Carpet plant and Mid-ground plants melting. Kindly advice.

Discussion in 'Plant Help' started by Zak Rafik, 13 Aug 2014.

  1. Zak Rafik

    Zak Rafik Member

    Messages:
    466
    Location:
    Singapore
    Hi everyone,

    This is my first post to this forum. I was referred to this forum by John from Aquarium Plant Food UK.

    I have recently setup my tank ( 26 days old) and all was going well when I noticed my carpet plant (Monte Carlo) and my midground plants (Staurogyne Repens & Lobelia cardinalis ‘small form’) not doing well.


    The Monte Carlo has started to grow along the ADA soil but I notice that the older leaves turn dark and melt away. The leaves have started to break into small bits and are floating in the tank.


    As for the Lobelia cardinalis ‘small form’ has started to grow new leaves although they are more light green but the old leaves have started to melt. I also have 2 whole plants that are turning very soft and melting away.


    The Staurogyne Repens is the most affected plant. It has hardly grown any new roots or leaves. Most of the plant is simply melting away.


    I have attached the photos I had taken 2 days ago


    All my Weeping moss, Limnophila hippuroides, Midground, Water Wisteria and Cabomba Caroliniana are doing great. They have grown 50% more and are “pearling”. J


    I have read a post in this forum about plants melting and ceg4048 has advised to taken Ph reading before and after Co2 on and off. So today I have taken the reading. I hope its correct :)


    I hope the experienced members in the forum can assist me on this.
    Thank you everyone.
    Z.Rafik


    My tank profile

    4 feet / 120 cm (255 litre)

    External canister filter Eheim 600 (model: 2075) with flow rate 1250 Lt/hour

    Water outlet into tank via Ehime 600’s spray bar

    Eheim reeflexUV 800 UV light (with 12 hours of on time via timer)

    Chiller to keep water temperature at 26c to 27C (due to ambient temperature at 29C to 30C)

    Injected Co2 with inline diffuser

    Co2 on timer to switch on 2 hours before lights on and switch off 1/2 hour before lights off.

    Photoperiod of six hours

    Tunze Nanostream 6045 power head (for increased flow in tank and for surface agitation)

    Substrate : ADA Amazonia Aqua soil with soil additives (Bactor 100, Super clear, Penac W, Penac P, Tourmaline)

    Water parameters:

    Ammonia: 0

    Nitrite (NO2): 0

    Nitrate (NO3): 20ppm

    KH: 6

    Ph Reading:

    7.50am - Ph reading taken before Co2 on. Ph was 7.6

    8.00am - Co2 switched on

    9.50am - Ph reading taken before lights on. Ph was 6.8

    10.00am – Lights on

    11.00am – Ph: 6.6

    12.00pm – Ph: 6.6

    1.00pm – Ph: 6.6

    2.00pm – Ph: 6.6

    3.00pm – Ph: 6.6

    4.00pm - Ph reading taken before Co2 off. Ph was 6.6

    4.30pm – Lights off


    Plants:

    Weeping Moss tied onto root wood

    Monte Carlo – Foreground

    Staurogyne Repens – Midground

    Lobelia cardinalis ‘small form’ – Midground

    Limnophila hippuroides – Midground

    Water Wisteria – Background

    Cabomba Caroliniana – Background


    Fish:

    17 Amano shrimps

    5 Otos

    9 Siamese Algae eaters

    No other fish for now


    Fertilizer:

    Dosing ADA’s Brighty K (potassium) 12 pumps every day before light turn on (started since setup)

    Dosing ADA’s Brighty Step 1 12 pumps every day before light turn on (started only 2 days ago reason being I had Black Beard Algae (BBA) and hair algae but now under control due to algae eaters.)

    http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b631/Zak_Rafik/IMG_7076_zpsf1e0727c.jpg


    http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b631/Zak_Rafik/plants-0024_zpse4659625.jpg


    http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b631/Zak_Rafik/plants-0021_zpsf7f6cfcf.jpg


    http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b631/Zak_Rafik/ww1_zpsb0036d96.jpg


    http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b631/Zak_Rafik/photo2_zps5d44b78a.jpg

    http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b631/Zak_Rafik/photo3_zpscbf4dc1d.jpg


    http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b631/Zak_Rafik/photo1_zpsb9e565ea.jpg





     
  2. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hello,
    The distribution scheme is immediately suspect. The vidoe only shows the powerhead and surface movement. It does not show the spraybar positioning or orientation.

