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Old 09-10-2011, 07:28 PM   #1 
ChelseaK
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My NPT not working out so well :(

Here is a picture of the first day:


Everything is nice and green!

Here is now:


Half of it is brown and dying :( I have a 50 watt plant bulb not directly over the tank but in a lamp pointing over it on a timer. I tried to find something closer to 30 watts but 50 was all I could find anywhere. That's probably the problem, isn't it?

Some of my dying swords




This is some of the Wisteria trimmings

Anybody have any tips on how I can save my tank? or if they know where I can order a hoodlight (for a 10 gallon) that is the right one for an NPT. I looked everywhere I just couldn't seem to find one, but I could have been looking in the wrong places.

All help is appreciated!
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Old 09-10-2011, 09:03 PM   #2 
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go look for a proper hood and plant bulb specifically designed for plant growth make sure its full spectrum or broad spectrum, also double check you have 2-3 watts per gallon. you can find them almost anywhere heck if you know what to look for home improvement stores carry them to but pet stores carry bulbs designed for growth. you also might want to start adding some kind of nutrient supplement / fertilizer to the tank. i use flourish and all the variants of it especially flourish excel which works as CO2 supplement that I have had great success with.
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Old 09-10-2011, 09:39 PM   #3 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Creat View Post
go look for a proper hood and plant bulb specifically designed for plant growth make sure its full spectrum or broad spectrum, also double check you have 2-3 watts per gallon. you can find them almost anywhere heck if you know what to look for home improvement stores carry them to but pet stores carry bulbs designed for growth. you also might want to start adding some kind of nutrient supplement / fertilizer to the tank. i use flourish and all the variants of it especially flourish excel which works as CO2 supplement that I have had great success with.
The bulb I have is for plant growth, however I could not find any hood lights that would be proper. All of my hood lights for plants don't have enough watts. I think I'm going to throw that light on it anyway and see what happens. And since there is a soil substrate, I thought the idea was that it didn't need any special fertilizers? I'll add a little anyway since I already have it, haha. Thanks for the suggestions!

Last edited by ChelseaK; 09-10-2011 at 09:39 PM. Reason: grammar
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Old 09-10-2011, 09:47 PM   #4 
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That is the idea but it might need more C02 to give it a running start :) and yeah you could use multiple lights if you wish however I find it easier to just buy a good bulb and a nice hood its worth the money. What kind of 10 gal is it? Usually I modify my hoods and pull out the wiring now someone showed me how to do it so I could get more bulbs in the same light... but I suggest it only if your crafty and know some basic electronics.
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Old 09-10-2011, 11:52 PM   #5 
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Oooh! That sounds like a good idea actually! My boyfriends snake cages are like that where they can fit three different bulbs. It's just a regular 10 gallon tank. I one of those glass covers that only actually covers 3/4 of the top of the tank and than I did just have a lamp shining on it but now I have the hood light that sits on the glass cover. I don't know the brand of the light because I got it used and I can't seem to find any indication on the hood itself.

And if you think the CO2 supplement is really necessary, I'll probably invest in it, but I do have Nutrafin Plant Gro plant vitamin stuff.
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Old 09-11-2011, 01:15 AM   #6 
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There is a bit of an adjustment period with NPT's. Also, realize that not all plants may work in your set up. Personally, I love the look of foxtail green. For the life of me, I can't get it to grow well in my NPT's. You may need to experiment with different types of plants to see which work best for your particular tank.

I would have to disagree and say that you should not start adding CO2. From the photo I can already see one problem... the airstone. The airstone is creating too much disturbance in the water and surface and is causing a lot of CO2 to escape from the water column. Some water movement is good, but not one that disrupts the surface too much. I would get rid of the airstone for starters.

If the bulb were the issue, I feel like you would have an algae problem. I'm not sure it's the bulb as long as it is a fluorescent, daylight in the 6500K range.

A few other suggestions/questions: do you have shrimp and/or snails to break down decaying matter? If not... try adding some. Trumpet snails are also good for NPT's because they burrow and oxygenate the soil. It's also possible your soil has gone bad. Does the tank have a foul smell? Kind of like rotting eggs? Try poking into the soil.. do gases release that have the rotting smell? If so, add more stem plants asap and poke the soil to allow for oxygen to reach it. (a chopstick or something similar would work to poke into the soil each day for a while to get the soil going again).

