More water chemistry issues and plants dying

Onering1

so this all started a while ago when my valisneria started dying and I later found out that it was a fungus killing it off so I pulled all of it out of the water and removed all the leaves that showed any signs of not being healthy and then put the rest back in. It worked for a while and some of them even sent out runners, but then it started dying again with no obvious signs of fungus. But theres not where it ends, I had added some fish food as an ammonia source and it got up to 0.5ppm and then stayed for about a week before it skyrocketed up to 1 ppm and has been there for a while now. On top of all of that now my other plants have started dying as well and i cant figure out why. The first leaf was showing signs of a magnesium deficiency and after a while I cut if off but then other leaves of the same plant started dying from what looked like a calcium deficiency and that would be impossible because I had tested 5 GH so even if there was only calcium or magnesium it couldn’t explain both leaves dying. And if all of that isn’t enough my ph has gone all the way from 7.0 to 7.8 in under 2 weeks.


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these are some Pictures of the vallisneria that I have left and it might be hard to see since I recently cut off the tops but the tops of the leaves are becoming brown and gradually it spreads down to the bottem
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these are some pictures of the first leaf I was talking about that had a magnesium deficiency, I just thought I would post it in case i was wrong and there is something else that I cant see.

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these are pictures of the other leaf that had a calcium deficiency.

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These are pictures if my thermometer and heater as they appear to be growing something on them but I dont know what it is and it might have something to do with my plants dying.
 

gray_matter16

What are your lighting and co2 schedules like? co2 not absolutely necessary, but just wondering if you are using it, what the schedule is like?
 
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Onering1

I have a 22 watt led light that came with the tank and I am not using any co2.
 
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gray_matter16

I know that the "big 3" things to make sure are right for growing plants are
- Lighting
- Co2
- Nutrients

Lighting
Doesn't seem like it's the best light. The ones that just come with the tank are not usually meant to be used to grow plants (unless you specifically bought a tank advertised as a planted tank). So you may want to dig more into if you have an effective enough light

Carbon Dioxide
Most people achieve this by injecting/diffusing/reacting their co2 into the tank. The low tech community rely on less co2 but more natural way of using co2 levels. Either way, co2 is necessary for plants to grow healthy. How you go about getting that co2 is up to you.

Nutrients
The "big 3" nutrients plants use are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Those are the 3 I would be most concerned about if I thought there were deficiencies. Calcium and Mag are good to notice, but as long as there's not actual 0 of those, plants should make do. It's the big three, and any deficiencies there, that would cause issues.

Hope this helps you maybe research a little more. I can't really tell for certain which is causing the stunted growth. It's likely a combination of some or all of theses.
 
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Fishstery

Root tabs. If you aren't using them already, I suggest burying some root tabs in the substrate around the planted areas. All of the plants pictured are root feeders, and probably wouldn't benefit much at all from water column dosing. You are using inert sand it looks like, so I think you should try feeding the roots first.
 
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Onering1

I know that the "big 3" things to make sure are right for growing plants are
- Lighting
- Co2
- Nutrients

Lighting
Doesn't seem like it's the best light. The ones that just come with the tank are not usually meant to be used to grow plants (unless you specifically bought a tank advertised as a planted tank). So you may want to dig more into if you have an effective enough light

Carbon Dioxide
Most people achieve this by injecting/diffusing/reacting their co2 into the tank. The low tech community rely on less co2 but more natural way of using co2 levels. Either way, co2 is necessary for plants to grow healthy. How you go about getting that co2 is up to you.

Nutrients
The "big 3" nutrients plants use are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Those are the 3 I would be most concerned about if I thought there were deficiencies. Calcium and Mag are good to notice, but as long as there's not actual 0 of those, plants should make do. It's the big three, and any deficiencies there, that would cause issues.

Hope this helps you maybe research a little more. I can't really tell for certain which is causing the stunted growth. It's likely a combination of some or all of theses.
thanks for the advice, the only reason I havent changed the light yet is because when it came it was already screwed on and it is connected to a switch that is intergrated into the tank and I dont know how hard it would be to take the light out without damaging the switch and as for co2 the main reason I havent used it is because of the price and since none of the symptoms seemed to match a co2 deficiency I didn't bother with it. and finally as for nutrients I can rule out a nitrogen deficiency as my ammonia levels are through the roof but I dont have any way of testing for phosphorus and potassium.

