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plants melting

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by hani, Oct 6, 2007.

  1. hani

    hani Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi, i have a 29 g tank with about 4w/g light, co2 tank, using EI, my nitrate level at 15ppm(using lamotte kit, hagen, saechum) , po4 1.5ppm. co2 drop cheker is used, i moved it around the tank and it is the right color no matter wher i but it. am using ventri reactor and an extra water pump to make sure there is a good circulatin.
    the tank did very well for the first 4 months, but now some plants are melting from the roots (see picture), evrey time i re plant it,it melts at the level of the substrate (florite) but the root above stay normal, some of them not growing well, young leafs stays small (see pic)
    i pruned the tank 2 weeks ago, but still not any better.
    what should i do? should i add more kno3 to 40 ppm, i cant add any more co2 since it almost reading yellow with 4kh.

    http://i210.photobucket.com/albums/bb240/hani70/Picture069.jpg
    http://i210.photobucket.com/albums/bb240/hani70/Picture058.jpg
     
  2. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    I assume you are using 4 dKH distilled water and not tank water? It makes a big difference.

    The plants look pretty good in the photos, except for the one stem plant. Is it a Ludwigia? I have Ludwigia senegalensis, and it behaves like that. If I replant the tops it does fairly well, although I don't have enough light for it, but the remaining bottoms never really recover well. I suspect that is a plant that needs to be pruned by keeping only the tops.
     
  3. hani

    hani Lifetime Charter Member
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    thanks vaughn,actuly the plants are not doing that well, the Elodia doing the same melting, my hygro have alot of holes, where should i keep my nitrate level? do i nedd to add GH booster? thanks
     
  4. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    I am a big believer in the EI method for dosing fertilizers. I wouldn't try to keep the nitrate level at any specific number, and you can't do that anyway. The plants consume nitrates pretty fast, so the level goes up when you dose, then goes down as the plants use it up. If you always keep adequate phosphate in the water, plus CO2 and traces, the nitrate can drop pretty low between dosings.

    As far as GH does, it does no harm to add enough GH booster to raise the GH by a couple of degrees. If you are short of magnesium this will correct that. What is your GH now? GH test kits are more likely to be reasonably accurate than phosphate test kits for sure, and probably more accurate than nitrate test kits.

    My experience with Elodia/Anacharis was not good. For me the plant grows better with very little if any fertilizing than it does with fertilizing. Also, I have found that some plants just don't grow well in my tank, so, since there are so many that do I just use those.

    Why not just give EI a try, no testing, just follow the dosing table?
     
  5. hani

    hani Lifetime Charter Member
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    My GH 5, and yes the nitrate used to droop between dosing before, but when the tank was about 5 month old it slowed down, am not sure why,may be becuse am using a large filter (Ehime 2217 )for 29 g tank, it has alot of bio media ,alot of bactiria maknig to much nitrate, when thing slowed down i tested the nitrate to give me some guide and it was on the 50 range.
    i can feel its the biginning of the end. i am giving it me best shoot. i was hopping the tank will do well so i can start a 90g tank, but i think i still dont have all the pices of the buzzel yet.
    what are your favor it plants since you are sharring so of the problem i have?
    thanks for helping me
     
  6. hani

    hani Lifetime Charter Member
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    one more thing, i was using EI, then i started to test after things changed?
     
  7. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    The Rotala's rotundifolia and green both grow like weeds for me. Hemigraphis traian also grows very well. Hygrophila sp. 'Porto Velho', a pretty new plant, does very well for me as a ground cover. I had very good luck with Blyxa japonica until my Yoyo loaches started nibbling the centers out of them. Polygonum kawagoneum is a beautiful plant that grows like a weed, requiring pruning every week. And, I have Microsorum pteropus 'Windelov' growing on a small piece of drift wood, which is now a soccer ball size clump of plants, after about 2 years. Lobelia cardinalis 'Small Form' is proving to be a perfect plant for my tank, not too fast in growing, but very nice looking, and it stays a good size too.

    I have found that when my plants start growing badly I have usually allowed too much density of plants in the tank, and the water just can't circulate well enough anymore. I get the best growth shortly after I prune heavily, removing large amounts of plant matter.
     
  8. mujacko2002

    mujacko2002 Prolific Poster

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    hi there vaughn and hani,


    what is the composition of your substrate?
    Since your tank has been set-up 4 months now, can it be the dosing of ferts thats causing these meltdown?
     
