters, fish health, all these different things come into play, and then the fact that CO2 can change very rapidly through time, make it the hardest parameter to manage effectively and measure.

    That is very clear.

    So many poo poo me for EI and not testing, yet not one of them have really looked at CO2 and tested it critically, not even remotely close to what they claim is required for nutrients like NO3.

    To date, I've not met anyone that's definitiely killed a fish with KNO3.
    Not one person.

    Plenty have with CO2.
    Algae? 90-95%.

    I have the same % algae ratio with my own tanks time to time. I try many new and different set ups and filters etc. I can play it safe, but then I learn less in this area. I do not feel comfy just yet doing that.

    I do for light, current and nutrients.
    But not CO2.........

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  19. ccLansman

    ccLansman Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2008
    Messages:
    375
    Likes Received:
    0
    just wanted to post a quick update. Tom said this before and i should have taken better notice. "If the tank pearls way more after a WC and not as much when you do not do a WC this should be a clear sign of low CO2."

    So the tank is looking much better, the glosso has shot out another two sets of leaves and the HC is slowly starting to pearl. The color has returned to a lot of the plants. The cork screw val still looks bad, but will see..
     
  20. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,517
    Likes Received:
    405
    Coloration is also another sign, but not as good as pearling really I think.
    But you do get much better color with good adequate CO2.
    Ask yourself why that might be vs say adding Fe etc????????

    What are those colorful pigments made from?
    Reds etc?

    In geology, they are made from oxidized iron.
    In plants, they are made from long chain pigments like Xanophylls, Beta Carotenes, and particularly anothocyanins. All of which are long chain, high Carbon molecules requiring large amounts of reduced carbon.

    If the plant is low on reduced carbon, then you will not produce as much of these pigments.

    You can test this with Chromotography(a somewhat simple test, and measure the amount in solution from a 5 gram fresh sample of plant matrerial).

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
Loading...

Share This Page