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Newbies. Need help with Dwarf Sagittaria


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Hi guys,

New at this planted tank aquarium.
I have a 20 gallon long with aquaclear 50 filter.
Tank is fully cycled for a year. I decided to try the planted tank hobby.
I changed my substrate to flourite black. Confirmed it still has good levels after a week prior to planting the plants.
I got Java vern, Crypt, and dwarf sagittaria.
Its been 5 days since I planted them. Today I checked and some of the dwarf sagittaria are melting. I would expect the crypt to melt(which they are). But not the dwarf sagittaria. I searched around and cant find this anywhere..
Java vern looked ok.

I also use Seachem Flourish twice a week and Excel once every 2 days. (Following instruction for the dosage)

Is this normal?

Water Test:
PH: 6.8
Nitrite: 0
Ammonia: 0
Nitrate: 20

My fishes are Neon Tetra, Rasboras, Siamese Algae Eater, and Clown pleco.
The siamese algae eaters are the only one I saw nibbling at the plant. But I dont think they are eating them. Do they?

Thank you.



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AC Members
Some of your plants looks to be planted too deep. You want to gently pull them up a tiny bit so that the "crown" is right at or ever so slightly above the substrate. The crown is where both the leaves & roots grow from. I can't tell about your crypts, but some of the sags are.

That said, many plants are grown "emersed" by plant nurseries. That means the leaves are out of the water, roots underwater. As the plants adjust to total submerging, some or even all leaves will die & be replaced by new growth that may be slightly different in size or shape. This is not a big deal if roots are healthy. Some crypts are notorious for that but other plants will lose some leaves sometimes.

Your SAE will graze on the plant surface algae...& at 5-6 inches eventually out grow your tank in a year or maybe even less. They also eat more fish food than algae as they grow, so have a back up plan for it.

I can't tell, but your java fern needs to have its rhizome (sideways stem) above the substrate too. They're often attached to wood or rocks with thread or gel super glue.

Oh, & while I'm being bossy a black (or other darkish) background will help hide your filter & heater.

Nice start!


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Just came home and see this..(pic)
Sorry for the double posting.
Thank you for the suggestion. Let me do that.
The Java fern is not planted. I only had the rocks to hold it down.

Do I need to do the same thing on the crypt too? (Planting wise)



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Just did what you said.
Here is the crypt. They actually held up pretty well it seems.
And algae issue.... Too much light? 10 hours daily.





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Better, good job! A couple of your crypts seem planted a very tiny bit too deep particularly the center front 1. But I also see new growth on that 1 & at least 1 or 2 others, yay! Crypts, for all their melty inclinations, can adapt with the newest growth. It's up to you if you want to risk "melt" or just let them find their "happy level".

You'll see, as they both grow & send out runners, in time, how they really like to be planted.

Now for ferts...both sag & crypts would like a bit of root tab near each group of 2-4 plants. Say 1/4 tab between each 3 or 4 plants for total of 3 or 3.5 fert tabs for both sags & crypts. Plan to do it again in ~3 months.

How long are your light on? 7 or 8 hours are plenty. More will only lead to algae in a low tech set up.

So, what's your plan for the white sand & dark rock area at the tank right?


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I didnt think that I would need root tabs after putting in flourish and excel. But I just ordered them. So I will get them in couple days.
I reduced the light timer to 8 hours. It was at 10.
I was thinking of having a diy underwater waterfall for the sand part. As you can see.. it didnt happen. It was supposed to be in the corner where the java fern at right now. Its still might be a future project. But for right now, its going to be just that..


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Crypts are more root feeders, sag can go either way, root tabs or water column; neither are heavy feeders. I'm a very lame water column fert doser, lol, but tabs I do ;)

Don't be surprised when your sag gets to 7-9 inches tall. It may have come as short 2-4 inch plants, but that's part of the commercial growing thing. They use sunlight & higher levels of ferts. Every time I've grown it as a small front of a small tank plant, it grow's taller. Then I move it back, under better light & it's more like 3 or 4 inches tall. Meh.


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Update. I have lost 3 rasboras.
One every 2 days.
I dont see anything wrong with them.
I wonder if it was because of the temp. Somehow the temp went up to 79ish from 75ish. I chuck it up to the room temp has been going up lately too.

Is it because of the ferts?(excel &flourish)

Levels are good.
No nitrite or ammonia.
I did small water change(3-4 gal) everytime a fish died. Test before I change the water of course.

The crypts dont really melt as I would have guess, The sags are the problem. But it seems to stop melting. Only the one on the left of the picture... No more leaves..

Btw.. scrub the algae from the glass. Lower the light time to 8 hours. It does get light(sunlight) from the room. Not direct sunlight.



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No. if your water params are good, so should your fish be OK too. Maybe less than healthy rasboras? I don't know...

I'm loving the pangio! How many do you have?