New To Live Plants. I Need Help...

  1. TaDah

    TaDah Valued Member Member

    Good evening :)
    So, im new to all the planted tank stuff. heres whats going on.. the leaves on my smaller Amazon Swords (purchased at Petsmart in those tuby things) are turning slightly yellow and transparent. i got them about 2 weeks ago (maybe 1.5). i just added 2 larger amazon swords to fill up the tank a bit more as they are bigger and taller (these i got from a LFS and they were already in a tank). i did have to move a couple of the smaller ones around around a little today to fit the bigger ones and they had nice new roots growing and a little bit of new leave growth.
    my anubias nana seems to be doing well, no issues there so far.
    i also have 2 stalks of a plant called Ribbon something (i cant remember im so sorry) and that one seems to be doing okay but the tips are turning lightly yellow/brown.

    I put root tabs near every plant thats in there unless there are 2 close together i only put 1. they are the API root tabs.

    my water parameters are:
    pH: 8.0 (we have hard water here that i try to add conditioners to help soften. i even have a water softner)
    ammonia: 0
    nirtite: 0
    nitrate: 5ppm
    temp: 78.4 F
    sand substrate

    i only have 8 tiger barbs which 6 i added today (the first 6 i got at petsmart and all had a nasty case of mouth rot so all but 2 were saved from that mess) the 6 i got today was from an actual aquarium store. same place i got my 2 large amazon swords.

    i have a Hydor 250 canister filter. have the return water set to make a decent current in the tank.

    my light is a Finnex 24/7 planted+ on my 55 gal tank (4' wide 2' tall)
    should i have the light on MAX during most of the day then put it into the 24 hour cycle for the evenings? maybe running the 24 hour cycle they arent getting enough light for a long enough period?

    Im hoping i have left enough info to help figure out whats going on. any help is very much accepted :)
     
  2. dcutl002

    dcutl002 Well Known Member Member

    Fertilize. Look into EI dosing: that will make your plants green. There are a few ways to do it.
    1. You can buy (Amazon) an all-in-one pre-made fertilizer like NilocG Thrive and dose three times a week.
    2. You can buy (Amazon) pre-made NilocG separate Macro and Micro and dose six times a week.
    3. You can buy (Amazon) the NilocG dry fertilizer kit and mix it yourself and dose six times a week.
    4. You can buy the dry fertilizer in bulk from Green Leaf Aquariums and mix it yourself and dose six times a week. You will also need to buy two dosing bottles.
    When EI dosing, change 50% of the water on the 7th day. Do not dose on the 7th day.
     
  3. AngelTheGypsy

    AngelTheGypsy Fishlore VIP Member

    About your swords you got in the tubes, these were probably grown emersed (out of water) and the leaves have a long stem and oval leaf. These leaves will not continue to grow under water, and will yellow and die. However, the plant will quickly grow new leaves that will look different, shorter stem, longer, wavier leaves. Many of the swords I have gotten from tanks do this as well and it is normal.

    However the ribbon plants are not fully aquatic and will not survive submerged. The leaves have to be above the water. Some plants sold for aquatic use are like this, they are actually semi-aquatic and can grow in shallow water with the leaves emerged. I have fallen for a few myself. To avoid this, google the plant you are considering, by the scientific name if it's on the label, and if it says semi-aquatic, big plant, or anything similar, it's not for aquariums. Some examples:

    Ribbon plants
    Asian fern
    Mondo grass
    Rotippa
    Peace lily

    I have gotten, seen, or heard of all these being sold at petco, either in tubes or in the tank.
     


  4. OP
    OP
    TaDah

    TaDah Valued Member Member

    well haha thanks :) so i should take out the ribbons and add some wisteria perhaps?
    as for my tube swords, should i just save them the hassle of dying and trim all their leaves so they can regrow?
     
  5. OP
    OP
    TaDah

    TaDah Valued Member Member

    in your opinion, for a noob (like myself) in the plant world, which fert would be better? one premade that i dont have to become an instant chemist and create a magic solution in my kitchen? haha i would definitely have to do more research on the fertilization of aquatic plants indeed. i was thinking root tabs would be good enough.

