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Two weeks in, planted tank looks rough.

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by edacsac, Jan 31, 2007.

  1. edacsac

    edacsac Prolific Poster

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    I don't know what to think at this point. I plant, things, die, I try to have patience. I had probably 15-20 stems of blyxa japonica that I planted two weeks ago, and it rots so fast that it looks like it's adding ammonia to my tank. I have 3-5 stems left that haven't rotted so bad that I have to remove them. Some start to grow little side shoots, but as the plant rots I see the side shoots stop growning. There is a small amount of algae (hairy, grey colored) on some of the dying blyxa, but I'm not really concerned about it. Showed up directly after I missed a dose day.

    I had thought that the old growth on the blyxa would die and new growth would start over, but all I'm seeing is the death part.

    I have riccia in my tank that pearls, but it grows ever so slow.

    I have some type of bacopa, and anacharis I think? They both grow over an inch a day.

    I have HC that just gets coated with dirt and debris. I think it's growing, not positive though.

    I have HM that uproots even if think about putting my hand in the tank. I get new growth at the top of it though.

    I have tonina fluviatilis that looks awesome at the very top of the plant, but any leaves below it are dying or turning brown/red.

    I have a Eriocaulon Cinereum that does nothing except uproots itself every couple of days. Looks exaclty the same as when I got it.

    I have various mosses stuffed between plastic mesh here and there. It grows slow, but thats a whole other experiment and I'm not looking at the moss when considering the overall condition of the tank.

    The riccia, HC, tonina, eriocaulon and blyxa are what I chose for the tank layout. I need to learn to grow these...

    - 10gal tank
    - flourite with 1/2" boiled (10 minutes or longer) soil below it
    - Eheim ecco (up to 35 gal)
    - AHSupply 36 watt kit (suspended over tank about 6") 10 hours
    - CO2 up to 50ppm (according to the chart, anyway. dwarf puffers, snails have no complaints, ghost shrimp don't last long - but not sure if it's co2 related).
    - Basic EI + plus extra water changes per ammonia readings or amount of rotting plant matter.

    I'm thinking I screwed up on my lighting needs. I thought I had 3.6 watts per gallon, but maybe it's not working out that way. Anyone have any thoughts?
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Well, 10 hours of light per day.

    CO2 sounds like most of the issues.

    You also chose more advanced plants.
    The tank is small, you might consider getting a bag of ADA As given your plant choices. That will help some and not cost that much given you need only 1 bag and will have some extra.

    But CO2 is really the issue.
    The dosing with EI rules out the rest.

    Fast growing agressive plants, Anacharis, Riccia etc, they grow and so do the other plants, but not well.

    New tanks get water changes every 2-3 days or 2x a week for myself.
    Both Amano and I both do this although I recently found out that he does about the same routine there as myself.

    After 1-2 months, less water changes are required so weekly is fine.

    Note the differences you see in plant growth after the water changes.
    Pay careful attention to it.
    Do you see better growth after?

    Also, dose EI right after water changes(do every other day or at least 2x a week to start).

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    You should add a cheap drop checker to the tank just to satisfy yourself that you really do have at least 20-30 ppm of CO2 in the water. Read the threads here that discuss this.

    I suggest lowering the lights closer to the water. The AH Supply reflectors aren't really made to allow the light to be way above the water - you lose a lot of light that way. You are dosing basic EI - I assume that means phosphates included? Some people still seem to believe they can omit phosphates.
     
  4. edacsac

    edacsac Prolific Poster

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    Thanks for the replies!

    Tom, when you say CO2 sounds like most of the issues, I'm guessing that you mean I have to little (I have yet to read that you can have to much...)? I've read enough from both you and Hoppy about CO2 that I decided to higher on the chart. I guess I need to go higher? I do perform a kh and ph test every day (cause I'm paranoid for my fish). I'm usually between 40-50ppm on the chart. If I can keep things stable, does it sound reasonable to slowly up it for awhile? Maybe try to keep my ph at 6.0 instead of 6.5? I'm already a little on the low side for my dwarf puffers, but they aren't showing any signs of stress that I can tell.


