Planted Aquarium Struggles

gforce1

Newbie here. Attempting a planted aquarium. About 3 weeks, ago I planted 4 lead bunches of potomageton gayi into the substrate. I also used an aquarium glue to cover quite a few rocks with Java moss. In that time, the potomageton gayi has almost completely died, and the java moss is either doing very poorly or is also dead. I also added a mat of java fern, but it’s only been in the aquarium 3 days.

It’s quite possible I planted these plants improperly. Having said that, here are the specs:

It’s a 30 gallon tank, with caribsea flora max substrate, and an aqueon 15 watt floramax bulb. There is an additional LED lightbulb as well. It gets roughly 9 hours of light per day. The PH is 8.3, with almost nothing in the way of ammonia/nitrites/nitrates. I use API Leafzone, API root tabs, and API CO2 booster. I use a combination of Seachem Acid Regulator and Seachem Neutral Regulator with the hope of lowering my PH. The tank has been cycling for about a month, with 6 platy’s currently stocked.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Roman96

First, don't mess with ph. That will increase problems for plants and fish. 8.3 isn't that bad, and platys perfer higher ph.

Lighting seems to be a problem too, usually with bulbs your supposed to the wat per gallon rule. I'd invest in something like a nicrew led if you just want to keep the lower-moderate light plants.

Api leafzone won't do much, you need a all in one fertilizer. easy green is what I use, but there are other options such as thrive, marcus fish tank all in one, etc.
 
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SeattleRoy

Hi gforce1

Most mosses do not do well with liquid CO2 (carbon) supplements. The glutaraldehyde that the supplements are made from used commercially as a sanitizer and kills lower level plants. Hornwort and Vallisneria do not typically do well with glutaraldehyde based supplements either. -Roy
 
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Mudminnow

It's tough to tell exactly, perhaps your lights are a bit weak? It may just be you haven't tried the right plants yet. Your pH is 8.3. Usually that means you have high KH as well. This is fine. But, in a low tech tank, I have found not all plants will thrive in high KH water. Try valisneria, anubias, and Cryptocoryne wendtii. I've had good luck with these in a hard water, low tech tank.
 
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