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View Full Version : Afraid my plants are going to die, what to do?



K_8Xpath
10-24-2012, 12:58 AM
I really want to add more plants, but I may have set the current up to fail. I have one amazon sword, one anubias nana and a lucky bamboo which is half submerged. All I have is a general flourescent 15w T8, and my substrate is river rock from Petco.

I added Aqueon plant food and it says it doesn't contain phosphates or nitrate

Should I add Seachem flourite or something under my gravel while the tank is still cycling? And if I need a better bulb, what type of single bulb would be sufficient for a few swords and such?

Cermet
10-24-2012, 11:24 AM
In a new tank there are two main reasons, I would think, that the plants will die. First off, not enough light - either too low, not the correct color and rarily, not long enough duration.

Your intenisty seems rather low for those types of plants unless the tank is 5 gal or less - nutrients are not a big issue the first few weeks. So if your plants are dying, that would not be the cause but rather your lighting.


The other possible reason is high nitrites (only if you are well into the cycle.) During the mid part of cycling nitrites can rise and that, besides being toxic to fish, can also kill/damge plants. Simple to test for this issue - just do daily measurements and do water changes as needed.

Not clear if your plants are dying by the phasing of your question. If not, I'd wait on ferts while cycling and just watch the water parameters. After cycling, than with the proper test kits (nitrates, phosphates, Iron) add ferts as needed.

If the plants are not dying/turning yellow and you are just wondering if you can just add more plants - well, of course you can as long as light intensity/color are correct/enough and you do add ferts AFTER cycling is finished. As long as the fish have enough room, more plants are safe and even desirable.

mrramsey
10-24-2012, 12:00 PM
I really want to add more plants, but I may have set the current up to fail. I have one amazon sword, one anubias nana and a lucky bamboo which is half submerged. All I have is a general flourescent 15w T8, and my substrate is river rock from Petco.

I added Aqueon plant food and it says it doesn't contain phosphates or nitrate

Should I add Seachem flourite or something under my gravel while the tank is still cycling? And if I need a better bulb, what type of single bulb would be sufficient for a few swords and such?

Really not enough light in my opinion. I did the same exact thing in my 55g from petco when I set it up. I do still have one sword and one anubia on a rock that have survived but they are sickly looking things at best. I am currently redoing my tank and have purchased a light from drsfosterandsmith.com - http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3578+3733+13822+23753&pcatid=23753

K_8Xpath
10-24-2012, 06:51 PM
Thank you

I have a brand new hood already, so if someone could describe the best type of bulb and features to look for I can start looking around for a good one though.

K_8Xpath
10-24-2012, 08:05 PM
Not clear if your plants are dying by the phasing of your question.

I was basically just making sure they wouldn't die because I only have basic supplies for them. I will upgrade my light though when I get some suggestions that will work for the fixture I have. The sword looks a bit rough, but the anubias looks perfect.

dmagerl
10-24-2012, 10:06 PM
Swords dont do well with water column dosing and really require root tabs for healthy growth.

Also, that Aqueon fert contains no major nutrients. If your tank is in the early stages of cycling, there may not be enough N,P,K in the water to support plant growth.

Northerly
10-24-2012, 10:37 PM
We're gonna need to know what size you tank is...

K_8Xpath
10-24-2012, 11:02 PM
My bad, it's 20g H and also it is on the 6th day of cycling. I can take water parameters if need be.

Should I go get root tabs tonight then and discontinue using liquid? Kinda sucks, dude at the fish store said that the extra phosphate and nitrates would usually just feed algae, so I got the Aqueon since it lacked those ingredients.

dmagerl
10-24-2012, 11:23 PM
In general, for low light tanks, the LFS guy was probably right. A mature tank generates nitrate and phosphate. But a non cycled tank does not have the bacteria yet to make nitrate so you are going to have to provide that.

Since you have gravel substrate, I'd go with a slow release tab like Flourish Tabs, even though they're rather light on the major nutrients too, at least its down by the roots. Unless you can find a more complete slow release tab.

If your Anubias is not rooted in the gravel, you should continue with the water column dosing.

