Please help! Plants dying..

Discussion in 'General Planted Tank Discussions' started by Jason Burk, 11 Oct 2014.

  1. Jason Burk

    Jason Burk Member

    Hi all you lovely people

    For months and months all I've tried hasn't worked, I just don't understand why my plants keep dying.. All my plants, Eleocharis acicularis, Staurogyne repens, Lilaeopsis novea-zeelandiae, and Pogostomon erectus - all either turn brown, yellow, or get bombarded by algae. I carry out weekly plant maintenance on them, I also do a 30% water change every week.

    Here's a little spec of my aquarium

    Volume: 94Litre
    Lighting: 36W, 9 hours a day
    Water: 1/4 tap, 3/4 mineralised RO
    Co2: Ten bubbles a minute, for 10 hours a day, half an hour before and half an hour after lights come on and go off
    Substrate: Flora Base

    KH2 PO4: 3/4 Teaspoon
    KNO3: 9/4 Teaspoon
    - Both in 600ml of RO
    - 50ml of mixture 3 times a week

    CSM+B Trace Elements: 1/2 Teaspoon
    - In a separate 600ml of RO
    - 20ml of mixture 3 times a week

    I also have 2 powerheads to evenly disperse the nutrients around.

    However, nothing I do seems to work, its so frustrating

    - I do have to be careful with dosing CSM+B however, as the tank is home to 40+ SSS Crystal Shrimp. With the current dosing, all shrimp are fine and reproducing, so at least I have some good news to come from my aquarium haha.

    If anyone has any solutions or ideas to solve to the mess I'm in, I would be so grateful, thanks everyone!

    - Jason :)
  2. Henry

    Henry Member

    It's likely you need to turn your CO2 up, and get it started earlier than 30 minutes before lights on. Do you have a drop checker?
  3. JayZH

    JayZH Member

    its your trace killing the plant. CSMB is toxic if overdose, Below link will have exact symptons as yours.

    Your CO2 is way under, turn it up for at least 2bps for your dosing amt, the plant is not using all the nurts, and you are overdosing. I suggest you switch to another trace for the timebeing to get your balance right.
  4. John S

    John S Member

    Welwyn Garden City
    Like Henry said, you either need a drop checker or PH pen. That will give you an indication of how much Co2 is in your tank and when its reaching the best levels.
  5. Vazkez

    Vazkez Member

    Hi there and welcome ,

    two things...
    As mentioned before 10 bubbles per min is way too low for 94l tank.
    Also what about Mg? Do you dose any Epson salt or anything like that?
    Mg is very important for plants and they will dei if they not gonna get it.

  6. Jason Burk

    Jason Burk Member

    Okay, thanks Henry, I don't have a drop checker no.. Thats a good idea

    Okay thankyou very much, thats interesting. See what Im doing is dosing half of the recommended dose for the trace elements I have, because I was worried it might harm my shrimp. But that link does describe all the problems ive been having, maybe its because I don't have huge quantities of plants in there, the levels I'm adding are most likely for much more heavily planted tanks.

    Okay, ill turn the co2 up also

    Thanks so much!

    Perfect, thanks!

    Thanks Vazkez, the csm+b im using has manganese but no magnesium

    I don't dose epson no, hmm I'll have to have a look into it

    So, in terms to the csm+b, rather than 20ml 3 times a week, how much do you all think I should be dosing?
    Last edited: 11 Oct 2014
  7. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Chicago, USA
    This is not true at all. It's not even close to being true. Did you read post number 2 of the link you referenced? The truth is all in T. Barr's post.
    This is how rubbish information programs people to be silly. The OP in that link clearly drew an invalid conclusion. So everyone runs around in a hysteria about iron toxicity just because of the first post while ignoring the truth of the second post.

    The OP in THIS thread is suffering poor CO2 and most likely poor flow and distribution. Improve those items FIRST and the plants will stop dying. There is no need to worry about Magnesium or any other nutrient right now. Fix CO2. Poor CO2 kills plants.

  8. Jason Burk

    Jason Burk Member


    Okay thanks, how much co2 do you think I should be adding?
  9. Martin in China

    Martin in China Forum Moderator Staff Member

    It's not a simple matter of how many bubbles per second, it's best to do a pH / KH chart for a day to see if what you are adding is enough.
    Jason Burk likes this.
  10. hogan53

    hogan53 Global Moderator Staff Member

    Hemel Hempstead
    Hi Jason
    Reduce your lighting to 6 hours per day have your Co2 come on at least one and a half hours before your lighting turns on!
    Get some floating plants....and a drop checker!
    Jason Burk and Samjpikey like this.
  11. Jason Burk

    Jason Burk Member

    Okay, thankyou very much everyone!

    Think I should add that the diffuser I have is a JBL, so its got the 'built in' bubble counter so to speak. So I was getting ten of those bigger bubbles per minute that you see before they are diffused through the ceramic diffuser and into the water. I was told I need 1 bubble per ten litres, mines a 94litre so I was doing 10 bubbles per minute, but it would seem by your responses that, that can't be enough co2. I'll definitely get myself a drop checker :)
  12. Vazkez

    Vazkez Member


    The best way you can do is forgot about bubbles per s/min.

    Just get cheap PH pen from Ebay and do PH profile during whole day. However as you have live stock in your tank go slow and wach how your fish react. Plants do not care about high level of CO2, however you could gass out your fish.

    If I will be you I will do the following:

    Get PH pen
    Take glass of water from tank and leav it for 24 hours to get all CO2 out from it. Then do a PH test on that water.
    Now set your CO2 to start 2 hour before lights go on.
    Every half an hour do PH test of the tank water and adjust as need.

    You basically trying to achieve 30ppm (only number) of CO2 on the time your lights go on and keep it stable for all the light period.

    You can look here but this is just a guide. All the numbers should just point you on the right direction nothing more. You will have to wach the plants and live stock.


    Good luck...
  13. Jason Burk

    Jason Burk Member


    Brilliant, thanks for the help!

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