Plant Problems

Luna0341

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10gal tank. Fully cycled. About 7 months. Fish occupants include 1 Betta, 3 Endlers, and 3 Cory. I have an Amazon Sword which does fine, and another plant ( don't know name) that thrives, got two other species of plants that turn brown or transparent, so I've added fertilizer to help them, which has some what helped. But at the same time the fertilizer raises my Nitrates level, so I do water change. The water changes seem to hurt the plants, so I'm trying to help the plants with fertilizer, fertilizer helps but raises Nitrates, I water change to lower Nitrates, plants get hurt from water change. It's a 10Gal tank. I try to only use very little fertilizer. Could it be that these plants just are not right for my water. I have very hard water. I got two plants that do fine. Anyway. Any body got advice to help me balance this problem. So I have healthy plants and healthy fish
 
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Luna0341

Luna0341

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I understand it would be helpful to know what the plants are called. I'll try to figure it out. I just know they are very common type.
 

Colin_T

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pictures of the plants?

if the fertiliser has ammonia, nitrite or nitrate in it, then it belongs in the garden, not an aquarium.
What is the name of the fertiliser?

you could be buying marsh or garden plants. A lot of shops sell these as aquarium plants but they simply rot after a week or two in the water.

what sort of light is on the tank and how long is it on for?
 

WhistlingBadger

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Yep, show us what you have and we'll make some suggestions.
 
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Luna0341

Luna0341

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Ill take some pictures in the next couple days. The fertilizer I bought at my LFS. It has pictures of fish on the bottle, it's like basic aquarium plant fertilizer.
 

StevenF

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How many ppm of nitrate did you have before using the fertilizer and what is it after you used the fertilizer? What is the name or brand of the fertilizer?
 

itiwhetu

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Most aquatic plants prefer soft acid water. So, if you have hard water you may struggle to grow some species of plants.
 
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Luna0341

Luna0341

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Amazon sword, doing better, since fertilizer
 

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Luna0341

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I don't know what this plant is, since fertilizer it's been doing better but this is the plant I have most problems with
 

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Luna0341

Luna0341

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This plant I've had problems with too, since fertilizer it's done better
 

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CarissaT

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Plants need nitrates, phosphate and potassium plus certain micro nutrients to do well long term. Some plants simply won’t do well without co2 injection and high lighting. If you are missing one of these components for a length of time the plants will sicken and eventually die, but faster growing plants will usually show signs of deficiency first.

It looks to me like you have two forms of hygrophila there, which are fast growing plants. You will need to regularly fertilize all components mentioned above to keep them alive, although you may have some micro nutrients already in your tap water. Swords are slow growing with deficiencies showing up over a longer period. If you have a lot of plants you may need to up your fertilizing. I would keep it around 5-10 ppm of nitrates.
 

Byron

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We are going to need more data here. The exact name of the "fertilizer" for one thing, and if it is liquid or substrate tabs.. Nitrates affect fish and should be as low as possible. What is the nitrate reading? And light is a major factor, do you have any data (spectrum, type, etc)? The water looks quite cloudy, is this normal or some issue?
 

Colin_T

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Plants need nitrates, phosphate and potassium plus certain micro nutrients to do well long term. Some plants simply won’t do well without co2 injection and high lighting. If you are missing one of these components for a length of time the plants will sicken and eventually die, but faster growing plants will usually show signs of deficiency first.
Terrestrial plants need nitrates, phosphates and potassium but true aquatic plants have slightly different requirements.

Plants that require supplemental CO2 and really bright light are usually terrestrial plants that people try to keep underwater.

There are no natural waterways on this planet where wild aquatic plants get supplemental CO2. And they don't get nitrates, phosphates or potassium naturally occurring on a regular basis either.
 

CarissaT

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Terrestrial plants need nitrates, phosphates and potassium but true aquatic plants have slightly different requirements.

Plants that require supplemental CO2 and really bright light are usually terrestrial plants that people try to keep underwater.

There are no natural waterways on this planet where wild aquatic plants get supplemental CO2. And they don't get nitrates, phosphates or potassium naturally occurring on a regular basis either.
There are many aquatic plants that need very bright light to survive (which of course they get in the wild since sunlight is seriously brighter than most of the artificial lights we have) but in a closed environment that has far more instability, stocking and concentrated waste, if you crank up the lights to where they need to be it’s pretty tough to keep the algae under control. That’s where co2 can help give the plants the edge. Nope, nothing natural about it. Just going by what works in our artificial environments we create.

As far as the plants needing different nutrients, I would like to know more about this since it goes against most of what I’ve read on the subject. Not saying you’re wrong, but I‘ve been involved in planted tanks for a long time and would like to increase my knowledge. Chemistry is one of my loves and part of why I enjoy this hobby.
 

Colin_T

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Phosphorus encourages root growth and thickens the cell walls. Most aquatic plants take in most of their nutrients via their leaves and roots are usually minimal. Sword plants are an exception and have an extensive root system.

In an aquarium or river, phosphorus encourages algae to grow and does virtually nothing for the plants. It is also toxic to fish and other aquatic fauna.

Potassium is normally used for flower and fruit growth. Very few aquatic plants flower underwater. Vallis will produce a flower that floats on the surface, but most other plants don't produce flowers underwater. So giving them potassium is not needed.
 

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