I do not understand my tank…..

Carlo M

I’ve had my 75 gallon planted tank for over 2 years now, and it feels like nothing really grows or does anything and I’m not sure why. There’s a fluval spectrum LED light meant for plants on about 10 hours a day, using NA Thrive once a week as a complete fertilizer which is supposed to be one of the best on the market along with root tabs.

However there’s so many plants in particular swords that are staying low giving off new leaves but not growing upwards. It’s very annoying to see the same process occur everytime I introduce a new one, the old leaves die off and then I’m left with a short plant with healthy new leaves none taller than 5 inches. On top of this I have some algae problems on plant leaves such as the Anubias which get it really bad. Not sure what the problem is but I’m losing patience with this tank and I hope to be able to get some help from you guys. I will attack some pictures below thanks.
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Stripedbass

Looks like everything is growing pretty well to me. I would switch up fertilizer try simple green. What kind of root tabs do you use how often do you use each fertilizer? What kind of algae eaters do you have in there besides snails? Pretty tank btw.
 
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MickSG

Those swords look like they are pretty deficient. How are you getting carbon to your plants?
 
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timfulmer

Yeah man, tank looks great, those Anubias are freaking huge!! Swords are big root feeders, might just need some root tabs. Usually swords are not known for needing a lot of carbon.

Algae unfortunately you do get into the balance of nutrients, light, and carbon. If there is light but not enough carbon, algae takes advantage of available nutrients. Nutrients come from uneaten fish food and fish waste (and root tabs, but they shouldn’t leak into the water column if buried an inch or so). Also if you have one nutrient that is more or less available than others, this is another situation where algae can be more successful than the plants.

But an unbalanced tank produces A LOT of algae. If you are not scrubbing every few days to get the look in your pics, your tank is pretty well balanced.

For your tank, it looks pretty good, if your algae concerns are a little algae on the anubias, takes out a leaf every now and then, maybe you want a smaller pleco like a bristlenose or two to keep those leaves scrubbed off for you?

EDIT: Oh, shoot, almost forgot, anubias are big root feeders too, the root tabs will help them with any nutrient deficiencies too! Planted tank substrate runs out of nutes surprisingly quickly. I think is why folks are switching to actual dirt, ha!
 
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Pfrozen

Once per week just isnt enough, try following the instructions on the bottle and you should see some improvements
 
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Cherryshrimp420

Probably needs more acidic water for swords....have you tried hard water plants like hygrophila corymbosa?
 
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Carlo M

Once per week just isnt enough, try following the instructions on the bottle and you should see some improvements
Those are the instructions on the bottle it’s 1-2 times per week
 
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Slapp

Yeah, yellow leaves means potassium or iron deficiencies. But because of how well that Anubias is doing, good lord that is the biggest I've ever seen, I'd say root tabs would fix your problems. You could also try dimming the lights to get them to grow taller after they start growing strong.
Yeah, yellow leaves means potassium or iron deficiencies. But because of how well that Anubias is doing, good lord that is the biggest I've ever seen, I'd say root tabs would fix your problems. You could also try dimming the lights to get them to grow taller after they start growing strong.
Even the crypts are doing good, so the substrate has some nutrients. But they just need a lot. My sword is barely a foot tall now, and it takes 6 root tabs a month to keep happy.
 
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Carlo M

Yeah, yellow leaves means potassium or iron deficiencies. But because of how well that Anubias is doing, good lord that is the biggest I've ever seen, I'd say root tabs would fix your problems. You could also try dimming the lights to get them to grow taller after they start growing strong.

Even the crypts are doing good, so the substrate has some nutrients. But they just need a lot. My sword is barely a foot tall now, and it takes 6 root tabs a month to keep happy.
I’m using osmocote plus with gelatin capsules which is very similar to root tabs. And I can get a ton down in there for cheap. I just don’t know if that’s it because I bought the Anubias like that from aquariumplants.com. I’m not really able to grow plants myself like that at all. Tried dimming the lights before thinking the plants would grow taller to the lights and it never happened. Not really sure where I’m going wrong like I said it’s been 2 years of this and still no idea. Can try to get more nutrients down in there but I think it’s pretty packed already.
 
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Pfrozen

Those are the instructions on the bottle it’s 1-2 times per week

Do 2x weekly then, you have a lot of plants. Once per week definitely won't be enough as you're only adding 5 ppm K per week and 7.5 ppm N. Based on your photos I'd say you're absolutely K deficient, probably a bit N deficient as well
 
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Carlo M

Do 2x weekly then, you have a lot of plants. Once per week definitely won't be enough as you're only adding 5 ppm K per week and 7.5 ppm N. Based on your photos I'd say you're absolutely K deficient, probably a bit N deficient as well
I guess but nothing has been growing for 2 year there has to be something deeper than this in my opinion. Do you think I need to start with C02 or something I’m really lost here as to how this is possible
 
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Pfrozen

I guess but nothing has been growing for 2 year there has to be something deeper than this in my opinion. Do you think I need to start with C02 or something I’m really lost here as to how this is possible

Its not really a mystery haha.. I dose more nutrients than you in my 10g tank :D

Honestly I think you just need to up it to 2x per week... I don't see any major issues with your plants
 
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Slapp

"Liebig's Law of the minimum is the principle that growth is controlled by the scarcest resource, meaning that providing an excess of other nutrients will not stimulate growth, if another critical variable is not proportionately increased."

