Plants dying and I can't quite figure out why.

Discussion in 'Freshwater Aquatic Plants' started by ryandb, Jan 19, 2014.

  1. ryandb

    ryandb New Member

    I have a 29 gal setup for about 2 months now. I stocked it heavily with plants early on and within about 2 weeks almost all of the plants had significant die off with most of them dying completely. Very sad to loose so many plants. I was going for a low tech planted tank without CO2. I thought maybe my lighting was too low so I purchased a new light, but didn't make much difference. I was using Flourish Excel to see if they needed more carbon, but no help there. I recently started dosing Flourish to see if they were lacking trace elements. Not quite sure on this one. It still looks like my Amazon Sword is going to start getting dead leaves again.

    Per the Deficiency Guide posted by Beth, it sounds like maybe a Nitrogen deficiency, but i have well water that starts with 20ppm Nitrates. Wouldn't that provide all the nitrogen needed?

    Oh, I also have a really strange pH issue. My tap water is at 7.4 pH, but literally as soon as I add it to the tank it goes up to 8.4 pH (tested several times just to be sure). My substrate is all Eco-Complete. Other than 8 neon tetras and plants, the only other thing I have in my tank is a piece of driftwood which is supposed to lower pH, not raise it. Has anyone had troubles with Eco-Complete raising pH?

    Any help is appreciated.

    29 gal setup:
    Fish: 8 neon tetras
    Lights = 30" Finnex Ray2, 30" Coralife with (1) Acitinic F18-T5-BP and (1) 6700k 31W-T5-HO
    Substrate = Eco-Complete
    Testing: Ammonia = 0ppm, Nitrite = 0 ppm, Nitrate = 20-40 ppm, pH = 8.4
  2. Marine590622

    Marine590622 Advisory Board Staff Member

    take a one gallon jar, and put an inch of the substrate in it and fill it with your well water, see if the ph changes. I am guessing not. But aside from that PH not being ideal for tetras, the high ph is not going to hurt your plants. If your looking at the plants and they look like the guide would indicate that you have nitrogen difficiency issues, have you tested for ammonia, nitrate, and nitrite? Depending on the amount of plant mass, and thee amount of light, it is possible to use up that degree of nitrogen pretty quickly.
  3. Aquaticus

    Aquaticus Administrator

    What light and what plants?

    Some plants are very sensitive to Excel, which could be one of your problems.
  4. Marine590622

    Marine590622 Advisory Board Staff Member

    Did you test to see if just water and substrate raised the ph?
  5. Mad5cout

    Mad5cout Active Member

    Try switching to flourish tabs instead of the water based doses. Feed plants where they eat - at the roots.
  6. Marine590622

    Marine590622 Advisory Board Staff Member

    Or you can mix up soil, clay, iron, add water to make a mudd, freeze. and you have frozen home made plant ferts that you can use like flourish tabs.
    Mad5cout likes this.

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