    Also this appears to be pointed from left to right instead of from front to back. Mounting the flow outlets in this manner is weak because the flow must travel a longer distance across the tank. It would be better, if everything were mounted on the back wall.

    Also, is the UV mechanism connected to the main filter? If it is, depending on the connector sizes then it might interfere with the fliter throughput.

    You can improve filter throughput by removing filter media.

    Cheers,
     
    Zak Rafik likes this.
  3. tam

    tam Member

    Messages:
    774
    Some of it could just be the old emersed grow leaves drying off.
     
    Zak Rafik likes this.
  4. mr. luke

    mr. luke Member

    Messages:
    1,045
    Location:
    Lincoln
    Your fertiliser regime is also lacking in nitrate and phosphate.
    I know you state that your nitrate reading is 20ppm but take that with a pinch of salt. The test kits we use in the hobby are very inacurate, more of an indicator that it is there than an accurate mesurement.
     
    Zak Rafik likes this.
  5. Zak Rafik

    Zak Rafik Member

    Messages:
    466
    Location:
    Singapore
    HI everyone, thanks for all your quick reply. Really appreciate it. :)

    Ceg: The spray bar is on the same side as the power head. The nozzles are pointed downwards. I'll take some photos soon and upload for you.
    Doses the position of the inlet and outlet effect the dispersion of Co2 in the tank? The main reason I placed a power head was to "move" the water from one end to the other.
    Is it the poor distribution of Co2 that is causing the problems with the 3 plants or is it due to lack of the correct fertilization?
    And may I know if my Ph reading taken before and after lights indicate any problems. I'm a complete novice to Co2 in the tank.

    Yes, the UV and the chiller is connected to the main filter.

    The Eheim 600 came with 4 tray and some filter media. I did not use any of the media which came with the canister filter.
    Below is my layout in the filter:
    Very bottom tray I've place 3 types of sponges. ( bottome-course sponge / midlayer - course filterwool / top - fine filterwool)
    2nd tray from the bottom - BioHome Plus ( sintered glass material)
    3rd tray from the bottom - BioHome Plus
    4th tray from the bottom - Eheim Substrate Pro

    I followed this media layout from
    Please take a look.
    Do you suggest that I use the original media that came with filter, cause I still have them with me.

    Today, more and more leaves of Monte Carlo and Repens are are breaking off :(
     
  6. Zak Rafik

    Zak Rafik Member

    Messages:
    466
    Location:
    Singapore
    Tam
    it's not only the leaves that's melting, in the case of Staurogyne Repens and Lobelia cardinalis ‘small form’, whole plants (including stems & roots) have melted. Yesterday I took out 2 of each as the leaves were all over the tank.

    Mr.Luke
    I thought that with ADA Aquasoil, I would not have the problem. I have also bought EasyLife Profito and Ferro but I think both of them don't contain any nitrate and phosphate. The only option I have now, is to buy Scheme's nitrate and phosphate supplements which cost $$$$$ :(
    That's why I have decided to go for EI fertilization. I have placed an order with Aquarium Plant Food UK, which by the way a great website and also Mr. John but the shipment will take 20 days to arrive here in Singapore. I don't know if the plants will survive until then.
    Does the lack of nitrate and phosphate cause the plants to be like this?
     
  7. Vazkez

    Vazkez Member

    Messages:
    344
    Location:
    Norwich
    Hi there and welcome :)

    Sorry to hear about your problem, however if I can add I think is more about flow and CO2 that your plants melting then fert issue. Your reading does not looks bad however with not good flow you can have death spots in tank.

    Anyway yes you have to start adding NO3 and PO4 as you will run to even more trouble. Nice that you choose salt as premixed are sooooooo expensive.
    NO3 deficiency is normally yellowing older leafs and / or stunned grow.
    PO4 deficiency is normally GSA.

    Good luck ;)

    Vazz
     
    Zak Rafik likes this.
  8. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Sorry, this is incorrect. All nozzles and filter outlets should point in the same direction - across the tank to the other side. Pointing them in different directions defeats their purpose.


    No, I'm suggesting that you have too much media in your filters. That blocks flow and reduces the effectiveness of your filter's pump. You do not really need all of that media because flow rate is much more important than filter media. I would remove all of the substrat/biohome media and replace with sponges and some Activated Carbon or Purigen.