This is why comprehensive fertilizers are best. Maybe switching to a new one is all you need. I'd recommend Aquarium Co-Op's easy green. My plants love it.
 
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Netti

I was just going to say the same thing Slapp did but he said it better.

I too think some of your plants are a bit deficient. The yellow spots on the anubias are a sign of deficiency. Try googling "aquatic plant deficiency chart" and you'll find nice images that will help You diagnose each and every plant.

As long as you have one element that's scarce in your water column or soil, growth will be stunned. Find a macro and micro nutrients compound fertiliser and you should do a lot better. Also, you can try slowly increasing ferts every two weeks so you can see how much your plants can consume before the algae take off. Then you can real it back and have an optimal amount of ferts in your tank for the amount of plants you have.
 
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timfulmer

Hm, should we ask what the ph is? Might be a lockout situation too.
 
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Carlo M

Its not really a mystery haha.. I dose more nutrients than you in my 10g tank :D

Honestly I think you just need to up it to 2x per week... I don't see any major issues with your plants
You wanna make a bet nothing changes lol. This is like cracking the Morse code in this tank I have no idea what I can do anymore
Hm, should we ask what the ph is? Might be a lockout situation too.
It’s 7.5 but that’s not it I can’t imagine that’s the reason
I was just going to say the same thing Slapp did but he said it better.

I too think some of your plants are a bit deficient. The yellow spots on the anubias are a sign of deficiency. Try googling "aquatic plant deficiency chart" and you'll find nice images that will help You diagnose each and every plant.

As long as you have one element that's scarce in your water column or soil, growth will be stunned. Find a macro and micro nutrients compound fertiliser and you should do a lot better. Also, you can try slowly increasing ferts every two weeks so you can see how much your plants can consume before the algae take off. Then you can real it back and have an optimal amount of ferts in your tank for the amount of plants you have.
Yellow spots are actually from the little algae spots that die off leaving that after. Thrive C has all the necessary components that’s why I switched to it from flourish. Maybe pumping more in there could work but I really am not sure.I’m using osmocote plus with gelatin capsules instead of root tabs I looked up that they basically do the same thing. They’re like these little yellow beads that are in the substrate. Maybe I gotta try real root tabs
"Liebig's Law of the minimum is the principle that growth is controlled by the scarcest resource, meaning that providing an excess of other nutrients will not stimulate growth, if another critical variable is not proportionately increased."

This is why comprehensive fertilizers are best. Maybe switching to a new one is all you need. I'd recommend Aquarium Co-Op's easy green. My plants love it.
I just don’t see it though how much different is the aquarium co op one from the thrive C? I’m gonna try to bump lighting duration and intensity down maybe get a couple real root tabs instead of the stuff I’m using. Not really sure what else I can do any other ideas?
 
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86 ssinit

Hey Carlo and welcome to fishlore!! Your tank looks great! Yes plants do take time to figure out. Your Amazon swords are suffering for a lack of potassium and maybe iron. The sword in the left front corner if it’s not new it look great with nice new leaves coming up. Your crypts also look good. The anubias looks good and is not a root feeder it gets it’s nutrients out of the water. It is a very slow grower. So algae will grow on them. I like to keep mine in darker areas. Under other plants or hard scape.

Planted tanks are an art form :). They take time to figure out. One of the best things I found is mts snails. Yes they’re pest snails that live in the gravel. If your not over feeding your fish they won’t overpopulate your tank. What they will do is eat whatever is dead and dying. As in leaves and roots and whatever gunk is in your gravel. And they spread air and nutrients through the gravel. My plants thrive with them.
Next is lighting. For me I now use 24/7 lighting. This follows the normal sun/moon cycle. Since your tank is 24” deep you probably need 2 48” lights. Look into the vivagrow 24/7 48” long or the hygger 957 48” to add with what you have. The vivagrow is plug and play the 957 needs to be adjusted and programmed and I think a little better. Both you can find on eBay/Amazon for under $100 shipped. Next is ferts. Something I use for algae is api co2 booster. It’s added daily and works for me. I use the flourish brand of ferts. I use the comprehensive,iron and potassium. I also use the osmacoat tabs your using. But I only put one under a sword and 4 a 75 wouldn’t add more than 4 at a time. They do release ammonia. Swords also pull nutrient out of the water. I add the osmacoat maybe 3x a year.
Next for algae I use SAE,ottos,nerite snails and even shrimp :). Oh and of course a bushy nose pleco.
Ok I gave a lot of info!! Hope it helps! And now for my big gripe!! That discus need friends!! Lots of good help you’ll find here! You came to the right place :).
 
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