Please help my plants

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chenyi

Aquarium Advice Apprentice
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
46
My plants don't look healthy. But they don't look like any of the pictures online. There is no yellowing or pin holes or dark veins or whatever might indicate something specific. Some parts look healthy. Some parts have big chunks of black. It is a 10 gal tank with 3 brilliant rasboras.
 

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How long have you had the plants?

Does the black stuff rub off?

Do you know what your water parameters are?
 
I have had the plants for a couple of years. It's not a new problem.

The black does not rub off. It is just death. In the worst spots, the leaves crumble apart.

pH is 7.4
Ammonia is 0
Nitrite is 0
 
Nitrate?

Id also check and see if you can a check on phosphates too. Either from your water company or a test of your water.
 
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Okay. I should have done the in-depth test while I was there. It's only 6 bucks. I'm a moron.
 
I have been dosing with Flourish and Excel. Doesn't seem to be making any difference. I got the $6 test done. Does anything jump out?
 

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Well. Your nitrate is too low for a planted tank and will be causing nutrient deficiencies. You ideally want it up towards 20ppm. On the other hand your phosphate is too high and really wants to be below 1ppm or it will be feeding algae. Not really sure how to correct the nitrate without also raising phosphate levels.

Is that a test on your tank water or your tap water?
 
Okay. This is my tank water. I'm going to try thinning the plants out. Maybe I am trying to do to much with just the 4 fish in there.
 
Well, I sort of had a little success for a while. I bought some RO water and mixed that in 50%. Lo and behold, a lot of the algae magically cleared up and all my water lettuce started to look healthier and started to grow little baby leaves. I thought it was due to the hardness, so I got a hardness test kit and I went back to tap water. Now my plants are doing badly again. The hardness doesn't seem to be the problem. I dunno. But I am going to try running the RO water mix for a couple of months and see if that really fixes it. But I still want to get to the bottom of it.
 
Going back to your water test results, your alkalinity/ carbonate hardness is very low, so mixing tap water with RO will make it even softer. Plants tend to do better with higher KH.
 
Going back to your water test results, your alkalinity/ carbonate hardness is very low, so mixing tap water with RO will make it even softer. Plants tend to do better with higher KH.
True. On my second water change I added some making soda. But it was doing better even before that.
 
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