Plants not growing well

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Vikasr

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So I introduced live plants in my tank just over a month back. Substrate is gravel. Using Aquatrition liquid fertilizer (has iron) alongwith Seachem flourish tabs (placed near Echnidorus only). No CO2. Tank is near a window so gets good light.

The plants are Anubias, Ambulia, Echnidorus and some plant that looks like Ludwigia (could be Bacopa).

I see the below changes since introduction:
1. Ambulia getting bushy, growing and looks healthy.
2. Ludwigia (or something else) is similar to what it was. Not much growth. Although initially the bottom part was melting and plant getting out of the gravel. This has now stopped. I am also attaching a photo of this plant from before planting in my tank, if somebody could identify it please.
3. Anubias leaves have become sort of discoloured and dirty looking.
4. Echnidorus seems not doing well at all.

Attaching pics taken just after planting (just over a month ago) and today. The full tank photo is the earlier one.

Can somebody suggest what's the problem with anubias and echnidorus and how to improve?
 

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Anubias are very slow growing and like to be in less light--my guess is it's growing algae on it since it's in so much light.

I find that if a plant doesn't like your set up, it might be worth just getting more of a different kind. I'd move the Anubis into the shadows of another plant and then add another one of the plants that are doing well where the Anubias is. You can propagate from the ones you have to save money.

Never kept echnidorus but same idea. Unless you're in it for the plants (in which case ignore this message), utilize the plants that don't give you a headache.
 
Agree. I just grow what works in the tank. The ludwigia takes a while to get growing but as you have probably noticed the ambulia grows fast. Just cut off the tops and plant them to get more. If they get too straggly at the bottom cut off the tops, remove the bottom and plant the tops.
Edit: All the ambulia you see in my signature started from a single plant. The same goes for the hygrophila (the big bushy mass in the middle). The same thing will work for the ludwigia, but let it establish first. Floating is amazon frogbit which stops the anubias from getting too much light.
 
Last edited:
About the Echinodorus plants. Nurseries usually gro these emersed. All species in the genus are marsh or bog plants, many spending half the year (the wet season) submerged, the other half (dry season) emersed. They flower only in the emersed state (except E. major). I am not certain as to the species, usually only the flowers can identify species, but that doesn't matter. I suspect these plants were grown emersed, and when they are, the leaves develop differently bcause they have to function differenly. When submersed as here, those emersed leaves die off, and the plant transfers the mobile nutrients from the older leaves to the new growth. The new growth will now be different because it is growing submersed, and alsothe light and nutrients may be different.

I do see new leaves, and you can see how different they are. As long as new leaves keep appearing (they grow from the centre of the crown) all should be well. The plants will have a different look. I would just leave them and see how they grow.

Now, light and nutrients are important here. The Flourish Tabs are excellent for Echinodorus plants, mine thrived unbelievably when I added them. The liquid fertilizer may or may not be good. I tried to find them, and did I think, but there are five or six products--which one do you have?

A word about plant nutrition. There are 17 nutrients, some are macro some micro. You mention iron...this is only a micro nutrient and there will be more than sufficient in a comprehensive fertilizer like Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquariu, Excess iron can kill som plants, I had this occur in one of my tanks twice. I sincerely do question the liquid.

Light is the other important factor. What type of light, what spectrum? How long is it on daily?
 
So I introduced live plants in my tank just over a month back. Substrate is gravel. Using Aquatrition liquid fertilizer (has iron) alongwith Seachem flourish tabs (placed near Echnidorus only). No CO2. Tank is near a window so gets good light.

The plants are Anubias, Ambulia, Echnidorus and some plant that looks like Ludwigia (could be Bacopa).

I see the below changes since introduction:
1. Ambulia getting bushy, growing and looks healthy.
2. Ludwigia (or something else) is similar to what it was. Not much growth. Although initially the bottom part was melting and plant getting out of the gravel. This has now stopped. I am also attaching a photo of this plant from before planting in my tank, if somebody could identify it please.
3. Anubias leaves have become sort of discoloured and dirty looking.
4. Echnidorus seems not doing well at all.

Attaching pics taken just after planting (just over a month ago) and today. The full tank photo is the earlier one.

