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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 55G community aquarium. I use to use sand as a substrate.. this stuff I bought from walmart like you would use in a sandbox. The plants I have are:

Anacharis
Some kind of grass-like plant
and some other unidentified plant. Small round leaves, very thick stem. Has vines/roots coming out of the stems.

Anyways, the Anacharis would grow nicely for a couple of days, then would stop and break apart. The grass would spread quickly, but wouldn't grow very tall and the blades would be limp. The unidenfied plant would grow for a day then fall apart just as quickly.. Often times I found myself having to replant the unidenfied plant, asi t would rot at the base of the stem where I had planted it.

I had assumed that the plants were having trouble because they weren't getting enough nutrients, so I replaced the substrate. I replaced the substrate with 40lbs flourite and 40lb caribsea eco-complete gravel. Now the anacharis is doing the same thing it did before, the grass isn't growing at all and the blade's edges are turning brown. The unidenfied plant doesn't seem to be rotting, but the leaves are also turning brown.

Why is this happening? I haven't had a plant turn brown on me, even when using the sand.. it was always soemthing else. So what's causing the leaves to turn brown?

For lighting I have two 40W NO bulbs and two 15w NO bulbs. No CO2, but occasionally I set up a custom CO2 system with yeast and sugar.. though my plants usually act different then they are now when they're wanting CO2.

Any help would be appreciated.

Also, I remember reading a site a while back that listed symptoms like these and said what the problem was. Would anyone know of which site I'm refering to?

thanks!
 

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Are you adding fertilizers or doing water changes? We need to know a little more about your setup.

Also, temperature is important for Anachris. In my experience it doesn't do quite as well at temperatures above about 23C (about 74F).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've added no fertilizers.. I thought the flourite and caribsea stuff would be enough?

I do water changes maybe twice a month.

Water temp is at 80F.. I forgot to mention, the Anachris I have is a lot thicker then it was before I changed my substrate. It has a lot more leaves.. I'm not too worried about it falling apart, because it does grow and doesn't completely die. It's like it gets to a certain length, falls in half, I replant the other half and it ends up growing (i think?).. I don't know if this is normal or not, but it's not that big of a deal.
The main thing I'm worried about right now is the grass and unidentified plants. Both had no problem with their leaves turning brown before I changed to the flourite.. the grass had completely covered the bottom of the aquarium.. now it's not spreading at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
here are two pictures.

Here is the grass. When using the sand it use to be a bright green.


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Here is the unidentified plant with a anacharis in the backround. The anacharis would rot.. the lower leaves would turn transparent and would fall apart. Now they're just brown. Indentification would be appreciated :) as this is one of my favorite plants

Apologies for my Yoyo Loach. He swam in front of the camera right as I was taking the picture.

Thanks
 

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CO2 isn't something you shouldn't really skimp on. In my opinion either you use it and maintain it at 30 ppm or you don't, and either way using it sporadically probably won't help.

If you want to do a non-CO2 tank, you can stop doing water changes and you can forget about fertilizers. Fish food gives enough nutrients for most non-CO2 planted aquaria (that is if your fish load is decently sized).

If you want to do CO2, you can either make it so your DIY setup maintains 30 ppm or more or you can invest in a pressurized system. Despite the initial investment of $150-200, pressurized systems are cheap to maintain. I pay $7 about every six months to refill my tank.

You will also need fertilizers with CO2, but the dry chemicals are cheap and easy to work with and customize.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So you think the brown leaves might be CO2?

and I don't measure CO2. I run a 2liter bottle + sugar + yeast for CO2. Usually one or two runs will be enough for my aquarium for 2 weeks. After 2 weeks plantgrowth dies down and I set it up again. It worked in the past when I was using sand.. leaves never turned brown though.. I knew I needed CO2 when my plants would just stop growing. .. mainly used a Java Fern to check this.. I can't run it non-stop because it lowers my PH too much. Last time I tried running it more then twice (maybe 2 weeks straight?) I lost a few fish..

So .. you think it's CO2 causing the brown-ness? or do you not know?
 

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I think you need to figure out what you're going to run here, whether or not it's going to be a CO2 tank run with 30ppm or not.

You will find that these problems will disappear once the tank is stable with this stuff...sporadic CO2 is not what I would deem stable.

The substrate is not always enough. Most plants prefer water column feeding over root feeding. Roots are pretty secondary, esepcially with stem plants.

Have you tried dosing Fluorish to see if you garner any improvement? It's usually $8-10 for a bottle, and it's concentrated.
 
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