Help I cannot keep plants alive to save my life.

Logan.t.Foster

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I have had my 30 gal tank for about a year now, and every plant I try to grow dies. My java fern and amazon sword have all died, and even my Anubis is struggling. I felt alive with sea hem flourish and iron and flourish tabs, but to no avail%. Any suggestions on what could be wrong?
Thanks!
 

plattyyy

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I'm not much good with plants either but it could be to do with light levels or simply your fish getting to them
 

Dechi

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I suppose you have low tech set-up (no CO2) ? What kind of light do you have and how long do you keep it on ? Do you have a lot of algaes or very little ?
 

angelcraze

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I see you have some questions to answer, sorry to add a few more, but just to get this thought out....
What is your tank pH and which plants have you tried? The ones mentioned?
 

Unforgiving Llama

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Inadequate lighting is the #1 reason I have struggled with plants in the past.

I used to have a 5 gallon with the cheapo light fixture that most prepackaged aquariums come with = all my rooted plants died.

On my 10 gallon, I use a NiCrew Classic which is okay, but in the past I never kept my floating plants under control so they blocked all the light = all my rooted plants died. I did a heavy cull of my floaters and replanted and now have vigorous growth.

By the time I set up my 29 gallon, I had learned my lesson and set it with two full light bars. Vigorous growth from day 1.

I use Eco complete or potting soil (with sand over it Walstad style), and both are fine for providing nutrients, and if you are using root tabs I doubt that substrate is your issue.
 
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Logan.t.Foster

Logan.t.Foster

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My ph is 7.8
My lighting is great. It’s an 80$ lighting bar from my lfs.
I have had an amazon sword, and a java fern but they both died.
I had duckweed, but that was a snack for the rainbow fish.
All that’s left is my Anubis.
I know my fish weren’t eating anything
but the duckweed.
I have no visible algae, I only keep my light on 6 hours a day. I have no co2 setup, but a air pump meant for 40 gallon tanks. (I have a 29)
Thanks!
 

angelcraze

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What is the lighting called? Name brand, specs?

You had the java fern attached to hardscape and not planted? What about anubias? Where is it in the tank? They are better attached to hardscape in the shadier areas.

Swords are big nutrient hogs and do best with substrate nutrients at least. They will need added nutrients though, I can barely grow a sword plant without ferts of some kind. Root tabs and/or soil works well. I started keeping my sword plants in dirted pots, then I add a root tab every 8 months or so. Maybe that was the issue there.

Maybe you could try some anacharis? Not available or legal everywhere, but I good plant to start with that grows quickly and easily. Guppy grass is another.
 

Dechi

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I would get some complete fertilizer add dose weekly. Thrive C is perfect for low-tech aquariums. You can also make some DIY root tabs for those plants who need it (every six months).
 

kallililly1973

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I also second getting Nilog ThriveC for a non-co2 planted tank. It will give the plants all the nutrients they need. Also interested in what light you got for $80 from your LFS. I recently setup my 29 inside after being outside all summer and put a Nicrew Skyled for possibly 1/2 that price and would get that light again in a heartbeat.
 
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Logan.t.Foster

Logan.t.Foster

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kallililly1973 said:
I also second getting Nilog ThriveC for a non-co2 planted tank. It will give the plants all the nutrients they need. Also interested in what light you got for $80 from your LFS. I recently setup my 29 inside after being outside all summer and put a Nicrew Skyled for possibly 1/2 that price and would get that light again in a heartbeat.
I don’t know what kind of light it was, it doesn’t have a brand of anything, but I know that it is the same light my lfs uses for their tanks.
 

Isda

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I was able to grow low light plants in my 3.5g with stock led no root tabs but was dosing excel. On my 20 gallon though with medium light (T5), lava soil substrate, my slow growing plants like anubias and java ferns grows like crazy unlike on my stock led light. I do dose excel, potassium, iron. So for me good lights + good substrate + fertizers = plants happy. Getting the tank to balance is a bit difficult at first. You just have to find the rythm :)
cf56dc9e4a0b0e568f4ca33c75db2822.jpg
9d68ebaf402a11b0b120375588567172.jpg
 
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Logan.t.Foster

Logan.t.Foster

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Isda said:
I was able to grow low light plants in my 3.5g with stock led no root tabs but was dosing excel. On my 20 gallon though with medium light (T5), lava soil substrate, my slow growing plants like anubias and java ferns grows like crazy unlike on my stock led light. I do dose excel, potassium, iron. So for me good lights + good substrate + fertizers = plants happy. Getting the tank to balance is a bit difficult at first. You just have to find the rythm :)
cf56dc9e4a0b0e568f4ca33c75db2822.jpg
9d68ebaf402a11b0b120375588567172.jpg
That’s beautiful!
 
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Logan.t.Foster

Logan.t.Foster

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Bought some anacharis and a banana plant. I’ll be dosing excel and flourish once amazon ships them. Are they free floating plants, or should I put them in gravel?
Thanks for the help!
 

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angelcraze

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Logan.t.Foster said:
Bought some anacharis and a banana plant. I’ll be dosing excel and flourish once amazon ships them. Are they free floating plants, or should I put them in gravel?
Thanks for the help!
Bananas just rest on the substrate, and you can plant anacharis, the part you bury might rot, but mine rooted/anchored to the substrate and grew upward. You could also leave it free, but it will grow white anchor roots anyway and look messier. Depends on the look you want. Looks great btw!
 

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Beneful1 said:
My plants really started to take off after I began using Flourish Excel. I add a cap almost every day 75 gal.
That depends on what kind of plants you have, Excel can kill Vals, Sags, Anacharis, and damage some ferns and mosses and burn Amazon's. What plants do you keep? :)
 

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Lighting needs to be plant specific. The ones designed to light an aquarium are not strong enough. Plant lights, while more expensive, are worth it because they provide a full spectrum. You should go back to your pet store and read the box and see what yours says (or google the brand) and find out if it's designed for planted tanks.
 
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Logan.t.Foster

Logan.t.Foster

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MissPanda said:
Lighting needs to be plant specific. The ones designed to light an aquarium are not strong enough. Plant lights, while more expensive, are worth it because they provide a full spectrum. You should go back to your pet store and read the box and see what yours says (or google the brand) and find out if it's designed for planted tanks.
My light is plant specific. It has a ful spectrum of really bright lights
 

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