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I have a 20 gallon long freshwater planted aquarium. I've had it for about 7 months and plants have constantly died in it and the last plant renaming is some Green Temple. I have eco-complete substrate, pH is a bit high at 7.6 and I'm working on lowering that but it doesn't seem to ever go down with Seachem Acid Buffer. Ammonia is 0.0 ppm, nitrite is 0 ppm. Nitrate is 15 ppm. The tank is in my room so it might get more light than it should because I turn it off around 10 pm then back on around 7 am when I get up. I bought my light at Petco because it said it's made for freshwater plants. I don't know much about the lights so I put a picture of it below. There's three tetras and two siamese algae eaters in it. Over the months I've tried adding liquid API CO2 booster, Seachem Flourish, Iron, Nitrogen, and Potassium plus root tabs. Most plants died within a few weeks, but Green Temple is a fighter. The old leaves are darkened and weak looking, while new growth is withered and pale around the edges with green veins. Some leaves are curled and bent like they have a nitrogen deficiency, but I've added nitrogen. Others are white around the edges and I don't know from what. Also, I posted this in a different forum and was told to add Epsom salt for magnesium. Didn't help. Thanks for any input.
 

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A few of thoughts...

1.) Quit chasing pH. Let it be what it wants to be. If you absolutely want acidic water because you have an amazonian biotope (or some such), then use peat. Even so, I have a high-tech planted discus tank and even with RODI water my tank naturally wants to buffer at a pH higher than 8. My CO2 injection keeps me at pH 7.3. My discus and plants thrive.

2.) Never add anything to the tank until you know your lighting is good.

3.) Your lighting is not good. If it were, your plants would grow. Two of those bulbs would work wonders. Most success comes from disregarding the box labels at your local Petco and thinking about customized solutions. For a cheap, intermediate solution, get a cheap, powerful grow light and put it over your plants...test the growth you get, experimenting with the height of the light until you get a good, balanced growth. Once you learn from this experiment, then you can customize a permanent solution.

4.) Once you have solved the lighting issue, then you can add nutrients...but only then. At that point, you can figure out deficiencies and keep algae in check. Make it a personal philosophy to never add anything to a tank unless you know specifically what if will do for you. Don't buy stuff because you think it might work. Put that money into custom lighting.

5.) Speaking of algae...if you can't grow any, then you know your lights aren't bright enough. Powerful light for shorter periods of time is the way to go. The fact that your lights are on 15 hours per day, in a bright room, and the plants still aren't growing is all the clue you need. Your photo-period should be 6 to 8 hours, max. When the lighting is good, that's all you need.

6.) You won't be able to grow every plant. There are some plants that you couldn't kill if you tried. For me, those are crypts. Others, like sagit and rotala, will die back if I get lazy with replacing my CO2 (which is often). Some plants I don't even bother trying...not that I can't grow them, but I tend stick to what I know will grow and make the tank look really good.

Hope this helps.
 

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There is one more things, the water temperature. Have you check if your water temperature suit your plants? I live in an equator country and my tank with a cover on it will trap all heat from the light and heat my water to as high as 32degC. The temperature will maintain at 30degC when the light is off and the 2nd cycle comes. With this, my Java fern doesn't grow at all. Do you face algae problem by the way?

Sent from my SM-N910G using Tapatalk
 

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jball's general advice is good. Don't chase specific pH numbers, 7.6 is fine for almost all plants and fish.

The issue I'm seeing in your plants is iron deficiency. This shows up in only the new leaves which turn white and curl in some species. This is very specific and there isn't any other deficiency that has these symptoms.

What you want to do is consistently add fertilizers especially iron. While most other fertilizers last a long time in the water or are added with fish food, iron degrades quickly with in 1-3 days depending on how it is chemically bound & stored. This means that you need to add a source of iron 2-3 times a week or the plants will run out, become deficient and die.

Use the fertilizer calculator http://yanc.rotalabutterfly.com/ to figure out how much iron you are adding with your brand of fertilizer.

You will want to add about 0.1 mg/L iron (0.1 ppm) three times a week for a total of 0.3 ppm per week.
 

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Yes it seems to be iron deficiency, recently I faced the same problem . Start dosing with suitable form of iron. Good luck.
 
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