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My plants just aren't thriving


Phil B.

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GH booster. It's a pretty standard fertiliser amongst EI folks. Most just dose it once a week.

Green Leaf Aquariums should sell it if you're in the US, and for Australia, I get mine from Dave at Aqua Green.

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GH booster. It's a pretty standard fertiliser amongst EI folks. Most just dose it once a week.

Green Leaf Aquariums should sell it if you're in the US, and for Australia, I get mine from Dave at Aqua Green.

:teehee looked at AQUAGREEN...dinosaur pee, dinosaur dung :yikes

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GH booster. It's a pretty standard fertiliser amongst EI folks. Most just dose it once a week.

Green Leaf Aquariums should sell it if you're in the US, and for Australia, I get mine from Dave at Aqua Green.

:teehee looked at AQUAGREEN...dinosaur pee, dinosaur dung :yikes

Yeah, quite the original name, isn't it. :rofl

Dave and his wife Robyn are wonderful to deal with, they'll go above and beyond if you have any questions or problems with orders. :)

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Things seem to be looking up. I removed the PhosGuard, adding the various fertilizers, and been gradually wiping the inner walls with a washcloth to remove the algae build up. Still no additional plant growth, but I'm starting to see more green than black.

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Hi Phil.

 

Keep updating. I've been following along.  I have had diatom issues with all my tanks too.  Worst in my 75 with the sand substrate.  So many anubias leaves lost to my aggressive scrubbing.  :thumbdown  :madrant   :mad: I keep wanting to trash them but they've grown so many roots I'm not quite ready to give up.  I wonder if the silica sand makes it worse.  I use a product in my pond that is supposed to promote diatoms to reduce floating/cellular and string algae by supplying silica.  Just a thought.  I hope it gets better for you...  I would really like to try a planted tank but the thought of dealing with all the diatoms totally turns me off.

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Lightly brushing with a toothbrush is working on my diatoms on leaves, so far; I had a few stubborn black spots on a couple of the anubias leaves that get more light, & last water change I poured 5 ml of Excel directly on each leaf while refilling the tank (the leaves were exposed to air at the time), & a week later, the leaves are perfect & green, no spots.

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Lightly brushing with a toothbrush is working on my diatoms on leaves, so far; I had a few stubborn black spots on a couple of the anubias leaves that get more light, & last water change I poured 5 ml of Excel directly on each leaf while refilling the tank (the leaves were exposed to air at the time), & a week later, the leaves are perfect & green, no spots.

What does the Excel do for diatoms?
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I'm not sure if it does much for the diatoms (I'd already brushed the leaves), but there's some sort of shiny black spots that the anubias was getting along with diatoms - only the leaves with more light, so maybe some kind of algae? Wouldn't come off with toothbrush, I thought maybe the leaf was sick/deficient. The Excel got rid of it, & only healthy leaf, even under where spots were. I'd asked about the spots at Aquatic Warehouse, & they suggested an Excel dip, but I figured pouring a bit on straight might do the trick, & it did. 

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The diatoms continue to die off on the ribbon leaved java, though I'm still getting a brown film on the other plants. Rubbing it off seems to be keeping it under control, and I'm still rubbing the sides and back with a wash cloth when I can. Otherwise no real change.

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I've been fertilizing for about a month, and while the diatoms have died back somewhat, my plants still all look kind of pale and sickly and I'm feeling discouraged. The only pants that really seem to be doing well are the Pothos and the two moss balls.

 

 

 

I wonder if they're still missing some important supplement I haven't tried. :(

Edited by Phil B.
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I don't know if it helps any, but I've been getting a lot of lose, floating leaves in my tank. And after inspecting my Windelov java, I noticed there were a fair number of leaves that had simply died at the stem.  

Also wondering if  the pale color might be because they're getting too much light?

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Edited by Phil B.
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That's troubling. Those leaves don't look good at all.

No, too much light won't cause that on its own, it's a bit more complex. Light drives co2 and nutrient uptake, so having too much light means the plant needs more of the latter two. Either way, your lights aren't crazy powerful, it shouldn't be an issue. It's not like a terrestrial plant that might get burnt from too much light.

