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Old 17-07-2003, 08:44 PM
Tzeentch
 
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Default Plants dying quickly. Help needed please.

Hi everybody,

I have a 25 gallon Aquarium populated by Mollies, 4 of them at
the time (2 adult (one of them born in the tank) and 2 young (2 months
old, born in the tank)).

I have never been able to keep the plants in the tank beautifull or
even living for a period of more than 2 or 3 weeks. They all wither
and die very rapidly once planted. It looks to me as if the roots or
the bases of the plants near the root outside the gravel are rotting
(althought that might be too strong a term). I've had 6 different
varieties of plants, none of which survived very long. My fish seems
to die a little bit too much also, although the salesman at the local
fish store tells me this is normal.

Here are the results of the most recent test:
PH: 8.5
KH: 60 ppm (about 3.4, I beleive is the correct conversion)
GH: 80 ppm (about 4.5, I beleive is the correct conversion)
NH3/NH4 (ammonia): around 0.6 ppm (test kit doesn't give super
precise result, so it's around 0.6ppm or maybe a little less)
NO2 (Nitrite): 0.1 or less ppm
NO3 (Nitrate): 5 or less ppm

Neon is open 12 hours a day. No CO2 is added in the tank.
I make a 25-40% water change every 7 to 9 days. Tap water is used for
that purpose.
I add some tap water conditioner (Nutrafin's Aquaplus) and a nitrifier
(Nutrifin's Cycle) everytime I make a water change.

So, what can I do in the immediate to remedy the situation, and what
can I do in the long term to make sure this situation doesn't arise
again?
Thanks a whole lot for any help.

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Old 17-07-2003, 08:44 PM
LeighMo
 
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Default Plants dying quickly. Help needed please.

I have never been able to keep the plants in the tank beautifull or
even living for a period of more than 2 or 3 weeks. They all wither
and die very rapidly once planted.


See this page:

http://www.fortunecity.com/lavender/.../881/dying.htm

I suspect you don't have enough light for the kind of plants you are buying.
You don't say how much light you have over the tank, but if you have only an
ordinary tank hood, you probably don't have enough light to grow most aquarium
plants.

PH: 8.5
KH: 60 ppm (about 3.4, I beleive is the correct conversion)


Yikes. Your pH is pretty high for that KH. Are you adding something to the
tank?

NH3/NH4 (ammonia): around 0.6 ppm (test kit doesn't give super
precise result, so it's around 0.6ppm or maybe a little less)
NO2 (Nitrite): 0.1 or less ppm


Ammonia and nitrite should not be detectible in a healthy tank. Something's
wrong. How long has this tank been set up?





Leigh

http://www.fortunecity.com/lavender/halloween/881/
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Old 17-07-2003, 08:45 PM
Tzeentch
 
Posts: n/a
Default Plants dying quickly. Help needed please.


See this page:

http://www.fortunecity.com/lavender/.../881/dying.htm


Thanks for the direct link

I suspect you don't have enough light for the kind of plants you are buying.
You don't say how much light you have over the tank, but if you have only an
ordinary tank hood, you probably don't have enough light to grow most aquarium
plants.


Yeah, it's the hood and neon that came with the Aquarium, I think it's
20W, but I don't have the specs anymore

PH: 8.5
KH: 60 ppm (about 3.4, I beleive is the correct conversion)


Yikes. Your pH is pretty high for that KH. Are you adding something to the
tank?


Only what I said, a water conditionner
http://www.hagen.com/canada/english/...07655001010 1
and the nitrifier
http://www.hagen.com/canada/english/...07612001010 1

NH3/NH4 (ammonia): around 0.6 ppm (test kit doesn't give super
precise result, so it's around 0.6ppm or maybe a little less)
NO2 (Nitrite): 0.1 or less ppm


Ammonia and nitrite should not be detectible in a healthy tank. Something's
wrong. How long has this tank been set up?


As I said, the test kits are not super precise and the 0.6ppm value
for amonia could be less and the 0.1ppm nitrite level is actually the
first value on the chart, so it could be less or 0 as well.
Here's the test kit that I'm using to make the tests:
http://www.hagen.com/canada/english/...001700010 101
I just noticed that this is a "pond" test kit...does that matter?

The tank has been set up aout 15 months ago.

So what would be my first immediate step then? Change the neon for a
brighter one as soon as possible?
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Old 17-07-2003, 08:45 PM
Rich Conley
 
Posts: n/a
Default Plants dying quickly. Help needed please.

