View Full Version : me+plants= death

11-17-2002, 02:41 AM
i dont know what i'm doing wrong but this has been my second attempt at keeping a planted tank. I must be the worst aquatic plant keeper in the world because my plants just rot. I had them in the tank for about two weeks and i added seachem florish and 1watt of light per gallon but my plants flipped me the bird and started dying. Since the plants were'nt doing well my discus were probably sucking in polluted water and they started hiding. I took it all out and now i'm back to barebottom I'm not happy about it but it seems this is the way it's gonna have to be. I think i'll keep the tank bare bottom for another few months and maybe try again but not without help from you guys.
My water perameters are:
ph 6.3
gh 3
temp 84
dont know kh
nitrites 0
nitrates low (change water every other day)
ammonia 0

Since i havent the slightest idea what i'm doing wrong maybe you guys can offer some tips on how you went about you success at a planted tank.

11-17-2002, 03:55 AM
Hmmm, well first of all you need more light. I would say at least 2WPG to be safe. Also, what type of substrate do you have? You need a good substrate with some good nutrients, like Flourite or Onyx Your water seems a little soft, I would wonder about your nutrient levels....but the lights and substrate should come first IMO.

Don ;D

11-17-2002, 09:14 AM
You did not mention what plants you were trying to grow. With 1 WPG you will need to either stick to low light plants or get more light on that tank (see previous post). Some low light plants are anubias, java fern, java moss, also try some sag subulata. If you have some wood in the tank, you can tie all of the aboved mentioned plants (except sag)to it and let them grow. I would tend to think this would work in a BB tank, but I have never tried it.

11-17-2002, 10:30 AM
I have a tank with no gravel, just plants on driftwood. The plants are doing fine. It might be a good small step to having the full planted tank.
I agree with ddaquaria and Don, adequate lighting is a must for healthy plants. Also a quality substrate is important, although that can be worked around with liquid fertilizers on most plants.
Many of the plants from LSF don't do well in the heat of a discus tank. Read through the thread "Takin' the Heat" in this section to see which plants do well.
It is very difficult (and dangerous for the fish) to set up a planted tank with the fish in it. Do you have a quarantine tank to use during the transition?
Don't give up and keep reading and asking questions.

11-17-2002, 11:50 AM
;D ;D Hi all, I have just started to utilize plants. Bought 4 swords, potted them in clay pots, put in a tab of calcium citrate & ferrous sulfate down in the soil, wrapped the soil with plant in a green nylon net & put in a QT for 6wks. Had to add an extra light to the 20g tank & then they began to grow. Trimmed them, added more ca & fe tabe & put them in the BB125g with the discus when I was sure of no hitchhikers (I was really worried 'bout snails) The 125 has 2 36"bright lites, (says 38 W 2-bulb with reflector),came with it & they seem to be acclimating since I see new leaves coming up. I would love to add some Java fern/moss to tie to the driftwood, but want to be sure first.Don't know how to fertilize them. I've also read that one can add fern Jobe sticks to the pot for fertilizing, & I may alternate that method. whatever works, I guess, Dottie 8) 8) 8)

11-17-2002, 12:37 PM
Hi Dottie,
In general I think we tend to overfertilize, aquarium plants are real adaptable (more than our discus anyways). The complicated plant setups that you read about on the net are aiming at rapid, luxuriant growth and are probably not suitable for a discus tank. And it means constant trimming and monitoring (and encourages algae). As far as actual plant requirements, the fish supply many of these. I don't add fertilizer unless plant growth stagnates and I've eliminated other possible causes of the stagnation.
Your swords are mainly root feeders so a quality substrate will meet most of their needs. You can add some Laterite, Seachem Flourite, or an equivalent to your gravel or put in Jobe sticks.
There are quality liquid fertilizers that will help Java ferns/moss. I use Seachem Flourish, but there are many choices.
I like your cautious approach, I just wish I had the patience to do it like that myself.

11-18-2002, 11:47 AM
You are correct, Ralph! Over and over I hear people mention that there plant growth is slow! Well, from my experience in my 90G, I aimed for fast plant growth and I got it! However, I found myself spending more time trimming plants weekly (plus scrubbing algae) than anything else. Sometimes I would have to trim more than once a week. Imo, it was a pain in the arse!

How I managed to slow the growth down was cutting back on the frequency of ferts! What I do is start by fertilizing once a week for a couple of weeks. The plants will tell you if they need more by yellowing of leaves (starting at the tips), leaves rotting, etc! Once you notice these symptons, I start twice a week ferts. Every water change I trim all leaves that even show a small sympton. If that is not enough, then 3x a week! After a couple of months, I fert 2x a week with a general fert and 1x iron supplement! The plants now show no symptons! Every tank of course is difference but I find that this will curb furious plant growth and minimize gardening time (and algae).

Another tip is instead of increasing the dosage amount of ferts, increase the fertilizing frequency. The reason behind that is by increasing the dosage, you are also increasing the amount of ferts available to algae (plants can only consume so much nutrients at a time). Increasing the frequency, you allow the plants to 'feed' more often a week but yet limit the amount available to algae.

11-18-2002, 08:40 PM
What you said about each tank being different is so true. It makes it hard to figure out what's wrong if you are having problems with your plants (and extremely difficult to give advise over the internet).
Right now I am in the process of cutting back on everything (fertilizer, CO2, lighting, trace minerals) to find out what the minimum needs of my plants are, in this specific tank. I don't like adding anything to the tank that isn't really needed. I think my discus will be better off if I only add what is required to maintain a reasonable amount of plant growth.
Did that make sense? I'm not 100% today.