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Plants going brown & algae

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by se_warner, Oct 22, 2007.

  1. se_warner

    se_warner Junior Poster

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    Hi

    I have had a tank setup for about 10 weeks and up to recently the plants have been flourishing, even cabomba has grown which is something I could not get to grow before. The crypts and pygmy chain have put out loads of runners. However, over the last couple of weeks these plants have suddenly started going brown and dying and the cabomba is going brown at the top. I also have algae on the plants and glass but not excessive. What has changed is that over the last three weeks I have added about 20 fish, nothing exessive just tetras, coolie loach, dwarf gourami and dora catfish. Nitrite is 0.1 and Nitrate 20 mg/l and Ammonia 0.6, all of which have been constant for 6 weeks. GH is >16, KH is difficult to read but I think it may be about 10, PH is 8.0 but none of these have changed since the tank was setup.

    I have 2 x T8 tubes (standard manufacturer mix) and keep the lights on for 12 hours per day. I work in the same room (10' x 8') with 3x50w spot lights but minimal impact on the tank. The room is naturally dim.

    Has anyone any idea on what may have changed. I never used to be able to keep plants so I was really chuffed when everything started growing. The tank is 33" x 13" x 24" and 200l. Substrate is sand and I have a huge piece of bogwood in it.

    Thanks
    Steve
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    CO2? Excel?

    Do you add any of these?

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. se_warner

    se_warner Junior Poster

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    NO, I didn't see a need to add anything as the plants were growing really well. What I don't understand is that the pygmy chain swords were perfect with runners spreading like anything. They had been in the tank for about 6 weeks then suddenly they are all going brown and the runners stopped as well. What else should I measure before I start to add CO2 or Excel?

    Thanks
    Steve
     
  4. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    When you say you aren't adding anything, does that mean no fertilizers either? If so, what you had was plants using up the nutrients that were in the water and substrate, growing some with that, then running out of nutrients. And, your tank is about 44 gallons, with about 34 watts of lighting, and probably poor reflectors, if any. So, you are also very short of light. You need about 55 watts of CF bulbs, with good reflectors to have even a low light tank that works. I suggest getting a single AH Supply 55 watt light kit, 36 or 55 watt Bright Kits, then remove the light fixture from the hood and retrofit the AHS kit. Or, better yet, get two of the 36 watt kits, for better coverage of the tank. With that, and with EI fertilizing and CO2, you can do very well with plants.
     
  5. Mr. Fish

    Mr. Fish Junior Poster

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    Of course your plants are going to die, you have low lighting, no co2 and no ferts...
    meaning like vaughn said, they used all the nutrients from your tap and now ran out of nutrients to keep them healthy and green.... The brown algea you have appearing in your tank is called
    "Diatoms", most every new setup tank get em.... Now what is happening is the algea is in competition with the plants over nutrients, thats why most planters go by the rule of planting
    heavily from the start, it gives the algea no chance to survive. DOnt worry about the algea,
    its not harmful, just get a algea scraper and keep up with the maintanice....
     
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