Trouble with plants after re-scape Help

  1. Dark Sky Member Member

    I'm having a bit of trouble with my plants after re-scaping my tanks, would love any input anyone might have.

    The trouble is in the tank with sand substrate, I put in two bunches of Ambulia which in the past has done quite well in this tank, both planted and floating. These lots, which went in healthy looking (and from the same shop I've got it from in the past), but soon started dying away. I pulled a few stems out of the sand to float and they just continued to die. I tossed a half dead stem into the goldfish tank (gravel bottom) and started seeing new shoots emerging in a few days, until the Goldies ate them!

    Parameters in the tank are good, Ammonia and Nitrite at 0, Nitrate got to around 40+ before a water change (I had underestimated how much of the Nitrate the plants were taking up before re-scaping!). pH did have a swing up to about 7.8 before being brought back down to 7.4 the following week, which is where it had always sat before.

    So, why won't these plants grow?! The sand is regular play sand which I washed thoroughly before putting in, there's a new (to this tank) piece of driftwood, but otherwise, all else is the same, same fish, same filter, same water, same light, same minimal dosing of Flourish. Any ideas?

  2. Dolfan Fishlore VIP Member

    I have not kept Ambulia before but perhaps it was going through and acclimation stage that many plants go through similar to how crypts melt when added to a new tank. Perhaps you just needed to get them ore time. You mentioned they started coming back, but when you moved them to a different tank, that the goldfish finished them off.
  3. Dark Sky Member Member

    There is a lot of Elodia growing in that tank, I may pop a few stems into this trouble tank and see if they can kick off whatever it is to get it plant-happy again. The fish themselves all seem ok.
  4. Dark Sky Member Member

    As an experiment, I bought some Contortionist Val yesterday, and split it between the two tanks. It'll be interesting to see what happens...
  5. Kuhligirl93 Member Member

    Do you add a carbon source? Your plants may be suffering from a deficiency, or maybe even lack of strong enough light. Flourish provides micro nutrients but not enough macros.
    Using a comprehensive dry fertilizer like PPS-pro or EI from GLA will give them everything they need, and is much more economical.
    Having a successful planted tank is all about balancing light, carbon, and nutrients.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  6. Dark Sky Member Member

    Thanks for the ideas. I've kept the same lights on there that I had when it was a nice planted tank, the only thing different is the sand substrate, so obviously the plants aren't getting the ground nutrients that were available before. However, I've used plants that feed from the water in the hopes of avoiding that as an issue... There's obviously something else I've missed!
  7. Phishphin Well Known Member Member

    What type of lights are you using? I know it's a low light plant, and you are obviously very familiar with it, so I'm just curious.
  8. Dark Sky Member Member

    I just have a single Daylight T5 on this tank, it's a very low wattage, maybe 15-18W from memory, but there is also a lot of indirect sunlight in the room too.
  9. Phishphin Well Known Member Member

    This may just be one of those instance that you have to play around with the possible causes. The big three for plant problems stem from light, lack of carbon (CO2), or not fertalization. You honestly seem to have those bases adequately covered... it's a puzzle.
  10. Dark Sky Member Member

    I'll admit, I don't know enough about the science of aquatic plants as I probably should, it's always just been a matter of playing around, and getting lucky!

    Thinking on carbon, before the re-scape this tank also housed two goldfish. Even though they weren't big, I would presume they were heavy breathers compared to the rest of the community (also being heavy fertilisers goes without saying!). I wonder if the 'reduced emissions' of the community have left the tank a little too sterile?

    I found someone locally with an abundance of Frogbit, I got a small bundle-load to pop in today and see how they go
  11. AlyeskaGirl Fishlore VIP Member

    As an example - Crypts melt due to environmental changes. This is what may be happening with your plants.
  12. psalm18.2 Fishlore Legend Member

    Good idea.
  13. Dark Sky Member Member

    Well, the Val seems to be going well in both tanks. I also added some Thin Val which looks to be doing well. The Amazon Frogbit, on the other hand, is getting lots of dying leaves with brown spots/holes... They're still sending out runners and starting new plants though... Any tips?[​IMG]
  14. Phishphin Well Known Member Member

    If it's sending out runners, it has what is needs for growth. I'd just trim back the dead and dying. :)

    The interesting thing about plants is that they are supposed to die. Most aquarists (including myself), see the dying leaves like we see a stressed fish and really want to identify and treat a problem, when in reality with plants, there may not be a problem at all. If it's spreading, you can rest easy.
  15. Dark Sky Member Member

    Thanks, that's reassuring.

    You know, when you put it like that, I feel like an idiot! I just spent the weekend in my veggie garden pulling up a lot of last seasons crops, clearing out dead growth and turning the beds ready for the new season... Yet a handful of brown leaves in the aquarium had me worried?!! Makes perfect, natural sense.
  16. Phishphin Well Known Member Member

    I'm still that way! As soon as I see a leaf on one of my cryptocoryns yellow, I think I've ruined my tank. :)