I love the name. I had a greater demon of Tzeentch once....

okay....how long is the fluoro light? we can give you wattage with that. How big of a tank is it?
we need more info.

Rich

Tzeentch wrote:

See this page:

http://www.fortunecity.com/lavender/.../881/dying.htm


Thanks for the direct link

I suspect you don't have enough light for the kind of plants you are buying.
You don't say how much light you have over the tank, but if you have only an
ordinary tank hood, you probably don't have enough light to grow most aquarium
plants.


Yeah, it's the hood and neon that came with the Aquarium, I think it's
20W, but I don't have the specs anymore

PH: 8.5
KH: 60 ppm (about 3.4, I beleive is the correct conversion)


Yikes. Your pH is pretty high for that KH. Are you adding something to the
tank?


Only what I said, a water conditionner
http://www.hagen.com/canada/english/...07655001010 1
and the nitrifier
http://www.hagen.com/canada/english/...07612001010 1

NH3/NH4 (ammonia): around 0.6 ppm (test kit doesn't give super
precise result, so it's around 0.6ppm or maybe a little less)
NO2 (Nitrite): 0.1 or less ppm


Ammonia and nitrite should not be detectible in a healthy tank. Something's
wrong. How long has this tank been set up?


As I said, the test kits are not super precise and the 0.6ppm value
for amonia could be less and the 0.1ppm nitrite level is actually the
first value on the chart, so it could be less or 0 as well.
Here's the test kit that I'm using to make the tests:
http://www.hagen.com/canada/english/...001700010 101
I just noticed that this is a "pond" test kit...does that matter?

The tank has been set up aout 15 months ago.

So what would be my first immediate step then? Change the neon for a
brighter one as soon as possible?


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Old 17-07-2003, 08:45 PM
Tzeentch
 
Posts: n/a
Default Plants dying quickly. Help needed please.

On Thu, 08 May 2003 12:48:33 -0400, Rich Conley
wrote:

I love the name. I had a greater demon of Tzeentch once....




okay....how long is the fluoro light? we can give you wattage with that. How big of a tank is it?
we need more info.


The neon is 23 inch long.
The tank is 29.5 inch (from left to right) by 15 inch up and 12.5 inch
from front to rear.

Thanks,

Tzeentch


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Old 17-07-2003, 08:45 PM
Luca Brazi
 
Posts: n/a
Default Plants dying quickly. Help needed please.

That's almost certainly a 20watt florescent bulb--not enough light for
many types of aquarium plants. Fertilizer, CO2 etc. probably won't
help much without more light. There are some types of plants (e.g.,
java moss) that you might have luck with; they don't require much
light.

Tzeentch wrote in message . ..
On Thu, 08 May 2003 12:48:33 -0400, Rich Conley
wrote:

I love the name. I had a greater demon of Tzeentch once....




okay....how long is the fluoro light? we can give you wattage with that. How big of a tank is it?
we need more info.


The neon is 23 inch long.
The tank is 29.5 inch (from left to right) by 15 inch up and 12.5 inch
from front to rear.

Thanks,

Tzeentch

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Old 17-07-2003, 08:45 PM
Paul Davies
 
Posts: n/a
Default Plants dying quickly. Help needed please.

Your pH is so high it's off my chart, but anything over 8 means you have
virtually no CO2. No CO2 means poor plant growth.Under no circumstances be
tempted to add a buffer to bring your pH down. These contain phosphate which
is a disaster for algae. Just add CO2, the cheap yeast method is fine. This
should kick your plants into life. I agree with the comments about your
light. I would suggest 2 tubes.
From then on, just watch your plants. Add an iron rich trace element mix for
the micro nutrients, N and K for the macros, as you feel necessary. Don't
add any aquarium plant food that contains phosphorous.
Premature fish death is not normal. They should die of old age( after
several years).
I've kept freshwater tropicals (on and off) since the late 1960's, and it's
only in the last 10 years or so that I've taken a greater interest in the
plants, and I've found that with good plants and good water, the fish seem
to look after themselves with no disease. In fact, my son still has some
fish that he took to university with him 7 years ago ( and that's after 3
house moves).

PS use fine sand and gravel. Plants can't root in rocks!



"Tzeentch" wrote in message
...
Hi everybody,

I have a 25 gallon Aquarium populated by Mollies, 4 of them at
the time (2 adult (one of them born in the tank) and 2 young (2 months
old, born in the tank)).

