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Wilting plants? translucent leaves? newbie trying to go low-tech!

Discussion in 'Planted Aquariums' started by carlyod, Nov 18, 2016.

  1. carlyod

    carlyod AC Members

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    Hey guys!

    I'm in the process of cycling my 20gal high freshwater tank with AquaClear 50 HOB (almost done!!!!!!! double-checking later this evening to see if 3ppm NH3 were cycled to 0 in 24 hours so fingers crossed!). I planted what I thought were some hardier plant varieties about 3 weeks ago (the early stages of the cycle) in my eco-complete. Anubias, amazon sword, java fern, water sprite, and what I believe is rotala indica (pardon my ignorance, still very new!). I'm doing low-tech so no CO2 but I'm using Excel (2mL daily), I'm dosing with trace and complete as per the bottle instructions, and I have seachem root tabs in as a week ago. Temperature is stable at about 78 F. However, my hypothetical rotala indica looks awful. Almost all of it has died and it looks skeletal...pictures attached below of day 1 vs yesterday :(. Any suggestions??? i'm not sure what's going on! Also, some of my anubias and amazon sword leaves are turning translucent. All-in-all they look okay, but I'm not entirely sure what to expect. Also, my lighting is just whatever comes with the standard Tetra Aquarium kit (20 gallon). Any tips would be much appreciated! thank you!



    [​IMG]
    New Indica looking great!
    [​IMG]
    Already starting to melt :( (see dark leaves)

    [​IMG]
    Almost all gone :(

    Now it's just a few stems!! With no leaves!! very sad :(

    IMG_5594.JPG
    Fairly recent picture (from a few days ago) of the whole tank (the path is done now and looks much better).
    IMG_5773.JPG
    Dying leaves :/

    IMG_5774.JPG
    Translucent leaves^

    The water sprite (which has only been in the tank about a week or two) is already starting to propagate. Any tips on what to do to keep the others just as healthy and happy would be much appreciated! I'd like to have it all on the right track before I add fish (~5 panda corys and 3 fancy guppies to start) which will *hopefully* happen on Tuesday! Thanks guys!

    IMG_5795.PNG

    IMG_5794.PNG

    IMG_5610.JPG

    IMG_5594.JPG
     
  2. fishorama

    fishorama AC Members

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    Plants are often grown emersed (out of the water) so when you put them in your tank (submersed) the old leaves die off. You should see new leaves growing from the crown of swords (where the leaves & roots are joined). They'll probably look a bit different, smaller usually.
    The stem plant may not be getting enough light at the bottom so those lower leaves are dying but it can also need time to adjust to your tank. Many stem plants need more light & higher tech to be happy. You may not be able to grow it well or only the top tips.

    I can't tell from your pics, java fern grows along a rhizome (a stiff sideways stem) & needs to have that above the substrate. It's often attached to wood or rocks for that reason. Swords need to have the crown just barely above the substrate. Just pull up gently if they're planted too deep.
    Give your plants some time & see what works for you.
     
  3. Tifftastic

    Tifftastic "With your powers combined . . ."

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    Agreed with the above. New plants will often melt and come back because of those reasons. Its not abnormal for the species that it is happening to. What was mentioned for the java fern, keeping the rhizome above the substrate, goes for the anubias as well. I can't tell how its planted from the picture, but it will do better above the substrate or attached to one of your decorations.
     
  4. FreshyFresh

    FreshyFresh AC Members

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    Carly, it looks like you've got a good start. A 20gal long would have been a better footrpint for you than a 20H, but you can make your 20H work. Like said, you might need more lighting intensity to get to the bottom for your stem plants, but make sure those rhizomes are exposed on your anubia and java fern. Also, the nice thing about water sprite is, you can leave it floating as well. Bad thing about amazon sword is, it will eventually fill the tank and out compete everything else.
     
  5. carlyod

    carlyod AC Members

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    Thank you all so much for the input! I guess I've just been worried that they're missing some essential nutrient (aka I'm killing them from my ignorance). If the primary problem is just normal new-plant melting that's fine by me. Hopefully the indica will recover but I'm kind of doubtful (see attached picture).

    IMG_5830.JPG

    I've pulled my amazon sword and anubias up a bit to ensure the rhizome is exposed but I believe it was before. Good to know though! The java fern is attached to driftwood and although you can't really tell, its rhizome is also exposed.

    Here's a picture of the whole tank (the glare is makes the path look very white in this image but it's really not in person).
    FullSizeRender-3.jpg

    And here's a good image of my translucent leaf problem.

    IMG_5831-2.JPG

    Also, is this algae...? I'm a bit nervous it might be...
    IMG_5834.JPG


    In another news, my tank has officially finished cycling!! Woohoo!! I'll be adding the first group of fish on Tuesday when I can get to the LFS :D.
     
  6. fishorama

    fishorama AC Members

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    Just pinch or snip out those really unhappy, dying sword leaves. As long as the roots are good it "should" adjust to being underwater, root tabs can help a lot, swords are better at root feeding than water column ferts.
    I've had a couple different "indica", neither looked like yours. Not all plants are labeled well, I get many from my plant club, some grow...for a while or more; some don't. Meh, don't fret, try something else!

    Like Joel said, some swords get really huge...but some don't...& some I've had get a kind of stunted bonsai effect, eek, but if that's what works for you, great!
     
  7. Ketso

    Ketso Cityfied Redneck

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    Is that to say that you are using the bulbs that come with it too? Maybe they aren't the correct type to benefit your plants? Some of that decay looks a lot like what my plants did when I left for 2 weeks and came back to find my hood ballast went out while I was gone. Not sure how long the lights were out. But guessing it was several days from the damage.
     
  8. NattyGains

    NattyGains AC Members

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    Have a similar problem as you. Some leaves are dying off, others are doing fine. Not sure if it's fine to snip off dying leaves for any plant at all? Or will this hurt certain types of plant?

    Cheers
     
  9. fishorama

    fishorama AC Members

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    Natty, if the leaves are dying it's often better to remove them than to have the plant try to repair them. If it's stem plants, you can remove the good tops & replant them & throw away ugly naked old stems. For plants with a crown like swords, you can snip off the bad leaves & hopefully new growth will be good.
     
  10. NattyGains

    NattyGains AC Members

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    Fishorama, thanks for the advice! The day I placed my plants into my tank they started wilting. It stayed there, and the healthy leaves stay healthy, but 1/4 of all leaves have been dying for weeks, it's making the tank look ugly. I'll pick off the bad leaves as soon as possible
     

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