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Plants in your pictures look fine. I don't see plants with mushy, decomposing roots floating to the surface.

I would just relax and let nature take its course. Give the plants time to establish themselves before you draw hasty conclusions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Tank seems ok. Plants have some bubbles from time to time. I've been doing light 7am-12pm on, then off 12-2pm, then on 2-7pm. Blue light at night. I see some white fuzzy thing around some plants? Is that white algae?


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I can’t speak to exactly what the white fuzzy is, but I’ve experienced it a few times just after starting a tank.

For me, it has disappeared after a few days as the tank continues to establish.

One note, (someone may have to speak more on this for me) if the rocks are sitting directly on top of the soil and gravel, it can create problems with the soil below. Unless they are sitting on the glass and the dirt was added around them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Rocks are sitting on top of gravel. Also ammonia is 0.5ppm or 1ppm, and surface has some gunk/biofilm. Tried removing part of it but still...added salvinia natans

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Large rocks sitting on top of gravel will smother soil bacteria and create severely anaerobic conditions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
I'll share a few pictures to see your opinion on growth. I just took 1 small luwidgia red since it turned dark and started dying. Will be taking rocks out today. I sadly did not set them on glass level. Also, I see bubbles coming out from plants so that's a good sign I guess? And soil has a few small bubbles from what I can see...supposedly also normal.

Day 1


Day 4


Day 5


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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
Ammonia - 0-0.5ppm
Nitrate - 20ppm
Nitrite - 0.5-1.0ppm
pH - 8.2-8.4
KH - 300ppm
GH - 150-300ppm

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Good effort but all that hard work is going in the wrong direction. I don't see any strong rooted "rosette" plants. No Val, Sag, Echinodorus or Aponogeton.

I see a lot of stem plants. They need free CO2 and with a pH that high (over 8.2) they're not going to get much. I would remove the seashells. They're only increasing the water hardness, pH and KH. I know we've talked a lot about increasing water hardness, but this is "over the top" and that high pH is particularly unsuitable for stem plants.

Now, Vallisneria, Echinodorus would thrive with the hard water, because they can use bicarbonates. Please read my book chapter (VI) on Carbon. Also, these strong rooted plants will dig into the substrate and create the truly robust growth that this tanks needs.

Wish I could be more encouraging.
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
Thank you for your help. I had cryptocorines and anubias. Both died on the dry start. I will try to get some more tomorrow.

I don't know why the pH is so high when filtered water isn't 8.2. It's closer to 7. Hardness yes, my water is very hard after the 3 step process. Any way I could lower it?

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Both Cryptocorynes and Anubias are slow growers so that doesn't address the problem.

Changing the water and removing the sea shells, which leach CaCO3 into the water, will help.

I've given you recommendations. I think you need to read up on plant species, water hardness, etc and think about what you are doing. It doesn't sound like you've read my book.
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
Both Cryptocorynes and Anubias are slow growers so that doesn't address the problem.

Changing the water and removing the sea shells, which leach CaCO3 into the water, will help.

I've given you recommendations. I think you need to read up on plant species, water hardness, etc and think about what you are doing. It doesn't sound like you've read my book.
I've read your book, and reviewed the chapter you mentioned. The problem is the access to the plants I need. Both cryptocorines and Anubias died on the dried start, a mistake on my end. The water hardness and pH both became higher than expected when I set up the tank.

I've contacted a supplier that will be sending me vallisneria, anubias and cryptocorines today. According to your book Ceratophyllum demersum is a bicarbonate user but I couldn't find it in my country (I know this wouldn't fix the issue of having more root plants since it is a stem/floating plant). The one they said it was "Hornwort" it ended up being a different plant. I had to buy and import it from the US, and will receive it this week. I also bought and added salvinia natans as floating plants, and will be importing giant duckweed next week.

I have a dwarf lobelia cardinalis, which I believe is a root plant but I'm not sure if it's a bicarbonate user or not.

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My apologies for coming down on you. Sounds like you're doing the best you can.

I'm pleased to hear that you're getting some Val.
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
My apologies for coming down on you. Sounds like you're doing the best you can.

I'm pleased to hear that you're getting some Val.
Honestly, I'm just happy you take time to reply to many of us rookies. I was excited to read your book, and I've been planning these 2 tanks for months. But getting everything took so long, and even when I was able to find what I needed, I still made mistakes. Finding local suppliers is hard. But after your last few posts I asked some more and found a man in a small town 1 hour away from here who supplies others.

Called him today, he is bringing me cryptocorine, vallisneria, dwarf anubias, Bacopa Caroliniana (only guy who has it here) and dwarf saggs. Hopefully this will help my tank. Took out stones and shells and did a 20% water change with RO water.

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Called him today, he is bringing me cryptocorine, vallisneria, dwarf anubias, Bacopa Caroliniana (only guy who has it here) and dwarf saggs.
Between vall and dwarf sagg (and eventually crypts once they get established), you should get some good rapid root growth. Both of those seem to grow very quickly, and are fun to watch spread around the tank. Glad you could find a supplier with these! I think I take for granted how easy it is for me to get supplies...
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
Between vall and dwarf sagg (and eventually crypts once they get established), you should get some good rapid root growth. Both of those seem to grow very quickly, and are fun to watch spread around the tank. Glad you could find a supplier with these! I think I take for granted how easy it is for me to get supplies...
Yeah. It's so much easier in the US. I lived in NC and would've probably gotten stuff a lot easier there. But here, we need to import many things. Thankfully, some locals love the hobby and started planting and selling their own. Getting fish is a bit easier but shrimps? Like 3-4 times a year they import. Only 1 guy is actually breeding TONS of them 2 hours away from the city.

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
Got 3 vallisneria, 2 cryptocorines, like 4 small dwarf saggs, and 1 dwarf Anubia.



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Pull the anubia roots out of the substrate and move it to a part of the tank you expect to be shaded by other plants, for example near the vallisneria. You may attach it to a small rock and leave the roots above the substrate, the plant will send some roots into the substrate eventually, but if you try to force it they tend to rot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
Thank you guys. Will do.

Parameters are:
Ammonia - 0.5ppm
Nitrate - less than 20ppm
Nitrite - 0.5-1.0ppm
GH - 150-300ppm
KH - around 180ppm
pH seems to have lowered from 8.4 to 8.0 or so. I need to retest this with 2 other kits I have.

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