I have never been able to keep the plants in the tank beautifull or
even living for a period of more than 2 or 3 weeks. They all wither
and die very rapidly once planted. It looks to me as if the roots or
the bases of the plants near the root outside the gravel are rotting
(althought that might be too strong a term). I've had 6 different
varieties of plants, none of which survived very long. My fish seems
to die a little bit too much also, although the salesman at the local
fish store tells me this is normal.

Here are the results of the most recent test:
PH: 8.5
KH: 60 ppm (about 3.4, I beleive is the correct conversion)
GH: 80 ppm (about 4.5, I beleive is the correct conversion)
NH3/NH4 (ammonia): around 0.6 ppm (test kit doesn't give super
precise result, so it's around 0.6ppm or maybe a little less)
NO2 (Nitrite): 0.1 or less ppm
NO3 (Nitrate): 5 or less ppm

Neon is open 12 hours a day. No CO2 is added in the tank.
I make a 25-40% water change every 7 to 9 days. Tap water is used for
that purpose.
I add some tap water conditioner (Nutrafin's Aquaplus) and a nitrifier
(Nutrifin's Cycle) everytime I make a water change.

So, what can I do in the immediate to remedy the situation, and what
can I do in the long term to make sure this situation doesn't arise
again?
Thanks a whole lot for any help.



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Old 17-07-2003, 08:45 PM
LeighMo
 
Posts: n/a
Default Plants dying quickly. Help needed please.

Yeah, it's the hood and neon that came with the Aquarium, I think it's
20W, but I don't have the specs anymore


It probably is. That's less than one watt per gallon - very low light.

As I said, the test kits are not super precise and the 0.6ppm value
for amonia could be less and the 0.1ppm nitrite level is actually the
first value on the chart, so it could be less or 0 as well.


Ammonia should be zero. Are you sure the test kit is accurate? I just would
not expect there to be measurable ammonia in a tank that has been set up for 15
months, that has only four mollies in it.

So what would be my first immediate step then? Change the neon for a
brighter one as soon as possible?


You can't just change the bulb. All that stuff about plant bulbs, etc., is
marketing BS. What really matters is wattage. To increase your lighting, you
have to change your light fixture. Add another bulb, or get a power compact
flourscent fixture. The easiest might be to get a twin-tube hood; it would
probably be enough light for your tank, since it's only 15" high. The kind
sold for a 20 gallon long or 29 gallon tank would probably fit your tank, too.

Alternately, you could just buy plants that are suited for a low-light tank.
Java fern, java moss, anubias, Bolbitis. They can give you a beautiful and
easy-care tank.



Leigh

http://www.fortunecity.com/lavender/halloween/881/
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Old 17-07-2003, 08:45 PM
LeighMo
 
Posts: n/a
Default Plants dying quickly. Help needed please.

Your pH is so high it's off my chart, but anything over 8 means you have
virtually no CO2.


I wondered if his plants were stripping all the CO2 out of the water, creating
that artificially high pH. (If so, increasing surface turbulence should bring
it down.)

But since he's got less than one watt per gallon, and says his plants aren't
growing well, I dunno...


Leigh

http://www.fortunecity.com/lavender/halloween/881/
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Old 17-07-2003, 08:45 PM
Tzeentch
 
Posts: n/a
Default Plants dying quickly. Help needed please.

Thanks everybody for giving me those hints. I'll see what I can do to
augment the wattage in the tank before doing anything else.

Oh, and just as an add-on to the current conversation. I've known for
a while that my PH was too high. I've tried using something called
"PH Adjust down":
http://www.hagen.com/canada/english/...07751001010 1
to reduce the PH, but that did not work at all. I would sometime
succesfully reduce the PH around 7.5, but less than 24 hours latter it
was back up to 8+. So I wouldn't be suprised that you're right about
my plants eating all the CO2 making the PH bounce back up very
quickly.

BTW, I've read this newsgroups, several websites and a few other
newsgroups and there's so many diferent opinion about this that I
don't know...: Is CO2 really a necessity in a tank if I want to
maintain plants?

Tzeentch


On 08 May 2003 22:11:17 GMT, tose (LeighMo) wrote:

Your pH is so high it's off my chart, but anything over 8 means you have
virtually no CO2.


I wondered if his plants were stripping all the CO2 out of the water, creating
that artificially high pH. (If so, increasing surface turbulence should bring
it down.)

But since he's got less than one watt per gallon, and says his plants aren't
growing well, I dunno...


