(EL NATURAL) Somethings wrong don’t know what it is - New to Planted Aquariums - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 09-21-2020, 12:23 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default (EL NATURAL) Somethings wrong don’t know what it is

I’m going to be honest
•I have a 5-6gl/26L tank heavily planted with steam plants some fast growing roots some other not, I have low light (in Spanish for)”carpet plants” and dense floating plants
•The lights are two 14/w(=28/w?)LED bulbs on top of the tank, I’ve been having them on like 12-14h a day, Im lowering that now
• should’ve used better substrate, when first set it up didn’t take the air out, about 1.5” substrate, 1” gravel
•I’m in Costa Rica si idk the hardness is the water here or how that affects
•I’ve had it for about a month now since I first killed all the bacteria with glutaraldehyde/excel and some plants almost died
•2 weeks ago I trimmed like 40% and since then plants from substrate haven’t grown much and new leaves are either weird shaped, a pale green color, new leaves stopped growing and staid small and deformed (since the excel incident)
And some have holes on the leaves
•today I poked the substrate and a lot of smell-less bobbles cake out
• on the other hand floating plants healed great and they’re doing great
•there are like 50 shrimps and 4 juvenile guppy fish
•I think either I have either pottasium deficiency or the substrate became anaerobic and it’s affecting the root growth/nutrient absorption
•Water changes 20-25% straight tap water every 6 days
•There is a coral stone in the tank and there is iron source layer in the substrate
• I introduced some pieces of a dry washed and boiled Indian almond leave/Terminalia catappa about a week ago
• Manually slightly pump the water around the tank every 2 days for water circulation and to add oxygen to the bottom



• I’m trying to do it as natural as possible but I’m aware I don’t do water testing at all nor use ferts Only less than 1/2ml of EXCEL every 2-3 days when water pumping too Click image for larger version

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Old 09-21-2020, 12:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Also I changed the lights to these after the massive bacteria death because it used to be way too low
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Old 09-21-2020, 06:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: (EL NATURAL) Somethings wrong don’t know what it is

Welcome to APC! What "soil" are you using under the gravel? The last photo in the second post shows the lights off to the side, shining at an angle into the tank. Is that how it is intended? The lights should be directly over the tank, shining directly down into the water. At an angle, most of the light is reflected from the air to water interface, and never gets to the plants.
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Old 09-21-2020, 05:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The soil it’s actually an “organic compost” my dad was making and I took some, I had added some caterpillar poop from caterpillars I had to it while Preparing the soil for extra nutrients, but I don’t know how much of each nutrient it has, I’ll fix the angle on the lights that wasn’t intended thank you by the way
Today I actually saw a cherry shrimp dead and the others eating it
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Old 09-21-2020, 05:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I’m afraid the soil could’ve become anaerobic because the only plant that’s actually doing well, is the only one that has some roots out of the soil
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Old 09-21-2020, 06:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: (EL NATURAL) Somethings wrong donít know what it is

The soil for El Natural tanks should not be super loaded with nutrients. Composts tend to be that, and adding insect poop could only make it worse. I did something similar with my first try at a semi-El Natural tank - it failed completely. That convinced me that "semi-El Natural" is not a good idea. Following the book is a much, much better idea!
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