Plants lacking nutrients in new cycling tank, or transplant shock?
I have the following plants:
Anacharis (Egeria Densa), Bacopa (Bacopa caroliniana), Wisteria (Hygrophila difformis), Anubis Nana, Cryptocoryne Wendtii, Vallisneria Corkscrew and Baby Tears (Hemianthus micranthemoides) and Staurogyne Repens
My substrate consists of 25lbs of mineralized top soil, 30 pounds of sand and enough Carbisea Floramax to make a 1" cap
Filter is an Aqueon 55/75 with the plastic holey (biotrap) removed to limit surface agitation, mild rippling of waters surface, very little bubbles 400gph HOB, and my lighting is an Aqueon dual T5HO with a 6500k and a colormax light..
I'm not sure if my plants are just going through transplant shock, or something worse... Although most all have new green tops, the wisteria is sending out tendrils all over the place, the anubis nana has new growth, and the repens have dbled in size since this Sunday..
What I'm concerned about is the Anacharis, Bacopa and Baby Tears all have lost color up to the middle of the stems, and the leaves on the bacopa and anachris have started to turn clear/red and seem to be melting around the same levels, but all have bright green tops...
Is this normal transplant shock, how should I proceed? should I let them go and wait it out, trim off all the bad leaves, and leave bare stem with the new green on top?
I'm at a loss...
Thanks for your help..
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Several observations here (I saw your previous thread BTW).
First, yes, aquatic plants frequently go through a "shock" when moved to a different environment. This can vary from species to species.
Second, stem plants are fast growing and thus require more light and nutrients than slower-growing plants. If light is insufficient, the leaves on the lower part of the stems frequently yellow and die, while the tips may thrive as they are closer to the light and it is natural for plants to grow towards the light. Sometimes one can remedy this, sometimes not.
Not all plants can exist together, especially in low-tech or natural systems. To explain this, high-tech is what we term a planted tank that has brighter light, added CO2 diffusion, and high nutrient dosing (often daily). By contrast, low-tech is a tank where the light is moderate, CO2 is not added, and nutrient fertilization is much less, perhaps weekly or not at all. As soon as one mixes plants with different requirements in terms of light and nutrients, some will be OK and some not.
In the named plants, Anubias and Cryptocoryne are low-light requiring, while Wisteria and the other stem plants are exactly opposite. Anacharis (Egeria densa, scientifically) prefers much cooler water (it works well in goldfish tanks, except they will eat it) so if I were you, I would forget trying this one as it is not likely to manage; it rarely survives tropical temperatures for long.
Your light is probably on the bright side, being T5 (presumably HO tubes?). This is a 55g tank, so 4-feet in length. Are the two tubes 4-foot?
Enriched substrate is fine, but not the whole story. Liquid fertilizer is a must, as some nutrients are only taken up via the leaves, others via leaves and roots, and the nutrients in the substrate only benefit the roots in the substrate. I use Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium, there is also FlorinMulti by Brightwell Aquatics.
Back to the stem plants and yellowing lower leaves. As these stems grow, it is necessary to trim them by pulling them up, cutting off the upper portion, and replanting the cut ends. The lower portions are discarded. Depending upon how fast the plants grow, this may be needed each week during the water change, or bi-weekly, or whatever.
Hope this helps to get things started. Feel free to question.
Ok, thank you very much for your help.. Yea, both bulbs are 4 footers and yes HO. I know the repens, the anubis, and the corkscrews are doing fantastic, what types of plants would you suggest for helping with the back ground and foreground in this set up. I thought I did good research and seeing that I'm off the mark a tad with some of them... the Wisteria also has tons of new growth and runners everywhere already...
First thing, that is a lot of light intensity over this tank. You really must get some liquid fertilizer or you are going to end up with algae everywhere. And related to this, what is the photoperiod daily (duration lights are on)? This is part of the equation too, though it cannot make up for the intensity.
Originally Posted by JoeGnall
To plants, some of those you have will be good background. Wisteria for example, and with your light this should be no problem; I can't maintain this in my tanks as my light is (deliberately) less. But you will need liquid fertilizer, and twice a week.
For foreground, I like the pygmy chain sword (Helanthium tenellum, sometimes still seen under the former name Echinodorus tenellus). You might have success with the microsword, Lilaeopsis brasiliensis, which is much smaller. I have this in my 70g but barely managing.
Ok, my photo period is currently right now 5ish hours before I leave for work, and then 2 when I get gome.. I have a timer that came in today, that I will set up for 3 or 4 till 10 or 11 this way it gets a good solid block, and I can still enjoy it after work, this way, not throwing off the plants with periods of long on, and short on etc etc..
What liquid fert would you recommend, I've been doing research on it, not knowing if I would need it at one point, Seachem Flourish root tabs every 2 months, and Flourish complete for the liquid..
