Help With My Plants Please, Pics Included. Help

Discussion in 'Aquarium Plants' started by Jamexman, Feb 22, 2019.

  1. JamexmanNew MemberMember

    Hi, I need help with my plants.

    Here is whats happening:

    1- Up to 3 weeks ago, I only had a low tech setup. Regular LED's, slow, hardy growing plants (java ferns, anubias, ludgwigias). All ok, a little bit of green spot algae on the glass just on some spots, easy to clean normal I would think.

    2- 3 Weeks ago, I decided I wanted a Montecarlo carpet. So bought some pots (the LFS just had them, so I would guess they were grown emersed). I got some eco complete and I mixed it with my already established regular aquarium black sand, to provide some more nourishing (just one bag, mixed it well the top layer with the sand). Put some root tabs and spreaded the Montecarlo in patches. Wasn't able to get out all of the rock wool they came with without destroying their roots, LFS said some rock wool still in wouldn't hurt.

    3- Got CO2.

    Here's whats happening after the 3 weeks since the above:

    *Upgraded my light to Fluval's Plant 3.0 spectrucm 59watts*

    1- Montecarlo is having a hard time, some melting (pics below), but I can see new growth of tiny leaves, I guess transition to being submersed? Some deficiency?

    2- Java ferns, anubias and glass starting to show more green spot algae. More than before, but not to the point of being that bad, got a blade scraper, now part of normal cleaning routine, uggh.

    3- Java fern shooting babies now, looks like java moss had attached lol. Ludwigia growing like crazy, have to trim it weekly. Anubias having some yellow leaves now??

    4- Asked LFS they got me to dose seachem flourish twice a week and API leaf zone once a week per bottle instructions (LFS lady said the melting/yellowing potassium/iron deficiency). Two weeks since dosing, still see yellowing and melting per pics bellow.

    What can I do for my Montecarlo, Anubias and the green spot algae?
    *CO2 is in the green (drop checker) daily.
    *I had lights 12 hours per defined preset in the Fluval lights bluetooth app (you choose "plant" preset and does that, but since a few days ago I reduced it to 8 hours daily to see if helps with green spot algae).
    *66 gallon tank, amonnia 0/nitrites 0/nitrates around 20-30 ppm (measured right before water change, change 50% weekly).





  2. Zigi ZigWell Known MemberMember

    It seems you having an underlying imbalance between lights, fertilizer and co2 . You solve this by adjusting a few important factors. Since you already working with Co2. it’s a great way to balance things out. When done right, adding Co2 will help your plants reach their full potential and easily outcompete the algae so lessen your lighting. Plants use Co2 when the light is on. If your lights are on for long periods, they will use more. If you lessen the amount of light, they will use less Co2 and other nutrients. More Co2 will be available for each plant during the growing time and algae won’t get the chance to take over. 8 hours of light is your max with regular lighting strength. If things going really bad, try cutting your lighting cycle in half. A timer can help if you’re not present to turn the lights on and off at the right times.

  3. JamexmanNew MemberMember

    Thanks for the reply. My lights are on 8 hours since the beginning of this week. CO2 is turned on 2 hours before lights on, off 1 hour before lights off. Drop checkers are already in the green when lights are turn on, and stay that way all day (not lime green but a little darker green), don't wanna over do it.


  4. Zigi ZigWell Known MemberMember

    It doesn't matter how green is your drop checker i can show you my are green too on my 18 tanks.. Your new LED lights are still possible to strong so it need to be lower also two hour co2 before lights turn on is a lot too if you don't find the correct balance you will face underlying imbalance on weekly basic and fight with it all the time.. It takes time and practice you will see.

  5. SeattleRoyWell Known MemberMember

    Hi @Jamexman

    I agree with the comment about imbalance.

    Lots of light + lots of CO2 + minimal nutrients = deficiencies

    Ideally you should have 20 - 40 ppm of nitrates (NO3), 0.5 - 2.0 ppm of phosphates (PO4), along with sufficient potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and iron (Fe) plus micro-nutrients to have good, healthy growth.

