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Hi, I wanted to try if I can succesfully maintain a planted tank and bought this small one.

It has been 2 months now. I kept the lights on 8 hours a day, no CO2. The plants in the left were longer but tops got rotten and were melting so I cut them of, they seem fine now.
2 days ago I changed the lights 3+4 hours a day with 5 hours rest.

There are only bladder snails in there that came as pests. I am mostly on travel and can visit home once a month, so water changes are monthly and can feed the snails only when I am home. They eat algae rest of the time. I give fertilisers (mix +iron) when I am home, after water change, once a month. Also did put egg pieces and cuttlefishbone for fortification.

My problems are;

1) Biggest problem: The leaves of the plants in the right are getting dark and mushy. When I touch them, they fall of! What maybe causing this?

2) my montecarlos arent carpeting but they seem to grow up and their white roots can be seem, they just don't seem well established.

3)I have planted the grass last week and they are getting brown.

4) I have put some duckweed but they are getting pale and half of them die.

Help please!

Best Regards,
Water Plant Light Green Blue
Plant Green Fines herbes Leaf vegetable Grass

Plant Water Liquid Light Leaf

Water Plant Vertebrate Organism Terrestrial plant

Food Plant Ingredient Fines herbes Leaf vegetable
 

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All of your problems are caused by lack of nutrients. In addition light and co2 and water plants need nitrogen, potassium, Calcium, magnesium, phosphate, sulfur, Chloride, iron, manganese, boron, zinc, copper, molybdenum, and nickel. If just one if missing plants will not grow. and could possibly die. Now tap water willl have some nutrients but not all. And with one water change per month you are likely running out of few nutrients you water has. So more frequent water changes would help. But you also need to add a fertilizer. But with one fertilizer dose per month you are likely going to run out of nutrients well before then next water change And that could lead to algae. Additionally most fertilizers on the market depend on your tap water supplying some of the nutrients. So you have to address both the water change and fertilizer problems.

I haven't seen any posts of successful agauriums with maintenance only once a month. But that said it impossible to systems to do automatic water changes and fertilizer dosing. but that is going to take some skill with tools and time to setup and get it working correctly.
 

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"I haven't seen any posts of successful agauriums with maintenance only once a month."

All seven of my Walstad tanks require maintenance no more often than once a month, except feeding the fish and topping off.
 
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