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Old 03-02-2009, 03:16 PM   #1
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Why do my plants do so poorly?

First and foremost:
I have 14w 6700k and 14w 10,000k over a 10g. Hooking my DIY co2 back up once my rhinox 1000 comes in. And i got my N,P,K macro ferts in the mail today. I also have Flourish comprehensive ("complete").

All of the Vals i have ever bought started out looking good from the store, but once I have them in my tank, they just start to deteriorate. Turn yellow, holes develop in the leaves, and they are covered in snail eggs. Usually the leaves break apart at about half their length and they float around the tank. Although, they do get runners and make a couple of small plants throughout the tank. Also, the vals that are tied to driftwood always look MUCH better than the ones I have planted. Any reason for this?

Now, with my java ferns, they never seem to grow any bigger. New leaves come out sometimes completely black/red. After a few weeks of being tied onto driftwood and still they have no root growth and didn't attach to the driftwood. Daughters grow and detach from the ends, but holes are all throughout the leaves.

my java moss doesn't seem to be growing very well, either.

The Rotala rotundafilia is very yellow and saggy. Also, roots are growing all over the stem, up to half way up the stems. They are not green at all, mainly yellow and some red.

Now with my anubias nana, the oldest one in my tank is getting less and less green, and more yellow. tiny tiny holes are developing in the leaves as well.

Also, what is the proper way to deal with torn leaves, and holes in the plants?


Your help is appreciated!
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Old 03-02-2009, 03:52 PM   #2
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The fertilizers are probably going to help a lot with the problem you are having with your plants.
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Old 03-02-2009, 04:00 PM   #3
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I would say you have 2 problems - 1, your light is probably not enough. It is hard to apply the WPG rule to a 10G tank. By adding CO2 and ferts you could easily double or even close to triple the light you have on the tank.

and 2, it sounds like your plants are suffering from at least a few nutrient deficiencies. What are your Nitrate levels at? Sounds like you could be bottoming out on nitrates, and also potentially phosphate. The fact that your rotala r is turning red under lower light tells me too that your N is probably low.

What kind of substrate are you using, and are you using any root tabs?

Java ferns will do best when not planted, but tied to rocks or wood. It will take some time to get established though. Mine sat for weeks, had black spots on it, etc, didn't really grow much, and then almost over night, they started to just go crazy. All new leaves, pearling like mad, etc.

With the vals, you may not have enough light for them. I think you could benefit by upping that a bit and that would help. Also, be sure not to plant them too deep. They are root feeders as well, so again, a few root tabs may do wonders for them. Also, they are extra sensative to flourish excel, so if you are dosing any of that, it could be a problem.

As far as the holes / torn leaves, it is best to go ahead and trim those leaves and remove them if they are looking past the point of no return. No sense for the plant to waste valuable resources repairing an old leaf, when that energy could be diverted to new healthy leaf production.
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Old 03-02-2009, 04:08 PM   #4
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Dosing potassium will keep newer leaves from developing holes.

I have two 10 gallon tanks. One has 27 watts and the other has 36 watts. I dose the fertilizers dry, twice a week. I use one of those "nip, pinch, smidgen" teaspoon sets. I use one smidgen of N, one nip of P, and about one and a half nips of K at each dose.
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Old 03-02-2009, 05:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by An t-iasg View Post
I use one of those "nip, pinch, smidgen" teaspoon sets. I use one smidgen of N, one nip of P, and about one and a half nips of K at each dose.
LoL, I assume that means just eye-balling it?

Also, i don't have a test kit ( I know I know.. asap..i know...) Say I don't ever get a test kit -- Why would my nitrates be low? Tank has been established for over....6 mos I'd say.

Here are some pics. Sorry, it is all one pic. Save it to desktop and pan around if you can't see clearly on here. Didn't want to go through the trouble of hosting that many pics.

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Old 03-02-2009, 06:40 PM   #6
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DIY CO2 would really help out a lot, since you have regular aquarium gravel you might want to check out some root tabs for your rooted plants. The reason why your vals are doing better tied on driftwood is because you are water column dosing. With java moss once it gets established it grows like crazy, sometimes it takes awhile for it to adjust.
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Old 03-02-2009, 07:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Why would my nitrates be low?
Because your plants are using the available N in your tank.

Those are some sickly lookin crypts. I bet some root tabs and fert would get them to perk right up though. By the way, they would do better planted in the substrate, and the java fern would do better tied to the wood.
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Old 03-02-2009, 08:10 PM   #8
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thank you for all of this information!

1/8 tsp kno3 3x a week
1/16 tsp kh2p04 3x a week
1/16 tsp k2so3 3x a week
5mL flourish comprehensive 3x a week
1. which chemical is which? (I know i know, i'm a noob)
2. Is that a good dosing schedule?

More questions: What is the water dosing column that joy13 wrote about? What does that mean?

Should I add more light? Was thinking of adding some CFLs -- How many watts if i do this?
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Old 03-02-2009, 08:27 PM   #9
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so substrate could be the reason that plants don't do well?
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Old 03-02-2009, 08:59 PM   #10
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so substrate could be the reason that plants don't do well?
I found out the substrate has a lot to do with how plants do. Crypts were always melting for me in new tanks that I only used gravel in, now I put down a light dusting of potting soil that has aired out before a layer of fluorite. There is so much talk about mineralized soil I am thinking of trying that next if I can get the dolomite, potash and clay without having to buy enough for the whole state.

Water column dosing is the liquid or powder that go in the water. Some plants absorb more through their roots that are planted and that is the reason for root tabs. More light means more fertilizer and more fertilizer and light means CO2 which you are planning to do anyway.
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