My Freshwater Plants Are Dying!

skllkd

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Hey everyone!

I am relatively new to the fishkeeping/aquarium hobby, but before I started my project I did extensive research online to make sure I was going in the right direction.

I currently have a 10G aquarium from Topfin (their beginner started kit that includes LED lights, HOB filter and heater. Details found ()

More infos about my 10G tank: it is cycled - and the water parameters are the following:

Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrite: 0 ppm
Nitrates: between 10 and 20 ppm

The HOB has a filter pad, that I cut up open to remove the activated carbon - I also added 6 bioballs, put in the HOB. No activated carbon in this filter (as I read it can remove organism added by liquid fert).

Informations about my plants

3 Anubias Nana
2 Java Fern
1 Amazon sword

= low to medium light plants

As you can see from the photos, I decided to go with freshwater plants - I'm really proud of this little aquascape, knowing that it's my first fish tank ever haha. Although I'm getting a bit concerned for my freshwater plants - from the look of it, it seems like they're dying at a pretty fast pace (I've put them on 04/18), and I already have had to remove some dead leaves - So I know, now you're wondering, how can his tank be cycled when it looks like it's been put together a week ago - it's because I had a previous tank before this one, that was with gravel and fake plants.

A little bit more info about my plants - I used API Root tabs (fertilizer) when setting up, and I also use API Leaf Zone and API C02 booster (I have an airstone in the tank, on a timer running only at night when the lights (also on a timer) go off).

I read online that high level of nitrate may be the reason why my plants are showing signs of brown and yellow leaves - this is why I added golden Pothos in the HOB (I have about 6 stems in there). I've put the Pothos on Sunday the 04/22, so YES I've read that Pothos can suck all the nutrients then killing other plants, but they haven't been there that long that they could kill my FW plants (that were also showing signs of dying before I added the Pothos).

So I'm really looking for help here - I feel like I'm doing everything correctly, yet it's not working out. What I suspect could be the problem:
- LED lights not being powerful enough (they're on a timer for 11 hours a day)
- Too much nitrate (even though 10-20ppm is not that big - above 20 is considered harmful)
- Too much light maybe?


Here’s a couple pictures of the tank + picture of the tank setup handbook (so you see how the LED lights look like)

Oh - and info about my fish - I have one guppy and one flame dwarf gourami
 

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Lissi Kat

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I can't tell completely from the pictures but could it be that you have the anubis and java fern buried in the substrate? They're rhizome plants and sounding have the rhizome buried as this will cause them to rot.thats why you'd often see them attached to roots or stone.
The other possibility could be that they're melting this can happen when plants that were grown emersed (above water) transition to being submerseed.they need to form different leaves for aquatic life.
I'll attach some pics to show what I mean
In the left corner there's an echinodorus argentinensis (sword plant) you can see the tallest leaf is dying away that's one of its emersed leaves the shorter more pointy ones are it's new submerseed leaves this process is completely normal! On the branch you can see a tiny plant with green and white speckled leaves that's an anubias barteri nana pinto the rhizome is the thick green bit that the leaves grow out of on top and the roots at the bottom ( hard to see here but my phone's not water proof) that part should never be covered. 2nd pic is java fern (A mini variety) growing on a log. Hope this helps. The nitrite shouldn't be the issue either.what temperature is your tank at?
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-Mak-

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Just want to say that nitrate isn't harmful to plants, some high tech tanks are dosed to 40-80 ppm without issue.
They look like they have some sort of macro deficiency, as API leaf zone only contains potassium and iron, while there are at least a dozen other nutrients plants need
 

Lissi Kat

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-Mak- said:
Just want to say that nitrate isn't harmful to plants, some high tech tanks are dosed to 40-80 ppm without issue.
They look like they have some sort of macro deficiency, as API leaf zone only contains potassium and iron, while there are at least a dozen other nutrients plants need
This diagram might be helpful in regard nutrient deficiency. If in doubt just plant some hygrophila polysperma in there you'll never be able to kill it not even with a flame thrower
Screenshot_20180424-233915.png
 
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skllkd

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@Lissi Kat

I see - this is very helpful. And for the Anubias + Java Fern I didn’t know they’re not supposed to be planted. And I don’t know if this matters or not, but the Anubias leaf dying on the picture was actually attached to my piece of driftwood! And I eventually planted it because it looked like it was dying.... so I don’t know. And thanks for the diagram - I guess my plants need some magnesium. Gotta look how I can add this to the tank.

