Plant deficiency ID and help

Sofiafish17

Hello!
I have some aquatic plants that aren’t doing too well, and I would like some help identifying the issue. The tank is low light, so just regular LEDs like a house lamp. I some java fern, anubias, melon sword, Marimo moss balls, and a piece of Pothos growing emersed. I also have a hydra infestation and a bacterial infection going on in this tank, so I’ve got a lot going on. Advice on how to help my plants thrive again would be appreciated. Also any advice on how to treat an infection without harming plants would very helpful, as I have nowhere else to move them currently. I have no shrimp or fry so the Hydra are the lowest on my list right now.

Important Note: I have dealt with infections before so I know what I’m doing, I just have nowhere to move my plants this time. That’s why I don’t have a thread asking about the infection. The meds I have on hand are Furan 2 and Kanaplex.
 

Mudminnow

Your bacterial infection and hydra infestation aside, identifying precisely why your plants aren't doing too well would require a whole lot more information. Therefore, I'll just point out a few things I've found help my planted tanks do well and hope that helps you. Here they are in no particular order:
  • Use a light intended to grow aquarium plants.
  • Put your light on a timer.
  • Use a soil substrate.
  • Have strong filtration.
  • Have decent water flow (plant leaves should gently sway).
  • Use a quality all-in-one liquid fertilizer.
  • Perform regular water changes.
 

Sofiafish17

Sadly, I can’t get a grow light because of the energy bill, and I really am not in the situation to switch substrates right now. That is why I use Seachem root tabs. Everything else I am already doing. What all in one liquid fertilizer would you suggest? I was thinking of getting the easy green by aquarium co-op.
 

OutsideFoodBlob

If you are using an external light like a lamp as part of tank lighting try switching out the bulb for a full spectrum led higher watt equivalent. I am using a 100 watt equivalent to light a very dim room (no direct sunlight) and it was noticeable how much brighter it was immediately.
I use a clamp desk lamp with full spectrum 60 watt equivalent led bulb as part of lighting for tank and plants have done well.
Don’t assume you need a more expensive or energy usage heavy light set up to achieve success. Just might have to experiment a bit. The clamp lamp has allowed me to play around with locations and angles. I picked it up at the goodwill/charity shop.
 

Sofiafish17

Sounds good, I’ll try. Any recommendations on ferts? I am between Seachem flourish and easy green.
 

OutsideFoodBlob

Hey wanted to say your question has inspired me to reassess my lights. I’m going to pick up a 4 pack of cfl bulbs (5000k, daylight) and a second pendant light kit to improve overall lighting in room and for tanks.
 

Cherryshrimp420

Picture would help a lot. I have a $7 LED bulb on a lamp and the plants are growing fine. These days you can get a pretty bright LED bulb for cheap
 

Sofiafish17

Ah, so sorry. I thought I inserted the pictures in my first post :emoji_face_palm: that explains why!
67236615-DC1A-4A49-81BB-A7A4E721A5C8.jpeg
1DAF36AA-AE26-4630-9A43-957DCFBD1BB5.jpeg
425B07A6-48D7-45FA-87EF-0645FB256671.jpeg
64BD5B02-2B8C-4A89-83F2-A9BB846ACA5D.jpeg
 

Cherryshrimp420

Hmm water looks quite tan, you probably won't be able to grow the swords unless you put a very bright light right ontop of the water. Do you have hard or high pH water?
 

Sofiafish17

I think it’s like just over .5 away from being neutral. I’ll try to run a test soon.

Edit: Whoa boy was I surprised, 8.2! My town must have changed the tap water recently or something, it has usually been just about 7.5 until now. So I’m guessing this might be a bit high mineral concentration for my plants. My fish seem fine, except for the infection I am trying to treat right now. I even have quite a lot of tannins in my water as you can see from the photo. I really don’t like playing with the chemicals unless I have too, so more info is appreciated. Will I have to lower my ph, or will it most likely be ok for the plants? The fish seem unaffected by the ph so I’m not going to worry about it.
 

Cherryshrimp420

I think it’s like just over .5 away from being neutral. I’ll try to run a test soon.

Edit: Whoa boy was I surprised, 8.2! My town must have changed the tap water recently or something, it has usually been just about 7.5 until now. So I’m guessing this might be a bit high mineral concentration for my plants. My fish seem fine, except for the infection I am trying to treat right now. I even have quite a lot of tannins in my water as you can see from the photo. I really don’t like playing with the chemicals unless I have too, so more info is appreciated. Will I have to lower my ph, or will it most likely be ok for the plants? The fish seem unaffected by the ph so I’m not going to worry about it.

Those plants don't do very well in high pH from what Ive been noticing. There are hard water plants like hygrophila corymbosa, rotala rotundifolia, guppy grass etc. Those might be much easier to grow. But regardless you still need a very bright light near the water surface due to the tannins
 

Mudminnow

Sounds good, I’ll try. Any recommendations on ferts? I am between Seachem flourish and aquarium co-op easy green.
Both of those can be good, it depends on your tank. Seachem is a bit too light on macro-nutrients for most set ups, so Easy Green is more likely the better choice.

As a side note, I would remove the dead/dying leaves. In time, new healthier leaves will likely replace them.
 

Sofiafish17

I did remove the dead and dying leaves. Kept em in for that picture and snipped them and took them out during my water change yesterday.
 

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