    Will the fert hurt my fish?
     
  6. Lynn78too

    Lynn78too Well Known Member Member

    Peacock fern is another one sold in those tubes that's not an aquatic plant. Those tubes are so frustrating, they say nothing about what type of plant it is, the size. Saying it's an amazon sword or an annubias is like saying something is a maple or an oak.
     
  7. Alhana

    Alhana Valued Member Member

    I'm pretty new to plants as well and from what I've learned there are two ways the plants feed. Some pull nutrients from the substrate and others from the water column. Sounds like swords pull a lot from the roots/substrate so having the root tabs in there is a good idea. I've been using Easy Green fertilizer from Aquarium Co-op and so far everyone is doing well. It seems rather easy, just one pump per 10 gallons. I have a 20 gallon and I did one pump the first week and then two this last week. Since I had been worried about high nitrates, I only half dosed the first week.
     
  8. AngelTheGypsy

    AngelTheGypsy Fishlore VIP Member

    I would replace the ribbon plants, yes. Wisteria is a great choice, but I would order online as the ones in the tubes have, you got it, been grown emersed and will take time to adjust. Their leaves will look different grown under water as well. I have had some luck with the wisteria in the tube, but it takes time. Root tabs help too.

    You can trim the swords, but I don't until decent new growth is showing. The old leaves won't rot, and will still photosynthesize (?), but will be yellow and won't grow more. Here is a sword that has both types of leaves on it, just so you can see the difference.

    c08a7f9e6a298e96c14653b094ba846e.jpg

    And this ozelot sword is the same. The wavy looking leaves are new, and the straight leaves are the old leaves. They haven't grown since added, but some of the new leaves have gotten pretty large. I've had it about 3 months or so.

    010ce5d889f59f576f68e4257cf76936.jpg
     
  9. OP
    OP
    TaDah

    TaDah Valued Member Member

    OH MY GOSH I KNOW RIGHT... Like my small amazon swords were called Amazon compacta.. I am no longer getting plants from those stupid tubes.... The first batch of tiger barbs i got from petsmart all ended up with mouth rot within a day!!! NO MORE PETSMART!! I found a nice local aqua shop i will be spending my time in haha

    Have you noticed the fert messing with your fish at all? My nitrates have been crazy low for the majority life of my tank thus far. I have a piece of driftwood i will be putting in today or tomorrow also.

    I see, so dont worry about the leaves til new grow :) gotchya. and i wont be getting anymore tube plants. thats so frustrating!!! The aqua shop i got my new swords from has a nice planted tank where you can purchase your plants from so the wisteria is actually fully submerged already :) i have a good feeling about those ones since they were in water already before i moved to my tank. My sand substrate should be okay right? without any soil or anything underneath?
     
  10. dcutl002

    dcutl002 Well Known Member Member

    Start with the NilocG dry fert kit. Comes with dry fert packages.,.just add distilled water. If you are still unsure, buy the pre-made till you get the hang of it.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    TaDah

    TaDah Valued Member Member

    here are some pictures of all the plants i have and my tank as it currently sits.

    also i included a photo of the piece of drift wood i will be adding and removing the bright tan colored log in the tank hahaa i think the darker driftwood will look nicer. can fish hurt themselves on the wood?
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Alhana

    Alhana Valued Member Member

    I havent noticed any changes with the fish other than when I first put the live plants in they seemed to hang out in those areas more. I have 3 plants from the tubes, Anubias Nana, Anubias congenesis and Anubias hastofolia (which was actually two smaller plants). The hastafolia I just got on Sunday so they are really new. The other anubias plants I've had now for about a month now. I also have 6 contortion valesenaria that have been in there about 3 weeks. I believe the contortion vals are starting to reproduce which is exciting. I got the tube plants b/c I'm really trying to avoid pest snails in my tanks. The vals I got online and I stared at them really really closely for a while to try to spot any snails and so far none.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    TaDah

    TaDah Valued Member Member

    the 2 anubias nanas i got from petsmart were in the baggies but so far they are doing great!!! I just got myself some fertilizer that will be here tomorrow!! my next plan is to add a low growing type plant to cover some of the sand i have. maybe just on one side of the tank.