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Old 12-16-2010, 03:21 PM   #1 
jessiepbg
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Plant Problems

I'll start by stating upfront that I do not have a green thumb. I've taken plant prop and horticulture classes. I know a decent amount of the chemical and technical processes, but am absolutely terrible at keeping the dang things alive. I bought some Anachris and some Hornwort a few weeks ago. Half of the Hornwort is doing okay and half of it has its needles flared out and is looking like it's about to go brown. It's floating, not anchored to anything. I tried turning it every once in a while because it was the stuff that wasn't exposed to light that started looking pathetic, but it's not really improving.

My Anachris is even worse off. I thought it was completely dead, the leaves are breaking apart and some are falling off. Then I noticed that I'm getting some happy-looking new growth popping out from the sides. It's making kind of a Y shape. I was wondering if it would be a good idea to cut off the branch of the Y that wasn't doing as well so more nutrients would get to the fresh growth. The plants got thrown around quite a bit when I was first putting the tank together, so I don't know if that's part of what has them looking so bad. On the Anachris, I cut off the very bottom of the stem (1/4-1/2") to see if I could get some roots to start about 10 days ago. Then I got to reading and it sounds like they're not supposed to root anyway. However, it was shortly after I cut the bottom off that the new growth started coming up. It's growing really nice, but the leaves that were dessicated aren't improving at all.

Does anyone have any suggestions for making these dang things survive? I'm a little worried that if I don't get the nearly-dead stuff out of there, it's going to start rotting and there won't be anything to absorb the ammonia.
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Old 12-16-2010, 03:49 PM   #2 
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What kind of substrate are you using? Any fertilizers? How much/what kind of light? How long are the lights on? What livestock?

These answers can help us give you a better suggestion.
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Old 12-16-2010, 11:41 PM   #3 
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The substrate is an inch and a half of Caribsea Floramax. There's incandescent light on about 13-15 hours a day(whenever I wake up-whenever I get home). I put in 10 mL of Aqueon Plant Food about a week ago, I was going to do it again tomorrow. The label says 10 mL once a week for my 10 gallon tank. Right now I have 1 Betta and 2 ghost shrimp in there. It stays about 77 degrees at all times and there's a filter running.
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Old 12-17-2010, 12:12 AM   #4 
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There might not be enough of the proper nutrients for the plants to use, with their only being one fish in the tank. Even with the plant food, the plants will need more nutrients to keep up with that amount light. If at all possible, reduce the amount of light per day to 10 hours, 12 tops. Also, the best light for them is fluorescent. Preferably with 5000-6700 Kelvin rating. Incandescent puts off a lot of heat, so the only other possible cause I can think of, is that since they are floating, they may be too close to the light and the heat. Other than water parameters, there isn't much else to look at.
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Old 12-17-2010, 08:36 AM   #5 
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As mentioned, one of the problems is the type of lighting. Replace your bulb(s) with compact fluorescent around the 6,700K range. I have 2 13watt bulbs over my 12 gallon.
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Old 12-17-2010, 10:20 AM   #6 
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Ok, I'm going to pick up some florescent bulbs and a light timer tomorrow. I was trying to cycle the tank with my Betta before adding 5 Cory cats. Do you think I should go ahead and put the Cories in and just do more water changes? The water I fill the tank with always has .25 ppm NH3. My current water conditioner doesn't take ammonia out of the water. I was going to switch to Prime, but then I thought that the plants needed/would take the ammonia out of the water.

The Hornwort is the only plant that's actually floating right now, and everything but the end of it is well underwater. I've got the Anachris stuck down in the substrate. The tallest one only reaches about 3/4 of the way up the tank.

Here's a photo of the whole tank:

Here's some links to pics of the damage/ new growth on the individual plants:
The Hornwort:
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e3.../Hornwort2.jpg
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e3...e/hornwort.jpg

The Anachris:
http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e3...e/anachris.jpg
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Old 12-18-2010, 09:24 PM   #7 
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It's ok to condition the water you fill the tank with, with Prime, because the fish poop, left over food and dead plant material are already making enough ammonia for the plants. Once you add the cories this will be even more so. I would give it a couple weeks with just the betta, and then if at all possible, just add in 2 cories for a week or so, and then the last 3. That way the tank cycling can account for the new fish and adjust properly. If you throw all 5 in at once, that is a huge jump in your bioload in a smallish tank. The plants will help, but not that much lol.
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Old 12-18-2010, 09:31 PM   #8 
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I'd do what rogue said. Except, you should add 3 corys first than the other 2 because they're shoaling species.
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Old 12-18-2010, 11:27 PM   #9 
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I ended up getting all five Cories at once. I didn't get your posts before I got them introduced. I had the Betta by himself for two weeks. I was planning on doing up to 50% water changes every day to keep the ammonia levels down. Preferably I'd do water changes every time the NH3 levels got above .25 ppm. Does this sound like an OK plan?
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Old 12-19-2010, 03:43 PM   #10 
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Should be fine, just watch for ammonia or nitrite spikes and keep up the water changes. If all seems to be going well, slowly reduce the water changes, don't just stop all at once, that way the aquarium can adjust.
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