Some of my Plants Won’t Grow

CrazedHoosier

I’m about to hit my 3rd month in on my 40 gallon, and while things have been going great fish-wise, my plants have been a struggle. I’m specifically having trouble with water wisteria, ludwigia repens, jungle val, and red flame sword. I dose with Seachem comprehensive and Iron once a week at different times, and also have root tabs for the sword and val. I have a Beamswork FPSEC and Finnex Planted + 24/7 for lighting. The val is reproducing, but only staying at a height of about 6-8 inches. The wisteria is doing absolutely nothing, and the red flame sword is following in the wisteria’s footsteps. The ludwigia just recently fell apart and is down to a couple stems. It’s frustrating, as all of these plants have been in the 40 for about 1.5+ months now. My java ferns are even outgrowing them! My water sprite has been running laps around the tank while these others have been struggling to survive. Can anybody diagnose my issue?
 

juniperlea

I'm convinced that it has nothing to do with lighting or sunlight. It's about the tap water and the only route is to fully analyze ($$$$) your tap water. I've killed everything, including anubias, water wisteria, duckweed and even amazon sword. I managed to get my hands on a clump of hair algae in a desperate attempt to grow anything green, and even it struggles. There is no pat answer unless you're willing to spend a great deal of money in order to analyze your tap water.
 

Dennis57

Have you checked your GH and KH levels?
 

juniperlea

I don't know the GH or KH of my water. All I know is that I have hard water and I went out of my way to track down hair algae, hoping I'd be able to grow something that was green. It's failing.
 

CrazedHoosier

I'm convinced that it has nothing to do with lighting or sunlight. It's about the tap water and the only route is to fully analyze ($$$$) your tap water. I've killed everything, including anubias, water wisteria, duckweed and even amazon sword. I managed to get my hands on a clump of hair algae in a desperate attempt to grow anything green, and even it struggles. There is no pat answer unless you're willing to spend a great deal of money in order to analyze your tap water.

I’m actually finding it strange my water wisteria is doing so poorly, as I had it about 5 years ago in an extremely low tech situation, and it went nuts. My amazon sword is pulling through, but that flame sword isn’t looking so hot.

Can anyone recommend some good Gh/Kh test kit-things? Never tested for those before, but I’m interested.
 

Dennis57

I’m actually finding it strange my water wisteria is doing so poorly, as I had it about 5 years ago in an extremely low tech situation, and it went nuts. My amazon sword is pulling through, but that flame sword isn’t looking so hot.

Can anyone recommend some good Gh/Kh test kit-things? Never tested for those before, but I’m interested.
I use API and have been for years
 

Sprinkle

GH, KH? Ferts? What ferts? CO2? Liquid or gas?
 

toeknee

Seachem Flourish might be enough for your plants to grow if you had very low lighting. But it sounds like you actually have very very high lighting. Flourish is pretty watered down and only contains a fraction of what plants need.
I'm guessing your plants are bottoming out on nutrients. Lighting is like the gas pedal in a car and ferts are the fuel. You're slamming down on the gas pedal with almost no fuel in the tank. Therefor going nowhere (plants not growing)
Maybe switch to an all in one liquid fert like NilocG Thrive. It has way more nutrients than flourish at exponentially higher levels. I've used it with great success.
 

86 ssinit

Are you rooting your westeria? Westeria really likes the light so I float mine. Also I have attached a piece of driftwood about 8” off the back wall with suction cups and attached the westeria to that and it’s growing like crazy. The flame sword will probably need more iron and a open spot in the light and root tabs. I use both osmacoat (bought off eBay real cheap) and api. Ludwigia may need co2 to do well. Anubias don’t need as much light and grow best below other plants. Jungle Val melts but may come back so don’t remove. Plants also take time to adjust to water conditions. As to your ferts yes you may need more. I use what you are using and potassium too. I dose the comprehensive twice a week. Is your 40 a high or breeder?
 

Sprinkle

Are you rooting your westeria? Westeria really likes the light so I float mine. Also I have attached a piece of driftwood about 8” off the back wall with suction cups and attached the westeria to that and it’s growing like crazy. The flame sword will probably need more iron and a open spot in the light and root tabs. I use both osmacoat (bought off eBay real cheap) and api. Ludwigia may need co2 to do well. Anubias don’t need as much light and grow best below other plants. Jungle Val melts but may come back so don’t remove. Plants also take time to adjust to water conditions. As to your ferts yes you may need more. I use what you are using and potassium too. I dose the comprehensive twice a week. Is your 40 a high or breeder?
Yeah, for potassium, Tetra's PlantaMin is great, but that is just my opinion.
 

CrazedHoosier

GH, KH? Ferts? What ferts? CO2? Liquid or gas?
I’m not sure if the GH or KH yet. I’m planning on buying a kit to test. I’m dosing Seachem flourish comprehensive fertilizer on Wednesdays, Seachem’ Iron on Sunday’s, and the root tabs are Easy Green from Aquarium Co-op.
Seachem Flourish might be enough for your plants to grow if you had very low lighting. But it sounds like you actually have very very high lighting. Flourish is pretty watered down and only contains a fraction of what plants need.
I'm guessing your plants are bottoming out on nutrients. Lighting is like the gas pedal in a car and ferts are the fuel. You're slamming down on the gas pedal with almost no fuel in the tank. Therefor going nowhere (plants not growing)
Maybe switch to an all in one liquid fert like NilocG Thrive. It has way more nutrients than flourish at exponentially higher levels. I've used it with great success.
I was wondering if this may be the cause. I was thinking maybe the water sprite and java fern were grabbing the nutrients before the other plants could since they feed from the water. I’ll look at NilocG Thrive. I’m hoping to find a fertilizer that isn’t $20, though.

Are you rooting your westeria? Westeria really likes the light so I float mine. Also I have attached a piece of driftwood about 8” off the back wall with suction cups and attached the westeria to that and it’s growing like crazy. The flame sword will probably need more iron and a open spot in the light and root tabs. I use both osmacoat (bought off eBay real cheap) and api. Ludwigia may need co2 to do well. Anubias don’t need as much light and grow best below other plants. Jungle Val melts but may come back so don’t remove. Plants also take time to adjust to water conditions. As to your ferts yes you may need more. I use what you are using and potassium too. I dose the comprehensive twice a week. Is your 40 a high or breeder?

Yep, the wisteria is rooted! The roots actually grew really fast, so I really thought it was doing well. Maybe I’ll try taking a cutting and letting it float. I do like the suction cup idea, though! I’ve heard of Osmocote being used for outdoor plants, but is it safe for aquariums? Would it only be for the root feeders? It is a 40 breeder.
 

CrazedHoosier

I just got the test strips, and I don’t think they’re working. They aren’t changing color at all after 60 seconds.
 

juniperlea

I've been looking for a quick answer. I don't believe there is one. I gave up when I saw someone (youtube) said why add nitrogen, if you already have fish? Now, this almost made sense to me, as before I 'discovered' fish, I spent $$$ on fish fertilizer in a bottle for house plants and indoor seedlings! It's very expensive, and smells rather bad, btw.

Then, I came upon Aquasabi's website. I'm convinced the answer is not a simple GH/KH test. I think tap water tests needs to be much more specific. I want to test my tap water for, iron, potassium, nitrogen, manganese etc etc etc, and then, I'll find out which plants are best suited for my tap water. It's all about the ABZs!!!
 

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