    All branded media are basically the same, whether you pay a lot of money for them or whether they are cheap. They add friction and therefore slow down the flow.

    This also kills your flow. You really don't need this device either unless you have green water algae (GWA). Just do more water changes.


    This is strictly a CO2/flow/distribution issue.

    Well, the pH drop is more or less OK, but you need to fix your flow/distribution. All three factors, CO2, flow rate, distribution scheme, work in concert, so it's not possible right now to state absolutely if the pH drop is the best it can be. You may need it to drop a little more or you may be able to get away with less. First fix the other two items and then take another reading (and of course observe the response of the plants).

    Cheers,
     
    Zak Rafik likes this.
  9. Sacha

    Sacha Member

    Messages:
    955
    Location:
    London
    Clive, I see you advocate the use of carbon and purigen. Could you briefly explain the benefits of using purigen in a planted tank?
     
    Zak Rafik likes this.
  10. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Oh, that's easy. Purigen is a resin that has an attraction to several types of organic compounds which are reported to be Nitrogen containing. These are usually complicated structures and because of their size and complexity they tend to be the compounds that contribute to cloudiness of the water column. These compounds adsorb to the resin surface in exactly the same way as other compounds are adsorbed onto the surface of Activated Carbon. Some of the compounds are adsorbed by both materials, so they share that in common, but there are other compounds that are adsorbed by one and not by the other. Carbon is so versatile that it attracts many inorganic compounds as well as organic compounds, so it has longer arms to capture hostile compounds as well as innocuous ones such as tannins and other compounds that tend to make the water yellow.

    So, using either or both together can rid the water column of a lot of nasties, AND a lot of not-quite-so-nasties but which has cloudy or colored material characteristics, and using either or both will result in a crystal clear tank. Err...frequent and large water changes are still required though. This is NOT a substitute for tank cleaning, which requires elbow grease. Too bad.

    Read more about adsorption and Purigen in http://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/can-purigen-strip-down-useful-nutritients.26850/

    Cheers,
     
  11. Zak Rafik

    Zak Rafik Member

    Messages:
    466
    Location:
    Singapore
    Hi everyone,

    Dear Clive

    I have read your feedback. Thank you so much.

    I made a mistake in saying the nozzles were pointed downwards. It’s actually positioned about 30 degrees from the water surface. Since the Co2 is diffused through the inline diffuser and there were micro bubbles seen coming out from the nozzle, I didn’t want the Co2 gas to escape (correct me if this is a wrong idea).

    As for the power head pointing upwards towards the surface, I wanted it for surface agitation. Is there a better position for it in the tank?

    Yes, I know the UV is an overkill but I realized it only after purchasing it and the shop where I bought it from wouldn’t take it back.

    As for removing the media, I’ll try to remove the 3 layers of sponges and filter wool at the bottom tray and replace it with the plastic ring media from Eheim meant for mechanical filtration.

    I have taken some photos just now and a video showing the position of nozzle and power head.You can also see the plants moving about in the tank. Kindly take a look and reply.

    Please excuse the shabby video. I took them about 3 hours ago and had to edit fast for upload.


    http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b631/Zak_Rafik/IMG_0640_zpsfe41b51a.jpg


    http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b631/Zak_Rafik/IMG_0666_zpsb744bb0f.jpg


    http://vid1295.photobucket.com/albums/b631/Zak_Rafik/Vidtoshowflowintank_zpsd236e10e.mp4



    Apart from dosing Potassium using ADA’s Brighty K, I have also started to add a daily dose of ADA Brighty Step 1 (trace elements) and a daily dose of EasyLife’s Ferror (iron supplement) at 1/7 the recommended weekly dose. I started this about 3 days ago.
    I have notice new growth in my 3 type of plants that were melting away. But the carpet plant Monte Carlo still has the same problem of melting at the stems and leaves. Please see the photo below.
    Other than dosing, I have not made any changes to the tank recently.
    I would appreciate any comments from fellow members also.
    Thank you so much.

    So far I have read constructive comments from everyone which reflects the quality of this forum.

    http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b631/Zak_Rafik/IMG_0658_zpsd0a0c9ef.jpg


    http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b631/Zak_Rafik/IMG_0662_zps20b6b656.jpg


    http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b631/Zak_Rafik/IMG_0659_zps6db1ac2a.jpg


    http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums/b631/Zak_Rafik/IMG_0661_zps6a6dc924.jpg
     
  12. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi Zak,
    Thanks for the additional photos.