Leigh

http://www.fortunecity.com/lavender/halloween/881/



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Old 17-07-2003, 08:45 PM
Kcristy
 
Posts: n/a
Default Plants dying quickly. Help needed please.

BTW, I've read this newsgroups, several websites and a few other
newsgroups and there's so many diferent opinion about this that I
don't know...: Is CO2 really a necessity in a tank if I want to
maintain plants


It depends what plants you want to keep. Once you decide on the plants you
like you find out wheather they will require high or medium light. If you need
high light (above 2 wpg) you will also need CO2. If you only have low to
medium light plants (1.5 - 2 wpg) they don't need the extra CO2 to do well.
Some of them won't grow as fast without the extra light and CO2, but that can
be a plus too if you don't want to be constantly trimming them.

It's all a balancing act with the CO2, light, and nutrients. The plants won't
do well if there is too or too little of any one of these parameters.

One more thing - ammonia is poisonous to plants as well as the fish. The
plants can only utilize ammonium, nitrites and nitrates.

Good luck
Cris
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Old 17-07-2003, 08:45 PM
LeighMo
 
Posts: n/a
Default Plants dying quickly. Help needed please.

I would sometime
succesfully reduce the PH around 7.5, but less than 24 hours latter it
was back up to 8+.


That's a fairly common experience, even in unplanted tanks. It's not easy to
permanently change the pH of a tank.

Do you know what the pH of your tapwater is? Measure it after letting it sit
out in a cup overnight. Or after aerating it with an airstone for 20 minutes.

Is CO2 really a necessity in a tank if I want to
maintain plants?


No. It's only necessary for high-light tanks. If you keep your lighting
around 2 wpg and have plenty of aeration, CO2 isn't necessary. If you go above
3 wpg, it *is* necessary.


Leigh

http://www.fortunecity.com/lavender/halloween/881/
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Old 17-07-2003, 08:45 PM
Rich Conley
 
Posts: n/a
Default Plants dying quickly. Help needed please.

THERES NOTHING WRONG WITH A PH OF 8+. Mine is 8.2 and everything is fine...I just cant keep
cardinal tetras.... Look into Mbuna, and big heavy hardy plants...like amazon swords....I grow huge
amazons in a 55 wiht 4 screw in 14w fluoro bulbs...yeah..thats right..huge amazons, and other
plants at 1 wpg...

Tzeentch wrote:

Thanks everybody for giving me those hints. I'll see what I can do to
augment the wattage in the tank before doing anything else.

Oh, and just as an add-on to the current conversation. I've known for
a while that my PH was too high. I've tried using something called
"PH Adjust down":
http://www.hagen.com/canada/english/...07751001010 1
to reduce the PH, but that did not work at all. I would sometime
succesfully reduce the PH around 7.5, but less than 24 hours latter it
was back up to 8+. So I wouldn't be suprised that you're right about
my plants eating all the CO2 making the PH bounce back up very
quickly.

BTW, I've read this newsgroups, several websites and a few other
newsgroups and there's so many diferent opinion about this that I
don't know...: Is CO2 really a necessity in a tank if I want to
maintain plants?

Tzeentch

On 08 May 2003 22:11:17 GMT, tose (LeighMo) wrote:

Your pH is so high it's off my chart, but anything over 8 means you have
virtually no CO2.


I wondered if his plants were stripping all the CO2 out of the water, creating
that artificially high pH. (If so, increasing surface turbulence should bring
it down.)

But since he's got less than one watt per gallon, and says his plants aren't
growing well, I dunno...


Leigh

http://www.fortunecity.com/lavender/halloween/881/


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Old 17-07-2003, 08:45 PM
Rich Conley
 
Posts: n/a
Default Plants dying quickly. Help needed please.

One more thing - ammonia is poisonous to plants as well as the fish. The
plants can only utilize ammonium, nitrites and nitrates.


NOt tottally true. The plants may only absorb Ammonium, and not ammonia(not
sure)...but even so, theres always an equilibrium between the two, so if the plants
are eating all the Ammonium, a lot of the ammonia will convert into Ammonium.

Rich

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Old 17-07-2003, 08:45 PM
LeighMo
 
Posts: n/a
Default Plants dying quickly. Help needed please.

THERES NOTHING WRONG WITH A PH OF 8+.

Yeah, but I'm wondering why his pH is 8.5 when his KH is 3. That just seems
really strange. And with less than a watt per gallon, I doubt it's the plants
that are to blame.


Leigh

http://www.fortunecity.com/lavender/halloween/881/


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