Northerly
10-25-2012, 01:38 AM
I personally would recommend adding one of these to your current lighting.

http://www.amazon.com/Coralife-Replacement-inch-Watt-Fluorescent/dp/B006X63D40/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF8&qid=1351128598&sr=8-15&keywords=20+inch+aquarium+bulb+t5

There are some low profile light fixtures out there that dont take up much room at all, or you could find a dual fixture for the bulbs.

http://www.amazon.com/Zilla-11755-20-Inch-Profile-Tropical/dp/B000QFMUUW/ref=sr_1_14?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1351128927&sr=1-14&keywords=20+inch+t5+bulb

Can't really comment on the ferts.

K_8Xpath
10-25-2012, 01:56 AM
I thought that the T5 bulbs wouldn't fit in the regular hoods that come with the T8's?

Northerly
10-25-2012, 02:03 AM
Yeah as far as i know they won't, that's why the second fixture would be necessary.

K_8Xpath
10-25-2012, 06:06 PM
I found three Zoo Med bulbs for plants "Flora Sun 5000k" "Ultra Sun 6500k" and "Tropic Sun 5500k"

Is only having one of these insufficient?

Goes to 11!
10-25-2012, 06:18 PM
The 6500K is the best spectrum for plants but the wattage is relevant here, What is it?

K_8Xpath
10-25-2012, 06:20 PM
15w

guess that is only the same as what I have now :/ which is not even 1 wpg. Think I give up. Soon as my old tank and stand sell on CL I'll just buy the T5 fixture.

Goes to 11!
10-25-2012, 06:22 PM
Exactly, Which is no improvement.

Looks like you need a new fixture to me.
:22:

K_8Xpath
10-25-2012, 06:29 PM
I'll try to clean that new hood up real nice, find the receipt and return it. Will say it didn't fit or some BS like that.

Wish me luck with that plan! ; )

Northerly
10-25-2012, 06:57 PM
lol good luck, but I think if you just told them you needed a dual fixture they'd take it as used and give you store credit towards a secondary dual fixture. That is assuming that you go to a locally owned lfs, I doubt a chain store would be as accepting.

K_8Xpath
10-25-2012, 09:33 PM
lol good luck, but I think if you just told them you needed a dual fixture they'd take it as used and give you store credit towards a secondary dual fixture. That is assuming that you go to a locally owned lfs, I doubt a chain store would be as accepting.

Oooh, good idea! However; I just went out and bought the T5 dual lamp fixture, which was not actually a full hood, so was only $60. Not complaining.

First, I went to a new Pet store, and the lady said she had luck with an 18,000K Power-GLO bulb for T8 fixtures so I bought it. Still went to Petsmart, though, and found the dual T5. So will exchange the PowerGlo for a bulb to replace the "colormax" bulb the T5 came with.

Thanks for helping me out, really appreciate it! And I did buy Flourish tabs as well.

Cermet
10-25-2012, 10:44 PM
Again, you are cycling so focus on that. Putting in tabs is fine but liquid ferts are not really an issue since cycling takes less than six weeks and the plants, if they get enough light, will be fine. Trace nutrients are needed but hardily very often. Also, without test kits, adding to many too often will create algae. I assume you are doing a fishless cycle so keep your ammonia levels around 1 - 2 ppm.

I'm no expert but 18000 K temp bulb sounds like one for a coral reef tank. Plants need/prefer towards red (4000-4500 and a good general value is 6500 K)

K_8Xpath
10-25-2012, 10:49 PM
Also I just did water tests as it's the 7th day of my cycle.

AM - 0.25
NitrITE - 5
NitrATE - 5

Seems like it's coming along pretty quick.

K_8Xpath
10-25-2012, 10:54 PM
Again, you are cycling so focus on that. Putting in tabs is fine but liquid ferts are not really an issue since cycling takes less than six weeks and the plants, if they get enough light, will be fine. Trace nutrients are needed but hardily very often. Also, without test kits, adding to many too often will create algae. I assume you are doing a fishless cycle so keep your ammonia levels around 1 - 2 ppm.

I'm no expert but 18000 K temp bulb sounds like one for a coral reef tank. Plants need/prefer towards red (6000-7000 K?)

Thank you. I only put in two of the tabs, on opposites sides of the tank, I'll watch it. So far I don't see any algae on day 7 of cycle. There was a little slime on my heaters suction cups when I moved it, but that's about it. And not sure about the Power GLO - it says FW, SW, planted, Corals, and invert, but returning it anyway : )