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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone! Just laughed through your LFS stories... Here's my dilema- I have a dwarf cichlid tank with species of Anubius, Java fern and Bolbitus. When I first put in the Java and Bolbitus they were beautifully prolific for about 6-8 months. My tank was a lovely eye catching forest. Then little by little, over the following several months, The Java and Bolbitus started dying back until all that was left were the Anubius (still growing strong). The only fertilizer I used at the time was Leaf Zone. The water parameters were the same throughout the life of the plants. I believe these plants needed some nutrient that became depleted, but I don't know what it could be. I just aquired new Bolbitus and java, and I would hate for this to happen a second time. If it was my extremely hard AZ water, why did the plants initially grow so beautifully? I don't think they had enough stored nutrients to go from single leaf cuttings to hundreds. If anyone has some words of wisdom for me, please help..... :cry:
 

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I would guess that it was a lack of Nitrogen and Phosphorus as Leaf Zone is only good for adding Iron and Potassium. Don't worry about that too much, I've killed a tank full of anubias before.... :x
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hard to kill

Thank you for your time everyone..

This tank is 55 gal with 30 lbs of rockwork and wood. PH, GH and KH are 8 across the board. Temp at 78. A single 48 inch florescent on for 12 hours a day. This has always worked for these low light plants in the past, could it be that I need more light ? I have added Flourish all purpose fert to the mix. The substrate is a combination of very small gravel and laterite. All the plants are attatched to rock or wood. Ammonia and nitrites undetectable. I know the Java tollerates the hard water better than the Bolbitus and also that the Java is an ammonia sponge.( could it be the water is too clean, if that is possible?!) Bi-weekly water changes. Currently housing a breeding pair or Caudopunctatus and about 75 of their newborns, a few very young Brichardi and 3 very sturdy Corys! I also double filter with 2 power filters rated for 60 gallons. Has anyone had wonderful results with these 2 plants in hard water? (I especially love the Bolbitus) Is there anything else I can do to help them flourish? Thank you everyone...
If anyone would like a free portion of Java Moss, just email me at [email protected] with your address. Good fishing! :)
 

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It could well have been the non-existent lighting that did it. While everyone thinks that plants like some Anubias and some Crypts and Java Fern and Java Moss are low light plants it's just not true. They will survive and possibly even grow slowly in low light. But they will do much better in high light. I'm to the point where I consider Java Fern to be a weed in my high light 55 gallon tank. And I have an Anubias in there that has at a minimum quadrupled it's size in around 8 months.

IMHO you would be well served by heading over to www.ahsupply.com and getting a 2x55 watt upgrade kit and putting it in your strip light. Also if you decide to do this then go to http://www.atlantalightbulbs.com/ecart/10browse.asp?search=F55BX/AR/FS and get the GE bulbs for the light. These are awesome plant bulbs and will also bring out the colors in your fish.

You might also want to take a gander at my FAQ and brush up on plant nutritional needs.
 

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I second the motion for AH Supply 2x55 compact flourescents. They are absolutely amazing. I started out with a pair of these on my first planted tank (55g). The lighting was enough to grow even Rotala macrandra and flat carpets of Glossostigma elatinoides, Rotala wallichii, etc.

You will need CO2, though. One DIY CO2 bottle fed into an efficient CO2 reactor is enough with this amount of lighting. I use Plantguild's. You'll have to change the DIY CO2 mixture once a week.

Fertilization, for me, was very minimal. I just used Flourish and KNO3 (stump remover) at that time. I had a decent number of fish (and a pair of discus) which apparently provided most of the nutrients.

Carlos
 

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Hi Shannon,

Sorry to hear about your plant problems. Lets see what we can do to help you.

First, I would recommend to you a book I felt was excellent at helping set up a low-light tank: My First Aquarium by Kaspar Horst (he was one of the founders of Dupla). You can see the description here. Unfrotunately, I don't know how to get it other than through AquaDocumenta in Germany. You may want to search the Web for other sources.

Second, I would ask you to describe to use how your plants died. Did they turn yellow first? Did they turn white or got holes and then disintegrated? This is very important in determining what was missing in the aquarium that caused them to die.

Anubias are such slow growers that they are often the last to show symptoms in a low-light situation. Therefore, they will not be of help in determining what is missing.

Lastly, the above notwithstanding, you need to provide a complete compliment of nutrients to the plants immediately. Do you have any test kits? I'm particularly interested in nitrate and phosphate levels.

At this moment, I think your plants grow until they hit the wall because a nutrient ran out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
hard to kill

Thank you for all your advice. That tank has one light on it now, but I remembered (seeing your responses) that I had 2 lights on it at the time. :oops: As soon as financially able I will add a second to this tank. I am in the process of obtaining a triple light for another of my tanks and I'll be able to do some transferring.

Art ,you're very kind. The same thing happened to both species. The leaves would blacken beginng at the tips and progressively dissintegrate. The Anubius has grown to the point that I have filled my three tanks with it and given clippings to friends.

I've been dosing with Flourish comprehensive. Is there a supplement that you all have found to be superior? I also plan to add shrimp to my non- cichlid tanks. Art, you mentioned you know of dosed tanks whose shrimp do well. Do you know what fertilizer and in what quantities they use?

Thank you for the links Rex, I'll check them out..
 
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