New tank, new plants, new leaves dying

B3TT45

I'm currently in the process of cycling a new tank with ADA Aquasoil for the last few weeks and added a few plants, including an amazon sword and a couple valisnerias. After 2 weeks of quarantine and a very quick bleach dip, I went ahead and planted them. I know melting is expected at first, but even the new leaves of my sword that have sprouted since I added the plant are wrinkling up, browning, and turning translucent. I have a Hygger LED light with a timer for 12 hours (I lowered it today to 10 hours) and ADA aquasoil. Is the shriveling of new leaves expected when adding to a new tank or is it indicative of some sort of deficiency? Because my tank is cycling and because of the aquasoil, ammonia has been consistently at 2 ppm, nitrite at 2 ppm, and nitrate between 10-20 (at least I think, reading the color of the tubes is difficult). Could the ammonia be the culprit? I also haven't done WCs yet since the parameters haven't changed much, I'm going to do a 50% change today to see if the ammonia (and others) level changes.

I haven't used liquid ferts btw, should I? (just bought seachem flourish just in case. I thought the aquasoil would've been the cheaper and easiest solution in the long run but I've seen conflicting things over needing liquid ferts when you have the soil).

I can post pics on a reply if that would help ID the problem.

I'm new to planted tanks so all insight is appreciated, thanks for reading!
 

BristlenoseCatfish

I'm by no means an expert but have you checked the heater? Because I've read that the heater can be the culprit. I think that putting some liquid fertilizer in now is a great idea to boost nutrient levels and would recommend you do. (Also have you tested iron levels)
 

B3TT45

I'm by no means an expert but have you checked the heater? Because I've read that the heater can be the culprit. I think that putting some liquid fertilizer in now is a great idea to boost nutrient levels and would recommend you do. (Also have you tested iron levels)
My heater is set at 80 (want to keep rams eventually).
I don't know how to test iron, is there a test kit for that?

Edit: After doing some research, I realized I'm supposed to press the test tube for the API kit against the white of the paper, not hover over it.
This changes my nitrates to about 40 ppm, maybe 80 (still hard to tell). Could that have anything to do with the leaves dying?
 

awilkinson871

Plant leaves melt...especially if they were not grown in an underwater environment. Depending on how they were grown they can melt within weeks or months of planting. Cut back the ones that are worst and new ones should start to appear in the next weeks. If you leave the bad ones the plant spends energy trying to repair them and not growing new ones. Swords are heavy root feeders so they need lots of fertilizer near the roots. I have sand so I have to add root tabs monthly. If your nitrates are 80 you are dangerously close to stalling your cycle. You may need to do a water change to keep those under control.
 

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