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Please Help out a Newbie

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by jmwms00, Dec 23, 2008.

  1. jmwms00

    jmwms00 Junior Poster

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    Please Help,
    There aren't a lot of local fish stores in my area that sell plants and those that do really don't know how to take care of them. My plants seem to wither and die about 2-3 weeks after being put in the tank. My sword is yellowing, becoming somewhat translucent and browning.

    55 gallon tank, (most of my equipment came from drsfostersmith.com because I thought they knew what they were doing) Eco-Complete Plant Substrate (Eco-Complete Plant Substrate, 2 Aquaclear 110's powerfilters, 2 powerheads placed away from most of the plants, Deluxe Fully-Automatic CO2 System (Freshwater Planted Aquarium Plant Care: Drs. Foster & Smith Deluxe Fully-Automatic CO2 System, and a coralife 130 watt (2x65 watt) Deluxe Series - single linear strip.

    I know I have an iron deficiency but don't like the seachem because I dose and it's gone in less then 12 hours. I'm open to suggestions on this.

    my thanks to anyone that responds,

    Jim Williams (newbie)

    btw I sent payment to Greg Watson and still haven't recieved a link yet to his dosing strategies. thanks again,
     
  2. Skabooya

    Skabooya Prolific Poster

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    What kind of plants are u putting in your tank? How much do you dose and of what and how often? Some plants; like your sword, prefer to take up nutrients from their roots. The substrate is only to help establish them. Its not a long term solution. root tabs help those root feeder plants.
    Also what is your temperature? Some plants dont do well in really warm or really cold conditions and will melt.
     
  3. jmwms00

    jmwms00 Junior Poster

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    Newbie Help

    Plants: Argentine Sword, Water Primrose, Pennywort, Dracaena, Spathiphyllum, ophiopogon, Trichomanes, Syngonium and a little 3 leaf clover I got from liveaquaria.com. I don't dose the iron as much as I should cause I know it's liquid form and I should be dosing the roots, I need suggestions on alternatives. Temperature is about 80 deg F. Thanks for the quick response.
     
  4. Skabooya

    Skabooya Prolific Poster

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    I think i know your problem. many of the species you mentioned are not aquatic.
    Argentine Sword: It could have been grown emersed and now that it is submersed it will end up losing its leaves but with proper care new leaves will form. However make sure this is what you have, sometimes they are mislabeled and you actually get a bog plant or a peace lilly which are not aquatic and submerseable
    Water Primrose: this is a Ludwigia species, however not all of these species are subersible. You may have the bog plant or the terrestrial perenial plant. Double check its scientific name.
    Pennywort: This can be submersed however there is brazillian pennywort which is easily grown as well as another look alike which is Cardamine
    however Whorled Pennywort and Lawn Marshpennywort are difficult to grow.
    Dracanea: This is a false bamboo and cannot grow underwater. They are a terrestrial plant that some species enjoy having their feet wet but thats it.
    Spathiphyllum: There are many plants under this genus however typically they are the peace lilly and although it can grow with roots in water, It cannot completely survive underwater.
    Ophiopogon: aka mondo grass, this does not grow underwater, it too is terrestrial.
    Trichomanes: This is a fern common for terrariums but again it is a terrestrial plant and will not grow underwater.
    Syngonium: aka arrowhead. Again this is not an aquatic plant

    The plants you chose are mainly non aquatic and are not recommended for fish aquariums. They will quickly rot/melt and pollute your tank. Remove them and do a water change to remove excess organics created by the rotting plant material.
    Do some research on plants to see what is aquatic and what isint. Have a look at plantedtank.net (awsome forum), aquariumplants.com (look at their plant selection to see the selection of plants they have that are aquatic).

    In this hobby you need to research research research but it is very enjoyable when you get the right stuff :)

    Good luck
     
  5. ntino

    ntino Guru Class Expert

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    I would start by reading the stickies on these forums...
     