So from this point... get rid of all the decaying plant matter. Trim, remove, whatever you need to do. Replant the good parts as necessary. If you need more plants, get more STEM plants. Remember, when starting an NPT it's really best to have 90% of the substrate covered in plants. I would then do a large water change. NPT's don't require as frequent water changes once they are stable. In the beginning, however, you must to water changes to help them stabilize. Add snails if you don't have any, they do their part in the ecosystem. Also get rid of the airstone.
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Old 09-11-2011, 01:26 AM   #7 
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Here are a few links as well. Some are specific to smaller tanks, but still good to read as much as you can about them.

Shrimp Tank - I think this is a good, to the point overview. Also gives some plant suggestions.

basic plant deficiency

brief overview

overview with great pictures

I would also check out the "El Natural" forum. If you google it, it should pop up.
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Old 09-11-2011, 08:14 PM   #8 
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I run 50 watts on a 10g too, so I'm thinking that isn't completely the problem. While most of those plants (that I can see...) are low-light plants, none if any have the possibility of melting, unless I spy some moss floating around the top.

I'm more inclined to believe the cause of the browning and necrosis is due to a nutrient deficiency. With high light, plants get the "go ahead" to jump into an accelerated state of growth, one that requires fertilizers and root tabs/plant substrates. Could be that your plants are looking for non-existant nutrients in the water column/substrate.

I could recommend a thousand different things to remedy it, but I'm going to narrow it down to two categories for you: Bare minimum to live and all-out crazy growth. The latter, of course, being far more expensive.

Your tank definitely isn't beyond repair and if you wanted to revitalize it I'd recommend you start dosing Flourish "Excel" and "Comprehensive" slightly more than the label's suggested dose. You're creating a lot of growth with that light, and a lot of demand for crucial trace elements. Excel serves as an organic carbon source, essentially "liquid C02" (Although not as effective). Comprehensive is a well, comprehensive supplement containing most of the necessary trace elements for your plants to thrive. In addition to that, try adding some root tabs. These are bury-able little chunks of god knows what containing iron that help plants thrive and develop healthy root systems. Absolutely essential for a tank without a plant specific substrate like Flourish or Eco-complete. I don't know a whole lot about the different types of tabs - Seachem's have always worked marvelously and I've seen no need to experiment with others.

Now, if you wanted to go all-out, pick up a bottle of Flourish "Potassium" and "Phosphorous" in addition to those previously mentioned. This will create the healthiest leaves and strongest stems, although it's not necessary for plants to thrive. You could also swap out the substrate for a bag of eco-complete or Flourite, probably the latter if you're not planning on carpeting with plants like glossostigma, dwarf hairgrass, or babytears.

As far as C02 goes, adding it would definitely help, but it would not remedy your current problem. It creates insane growth and the need for constant trimmings, but it will not cure a nutrient deficiency in any way. I can provide some insight on that if you want, but I don't want to get too off topic here, nor do I wish to ramble anymore than I already have.

Just ask if you need anything else!

EDIT: PS - I can't figure out what "NPT" stands for... Acronyms will be the death of me, I swear...

Last edited by Nexangelus; 09-11-2011 at 08:18 PM.
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Old 09-11-2011, 09:52 PM   #9 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexangelus View Post

EDIT: PS - I can't figure out what "NPT" stands for... Acronyms will be the death of me, I swear...
Yah, I was going to write all that other stuff that Nexus did, but.....I didn't feel like it (sarcasm) I think you nailed it on the spot since if it was too much light you would see:

Here are some signs that your plant is getting too much light:
  • Brown scorched patches on leaves
  • Leaves look faded or washed out
  • Plant wilts at midday
  • Leaves become dry looking and fall off
this was from a random aquatic plant website, I don't know how accurate it is or if it really applies to each species but its a start. Since your guys are just losing color but maintaining leaves and overall shape/height they are lacking nutrients.

@Nexus, I believe NPT is new planted tank. Not sure though.
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Old 09-11-2011, 09:58 PM   #10 
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If what the PWNISHER says is true about the nutrients, I recommend API Leaf Zone for nutrients. I use it for my planted tanks and I almost never get brown leaves. (Before I used it, I did get some dying plants.)
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