1. Could you please remind me what ferts you have and when/how much you dose them?

2. What does the rhizome on the ferns feel like? It should be a bit woody and not soft.

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Sure. I've been using Flourish, Flourish Excel, and Flourish Iron for about the past month. About a capful of each every other day.

 

The rhizome is still fairly small. It's firm. A bit like a plant stem in the you can dig into it with a slight crunchy feeling if your press it with the edge of a fingernail.

 

 

Also if it helps any, Nitrates are at around 15-20 ppm, and phosphates are non existant. Perhaps I'm keeping my water too clean? :)

Edited by Phil B.
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Sure. I've been using Flourish, Flourish Excel, and Flourish Iron for about the past month. About a capful of each every other day.

The rhizome is still fairly small. It's firm. A bit like a plant stem in the you can dig into it with a slight crunchy feeling if your press it with the edge of a fingernail.

Also if it helps any, Nitrates are at around 15-20 ppm, and phosphates are non existant. Perhaps I'm keeping my water too clean? :)

Well this gets more frustrating. :rofl

The fact the rhizome is good means the plant is still healthy. Even though it might be losing leaves, provided the rhizome is good, it always has the possibility to bounce back. Is there new growth on anything, even the anubias?

If it were me, I'd try dosing the Flourish Excel every day, and the Flourish/Iron every second day. If there's no improvement (even minor) in say 2 weeks, I've got another idea up my sleeve. Dosing fertilisers is easy, so it's far easier to rule out a nutrient deficiency than a co2 one. Unlike a terrestrial plant, aquatic plants are limited to the amount of co2 they have access to in the water. For that reason I'd be interested to see what happens if we increase the amount of carbon (the Excel) to daily, plus keep to the regular ferts dosing. The limitation of phosphates could also be adding to your problems too. Leaves falling off at the base is typical of a phosphate deficiency.

The other idea, would be to spend about $20 and get an EI dry salts kit from Green Leaf Aquariums. You'll cover all of the nutrients a plant needs that way, but there are a few reasons to hold off. Firstly, there's no guarantee there will be any change and I'd hate for you to waste your money (although you could just use them on house plants like I also do) that could be better spent on things you need. But secondly, so many people (myself included) have low tech tanks that go neglected (besides water changes) and things thrive. It makes me question why, in this case, your plants aren't doing the same with fertilisation.

I do apologise too if this all a bit speculative and over the place. As I've found from personal experience, sorting deficiencies out isn't as straightforward as those diagrams you find on the internet make out. It might seem like you have one deficiency, only to correct it and find it out it was something else, so it takes a bit of trial error.

Edited by dan in aus
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No obvious growth that I've noticed. There are barely even any roots. Although the one of the java's is putting out a few plantlets. And the Pothos cutting is putting out a leaf. :)

Thanks for the advice. Unfortunately I used the last of my Excel today and just ordered a larger bottle online. So it'll be a few days.

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Hun what is your  KH and GH hun?

 

I was having some of your problems too lately, I found my mollies hated the Iron stuff and had to stop using it.

 

But on a fix for another problem I found my plants really like this... Wonder shells, I know guys, they might be better what for it but I find them easy to use. Just plop them in and let the dissolve... My plants are happier and so are my fish..

 

SO I just wondered if you have a low KH and GH like mine and your plants are using it all up, if so that could be why your one fish isnt happy either. :o

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I don't have any way of testing my GH or KH right now.  But after reading your suggestion I popped on Amazon and order an API test kit.

 

Whats aggravating about all this is that about ten years ago when I lived a mile or two from here and kept tropicals, the java fern I started from a cutting I brought with me from across the country practically took over my tank.

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I don't have any way of testing my GH or KH right now.  But after reading your suggestion I popped on Amazon and order an API test kit.

 

Whats aggravating about all this is that about ten years ago when I lived a mile or two from here and kept tropicals, the java fern I started from a cutting I brought with me from across the country practically took over my tank.

 

Yeah but I bet the water has changed since then. :(

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Id definitely be testing the Gh as calcium and other minerals help with plant structure...I dont know that much about aquatic plants but if that was a terrestrial plant I would be looking into maybe a viral issue...but who knows, start with the basics as Dan said it can be a bit of trial and error to get things right unfortunately... and really if it were viral you would just trim all the effected leaves off and dispose of them :idont

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