Can somebody suggest what's the problem with anubias and echnidorus and how to improve?
Anubias dosnt grow well planted in the gravel , supper glue it to wood or a rock and give it about 8 hours of light
 
About the Echinodorus plants. Nurseries usually gro these emersed. All species in the genus are marsh or bog plants, many spending half the year (the wet season) submerged, the other half (dry season) emersed. They flower only in the emersed state (except E. major). I am not certain as to the species, usually only the flowers can identify species, but that doesn't matter. I suspect these plants were grown emersed, and when they are, the leaves develop differently bcause they have to function differenly. When submersed as here, those emersed leaves die off, and the plant transfers the mobile nutrients from the older leaves to the new growth. The new growth will now be different because it is growing submersed, and alsothe light and nutrients may be different.

I do see new leaves, and you can see how different they are. As long as new leaves keep appearing (they grow from the centre of the crown) all should be well. The plants will have a different look. I would just leave them and see how they grow.

Now, light and nutrients are important here. The Flourish Tabs are excellent for Echinodorus plants, mine thrived unbelievably when I added them. The liquid fertilizer may or may not be good. I tried to find them, and did I think, but there are five or six products--which one do you have?

A word about plant nutrition. There are 17 nutrients, some are macro some micro. You mention iron...this is only a micro nutrient and there will be more than sufficient in a comprehensive fertilizer like Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquariu, Excess iron can kill som plants, I had this occur in one of my tanks twice. I sincerely do question the liquid.

Light is the other important factor. What type of light, what spectrum? How long is it on daily?
Thanks for this detailed advice.

The echinodorus are getting new leaves, but those are purplish in colour and the leaves are growing and the leaves feel fine. Should I remove the older larger leaves that have become distorted and discoloured?

The liquid is https://www.aquatrition.in/aquatic-...imum-nourishment/#1598535841943-540dd258-ee39
Details of contents in ppm is also mentioned. Notice that they recommend 10ml for each 60L (15g), to be dosed two times a week. I chose this as this does not have N and P (I think Seachem also does not have N & P and Aquatrition is actually coming out to be more expensive than Seachem; seems the shop misled me into buying Aquatrition, but this has good reviews too). The tank is 20g and was stocked with about 8 glofish tetra and 2 gouramis and not too many plants, so I thought N & P would probably not be required from fertilizer.

The light is a simple LED tube having white, red and blue LEDs covering the tank width. I dont have the lumens / spectrum info as this came pre installed with the tank.
 
Leave the old leaves on the sword plant until they are brown and drop to the bottom, then cut them off with a pr of scissors. The plants suck the nutrients out of the old terrestrial leaves and use it to grow new aquatic leaves (the red leaves you have now). If you cut the green terrestrial leaves off, the plant loses a lot of nutrients. So leave the old leaves until they are brown and resting on the bottom, then remove them.

---------------------

There is plenty of light in the tank. The Ambulia is telling me that by the short spaces between the sets of leaves. If there wasn't enough light, the stem between the sets of leaves would be longer and the leaf cluster would be smaller.

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The unidentified plant could be a variety of Rotala.

---------------------

The stuff on the rocks, gravel and Anubias is blue green algae (Cyanobacter bacteria). It's a photosynthetic bacteria that loves nutrients, light and low oxygen levels. Dry food regularly encourages this to grow, as does phosphates and nitrates. You might have too many nutrients in the tank for the number of plants. When the sword plant (Echinodorus) and Ambulia have grown more, it might settle down. But the Anubias is in a brightly lit tank with lots of nutrients and it is going to remain covered in algae and bacteria unless you can put it in the shade. Ideally, you want the Anubias in a low light, low nutrient tank, and the Ambulia and Echinodorus in a brightly lit tank with lots of nutrients.

Doing big daily water changes and gravel cleaning the substrate will help to remove the BGA from the substrate. Washing the rocks/ ornaments and plant off under tap water will help remove the BGA from them. Then hopefully after a couple of weeks or so, it won't come back, but it might due to the light and nutrients.
 
Thanks for this detailed advice.

The echinodorus are getting new leaves, but those are purplish in colour and the leaves are growing and the leaves feel fine. Should I remove the older larger leaves that have become distorted and discoloured?

The liquid is https://www.aquatrition.in/aquatic-...imum-nourishment/#1598535841943-540dd258-ee39
Details of contents in ppm is also mentioned. Notice that they recommend 10ml for each 60L (15g), to be dosed two times a week. I chose this as this does not have N and P (I think Seachem also does not have N & P and Aquatrition is actually coming out to be more expensive than Seachem; seems the shop misled me into buying Aquatrition, but this has good reviews too). The tank is 20g and was stocked with about 8 glofish tetra and 2 gouramis and not too many plants, so I thought N & P would probably not be required from fertilizer.