I'm actually enjoying all this learning and making mistakes and searching can only bring up so much help especially when not sure what I should be asking or how it should be phrased..
Thank you so much for your time and help
Yeah I just noticed balance must be off, started getting a onset of a bloom. Lights out for tonight and tomorrow, and going first thing the LFS is open and getting the fert.
And on the photo period, it's ok to have it on for a few hours in the morning with my coffee and what not, and off for the 6-8 hours while I'm at work, and then on for a few more hours when I'm home before bed. I work a really messed up schedule, I work 2-8 mon thru fri and 8-6 on saturday. once I have fish in there, I really don't want to go screwing up their systems too much...
Thanks again Byron for your time and help.. I have to say, I'm quiet happy of myself to have made it this far without any real mishaps. Everyone that comes over or sees pictures of it think it's great.. Can't wait until it's all established, and getting the right stuff it needs, and has the fish in it.. I think I did a good job, and just need the few little areas of help, searching and reading sometimes just does not provide.
This is what is called the "siesta" method, of lights on for a few hours, then off for a few, then on again for a few. The idea behind it is to prevent/control algae by breaking the light period into two. This is not because of the light intself, but because of natural CO2. CO2 is produced in the aquarium but can become exhausted faster than other nutrients, and plants need CO2 (carbon) to photosynthesize. The period of lights off in between is intended to allow the CO2 to rebuild. In natural or low-tech method planted tanks where CO2 is not being added by diffusion, this is said to benefit.
Originally Posted by JoeGnall
The problem for me is what this does to the fish. I researched the subject of how light affects fish and wrote an article, and to make this clear I will excerpt from my article, beginning with a description of how fish eyes work as this is crucial to understanding how light affects them.
Fish are affected by light in many ways. There are several well-documented studies on spawning in some species being triggered by changes in the day/night cycle, and the hatching of eggs and the growth rate of fry can be impacted significantly depending upon the presence and intensity of light. The health of fish is closely connected to the intensity of the overhead light, various types of light, and sudden changes from dark to light or light to dark. To understand this, we must know something about the fish’s physiology. The primary receptor of light is the eye, but other body cells are also sensitive to light.
Fish eyes are not much different from those of other vertebrates including humans. Our eyes share a cornea, an iris, a lens, a pupil, and a retina. The latter contains rods which allow us to see in dim light and cones which perceive colours; while mammals (like us) have two types of cones, fish have three—one for each of the colours red, green and blue. These connect to nerve cells which transmit images to the brain, and the optic lobe is the largest part of the fish’s brain.
These cells are very delicate; humans have pupils that expand or contract to alter the amount of light entering the eye and eyelids, both of which help to prevent damage occurring due to bright light. Fish (with very few exceptions such as some shark species) do not have eyelids, and in most species their pupils are fixed and cannot alter. In bright light, the rods retract into the retina and the cones approach the surface; in dim light the opposite occurs. But unlike our pupils that change very quickly, this process in fish takes time. Scientific studies on salmon have shown that it takes half an hour for the eye to adjust to bright light, and an hour to adjust to dim light. This is why the aquarist should wait at least 30 minutes after the tank lights come on before feeding or performing a water change or other tank maintenance; this allows the fish to adjust to the light difference.
The Day/Night Cycle Most animals have an internal body clock, called a circadian rhythm, which is modified by the light/dark cycle every 24 hours. This is the explanation for jet-lag in humans when time zones are crossed—our circadian rhythm is unbalanced and has to reset itself, which it does according to periods of light and dark. Our eyes play a primary role in this, but many of our body cells have some reaction to light levels. In fish this light sensitivity in their cells is very high.
Previously I mentioned that the rods and cones in the eye shift according to the changes in light. This process is also anticipated according to the time of day; the fish “expects” dawn and dusk, and the eyes will automatically begin to adjust accordingly. This is due to the circadian rhythm.
This is one reason why during each 24 hours a regular period of light/dark—ensuring there are several hours of complete darkness—is essential for the fish. In the tropics, day and night is equal for all 365 days a year, with approximately ten to twelve hours each of daylight and complete darkness, separated by fairly brief periods of dawn or dusk. The period of daylight produced by direct tank lighting can be shorter; and the period of total darkness can be somewhat shorter or longer—but there must be several hours of complete darkness in the aquarium. The dusk and dawn periods will appear to be stretched out, but that causes no problems for the fish. It is the bright overhead light that is the concern, along with having a suitable period of total darkness.
The above is why I do not recommend the "siesta" method. Back when I was working and had to leave the house before daylight, I had the tank lights timed to come on mid-day and remain on until 9 or 10 pm. This meant that when I came home around 6 pm, I had several hours to feed the fish and observe them, and the fish and plants had a "normal" day/night.