    You have a great light, the CO2 looks good, now if you want a great tank it's time to step up your game on nutrients.   on Estimative Index (EI) dosing that may help you get started.
  6. JamexmanNew MemberMember

    Thanks for your reply. I was thinking on ditching the flourish and leaf zone in favor of NilocG's Thrive+. Would that be a good change? Read it's more concentrated and convenient.
  7. SeattleRoyWell Known MemberMember

    Hi @Jamexman

    If you want to spend $$ for an All-in-One fertilizer Thive+ would be a good choice if your pH is below 6.4. The much more economical method is to dose 'dry ferts'.
  8. JamexmanNew MemberMember

    PH had to be below that for Thrive+? I thought it was PH 7. Regarding nitrates, mines around 20-30ppm on whater change day (weekly) would using thrive+ raise them too high? Or regular Thrive would be a better option? I'm going to see what's my PH around mid day in my tank.

    Edit: just measured my pH and at mid day it's at 6.7-6.8 (depends on how close I put the test vial against the white part of the card, im I supposed to let the vial touch the card against the white part?, It's an API wet test kit, or just have the vial hover over it. The closer I put the vial the darker the solutions look obviously).

    Other than that I should mention that my tap water is extremely hard, normal pH around 7.8 (I guess co2 injection is working nicely and lowering it around 6.7) and hardness is prob at the top. I live up in the mountains and tap water con s from streams down the mountain from snow melt lol. My LFS keeps pushing me to use ROI water, but it's a hassle I'm not wanting to go through (of course they want to sell it to me). They blame our cities hard water for aquariums plants bad growth...
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2019
  9. SeattleRoyWell Known MemberMember

    Hi @Jamexman

    Thive+ uses ETDA chelated iron (look at the ingredients). ETDA chelated iron works fine at a pH of 6.2 or lower. It's availability to plants drops off substantially as the pH goes up such that at pH 7.4 only about 5% of the iron in the solution is available to plants.
  10. JamexmanNew MemberMember

    I see. I just added some more insights about my pH and hardness on my previous post, please check my edit and see what you think. Thanks!
  11. -Mak-Fishlore VIPMember

    Thrive+ is the one with a ph requirement, regular Thrive has no ph requirement. I agree that dry ferts would be more economical. Flourish lacks macros, API is only potassium and iron, unfortunately the name brand recognition causes lots of purchases even when they aren't the most suitable option for someone's particular tank.

    Your anubiases also appear to have deficiency, as seen by the inter veinal chlorosis. If it's the younger leaves that are affected, it'll likely be iron deficiency, and if it's the older leaves likely magnesium.
  12. SeattleRoyWell Known MemberMember

    Hi @Jamexman,

    Extremely hard water (dGH higher than 16 or so) can be a challenge with a planted tank although there are several species that can do well in hard water. Again, with a pH of the 6.6 may 65% - 75% of the iron in Thive+ is available to plants. Thive (plain) is a little better because although part of the iron is EDTA chelated and the other part of it is DTPA chelated which does well until about pH@6.8 before it starts to drop in availability.
  13. JamexmanNew MemberMember

    So during the hight of my co2 injection (mid day) my PH is about 6.7. I guess Thrive+ would be better then? Colin says it's better for ph's 7 or lower....
  14. SeattleRoyWell Known MemberMember

    Hi @Jamexman,

    No, I would use Thrive if the tank were mine. You will get better iron (Fe) availability with Thrive than with Thrive+
  15. NappersValued MemberMember

    I too struggled a little with Monte Carlo, it did melt a fair bit but once it settled in it grew nicely.
    Obviously things need to be right but you've got new growth so it'll get there, I keep mine low by trimming any leaves that grow upwards.
  16. JamexmanNew MemberMember

    Thanks. Gives me hope. How long (weeks or months?) Did it take your Monte carlo to carpet?
  17. NappersValued MemberMember

    Untill it looked really nice, maybe 3 months.
    Probably could have speeded it up by spreading it out much more in very small portions but it's very hard to hold it down in tiny bits!
  18. JamexmanNew MemberMember

    Nice! I know! I had to do it in clumps too. Anyway, I have a bristle nose pleco, do you think it may munch on my plants? I've read conflicting things. His a baby and has been cleaning my glass and jus recently took to wafers. Haven't seen him touching my plants and I hope he doesn't do when he/she gets bigger....