Substrate and plants

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_Pineapple4popsicle

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I’m wanting to add more substrate to my aquarium in the hopes that it will help my plants to grow and thrive. They were doing great and then they weren’t. I’m going remove the plants that are continuing to fail, and I’m going to add 2 new ones. I’m going to change the filter also because it’s been a little while since I’ve changed it. Any suggestions about this? They get about 8 hours of light and there’s a skylight above the aquarium also.
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Wills

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I don't think your substrate is the issue as the first two plants are epiphytes which means they grow on wood and rocks rather than in substrate. The last one looks like a crypt and that is a root feeder but you could just put some root tabs under it Tropica or Seachem ones are good options.

Do you know what your light fitting is? 8 hours should be long enough but just wondering if its designed for plants or if its more of a decorative light - the sky light should also be helping with direct sunlight. Do you get any algae problems?

You could also look into a liquid fertiliser which would also help again Tropica or Seachem are good options :)

Wills
 

Byron

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@Wills is bang on here. There is a clear nutrient issue shown in the photos, noting to do with the substrate but rather with insufficient nutrients,. The light may well be a factor too.
 
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_Pineapple4popsicle

_Pineapple4popsicle

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I don't think your substrate is the issue as the first two plants are epiphytes which means they grow on wood and rocks rather than in substrate. The last one looks like a crypt and that is a root feeder but you could just put some root tabs under it Tropica or Seachem ones are good options.

Do you know what your light fitting is? 8 hours should be long enough but just wondering if its designed for plants or if its more of a decorative light - the sky light should also be helping with direct sunlight. Do you get any algae problems?

You could also look into a liquid fertiliser which would also help again Tropica or Seachem are good options :)

Wills
Yes I occasionally get algae. And I tried one of those pill fertilizer and it made such a horrible mess I had to clean my aquarium! And I’ve researched liquid one through Amazon and a lot of people lost Betts from it so I’m afraid to try liquid. I mean, I agree that the plants need fertilizer but I don’t want to hurt pineapple either.
 

Byron

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Yes I occasionally get algae. And I tried one of those pill fertilizer and it made such a horrible mess I had to clean my aquarium! And I’ve researched liquid one through Amazon and a lot of people lost Betts from it so I’m afraid to try liquid. I mean, I agree that the plants need fertilizer but I don’t want to hurt pineapple either.

Just as there is good fish food and terrible fish food, so too with plant additives. The fact that thousands of us use plant fertilizers with never an issue speaks volumes.

Substrate tabs like the API are not good, and they are messy. Seachem's Flourish Tabs are excellent, I used them for 12+ years and they made a huge difference to the larger swords. As for liquid, there are dozens that are rubbish and dangerous. But some are excellent. You are in NA so look for a very small bottle of Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium, and use no more, maybe less, of the small recommended dose once a week. For non-substrate plants this is very good. And perfectly safe for fish assuming you don't overdose.
 
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_Pineapple4popsicle

_Pineapple4popsicle

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Just as there is good fish food and terrible fish food, so too with plant additives. The fact that thousands of us use plant fertilizers with never an issue speaks volumes.

Substrate tabs like the API are not good, and they are messy. Seachem's Flourish Tabs are excellent, I used them for 12+ years and they made a huge difference to the larger swords. As for liquid, there are dozens that are rubbish and dangerous. But some are excellent. You are in NA so look for a very small bottle of Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium, and use no more, maybe less, of the small recommended dose once a week. For non-substrate plants this is very good. And perfectly safe for fish assuming you don't overdose.
So you have used the seachem for Betta tanks then?
 
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_Pineapple4popsicle

_Pineapple4popsicle

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@Wills is bang on here. There is a clear nutrient issue shown in the photos, noting to do with the substrate but rather with insufficient nutrients,. The light may well be a factor too.
Yes there’s definitely some issues. I’m really worried about using fertilizer. I mean, when you use fertilizer on your lawn, they warn you to keep pets off the lawn for a bit. I really love my pets, including my betta Pineapple lol :)
 

Charlie1978

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Some great feedback here. Just to add I've had amazing plant growth with tropica capsules, and for lighting look out for lights that state 7500k, don't have to spend massive amounts, I bought the cheap versions from allpondsolutions.co.uk.
 

sharkweek178

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Yes there’s definitely some issues. I’m really worried about using fertilizer. I mean, when you use fertilizer on your lawn, they warn you to keep pets off the lawn for a bit. I really love my pets, including my betta Pineapple lol :)
Yeah but these fertilizers are specifically designed to use in tanks that have fish in them.
 

Byron

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So you have used the seachem for Betta tanks then?

No, but I have fish that are ten times more delicateand sensitive. Quality fertilizers are only dangerous if you overdose them. But that applies to conditioner too.
 

Byron

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Yes there’s definitely some issues. I’m really worried about using fertilizer. I mean, when you use fertilizer on your lawn, they warn you to keep pets off the lawn for a bit. I really love my pets, including my betta Pineapple lol :)

Aquarium fertilizers are not lawn or garden fertilizers. Aquarium fertilizers are certain minerals, which are in fish foods and water changes.

There is noting wrong with your caution, but there are safe products that help fish and plants. Used correctly, they are completely safe.

I don't knowwhat you feed your betta, but a lot of the prepared foods are anything but nutritious. We justhave to know what we are using.
 

Byron

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Some great feedback here. Just to add I've had amazing plant growth with tropica capsules, and for lighting look out for lights that state 7500k, don't have to spend massive amounts, I bought the cheap versions from allpondsolutions.co.uk.

May have been a typo, but 6500K is the upper limit you really want to have, as higher Kelvin numbers mean less red which is crucial for photosynthesis.
 

Charlie1978

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May have been a typo, but 6500K is the upper limit you really want to have, as higher Kelvin numbers mean less red which is crucial for photosynthesis.
Ah OK, may just be down to quality of lights? I had been using Nicrew which are 6500k, then tried switching to the allpondsolutions which is 7500k and had substantially better growth (swapped out on the same tank/plants etc).
Scaped a new 200l tank just before Christmas which is using the 7500k, and along with the tropica capsules seeing really good growth again, and strong reds on the alternanthera (no co2).
 
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_Pineapple4popsicle

_Pineapple4popsicle

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Yeah but these fertilizers are specifically designed to use in tanks that have fish in them.
Although I’ve read comments on tank plant fertilizer that killed bettas (specifically stated bettas) I realize that they are designed for fish aquatic plant safety.
 
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_Pineapple4popsicle

_Pineapple4popsicle

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No, but I have fish that are ten times more delicateand sensitive. Quality fertilizers are only dangerous if you overdose them. But that applies to conditioner too.
Oh wow I guess I didn’t realize that conditioners are also! I only condition whenever I change water once every 8-10 days (25%)
 

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