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Old 07-24-2007, 11:06 AM   #1
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My plants keep dying!!!

I have a 50 or 55 gallon tank with a coralife and glo light system. I have 4 T5 bulbs at 24 watts each. My PH is 7.6, I have a flourite/sand substrate and nutrafin natural carbon dioxide system which I put in almost 3 weeks ago with the flourite. I use Nutrafin Plant Gro iron enriched fertilizer. I have a few types of hygrophilia, 2 types of anubias, a sword plant, 2 bella palms, and what is left of a purple waffle plant. I regularly check the iron level and its good but I haven't checked my nitrates. Are my nitrate levels causing the problem, is my PH too high or do I not have enough light?? The carbon dioxide system is only for 20 gallons but with all my fish I figured it would be enough but maybe it isn't?
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Old 07-24-2007, 12:57 PM   #2
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With low light, you don't really need CO2, so I doubt that is the problem.

How good are the plants to start with? When I first started with plants, I got the usual pet store plants, and they keep dying. Finally, I got some that was just freshly delivered from the grower (more by luck than by design). These new plants took off like weeds.

I gather that the plants in the typical lfs are kept in such poor condition (crowded, no light or ferts) that they prob are already dying when we get them.....
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9 fancy golds, 1 hillstream loaches, 1 rubber-lip pleco (C. thomasi), 3 SAEs, small school of white cloud minnows, planted.
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Old 07-24-2007, 01:42 PM   #3
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We need some tank specs. How many fish, what is their size, how did you plant them, are you using any fertilizer tabs, how often do you change the water and how much at each water change....

It could be something as simple as improperly planting them, or more serious like a deficiency.
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Old 07-24-2007, 01:52 PM   #4
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I have 3 2" powder blue gouramis, 2 4" diameter angels and 1 2", 4 black neon tetras, 1 neon tetra, 5 cherry barbs, 5 guppies, 1 pleco, 1 other small algae eater but I'm not sure of the name, and 2 platies. I don't use fertilizer tabs. I change about 20-25% of the water each week, ph is 7.6, not sure of nitrate level, to plant them I placed them in a hole and covered the roots with substrate, anubias attatched to driftwood or rock loosely with elastic band.
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Old 07-24-2007, 03:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amanda_
I have 3 2" powder blue gouramis, 2 4" diameter angels and 1 2", 4 black neon tetras, 1 neon tetra, 5 cherry barbs, 5 guppies, 1 pleco, 1 other small algae eater but I'm not sure of the name, and 2 platies. I don't use fertilizer tabs. I change about 20-25% of the water each week, ph is 7.6, not sure of nitrate level, to plant them I placed them in a hole and covered the roots with substrate, anubias attatched to driftwood or rock loosely with elastic band.
NitrAte shouldn't be a problem (especially if the pleco is not small).

Which plants don't look good or died? The anubias should not be a problem. You didn't bury the rhizome so it should not rot and will slowly grow.

The sword may need a fert tab under the roots. Many people who have swords (I don't) use them since they are heavy root feeders.

The hygro will be your indicator plant. It grows the fastest and will therefore show nutrient deficiencies FIRST. I don't know much about your CO2 system but it doesn't seem adequate if you have a lot of hygro. Fast growing plants can cause trouble in tanks without robust CO2 injection because they can quickly deplete the water of nutrients (including CO2), leading to deficiency. If you only have a couple small bunches that is probably fine, but I wouldn't try to populate the tank with them.

I don't know what a waffle plant or the palms are...you sure they are true aquatics?

HTH

EDIT: I just looked at the system you have and can say unfortunately its crap. Or rather not even close to appropriate for the tank size you have. I would just get rid of it personally as it could cause algae from fluctuating CO2 levels. If you want to go DIY you need to have 3-4 2L bottles cycling so you keep a steady and elevated level of CO2. For your size tank though, I would recommend pressurized or nothing.
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Old 07-24-2007, 03:41 PM   #6
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Your purple waffle is not a true aquatic plant and will slowly rot and die:

http://www.plantgeek.net/plant-167.htm

Many Fish stores sell plants for aquarium use that are not aquatic - shocking as that may sound.

Also - any aquarium will benefit enormously from CO2 injection, regardless of your lighting (as long as it is adequate). The difference is that under a certain lighting threshold you can get away without CO2 - and with minimal algae problems.

You really need to consider setting up a pressurized system for a tank that size. If this is just not in the cards, perhaps 2 or 3 1l bottles of DIY CO2 switched out weekly could provide an adequate start.

http://www.gpodio.com/co2_setup.asp

http://www.gpodio.com/diy_co2.asp

And buy this E-book - should help you enormously in understanding fertilization of aquatic plants:

http://www.aquaticplantnews.com/
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Old 07-24-2007, 04:26 PM   #7
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Thanks for the site. I know what the problem is with the majority of my plants...they aren't true aquatics!! I was told that my plant which is actually an aluminum was a type of anubias, my bella (neanthebella)palms are not true aquatics, and neither is my brazillian sword plant! What a waste of money!! Was there a mistake on the site about the brazillian sword...is it actually not a true aquatic??
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Old 07-24-2007, 05:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amanda_
Was there a mistake on the site about the brazillian sword...is it actually not a true aquatic??
Nope. A Brazilian sword (Spathiphyllum tasson) is non-aquatic, but a Radican sword (Echinodorus cordifolius), also known as a Brazilian sword, is aquatic.

So it would depend on which 'Brazilian sword' you have.
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Old 07-24-2007, 07:36 PM   #9
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Most of these places sell plants for both aquariums AND terrariums. Because of this they get away with having both in the same display. It is unfortunate, but its better to find out now then risk an ammonia problem with they start to rot and die.
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Old 08-10-2007, 04:28 AM   #10
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Thats petcetera for you amanda lol
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