My tanks are where plants go to die

Questions about plants, their care, diseases and other problems.
Dommo
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:01 am
Location: Swindon

My tanks are where plants go to die

Postby Dommo » Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:22 pm

Hi,

I need someone to look at my symptoms/situation and tell this numpty what he's doing wrong and how to stop killing plants. I've got two tanks, and one of them I think I understand what the issue is.

The first, is a 90L tank, well established but sans-plants for a while. I reintroduced plants with a piece of bogwood from the local Maidenhead Aquatics the other week. This had a java fern and I think java moss on it. This seems to be resisting me and only dying slowly. A couple of days ago, I set up a dedicated planted nano tank (more on that later) and put a left over bunch of Elodea Densa into this main tank. Planted in gravel, it's turning yellow from the bottom upwards. I think I understand this one and there's a lack of nutrients in the soil. Possibly not enough CO2.

The light on this tank is an Interpet LED effort, "LED Bright White Double Lighting System - 36cm". 18 LEDs at 0.2w each. This was to replace the fluorescent lighting that came with the tank and failed recently. It's on for 10 hours per day.

What really baffles me though is how I'm managing to kill plants in my special planted tank :shock:
It's a Fluval Spec 19L, so desktop sized.
https://www.fishkeeper.co.uk/product/fluval-spec-aquarium-19-litre

The substrate is JBL ProScape PlantSoil (brown if anyone cares). Purchased from Maidenhead again but linked here as it's not on their website. https://charterhouse-aquatics.com/shop/aquatics/decoration/jbl-proscape-1/jbl-proscape-plantsoil-brown-3l. Same stuff, just cheaper.

Plants as follows (left in rockwool to stop them floating away for now):
  • Alternanthera reineckii (var. lilacina)
  • Micranthemum umbrosum
And three I can't identify. I don't profess to be an expert, clearly, so I just picked plants as advised by the shop keeper.

This tank is unheated.

Being in the 'soil', I would expect nutrients to be a problem. I'm not convinced the light is the brightest on this tank, but it's also on for around 10 hours a day (manual as opposed to automatic for the other tank).

CO2 in both tanks is from liquid - Colombo Liquid CO2 Fertiliser.
Feed is from JBL Ferropol. Weekly after water change.

I think I need to find a way of getting some decent nutrients into the main tank, but am truly baffled with the failure of the nano tank. Clearly something is missing, but I'm no clue where to start on that one!

Cheers,

Dom

daz4321
Posts: 4710
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2008 9:35 pm

Re: My tanks are where plants go to die

Postby daz4321 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:37 pm

firstly jbl ferropol quote from their own site "No phosphates and nitrates. "

plants need micro nutrients (iron, copper, etc etc) you have macro nutrients (potassium, phosphate, nitrate (commonly called NPK)) a carbon source (co2 or to a lesser extent 'liquid carbon' (which isn't really, it is glutaraldehyde) and light.

you are giving your plants micro, carbon and light....macro are missing in your regime, this is more important as you are adding a carbon source in addition to co2 in the water naturally.

I would suggest a good read of a specialist planted tank forum, https://www.ukaps.org/forum/ is as good a place as any to start your learning curve :)

Dommo
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:01 am
Location: Swindon

Re: My tanks are where plants go to die

Postby Dommo » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:37 pm

Thanks, that's just what I needed. A bit heavy to start off with but I've found the more basic questions being answered on that forum and am going from there. There's definitely a wealth of info there, though with my surname I probably shouldn't be ordering too much fertilizer compounds like they do...

I've ordered some all in one fertilizer to start of with, then will read about the transition from low tech to high tech with interest.

Dommo
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:01 am
Location: Swindon

Re: My tanks are where plants go to die

Postby Dommo » Wed Oct 18, 2017 2:41 pm

Update: sourced a brighter (significantly brighter) light for the nano tank and the plants have now given up dying and trying to live again. They were pearling last night and the red-leafed ones are sprouting roots from the junctions. No ideas on technical terms or what that means, but it's not dying so we're getting somewhere.

I was hoping the all in one plant food (Neutro T) would arrive for the large tank today but hasn't yet. Hopefully that will arrive tomorrow.

Still much more to learn, but at least going in the right direction now!

daz4321
Posts: 4710
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2008 9:35 pm

Re: My tanks are where plants go to die

Postby daz4321 » Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:43 pm

hope you mean neutro + quote from sales blurb important part underlined

"Neutro T is a liquid aquarium plant fertiliser which provides all the necessary trace elements including iron for your low tech planted aquarium. Low tech means aquariums which are not using pressurised CO2. The ingredients in Neutro T are special. They work quickly and effectively when dosed as recommended. Your plants will show the benefits of this product and reward you in no time.

Dosage: This product needs to be dosed daily so that your plants have a steady stream of nutrients. There's little point in dumping a weeks worth of fertilisers in one go. Simply add 5ml per 100L every day. It doesn't matter what time of the day you dose, as long as it's every 24 hours.

If you are using CO2, then you need to dose Neutro+ which contains trace elements and macro nutrients (it's an all in one solution). So Neutro T for low tech planted aquariums and Neutro+ for high tech planted aquariums.

However regardless of what type of planted aquarium you have, we recommend using Neutro CO2 which is a liquid carbon supplement (see related products for more information)."

you may be not adding co2 as such but you are providing extra carbon (effectively the same as adding co2 just not quite as good)

Dommo
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:01 am
Location: Swindon

Re: My tanks are where plants go to die

Postby Dommo » Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:01 pm

It was the underlined bit that pointed me towards Neutro T as I wasn't using CO2. So I guess I'll still be lacking in Potassium and Phosphate, with the fish cycle proving Nitrate?

daz4321
Posts: 4710
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2008 9:35 pm

Re: My tanks are where plants go to die

Postby daz4321 » Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:42 pm

the fish rarely provide enough nitrate in a high light and high carbon environment in a true planted aquarium situation.

the more light you provide the more you need of everything else.


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