Plants a re yellow and slowly dying

kschyff

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29 Jun 2020
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Location
South Africa
Hello All,
I have a new tank (60p) which is about 40 days old. I don't have test kits yet, but I know something is very wrong here. Al my plants rooted within the substrate are struggling to grow. In fact they are not growing at all as far as I can see. Having said this, the rhizome plants are doing ok (Java fern, Bolbitis moss). My specs and maintenance are as follows:

1.) 50% water change every week
2.) ADA fertilizers (Brighty mineral and Brighty neutral k - 2ml of each daily)
3.) Seachem Excel every day (1.25 ml)
4.) Seachem Tidal 55 filter (Seachem matrix, purigen, floss)
5.) x2 AquaEL Leddy Slim plant Led lights (1320 flux) for 6 hours a day
6.) Substrate is Amazonia Aquasoil v2 with the supplied root tabs inserted. ADA Powersand S as base layer fertilising substrate.
7.) No CO2 injection

The plants that are struggling are:

1.) Marsilea Hirsuta
2.) Hydrocortyle tripartita
3.) Hygrophilia Polysperma
4.) Rotala Rotundifolia
5.) Amazon swords

Some of the plants have holes in their leaves (older ones). As if they are deteriorating. At the moment all of them are turning yellow and dying. Even the mosses now have brown-type algae on them, but I think is simply because the plants are unhealthy and the algae is starting to take over.

There are 18 fish in the tank (10 neon tetra, 8 rasbora). 5 Amano Shrimp as well.

I have a spent a large amount of money on this new hobby and I want to try one or two things in the next month or so before I call it quits. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. I have tried increasing the photoperiod but that has only made things worse. I have tried other ferts but that seems to increase algae given that these all in one variants are NPK in nature and the ADA substrate already have some of those in them. The way this is going the entire tank will be dead in two weeks.
 

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sparkyweasel

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30 Jun 2011
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At the moment all of them are turning yellow and dying. Even the mosses now have brown-type algae on them, but I think is simply because the plants are unhealthy and the algae is starting to take over.
You are right, if you can get your plants growing well, they will outcompete the algae.

It looks like you are dosing Potassium and trace elements, but no Nitrogen or Phosphorus, which are essential for healthy plants. You could get some more of the beautiful but expensive ADA range, or switch to a complete fertiliser.
 

Witcher

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15 Jan 2020
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Location
London
they are not growing at all


no Nitrogen or Phosphorus
This.
Nitrogen is one of energy "producers" and Phosphorus (and partially Kalium) is one of the energy "transporters" - this is very broadly speaking, without going into too much details. It seems you don't supply N and P and they are most important, absolutely crucial ingredients needed for the growth of the plants. Without them your plants simply cannot grow.
 

kschyff

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29 Jun 2020
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Location
South Africa
I don't quite understand then why ADA does not promote fertilising N and P within the first couple of months? In fact they don't have a P product that I am aware of. Also, why are my rhizome plants still ok? Should they not be going the same way as the substrate plants?
 

Siege

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11 Aug 2017
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Cambridgeshire, UK
ADA donot promote it initially as the substrate is so rich. You will need to add the extra nutrients as the substrate depletes.

I donot see the benefit in such a rich ADA soil and power sand substrate if you are not using co2.

If you were doing it again, I would go with a leaner substrate, cheaper fertiliser and spend the money saved on CO2.

For now what temperature is your tank and have you got a nice surface ripple? 1 weekly water change is not that much on a 60-P when you are having issues.
 

kschyff

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29 Jun 2020
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Location
South Africa
Ok. Thank you for all the answers. My tank hovers from 23.5 to 25 degrees Celsius depending on the time of the day. There is a ripple on the surface of the tank so that is not a problem. For now I have switched to an all-in-one fertiliser that has a little bit of everything in it. I will look at getting co2 next month if things are still going by then. Do you guys think I should just switch to the Seachem fertilising routine?
 

Siege

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Cambridgeshire, UK
Personally I’d stick with the ferts you have for the time being. You don’t want to be adding more in, that’s your current issue.

Instead bang a load more plants in there. The soil should be covered with easy growing plants. Fast growing stems at the back, floating plants for the surface.

Increase the water changes, don’t be afraid to do 2 on the trot. Get all the algae out.

keep at it and you’ll be fine, Amazonia isn’t the easiest soil. It needs daily water changes for a month, that and lots of plant mass to eat the nutrients. Plants need to be healthy to do this hence it’s designed to work with co2. 👍
 

kschyff

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29 Jun 2020
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South Africa
Thank you Siege. I order more plants which arrive today. Can't get floating plants in South Africa at the moment, but will keep trying. I think I must just buy a decent CO2 kit and be done with it.
 
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