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Old 10-02-2014, 03:04 PM   #1
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New to plant Issues, Could do with help :)

Hi everyone,

I could really do with your knowledge here!

First, a quick explanation:
I've been keeping/breeding fish for years (had around 45 tanks in the fish room when it got out of hand), but Im far from knowledgeable when it comes to plants.
I've had many planted tanks that have thrived in the past, but I've been lucky enough to never do anything other than stick the plants in and watch as it grows.


My situation at the moment, is I have 2 100-110g tanks, which we recently (about 3 months) converted to planted tanks around the same time.
- The tanks have around the same stockage (20-30 small community fish, guppies, platies etc)
- The tanks have the same input water when water changing (75% waste RO water which has gone through the two carbon pre-filters and had tap safe added, and 25% ro-di water). I had the ro unit left from the marine tank so didnt want to waste it
- Both tanks get fed around the same ammount.
- Both tanks have a few home made root tabs using a recipe from another forum.

One is thriving , one is dying
My guess is that either a macro or micro nutrient is bottlenecking my tank?

Firstly, a picture of the healthy tank:





Notice this plant in particular: (The holes, I think are a potassium deficiency? or my snails, but its still growing like mad)


Now compare the same plant to the one in my other tank that started a similar size: The leaves are about 2cm long rather than 10


In my dying tank, I find the tops of the plants grow fine on most, but they all shed/lose their lower leaves, leaving long leggy plants with bare stems (below)


The only other cause I can think of other than a lack of a certain element is the lighting? My thriving tank has a home-made led unit, currently pumping out about 50w of white led's and 50w of blue (currently on lowest setting, but can be cranked up to 450w so skys the limit). My poorly tank did have 2x 5 ft t8 bulbs on it, one daylight, one slightly redder (name wore off it), but I've now dropped it down to 1 to slow down the nutrient consumption if it is the bottleneck.

Any ideas guys?
Any help is much appreciated!
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Old 10-03-2014, 03:15 PM   #2
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Your links aren't working. I would recommend you either link directly to the dropbox page or reupload them through a third-party site such as Imgur.
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Old 10-03-2014, 05:41 PM   #3
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Thanks, will use imgur now, and re-upload

Or not.. the edit button doesnt show on the thread, I'll have to upload to this post instead lol
If A mod could insert these into the OP it would be greatly appreciated as it will not allow me to edit (they are in order)
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Old 10-03-2014, 09:31 PM   #4
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Two of the pictures were copies, so I'm not sure which got lost and which is the duplicate, but if you post the missing one in an imgur link I'll update it.

I suspect this tank has a few things going on. I agree that this looks like a macro issue, although there also could be a micronutrient issue based on those pictures. Also, 2xT8 might not be enough, which can cause leaves to drop off like that as well. What are you dosing? What's your nitrate level?
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Old 10-04-2014, 06:36 AM   #5
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Thanks,

This picture is meant to replace number 2 up there :

I know the plant has a few spots, from what I read in the books I recently bought, I put it down to potassium deficiency? Could be way wrong though.

Test Results for the larger tank are:
2.5ppm phos (root tabs brought that up when my snail dug one or two up, but it hasn't made the plants better or worse)
25ppm nitrates
0 ammonia (two fluval 404's are probably a bit overkill, but i've found they keep this way down)
0 nitrites (tes kit is a bit old, could be dodgey but I'm confident in the result)
Waiting on some calibration solution to arrive for the ph tester, but im pretty sure based on the input water its around 7, or a bit less.

I haven't dosed either tank yet, just the root tabs.(Was planning on running low light without the need for ferts, as I don't mind dosing but dread using CO2)

Do the T8's and LEDs give off different lumens of light per watt? (efficiency or something?) I can easily knock up an led unit like the one on the happy tank if you think that will help.
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