Root tabs. If you aren't using them already, I suggest burying some root tabs in the substrate around the planted areas. All of the plants pictured are root feeders, and probably wouldn't benefit much at all from water column dosing. You are using inert sand it looks like, so I think you should try feeding the roots first.
thanks for the help, yes I am already using root tabs and I have them next to almost every plant making this even more confusing.
 
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Fishstery

thanks for the advice, the only reason I havent changed the light yet is because when it came it was already screwed on and it is connected to a switch that is intergrated into the tank and I dont know how hard it would be to take the light out without damaging the switch and as for co2 the main reason I havent used it is because of the price and since none of the symptoms seemed to match a co2 deficiency I didn't bother with it. and finally as for nutrients I can rule out a nitrogen deficiency as my ammonia levels are through the roof but I dont have any way of testing for phosphorus and potassium.


thanks for the help, yes I am already using root tabs and I have them next to almost every plant making this even more confusing.
Ammonia can, and will melt plants if the level is too high. Any particular reason you are keeping ammonia present (fishless cycle?). Also, what are you using to test ammonia? 1ppm shouldn't be an issue for less sensitive plants, but is it possible the ammonia test isn't accurate and your ammonia levels are higher than you think?
 
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Onering1

about a month ago I put some fish food as an ammonia source and it went up to o.5 ppm and stayed there for about a week and then one day I tested it and it had gone up to 1ppm and still hasent gone down and I dont know what is causing it. also I am using the api master test kit.
 
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Fishstery

about a month ago I put some fish food as an ammonia source and it went up to o.5 ppm and stayed there for about a week and then one day I tested it and it had gone up to 1ppm and still hasent gone down and I dont know what is causing it. also I am using the api master test kit.
Are you in the middle of a fishless cycle?
 
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Fishstery

I'd imagine then that it may be a lighting issue. If you can't get your current light out, is there a way for you to add another smaller one just to supplement what you already have? Also, if you aren't already running your light cycle for at least 6 hours, bump up the time the lights are on for.
 
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Onering1

Ok, I dont know if I would be able to fit another light as there is very limited space, but I am already doing 10 hours a day on the lights so would it be possible that I have overdosed the light
 
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Fishstery

Ok, I dont know if I would be able to fit another light as there is very limited space, but I am already doing 10 hours a day on the lights so would it be possible that I have overdosed the light
There's not really a way to overdose your lighting in regards to negative effects on your plants. The only downside to running a long light cycle is causing algae. Id try getting a full spectrum light for planted tanks.
 
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Onering1

Ok thanks for the help, also I just tested my water again and I only have 0.25 ammonia but now nitrite is somewhere between 1 and 2ppm and nitrate is about 10
 
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Fishstery

Ok thanks for the help, also I just tested my water again and I only have 0.25 ammonia but now nitrite is somewhere between 1 and 2ppm and nitrate is about 10
That's good. Your cycle is moving along, you will see nitrites spike even further and will stay that way for about 2-3 weeks. At some point you will test either low or 0 nitrites. If your nitrates are above 20 ppm perform a water change, if not there's no need to do a water change. Redose ammonia to 1-2ppm and then retest 24 hours later (don't test too early or too late). If ammonia and nitrite are 0 and nitrate is below 20ppm you are ready for fish. As for the plants, since you don't have an absurd ammonia concentration and you have also provided a nutritional source for the plant roots, I'd suspect it to be a lack of lighting and go from there. Sometimes plants melt off a bit when you first plant them, they "acclimate" to new water parameters just like fish do. It's also possible you are just experiencing this normal "transitioning melt" but even if that is the issue, I would definitely invest in and try to rig up a full spectrum light. The lighting that comes with tank kits are almost always not really sufficient for growing most aquatic plants, not necessarily due to the lack of wattage, but lack of multiple color spectrums in which plants benefit from having.
 
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Onering1

Ok, thanks for all the help that you have given me, as for the light, I am currently in a lockdown where I am so as soon as it ends I will see if I can get an electrician to change over the light.
 
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Fishstery

Ok, thanks for all the help that you have given me, as for the light, I am currently in a lockdown where I am so as soon as it ends I will see if I can get an electrician to change over the light.
Good luck, and I'm happy to help!
 
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