    I will do a wtaer change tonight. Even the first 3 days after I started dosing, I really wanted to do a water change, since the water was looking a little rough, but I chose to wait it out thinking that was the EI rules. I will happily do more frequent water changes.

    I'm gonna stick out my current flourite/boilied soil for awhile yet though. I have a fancy layout with sand and dividers that I'm not interested in redoing anytime soon. :-O But if water changes and CO2 adjustments don't help, I will go that way.

    Hoppy, I've been reading alot about the drop checker here, at planted tank, and that other site where you made the DIY drop checker. I'm going to make one as soon as I can find acrylic tubing and sheets somewhere in my area.

    About the light height... How close could I safely lower them on to an open tank? I really want an open tank, not to mention that divider/hinge for the glass top eats up 20% of the tank width and makes a huge shadow in the tank. Or if I want to keep it heigh off the tank, then I need to what, double my lighting? I really like the way it looks heigh off the tank. I know thats secondary, but it's still somewhat important to me.

    For ferts, I was suggested KN03, KH2P04 & CSM+B. Disclaimer: I have no chemistry experience, nor do I wish to have any more than necessary to keep my plants alive!


    Again, Many thanks!
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    You might need some GH booster as well and switch to TMG instead of CMS.

    Then you have covered all your bases.

    There is no set rule for how frequent or how large the % water changes should be for EI, 50% weekly is just an example.
    The math is simple with that routine, no more than 2x the weekly dosing is the theoretical possible build up.

    If you increrase the frequency and/or the % changed and the tap/make up water is not adding any, then you will be less than 2x the weekly dosing.

    So if you did daily water changes say, 90% and added say 10ppm NO3 after, that dosing would be very very close to 10ppm each day obviously.

    What we do is guess the rate of uptake with EI based on the max amount that plants might use in absense of fish etc.

    So rather than doing essentially a reference solution every day, we skip a few days and guess the uptake and do not use a test kit.

    The trade off is that we have less water changes/work, but we now have variability of about 2x the the dosed amounts rather than perhaps 5-10% variability with daily changes(measured at the same times each day right after the water change/dosing).

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. edacsac

    edacsac Prolific Poster

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    TMG? CMS?

    Sometimes I hate these abbreviations...
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Tropica master grow, See Big Al's on line for the product.

    Regards,
    tom Barr
     
  8. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Tropika Master Grow is now called Tropika Plant Nutrition Liquid. Big Al's still stocks it, but under that name. I started using it on my 45 gallon tank about 3 weeks ago, but I also did enough other things that I can't tell if that made any differences. (One of the things was miscalculate the dosage, so I was dosing one third of what I should have been.)
     
  9. Henry Hatch

    Henry Hatch Guru Class Expert

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    I think the re named tropica product is actually called Aquacare Plant Nutrition. There is also something called Aquacare Plant Nutrition+ which has trace elements and added nitrates and phosphate.

    Henry
     
  10. Henry Hatch

    Henry Hatch Guru Class Expert

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    Whoops. The renamed tropica product I have seen listed as Tropica Plant Nutrition and Aquacare Plant Nutrition depending on the website.
     
  11. Mooner

    Mooner Lifetime Charter Member
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    Tom,

    What is it about CSM that you do not like???:confused:

    You said something the other day about the chelated part of CSM

    What gives??
     
  12. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I've made comments on this topic many times.
    I like the over all look of the plant, you have to rule out the other factors before you test a trace. Test kit measure of Fe as proxy for the other traces is a poor method.

    I suggest just appearance of the plants, careful inspection etc.
    They effects may be subtle to some folks and dramatic to more detailed folks.

    I see better health and color, better sheen on most leaves, less issues with the product and less Fe is being wasted apparently.

    Rule out the other nutrients and vary the CMS and compare what you see to TMG for 3 weeks each and decide.

    I'd like to support a cheap trace, but CMS is not worthy IMO.
    But is it that significant? To me it is, you may feel different and certainly many are happy with CMS for their level of trade off issues.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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