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Old 03-03-2019, 01:56 AM   #1
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Plants will not grow

Hi all,

I have been having problems for almost a year now with trying to get my low tech tank plants to grow. I am losing hope. I have had plantd aquariums for years and am stumped.

Last spring I moved and had to dismantle my tank and reset it up. Same gravel (flourite), same light (fluval LED 2.0 plant), same plants. Most of my plants are types of crypts, types of anubis, amazon sword, corkscrew val, i had some hygro that didn't make it, Apongeton crispus, and java ferns. When I moved the plants, of course my crypts melted away but they have barely come back, staying short and no new plants. My anubis which was very healthy for years went crazy producing a ton of off shoots but the whole thing went from growing big long leaves to teenie tiny almost white leaves. My big val died off. I have a little one which was one of the only plants thriving but it's starting to die off too. The amazon sword got big and healthy after a few years of struggling ( go figure), the crispus grew huge but the leaves arent healthy and my java fern which was growing like crazy mostly does off or just stopped growing.

I've tried turning the light up, turning the light down, for a while I was using a variety of flourish products testing to see any changes, that's when the sword, mini val and crispus started flourishing but zero change in any of the java fern or crypts. I noticed that the roots on the crypts were getting rotten, I haven't been gravel vacuuming, maybe I should? I reintroduced trumpet snails into my gravel to hopefully help. I also noticed some dead zones in the tank so increased the water flow in the tank to get the water moving better around the tank. I've tried holding back on the fertz because maybe I was ODing things but still no change, but the three healthy plants are now suffering. I do a 50% water change once a week. I add equilibrium when I do the water change because my tap water is very soft. My pH is about 7.6, kh is almost 2 and not sure gh at the moment. Nitrates around 5ppm.

I'm at a loss. I had the same problem a few years ago with none of my plants growing but I added more water flow and everything too off. I'll vac the gravel on my next water change. Maybe the roots just arent healthy enough. I was using root tabs as well but no change with that either.

To add to my confusion, I have a 9 gallons fluval flex with terrible water flow, I rarely do water changes, just top ups mostly, a pump of thrive s now and then, and all its plants do fantastic.

lThanks for reading this far, any suggestions?
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Old 03-03-2019, 03:34 PM   #2
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Plants will not grow

Just looking at some charts and would CO2 / nitrogen deficiency fit? Iíve had plant issues with nitrates at 5ppm where either test kit wrong (and Iíve had api test kits give slightly different results so possible) or plants couldnít uptake.

Is the water otherwise good quality?

Iíd look into dosing powered carbonate (plus nitrates slightly higher) specifically and see if helps. Here Iíve just bought bags of each so can test directly if plant useful.
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Old 03-03-2019, 11:29 PM   #3
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It definitely could be both of those things. I had used excel in the past but haven't for quite a while. And I've had plants grow like crazy in the past with no c02 added so what would be some contributing factors to low c02? And it's strange because my other tank tests at below 5ppm nitrate and the plants are doing great.
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Old 03-04-2019, 01:09 AM   #4
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I think it would depend on lights on each as well (to be in balance with ferts and low CO2). I assume kh is the same in both?
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Old 03-04-2019, 02:02 AM   #5
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Yes it is
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Old 03-04-2019, 08:50 AM   #6
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Guessing either the water itself from tap (differing pwc %ís) or lights - seems the only difference I can think of.
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