The light is a simple LED tube having white, red and blue LEDs covering the tank width. I dont have the lumens / spectrum info as this came pre installed with the tank.

There are no percentages for the ingredients, so I would move to the Flourish Comprehensive. The cyanobacteria identified by Colin is likely relevant to use of this fertilizer.
 
So I need to get rid of BGA and move the anubias into shade. Also change the liquid fertilizer.

The tank is near a large window and gets indirect light almost all day. And I keep the tank light on from 11am till about 8pm. So difficult to find shade in this tank. I will move the anubias in the shadows of the rock / ornament so that it does not get the indirect sunlight.

For BGA I will change 30-40% water daily for 5 days, siphon clean the gravel daily as well and wash the rock / ornaments and the anubias under tap water. Do I need to wash the rocks and anubias daily or just once and should I use toothbrush to clean the rocks? Should I wash the other plants also?


Now that Byron has pointed out, I do realize that the BGA has appeared only in the last one month since I have introduced the plants and started using the fertilizer. However, I earlier got lots of green algae that now seems to have reduced.
 
FWIW I use Seachem comprehensive but only once a week (it recommends twice). Some tanks get the recommended dose and some get half of that. No hard and fast rules on what works but I tend to start low and only increase if needed.
 
You need to reduce the ambient daylight. This has quite an effect on algae. Also reduce the daily light period, 9 hours sometimes works, but I would go down to 8 and then 7 if further reduction is needed. But you must deal with the daylight. Higher plants need very specific light intensity and spectrum, but algae is able to use any light if the plants cannot. And cyanobacteria is caused by high organics and light.

Minimal nutrient supplementation (fertilizer) and a balanced one will provide what the plants need but not beyond (hopefully). It is all about balance.
 
FWIW I use Seachem comprehensive but only once a week (it recommends twice). Some tanks get the recommended dose and some get half of that. No hard and fast rules on what works but I tend to start low and only increase if needed.
Just to emphasize that there aren't hard and fast rules, I have to dose twice a week. Everyone's tank is different. You're doing what works for yours and I'm doing what works for mine. We figured it out by observing and trial and error.
I agree that the best approach for fertilizer and for light too is to start low and work your way up. Start at the lowest viable amount then work your way up until you see algae then cut it back. It can be a dynamic process. If you add or remove fish or plants, then the amounts you need change. Personally, I find the process of figuring out the balance interesting and get a lot of satisfaction from finding just the right amount where I see plant growth but no algae.
 
So I need to get rid of BGA and move the anubias into shade. Also change the liquid fertilizer.

The tank is near a large window and gets indirect light almost all day. And I keep the tank light on from 11am till about 8pm. So difficult to find shade in this tank. I will move the anubias in the shadows of the rock / ornament so that it does not get the indirect sunlight.

For BGA I will change 30-40% water daily for 5 days, siphon clean the gravel daily as well and wash the rock / ornaments and the anubias under tap water. Do I need to wash the rocks and anubias daily or just once and should I use toothbrush to clean the rocks? Should I wash the other plants also?
You can buy plastic water lily leaves that float on the surface. You could have one in the tank and put the Anubias under that.

I wouldn't change the lighting time yet. There isn't any normal algae issues and the Cyanobacteria will hopefully be cleared up by water changes, gravel cleaning and washing the items. The Ambulia and Echinodorus are enjoying the light so see how things go after you get rid of the Cyanobacteria.

You should only need to hose the big rocks/ ornaments and Anubias off once. If the BGA comes back, hose them off again. Don't bother washing the other plants, they appear fine and free of it.
 
Today I vacuumed the gravel, cleaned the ornaments using old toothbrush in a bucket of tap water, cleaned the BGA off the leaves of anubias and dipped it well in the bucket of tap water.

However, the BGA probably did not come off the gravel substrate as I really could not see it in the bucket.

Changed about 40% water and planted anubias under the shade of ornaments. Will vac the gravel and change 30-40% again daily for another 4 days.

I use Prime when changing water. Can I use it daily when changing water for these 5 days? And should I use the liquid fertilizer these days daily or stop it? The flourish tab is only near the swords.
 
Contents of my liquid fert in ppm is:
N: 0
P: 0
K: 3.6
Mg: 0.5
Fe: 0.11
Mn: 0.03
Zn: 0.02
B: 0.02
Cu: 0.005
Mo: 0.0005

The details say its derived from chelated salts and vital acids.
 

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