Having trouble with my first planted tank Question

  1. fierofish Initiate Member

    I've had aquariums for 5+ years now and currently have 6 but have decided I'd like to try a planted tank now. I never had been able to before because the fish I kept would have tore them up. The tank I've planted in is a 29 gallon it has a sunleaves 24" twin T5HO lamps 48 watt fixture on top and I'm dosing daily with flourish excel. None of my plants have done anything but wither and die. Some that were bright green when I got them have even had the top leaves turn red or pink while the rest of the leaves die. I wondered if maybe the activated carbon in my filter was filtering the excel out so I removed it to see if this will help. I also have a UV sterilizer in the tank but was told this wouldn't effect it. Any feedback would be great.


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  2. fierofish Initiate Member

    A few days after getting most the plants and then what it looks like now after a few weeks
     

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  3. Adam55 Well Known Member Member

    Leaves turning red is not necessarily a sign that anything is wrong. As far as leaves dying, that's also not exactly unusual for a new plant. Brown leaves, curled leaves, leaves with holes, those are the bad signs. And you don't have to worry about carbon straining your Excel out. It won't. What is your lighting, substrate and fertilizer routine besides Excel? Remember that Excel is basically just CO2 in a liquid format for those that do not have CO2 systems.
     

  4. fierofish Initiate Member

    I have all of what u said brown, curled, and holey leaves. As well as Black beard algae. I cycle the light 12 on and 12 off and have your typical gravel as substrate. I havent tried fertilizer yet but my local fish guy just gave me some type of what he said gives the gravel nutrients. They're in while capsule pill form but he said he uses the granules.
     

  5. Dolfan Fishlore VIP Member

    The capsules your friend gave you are root tabs and are only good for root feeding plants like amazon swords and crypts. They need to be placed near the base of the plant so when they dissolve they will feed the roots. You probably need a decent liquid fertilizer like Seachem Flourish Comprehensive. It has some of the macro ferts (nitrogen-N, phosphorus-P, and potassium-K) as well as a mix of the micro ferts like iron, boron, selenium, etc. It is a good general all purpose fertilizer to supplement the fish waste that the plants also use.

    As for lighting, it sounds like your lights may be a bit strong and are contributing to algae. Maybe try lowering the photo period to 8 hours or so. Also, are the light bulbs in the 6500k range, those are ideal for most plants.

    Remember also that when many plants are added to a new aquarium or transplanted they go through a melt back phase where they are getting acclimated to the new water. So you may just be experiencing some of this. Try dealing with the algae and this will help the plants get started better and out compete the algae for nutrients.

    As for the algae....a good trick is to spot treat the algae with your normal daily dosage of Excel. Load up whatever your daily dose is into a syringe. Turn off your filter and air pump and get the water very still. Slowly squirt the Excel right onto the problem algae spots, let it sit for 15 - 20 minutes or so then turn everything back on. It will zap the algae, especially the black beard algae. Move to a new spot every day with a new dose, as the one daily dose will not be able to treat all the spots, but over the course of a few days or week you will be able to get to all or most of the algae. It will slowly turn pinkish-red and die.
     
  6. fierofish Initiate Member

    The lights said 6500k on the box so sounds like I'm good there but I'll change the cycle like u said to see if it helps with the algae. I did stick t.he pills right next to my plants assuming it'd work better. I'll start spot treating the algae and get some of the flourish comprehensive. I thought about it just didn't wanna use too many chemicals if I didn't have to but if it works I'm all for it. Thanks for the help hopefully I'll see some healthy plants soon.
     
  7. SeattleRoy Member Member

    Hi fierofish,

    The Seachem Flouish Excel provides carbon atoms for growth. The capsules may have the necessary nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, and micro-nutrients but do you know? The poor plants look like they are starving to death.
     
  8. fierofish Initiate Member

    They sure do and the guy at the local shop said he just uses the excel on the plant display tank and t5ho bulbs and they do great so I thought it might be enough but that's obviously not the case for me.. I'm going to try some liquid fertilizer to see if that helps. After all I don't have any of my more prized fish in that that tank for that reason.
     
  9. AlyeskaGirl Fishlore VIP Member

    That is a lot of light. Wow. Definitely decrease lighting to 6-8 hours a day.

    I see you have Hygrophilia species. Love them. These plants need a balanced fertilizer in the water column, especially with that much light, which means they need Micro ferts (Seachem Flourish) and I would also pickup Flourish Potassium. Potassium Deficiency (K) is pinholes in leaves. Sometimes curling leaves can be A sign as well.

    So, I would start with those.

    How it works is the more light there is, the more demand for CO2 and fertilizers. Its a balancing act.
     
  10. _Fried_Bettas_ Well Known Member Member

    Sounds like those root tabs you have are something like Osmocote. You want to make sure they are thoroughly buried, if they are exposed to the water column they will contribute heavily to algae. I learned this the hard way. The reason they are in the capsules is to make it easier to bury them, the capsule quickly dissolves.
     
  11. fierofish Initiate Member

    I originally thought it was quite a bit of light too but had read if that was the case I would have a bloom of algae or overgrowing plants which I have neither. Hopefully the liquid fertz will help.
     
  12. Adam55 Well Known Member Member

    You also want to bury osmocote deep to avoid an ammonia spike in your tank, if it is osmocote that you're using.
     
  13. AlyeskaGirl Fishlore VIP Member

    To my understanding you have only had the plants a few weeks. You do have quit a bit of light but when you do not provide the necessary nutrients then the plants will not grow but start to show deficiency etc. This is when algae can get a foot hold. So you are jumping on this at the right time. :) Adding ferts.

    Black Beard Algae is usually caused by low CO2. When CO2 is in shortage then the plants breakdown the carbonate bond to use as a source of carbon. This is when you start to see the KH fall. Which is not a good thing. Due to BBA appearing I would increase your Excel dosing.

    Oh and your tank looks great!