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Thread: How long to expect melt?

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted Toast37's Avatar
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    How long to expect melt?

    Hey everyone!

    So we flooded our first planted tank about 2 weeks ago now. We've had some rough times with a few of our initial plants, but we're to the point where nothing is rotting or dying obviously.

    However, we've still got melt. Lots of melt. We're trying to keep everything as steady as possible. All of our nitrate / nitrite / pH / temperature stuff looks normal as we check it once a week. We're dosing Excel every 2 days and Flourish once a week on top of a small amount of CO2.

    I've started trimming the melt every now and again to help the plants out at the suggestion of my friend who's way more experienced. But I'm still concerned... how long until these plants typically mellow out and stop shedding?

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    SCAPE Member 1000 posts, Semi-Pro SCAPEr Bongox3's Avatar
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    What plants?

    Just an FYI - Flourish is not a complete fertilizer... youlll need to address Macro fertilization hereís a link explaining it - but flourish only covers micro needs...
    http://aquarium-fertilizer.com/macro...micronutrients

    For a more comprehensive and cheaper approach to fertz check out NilocG line of products...

    Lighting is the most important factor... please list what u have....in general I I would increase co2... some plants donít do well with excell....

    Ultimately to help, we have to know what you have and what youíre doing.... each plant need differs..

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted Toast37's Avatar
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    We have
    * HC: super happy
    * Monte Carlo: melting like a mf
    * Ludwigia Repens: rough start, but seems to be ok now
    * Hydrocotyle Tripartita (Japan): melting like a mf
    * Creeping Jenny: melting, but otherwise growing fast

    Thanks for the tip on fertilizing and excell! We'll read into it more...

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    Water is Life 5000 posts, Officially addicted to SCAPE! Zenzu's Avatar
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    What size tank?
    What light are you using?
    What substrate are you using?
    R/O or Tap?
    Excel is your only form of co2?
    Flourish is your only form of Ferts?
    Tank was set up 2 weeks ago?

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted Toast37's Avatar
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    What size tank?
    10 gallon

    What light are you using?
    Dennerle Power LED 5.0 8 hours a day (continuous).

    What substrate are you using?
    Eco-Complete, 1-2 inches throughout

    R/O or Tap?
    R/O

    Excel is your only form of co2?
    We also have a DIY co2 setup on 1 bubble / 2 seconds. Our co2 (pH) indicator fluctuates around green. We're a little acidic as we're only 40% planted or so.

    Flourish is your only form of Ferts?
    Flourish and Iron Flourish once a week.

    Tank was set up 2 weeks ago?
    Dry start was ~3 weeks. Flood -> cycling has been going on 2 weeks.
    Last edited by Toast37; 03-12-2018 at 11:21 AM.

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    Water is Life 5000 posts, Officially addicted to SCAPE! Zenzu's Avatar
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    Okay, a couple things could be wrong...

    -Light could be too strong/not strong enough. Not enough specs or data. If you notice the problems get worse directly under the light then it may be a case of too much light not enough co2 and nutrients.

    -Another issue is you are using R/O and not adding back GH. The majority of plants need a minimum of 2 GH. If you are straight R/O and only dosing recommended amount of Flourish you are way below plant needs for Minerals, Macros and Micros.

    -Since your tank is newly cycled it could be ammonia spike is so high that it's actually causing plant melt.

    "We're a little acidic as we're only 40% planted or so."

    You have nothing to buffer PH. Whatever PH the water is coming in at is what your PH is at. Your substrate is inert, ferts affect very slightly, as does any wood. If you have stones they may be slowly increasing PH or affecting GH/KH. Plant mass has nothing to do with PH.

    Corrections I would make. Try to increase GH and nutrients, it's the easiest step. After that I would add some pressurized co2 if that does not correct the issue then it most likely is a light issue too much or not enough. I would test for ammonia, if is likely high. You mentioned nitrate and nitrite were normal, what is normal?

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted Toast37's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tips! Great stuff.

    I say we're a little acidic at 40% planted because we're injecting co2. I've read places that unless you're heavily planted, co2 injection will cause the water to become slightly more acidic. Our last reading was close to 6.5

    Increasing GH and nutrients sounds like a great first step. We'll try that and see how it changes. Thanks again!

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    Water is Life 5000 posts, Officially addicted to SCAPE! Zenzu's Avatar
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    That is correct with the co2, when KH is low which is the case with straight R/O, however diy co2 is relatively ineffective. Pressurized co2 is stable and measurable long term with minimal fluctuations.

    I doubt PH would have a large effect either way. Plants have such a wide PH range.

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    SCAPE Member 1000 posts, Semi-Pro SCAPEr Bongox3's Avatar
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    Welcome to Scape Richard... I knew you would get what you needed with just a little more info... FYI HC and MC can be challenging even with pressurized co2, don’t get too frustrated if all your other plants bounce back and your HC has difficulty transitioning... be patient with the MC too, it’s not as finicky as the HC, but usually needs time to transition - once adapted it takes off...

    Excel should be ok with the plants you listed, but is nowhere equal to co2... a lot of people have success with DYI co2 setups, but a small paintball co2 set up makes life a whole lot easier... no fluxuations, allows you to maintain any levels you wish, and easier to grow challenging plants like HC...

    Also, again just my opinion, I prefer using an aqua soil for planted tanks... eco complete is largely inert rock (or become inert very quickly)... soil maintains nutrients for the plants far better in the long run... many use it, and I did too when beginning... but quality soil changed everything for me once I started using it....

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    SCAPE Member Just Planted Toast37's Avatar
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    Thanks Bongox3!

    We've considered the paintball co2 method, if only to avoid injecting co2 when the light is off. Once everything is stable we hope to slowly start weening the tank off co2 injection, which will determine how much further we can take a low tech approach.

    And yeah, we used a heavy soil substrate in our jarrarium to great effect. Hindsight's 20/20, and we aren't ready to tear this tank down just yet.

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  13. #11
    Water is Life 5000 posts, Officially addicted to SCAPE! Zenzu's Avatar
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    The trick to low tech is experience, without experience it will be difficult to balance the tank long term. The upside is if you pay attention and do research you will quickly learn what mistakes you made. In the end it all comes down to choosing the proper light, water changes need to be carried out religiously and nutrients need to be supplied. If you choose the right plants you will get growth, slow and lack luster growth, but at least the plants won't die.

    I feel if you enjoy the hobby and don't mind spending a little money. Pressurized co2 will give you more room for error, because at least it's one less thing to worry about.

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