Help! I Can't Get Anything to Grow

Byron

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My stocking levels in both tanks are well below 100 percent, so maybe this applies here. I'm assuming it has to do with lack of nutrients?

No this is not the case here. The levels of nutrients in the two products I recommended are adequate for any fish tank that is not a high-tech plant tank. It is true that the "hard" minerals (calcium and magnesium) are in minimal levels, because most people have these in their source water. The name "Supplement" should not be lost, these products are supplements not replacements. And if they work with my zero GH water, they will work with your 11 dGH water even better (one would expect).

Back to what I have mentioned in this thread...I do not really see any issues with the plants, beyond normal things like different leaf sizes for the swords now being grown submersed. I have had sword plants that were adventitious plants from the same parent plant, when these (adventitious plants) were planted in different tanks, grow differently. This occurs in nature too. Yet I have the same basic light over the tanks, and all receive the same fertilizers, and fish loads are comparable.
 
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Gemtrox42

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No this is not the case here. The levels of nutrients in the two products I recommended are adequate for any fish tank that is not a high-tech plant tank. It is true that the "hard" minerals (calcium and magnesium) are in minimal levels, because most people have these in their source water. The name "Supplement" should not be lost, these products are supplements not replacements. And if they work with my zero GH water, they will work with your 11 dGH water even better (one would expect).

Back to what I have mentioned in this thread...I do not really see any issues with the plants, beyond normal things like different leaf sizes for the swords now being grown submersed. I have had sword plants that were adventitious plants from the same parent plant, when these (adventitious plants) were planted in different tanks, grow differently. This occurs in nature too. Yet I have the same basic light over the tanks, and all receive the same fertilizers, and fish loads are comparable.
I got some more swords, some red ludwigia and anacharis last week, planted with seachem tabs and my flourish for my water. Within a week the anacharis leaves have gone from lush green to pale yellow and the stem has dissolved. The red ludwigia looked ok but when I changed my water the current snapped it in half and most of the leaves fell off. Is this really to be expected? How does anyone have the money to afford to play roulette with aquatic plants like this?
 

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I got some more swords, some red ludwigia and anacharis last week, planted with seachem tabs and my flourish for my water. Within a week the anacharis leaves have gone from lush green to pale yellow and the stem has dissolved. The red ludwigia looked ok but when I changed my water the current snapped it in half and most of the leaves fell off. Is this really to be expected? How does anyone have the money to afford to play roulette with aquatic plants like this?

Stem plants (ludwigia and anacharis) need more intense lighting than some other plants like swords. Red-leaf plants need stronger light because they reflect red light (which is why they are "red" to us) and red is essential for photosynthesis (growth) so even more is needed.

If your swords are doing well now, you are doing better than before. Not all plants will work in the same tank. Light is a major factor, but so are nutrients. I have tried stem plants over the years, and except for Pennywort, none really do well under my moderate light. But my swords are thriving, as is the moss and the ferns.

I suggested fertilizers previously...did you try them?
 
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Gemtrox42

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Stem plants (ludwigia and anacharis) need more intense lighting than some other plants like swords. Red-leaf plants need stronger light because they reflect red light (which is why they are "red" to us) and red is essential for photosynthesis (growth) so even more is needed.

If your swords are doing well now, you are doing better than before. Not all plants will work in the same tank. Light is a major factor, but so are nutrients. I have tried stem plants over the years, and except for Pennywort, none really do well under my moderate light. But my swords are thriving, as is the moss and the ferns.

I suggested fertilizers previously...did you try them?
Not other than the root tabs. I have a few other problems I'm dealing with, and at this moment I'm not interested in spending anymore on live plants. But once I get stable again I'll be using that for sure.

I talked to my LFS, and they do exactly what I've been doing - the same liquid fert and tabs. Their plants seem to be doing just fine. I find it hard to accept that light is the reason I'm failing and their plants are living.
 

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I talked to my LFS, and they do exactly what I've been doing - the same liquid fert and tabs. Their plants seem to be doing just fine. I find it hard to accept that light is the reason I'm failing and their plants are living.

All I can say to this is that light is what drives photosynthesis so it must be of "x" intensity for the plants, and different species can have differing requirements respecting intensity. Second factor with light is the spectrum; red and blue are essential for photosynthesis, and adding green always improves the plants' response. [Just to be clear, this is referring to the wavelength composition of white light; individual colours are a very different issue.] Third is the duration; George Farmer says 6 hours is minimum, some do well with five hours (daily, in one continuous period always). More than this can upset the balance; usually algae occurs either way, but sometimes the plants can fail too.

Nutrients must be available to balance the light.

There can be negative factors not related to the above, though rarely are these the issue.
 
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Gemtrox42

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All I can say to this is that light is what drives photosynthesis so it must be of "x" intensity for the plants, and different species can have differing requirements respecting intensity. Second factor with light is the spectrum; red and blue are essential for photosynthesis, and adding green always improves the plants' response. [Just to be clear, this is referring to the wavelength composition of white light; individual colours are a very different issue.] Third is the duration; George Farmer says 6 hours is minimum, some do well with five hours (daily, in one continuous period always). More than this can upset the balance; usually algae occurs either way, but sometimes the plants can fail too.

Nutrients must be available to balance the light.

There can be negative factors not related to the above, though rarely are these the issue.
Ok, I'll do better research before choosing plants from now on. Thanks
 

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