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Why have some of my plants gone downhill?

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  • Why have some of my plants gone downhill?

    Not sure if anyone will really be able to help, but it seems that while most of my plants are thriving, a few varieties are not.

    1. Frogbit - I used to have to take a handful out every week, now it's barely growing and what is there has brown spots on it. The only thing I can think of is that I adjusted the spraybar. When I first put the canister in the flow was much too powerful, so I aimed it at the wall. Now that some goo has built up, I spun it around, oriented roughly 30 degrees beneath the horizontal. They're not swirling around or anything (I know some floating plants don't like current) but I can't think of anything different. My ferts schedule is roughly the same, though I will admit to forgetting now and then.

    2. Dwarf chain swords - I used to have a thick, lush carpet. It's still a carpet, but there are some empty areas. Thoughts:
    -- I used to just gently press the siphon onto the top to suck out the waste, because I didn't want to injure the plants. But when Nubbins' tail started getting worse, I got a little more assertive with my cleaning. Now I use my fingers to "comb" the plants, ruffle them up a bit so the waste comes out more, and dead leaves are dislodged. I thought this would be a good thing; get the detritus out so that the healthy leaves could get more light. Could this have negative consequences?
    -- I think the root tabs have probably been out for awhile. I just put three whole ones in under the carpet (roughly 3" x 24"...very rough estimate), but would a lack of root tabs cause much dieoff? For awhile they were running rampant across the tank.

    All the other plants are doing fabulously, though I've never done well with ludwigia (tried peruensis and...the other one ("red ludwigia," can't think of the name) and it just gets tall and spindly and the bottom leaves all fall off

    Any thoughts - confirmations of my suspections (it's a word now) or new ideas - would be much appreciated Let me know if you need more info.

  • #2
    How old are your bulbs? Has anything else recently changed?

    Many plants are affected by changes in available nutrients, in changes of lighting as the bulbs age, etc. I'd suspect getting back to a normal fert schedule will turn things around.

    As for the frogbit, that plant does not like any current. Does great in a tank filtered by a sponge filter as little current is created.

    Good luck figuring out what is different.
    - Dena

    All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.
    Walt Disney

    The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.
    Socrates

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    • #3
      The bulbs are less than a year old. 6-9 months or so. Another change was getting a water changer, so I do significantly larger water changes now. I used to do about 30%, and the nitrates would get pretty high by the end of the week. Now I do 50%+, and the nitrates are still around 5ppm by the end of the week. When they were higher, I didn't dose nitrates, but now I know I need to! I put 1/8th tsp in after the water change I just did, so I'm waiting for it to be well-mixed and I will test shortly. I am so excited for summer break to come, so I can get back to the daily testing that is necessary. I haven't changed my regimen, so while I know it used to be sufficient, I can't be certain now, though the number of fish haven't changed. I suppose the plants have grown though, so that may be a factor.

      That's too bad! I think the current is better for the rest of the tank, because I could feel some cooler pockets before, and now the plants on the other side of the tank sway very gently, so I think the current is now sufficient. I have a few in a 5 gallon betta tank, but this tank (and my other two) do not have even lighting over the surface. By the time the light gets to the substrate it's even enough, but because the tank either has the flip-up style hood, or strip LEDs, there are areas on the surface of the water that do not get any light. It seems for whatever reason the frogbit likes to congregate there and not do so well. Maybe I can construct a floating divider to collect the frogbit in one corner of the 55? I'd hate to lose it all, but I don't want to flip the spraybar back around.

      Thank you very much for your input!


      Edit: the nitrates are a solid 5ppm, leaning a little towards 10ppm. I think I'll leave it, sincere fishies will be contributing, and I'm adding six baby angels tomorrow and I don't want the nitrates to be too high.
      Last edited by kinezumi89; 04-03-2013, 09:33 PM.

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      • #4
        I use root tablets in several locations of my tank about every 2-3 weeks... I noticed that has helped me... might help you...
        It does not matter if you are right or wrong...
        As long as you learn and Keep Moving Forward!

        ~Anthony

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        • #5
          It's been quite awhile since I put the last ones in, so I think that might be a problem. Hopefully, since it's an easy fix

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          • #6
            Well... I hope that does it :-)
            It does not matter if you are right or wrong...
            As long as you learn and Keep Moving Forward!

            ~Anthony

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            • #7
              Did a water change on Monday, and tested the tank today.

              Ammonia - 0ppm
              Nitrates - 5ppm
              pH - 7.0
              Phosphates - 5.0ppm

              Sooooo definitely not adding any more phosphates I was going to take a picture, but while the tube is clearly teal-ish to my eyes, when I took a picture it looked very dark blue, like 10ppm.

              Tonight I added 1/8th tsp nitrate and sulfate each. Yesterday was 1/8th tsp CSM+B, and Monday was 1/8th tsp each of nitrate, sulfate, and phosphate.

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              • #8
                Yeah, I'd skip some phosphate dosages. lol

                How are your Chain Swords doing?
                Christine

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                • #9
                  They're doing much better since I put some root tabs in. Unfortunately I sometimes suck up some root-tab-goodness when doing water changes lol. But there is definitely a lot of new bright green growth.

                  Also, I've decided to stop wrestling with the Mexican oak leaf and just let it float on the top of my tank, since it doesn't make it that much dimmer on the bottom, and maybe it will help with the algae. Anyway, since the MOL traps the frogbit and prevents it from floating around, I think they're growing better too.

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                  • #10
                    Awesome to hear/read
                    It does not matter if you are right or wrong...
                    As long as you learn and Keep Moving Forward!

                    ~Anthony

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                    • #11
                      Thanks! Awesome to see too If we upgrade to a 120 though, I dread having to pull out and replant them all. Might just pick the healthiest ones and let them propagate. In which case I may have a dwarf chain sword RAOK

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                      • #12
                        Ohhh I really like that plant a lot! Dibs :-)

                        I really hope you get the 120g your angels will love you for it... sooooo much room
                        It does not matter if you are right or wrong...
                        As long as you learn and Keep Moving Forward!

                        ~Anthony

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                        • #13
                          I hope so too! If my boyfriend and I both get these internships, we'll both be making around $20 an hour full time, so we'd definitely have the money for it Keeping our fingers crossed!

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