  9. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Almost certainly the problem in that tank is CO2 distribution. It all looks very clogged in the photos although that nay be just an optical illusion from the angle of the shot. Hoppy, I think that second shot shows Ammania Senegalensis, or has it been re-classified as a Ludwigia? In any case I've always thought it to be an agonizingly slow grower but it seems to like lots of nutrients and lots of CO2. My specimens sat in the tank looking meager for months until I trimmed and reworked the tank.

    I've attached a couple of quick images to show the difference carbon makes, and to show what this plant is supposed to look like. The first shows an upper area of the plant after reworking CO2, flow rate, doubling dosing and adding Excel. That top section is about 4 inches and that is just in the last 2 weeks. The second image is in an area that has some of the most subdued lighting in the tank and is a bud from the original stem. You can see that even in this area what a difference it makes as new growth is poking out from the dark, and from behind a curtain of D. diandra. To me that's even more impressive than the first image because it proves that the so-called "high light" plants are actually "high carbon" plants. A green/yellow drop checker reading means nothing if nutrient/CO2 distribution and circulation is poor.

    This revelation came about without the assistance of useless NO3/PO4 test kits, which tell you absolutely nothing and are an utter waste of time and money. It seems to me that too many people believe that they will somehow find salvation in testing. This is a blind path which leads nowhere. The purpose of a technology is to serve us, but things go awry when we wind up serving the technology. This is what happens with test kits. We want to believe them so we wind up doing everything we can to make sure we can believe them, calibrating them, multiple testing - until we get tunnel vision
    and focus more on the test kit readings instead of understanding what we are seeing right in front of our noses. As a result we lose the fundamental truth of plant husbandry and we start to worship at the altar of the test kit. The truth is that if plant is in poor condition it's because it is not being fed or it has no access to being fed, regardless of what color shows up in that test vial. Fix either the feeding or the access and the growth will improve. Individual plants may do well because they have access.

    Based on this experience, I would suggest that you give the tank a serious trimming and substantially increase the circulation either by getting a stronger filter or by adding a pump to supplement flow. Use the money you save by not buying a nitrate test kit and buy some Excel instead. Follow the EI dosing schemes and never reduce the dosing, especially as the plant mass increases. Increase you bubble rate to drive the drop checker far into the yellow if necessary and you'll be able to turn the gas off much earlier, say two or three hours earlier. This will reduce fish stress.

    This revelation hit me over the head when I tried to verify my canister filter's published flow rate. The filter is rated at 1700 liters per hour. That must be with no media, no head pressure and certainly with no restrictions such as CO2 diffuser. With everything hooked up, and with the pump head 31 cm below the waterline, I ran the filter and put the outlet tube inside an empty 2 liter bottle at waterline level. It took about 9 seconds to fill the bottle. This means that the filters turnover is about (2 / 9 L/sec) * (3600 sec/Hr) or 800 liters per hour. This is less than half the rated turnover. If the target turnover rate in a planted tank is 3-5 tank volume per hour then we are in serious trouble if we depend on manufacturer's claims regarding the filter capacity. We are in even more dire straits as the tank grows in because this means more restricted flow around each plant.

    I also decided to ditch my "lily pipe" outflow since they merely dump the flow into the center of the tank, creating voids at the sides and in corners. I've found that spraybars mounted at the back sets up a better distribution as the flow heads towards the front glass and is then deflected down. This brings CO2 towards the carpet plants in front. The flow then continues towards the back glass and thus comes into contact with the midground and background plants. After everything is adjusted, most if not all plants should "sway in the breeze". I think that this is an indication that each plant has a good chance for proper gas and nutrient exchange, and that you have reduced the possibility of localized NH4 concentration buildup.

    Cheers,

    A_senegalensis-upper.JPG

    A_senegalensis-lower.JPG
     
  10. hani

    hani Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi ceg,
    am using very large filter, its an over kill ehime 2217 and aquaclear pump. i know co2 is enoug in the water since i tested with the co2 chekker. i am using a veturi reactor. i switched to co2 mistting but did not make a diffrence. i can se co2 bubles evrey where.
    the Ludwigia grow verey well in the first 3-4 months , i had to trim it weekly, then evrey thing stoped.
    i did not change anything, kept using the EI.
    my elodia was doing very poor till Tom told me to stop the ecxel that i was using twice a week. the elodia did well after for 2-3 weeks then the melting problem started.
    i prunned the tank alot but that did not help much.
    am still thinking what else to do.
     
  11. FacePlanted

    FacePlanted Guru Class Expert

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    Another eloquent post ceg4048.

    Great tidbits o' wisdom. I completely agree.

    -Mike B-
     
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