  6. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Bullseye! I admit that it never occurred to me that anyone would have that many terrestrial plants in one tank.

    Assuming you are in the USA, I suggest visiting The Planted Tank Forum for a good selection of good aquarium plants at very good prices and low shipping costs. I can only remember one time I didn't get a good shipment of plants from there, and that time the seller replaced the bad ones quickly.
     
  7. jmwms00

    jmwms00 Junior Poster

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    terrestrial plants

    A new petco opened up not far from me and they sell these plants as aquarium plants not terrestrial plants. Being a newbie I'm not sure what kind of plants to add. I will check out plantedtank.net, thanks for the info.
     
  8. Skabooya

    Skabooya Prolific Poster

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    No worries, we all had to start somewhere. :)
     
  9. jmwms00

    jmwms00 Junior Poster

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    Root Tabs?

    I'm having a little trouble on plantedtank.net where I can't sort by lighting or conditions. Also need a iron suppliment that I can apply to the substrate instead of the water. The site Tom sent me seems to make a water based suppliment. Can I just mix that into the substrait? If not is there a cheaper place to get the root tabs (Skabooya), then drsfostersmith.com? I promise to be less of a pain once I get down the basics, Thanks again,
     
  10. rich815

    rich815 Guru Class Expert

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    Why? I do no such thing. I dose Fe in powder form right to my water. Plants are doing quite well.
     
  11. Skabooya

    Skabooya Prolific Poster

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    If you want root tabs for heavy root feeders (some people say its not needed if you dose the water column properly but some say you do need it; its a never ending argument) and you want a cheap sourse then i suggest using jobes plant spikes for ferns. Its important you get the one where the middle number is the lowest ie FERNS. Ive used it before in my tanks and have never had a problem BUT you need to push them deep into the substrate and not disturb the substrate. Many people have said after disturbing the substrate and have a jobes plant stick floating around they get an algae outbreak also the urea found in the plant spikes are said to pose a problem as well. Do some reasearch on it to see if you want to use these.
    Depending on where you are there are lots of places you can buy root tabs. Check out the sponsors section of the plantedtank.net at the bottom of the forum. And check out their links section Links Directory - The Planted Tank
    for other websites that may sell root tabs.
    Again they are not needed. Go for the classical easier, hardy plants like hygro species and java ferns and mosses to get you started. They dont need heavy dosing if at all and it is a good start to getting your feet wet.

    I suggest reading the articles section of this forum, check out journals and find something similar to what you have or what you want to do. It will give you an idea of how to start and what to do.
    Basics to starting a Planted Tank - The Planted Tank
    General Planted Tank Maintenance - The Planted Tank
    Fertilizers in a Planted Tank - The Planted Tank
    Lighting a Planted Tank - The Planted Tank
    Necessary Planted Tank Equipment - The Planted Tank
    Set up your first planted tank. - The Planted Tank

    Have a read with these and do lots and lots of searching. You are guarenteed to find an answer if you look hard enough using the search function. If you still cant find what your looking for then ask away.
     
  12. jmwms00

    jmwms00 Junior Poster

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    Excessive Nitrogen

    Hello all again,

    I have a soil test kit which I used to test for Nitrogen and Phosphorus. The Nitrogen was pretty much off the chart and the Phosphorus was about on the money. First, how do I get my nitrogen to an acceptable level or should I get a test kit specifically for an aquarium? Second I noticed there's no real cheap way to test for potassium in the tank. Should I just dose it as if it needs it? I did try doing a search on excessive nitrogen on this thread and 0 hits, so please help me out. Thanks a bunch all, Jim
     
  13. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Most of us here use the Estimative Index method for dosing, so we don't use test kits for determining how to fertilize. If we use a test kit at all, we all know we have to calibrate it first, using samples of water with known amounts of nitrate, phosphate, etc. in the water. Maybe we don't all know that, but we should, since Tom has been telling us that for what seems like several years now.
     
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