Aquatic plants usually run out of steam pretty quickly, espescially where they have no nitrates to feed off of. You should easily be able to supplement them with some fertilisers. I'm sure someone could point you to a decent, economical, all-in-one fertiliser if you explain your situation in the plant forum.
Thank you...I will look into cycling my tanks. Either way, it sounds like I should be changing the water more frequently, which I have started doing already because I don't want to see my fish getting sick again because of me. That was heartbreaking!
In my 3 gallon, I took out the live plant, put in silk plant, and added a little bit of aquarium salt. He's doing really well since. I would do the same with the 6 gallon except I have more plants in it and it would be like throwing money away.
Yes Dramaqueen, I am totally addicted, after 2 months. He has so much personality. I would get 100 more tomorrow except that I travel and work weird hours (theatre), so any pets are sometimes difficult. I used to have a goldfish that traveled with me. She came backstage to Boston Ballet shows and to the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She died at the ripe old age of 7.
Whoo just to clear something up, rinsing the gravel is not necessary if you cycle the tank. And if you go uncycled, you should be rinsing the gravel more than once in a while to clear the debris out. The smell is most likely ammonia, since the bacterial growth is discouraged by 100% water changes.
I don't believe that a plant can absorb waste in an uncycled tank... they consume the final product of the nitrifying bacteria, nitrAtes, not the actual ammonia.
So basically, everything should clear up once you pick one or the other (cycle or uncycle) and go with it.
I did not mean to make it sound that plants could absorb ammonia, and that is why I said you need to supplement them with the nutrients in uncycled tanks. Nitrifying bacteria are naturally present in small amounts that is how they establish themselves in the first place in a filterr (Tullock, 2007). There is always nitrification going on so there will always be nitrification, filter or no filter, but it is proportional to the available surface area for the bacteria to grow on, that is the number one rule in my aquatic engineering book for biofiltration (Blanchard, 2007). That is why providing filter media helps increase the growth in these bacteria and improves performance, because it provides more surface area. Any aquaculture course will give you this information. But you are right that the plants would do better in a cycled tank in terms availability of nutrients. I am not saying that the there are enough bacteria to convert your ammonia efficiently in an uncycled tank by any means but they do convert enough to create a small amount of nitrates that help go towards nutrients for a plant (but like I said you need to supplement them as well). I give my plant extra food every few days.
As for the rocks this person said they change their water about "about 1/3 every 2 to 3 days and a complete change including gravel rinse about every 1 1/2 weeks. " that's why I stated it could be bacteria as this would give enough time for it to settle onto the rocks, I would not rule that out completely.
True, true, very true. Not sure if bacteria would cause the smell because all of my tanks are cycled and odorless. Could be the smell of nitrite (if it's present before the nitrite>nitrate bacteria have taken off).