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Small Plant Tank With No Fish; How To Care For It?


Guest Moose

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I'm not sure if this is the right place, but...

So, I've had this little 2.5 gal Minibow for a bit now, atleast 2 months with no fish, just plants. I add in some flake food every so often to give them the ammonia. But a couple days ago, the plants weren't looking too good. And now...they are just sort of limp and transparent. So I have a few questions here..

1. Will they come back from the limp, transparent state they are in now?

2. How much and how often should I add in the food?

3. Do I need to do water changes and such on this? How often, how much?

4. Anything else I should keep in mind?

It is heated with the right sort of lighting. The plants are 3 apongetons, 2 onion (I assume, they reek of onion), and this little thing, that I think is some sort of apongeton. They came in a bubl pack so I'm not really sure.

Thanks for reading. (:

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  • Regular Member

Well....the water's probably stale. You still need to be doing water changes, ammonia is just as bad for plants as it is for fish (hence why people use tiger pee to kill weeds) You don't need to be doing them as often as if it had fish in it, like 25-50% a week, but missing a week probably won't hurt.

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I woudl start doing daily or every other day water changes. And I would not "feed" the tank for a few days. Do you have a filter for the tank? What is the temp? Most plant prefer warm water just like the fish do. What is the substrate?

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I'll probably do a full clean tonight...

There is a small filter, but I doubt it does much. My thermometers all say different things, so I'm not really sure what the temp is. It's maybe high 70s, low 80s? There isn't any special substrate or anything. I never expected them to grow so it;s pretty much just plants...

Alos, is it ok to take off the brown leaves? At what point will they not come back?

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I agree, it's probably the ammonia that is a big part of what is hurting the plants, more so if it is a "scented" ammonia, or one with surfactants (sudsing agents). Also, like the others mentioned, the water needs to be changed on a regular basis. I've done a 15-20% change once a week on my 5gallon plants only tank. You might be able to get away with once every 2 weeks.

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Without a plant type substrate I would feed everyday just as if you have fish. I would not do a 100% break down. I would just do more regular water changes till the tank recovers.

I had something like this happen to my 20 a while back with every other day 20% water changes it looked much better after about 2 weeks. I removed all dead plants before I started this and did not add any new plants till things were doing better. Once you get things back on track you can drop back to once a week 30 to 50 percent water changes.

Good Luck

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