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another newb in need of help

1026 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  grim
earlier I elaborated a little bit mroe but when I submitted it my many minutes of typing were lost to a server error so I'll going to try and be bried. I currently have three aquariums; a twenty gallon nano reef, a 55 gallon african cichlid, and a 30gallon planted tank. The planted tank has been giving me problems. It has been set up for two years as a fish only tank and I only started with the whole plant thing about four months ago, mimicking my deceased uncle's successful methods that he used on a 55gallon. My plants were healthy when I got them but now things are getting pretty ugly. I have pics to tell my story better. Can you please give me advice? I'll list my tank's specs and they're probably all bad, but please don't tear my apart for my mistakes.

30 gallons
lighting- T5 2X21w (6700k and 10,000k)
substrate- typical river gravel conditioned with Flourish
No CO2 added because I figured that this was low light
I supplement weekly with Plant Gro, a liquid fertilizer
religiously change water 5 gallons/ week

I have traces of Nh4 and NO2 but they are effects of plant die offs, not the causes.

problems- The plants are starting to wither away. I had a fish eating some of them but I found the culprit and it had been removed and I doubt it had a large impact because it was small. I read that you can plant the bunch plants in the soil, but the bases of them always rot away on me and they uproot and float all over the place. Can you please help me find the root(s) of my problem?
Thank you very much,


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i am far from an expert but i have had the same problem with my sword plants i found it was a nutrient deficiency roots tabs cleared that up for me some but i still had problems with them later on
I received your PM, Grim. I'll order a duplicate lighting system to double my wattage.
its going to be more than just your lighting that will help with the red Ludwigia but you will still need ferts just from my experience and as i said i am no expert it is just what i have noticed with my tank the others on this site can probably explain it better than i could ever
If your T5 lights include individual reflectors for each bulb you have as much light as you can use, if not more, without using CO2. It is more than I would consider to be low light.

I think your problem is with fertilizing. Hagen nutrafin plant gro is a trace element mix, with more iron in it than nitrogen, and no phosphorous or potassium in it. You need to be providing NPK, nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium to the plants in addition to the trace elements. You can use basic chemicals, KNO3 (potassium nitrate) and KH2PO4 (mono potassium phosphate) for those, or you could use Seachem's Flourish Nitrogen, Flourish Potassium and Flourish Phosphorous. Without all three of those nutrients the plants will behave much as you described.
Yep, nutrient defficient. Swords are heavy root-feeders by the way. I regularly dose the full line of liquid ferts and my swords still suffer if I don't give them a root tab or two.
thanks for the quick responses. What's awesome is (owners of are havinga 25 year anniversary sale on those products. I added two root fertilizers to under the sword. The red ludwgia I guess is just going to die. I feel bad about that. I guess everyone makes their mistakes. I'll do a diy yeast CO2 system. I have a question about it. The big concern with them seems to be how to dissolve the CO2 into the water. I have a powerhead that has a small strip of airline tubing going from its top to the surface and it uses this to suck in oxygen from the air and blow bubbles into the water. Would it be ok for me to stick the airline tubing coming from the reactor into this powerhead where it will shoot out into the water? Thanks for all of your respones!
if you put your co2 in line into a tube that dose not have water in it i do not think it will personally work but i have never tried what i do on my diy co2 because I'm poor is i put it into the inlet of my hob filter were it sucks up the water I'm waiting for a glass diffuser to come that i got off ebay no clue it it will work or not it was only 6 bucks so no biggie if it dose not work but if you vent the co2 into a tube that has air i do not see it working or working very well
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