The tank is still fairly new (a week old haha), and maybe I’m just stressing over nothing. I bought all these plants at PetSmart - so they’re not in the water - I’ll wait and see if they grow new leaves adapted to life underwater.

Thanks everyone
 

Lissi Kat

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Good luck with it! Alot of this is trial and error. Actually one more thing the co2 booster you mentioned is that in liquid form? If so don't use it for anything other than killing of algae if you really have to. It doesn't add co2 to your tank it merely has carbon in its chemical composition. It gives the illusion that it boosts plant growth by making algae retreat but it actually also stunts plant growth it messes with their membranes so they can't function properly. You might think you were helping them out but really it just kills them at a somewhat slower pace than algae as algae is a very simple organism and plants somewhat more complex. I might be completely off with this but if it smells like hospital cleaner don't pour it in your tank...funnily it is also an industrial disinfectant!C5H8O2 is it's chemical composition. Might be something to look into
 
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skllkd

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Oh wow I had no idea. I mean I figured it wasn’t your typical C02 injection. I am currently using it daily. I’ll stop immediately. But does that mean I need a c02 injector now? For a 10G tank? I am currently on my way to the PetSmart to get Seachem Flourish as @Mak pointed out Leaf Zone lacks certain elements like Magnesium.
 

Lissi Kat

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skllkd said:
Oh wow I had no idea. I mean I figured it wasn’t your typical C02 injection. I am currently using it daily. I’ll stop immediately. But does that mean I need a c02 injector now? For a 10G tank? I am currently on my way to the PetSmart to get Seachem Flourish as @Mak pointed out Leaf Zone lacks certain elements like Magnesium.
Ok well that'll be part of the problem then well if you really wanted to you could but I wouldn't the plants you have should be fine without it .If you were he'll bent in going the co2 route you could look into bio co2 but that has it's issues too.its a lightly planted tank so once you have a few little fish in there they'll make a little bit of co2 for your plants anyway! The flourish should help build them back up.with any luck you'll be rehominh the sword soon cos it'll take over the tank!
 
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skllkd

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Awesome. Yeah I definitely want to add at least one more guppy in that tank (only 2 fish now). Is there such thing a “not enough fish” for a planted 10g tank?
 

Lissi Kat

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That completely depends.theres an equilibrium you have to find between fish and plants.many aquascaoed tanks would have few tiny fish or just shrimp without livestock you can dose co2 as high as you like without suffocating the fish you also don't have to consider how high dosage ferts may effect them.you will have to supplement nitrogen more tho. It's a very subjective question because it all depends on what you want to do and how to want to do it and then finding a way to make that work preferably not leaving a trail of fish and plant bodies in your wake haha!
 
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skllkd

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Haha I completely understand. Well I definitely do not want to overstock this tank - that is one thing. For now 1 Guppy and 1 Dwarf Gourami - I’m guessing I can go with at least 1 more guppy. I’m running an air stone at night so there shouldn’t be any c02 intoxication (which happens usually at night when plants do reverse photosynthesis and produce c02).
 

Lissi Kat

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Yup that's exactly it plants stop using co2 when the lights go out personally I keep my air stones running 24/7 firstly cos I like how the bubbles look! And also because surface agitation is a good thing in my opinion the bubbles themselves don't actually dissolve o2 into the water but the tiny ripples the male when they pop at the surface help facilitate gas exchange as it increases the surface area if that makes sense. I don't see adding another guppy would be problematic just give your tank a bit if time to settle in and keep an eye on the water quality when you do add it.and remember if you have a male and female they will make many babies so put a plan in place for those
 

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skllkd said:
@Lissi Kat

I see - this is very helpful. And for the Anubias + Java Fern I didn’t know they’re not supposed to be planted. And I don’t know if this matters or not, but the Anubias leaf dying on the picture was actually attached to my piece of driftwood! And I eventually planted it because it looked like it was dying.... so I don’t know. And thanks for the diagram - I guess my plants need some magnesium. Gotta look how I can add this to the tank.

The tank is still fairly new (a week old haha), and maybe I’m just stressing over nothing. I bought all these plants at PetSmart - so they’re not in the water - I’ll wait and see if they grow new leaves adapted to life underwater.

Thanks everyone
As long as they're showing new growth cut the melting emerald grown leaves off & your good to go. Sometimes the java ferns will be a bunch wrapped together with thread and it keeps the rhizome from growing so make sure with those to check for that. Also fyi the propagate by new plants growing from the leaves as well as growing from the rhizome. At first looks like a disease lol but no worries
 
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