    Please reset the orientation of the spraybar and powerhead to be at the horizontal. This is THE baseline configuration that all distribution schemes should start with. When you point the flows at different angles you create collision and cancellation of flows.

    Having one source of flow pointing up while the other is pointing down is usually counterproductive. The collision between the two flows, where they intersect takes energy away from both flows. We are trying to move water from point "A" to point "B". If point "B" is far away then we need to generate as much momentum of the water so that it can reach point "B". So you are hindering the ability of the water to reach it's destination by the mutual interference. In rare circumstances, criss-crossing of flows may work depending on a lot of other variables, but generally it is a very bad idea.

    Do not worry about surface agitation right now. That has a very low priority in comparison with the optimization of distribution and delivery of the gas to the lower areas of the tank.

    Just because the shop won't take back the UV it doesn't mean that you should install it, especially if it reduces your flow rate. Sell it on ebay if necessary to recover funds or keep it in case you suffer GWA.


    I think you must have misunderstood my previous post. I apologize if I was unclear. The way that mechanical filtration works is by reducing the flow rate of the water through the filter. As we have just discussed, that is absolutely the LAST THING YOU NEED. Keep your sponges and remove mechanical devices and any other balls or rock-like materials. They all have very high drag coefficients and they kill your flow rate. I can't stress this enough.

    As far as your dosing scheme, I will abstain because I have no love for any of those overpriced products. Amazonia is king and provides all that you need for now. Dry salts are 100X cheaper and are just as effective. There should not be any nutrient related issues in the tank at this time. Concentrate all your energy on CO2/flow/distribution. If you have no fish in the tank than you can afford to increase the injection rate to as high a rate as you want to stop the deterioration. If there are fish in the tank then you just have to be a bit more careful how much you increase the injection rate.

    Cheers,
     
    Zak Rafik likes this.
  13. Zak Rafik

    Zak Rafik Member

    Messages:
    466
    Location:
    Singapore
    Hi Clive,
    I have just reset the spray bar and power head orientation as per your advice..
    My god! I noticed the tank coming to life all of a sudden. All the plant are gently moving about. The Otos, SAEs and Amano shrimps are exploring all parts of the tank.
    I purposely dropped some small bit of leaves in the tank and followed the path it takes in the water column to gauge the water movement. I was astonished!
    It made a complete circle from one side of the tank to the other, from top to bottom and it just kept on going in an oval shaped configuration. Is this a good omen ?
    Previously, it would be a zigzag and uneven path and the plants in the middle of the tank would be almost be still.

    Since the Co2 is switched off now, I will be in a better position to observe the flow tomorrow morning. An added bonus is that, the water agitation is more on the gentler side and pleasing to the eye. :)

    Can I remove the filter media from the canister after a few days of further observation or should I do it asap?

    I just remembered, I had put in a small bag of crushed coral in the top tray in my canister when I first set it up. I also remember having trouble trying to find space for it in the tray and forcing it in.
    And please Clive, don't ask me "what is a bag of crushed coral doing in your canister?"
    I don't want to embarrass myself in this forum. It's a long story and let's just keep it that way. Hahaha :)

    With regard to all those liquid fertilizer, I regret that decision now after learning about EI dosing thank to this fantastic Youtube channel called "Planted Tank UK"
    I didn't know EI dosing was such a simple procedure and most cost effective one. I have ordered it and it should reach me in a couple of weeks.
    For now, should I just dose for Potassium only and stop the rest?

    By the way, how reliable is a drop checker? Mine turns green after a long time say 3 to 4 hours but by then most of the plants are already pearling.

    Now I have put the timer for Co2 to turn on 2 hours before lights on, Can I make it 3 hours?

    I really appreciate all your input and advice you have given so far.
    Thanks you and warm regards.
    Raffik
     
  14. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi Raffik,
    Thanks for the feedback and confirmation regarding the flow pattern. These are really simple principles of hydrodynamics yet few people pay attention and that lack of attention to simple details is the root of so many problems.
    Now that you have better flow and distribution the CO2 that you inject will be more effective because it will be delivered to the plant beds more efficiently. Is all well yet? Probably not. A few more tweaks are necessary, as follows:


    A......S......A.......P :bored:
    Do it gradually, so as not to trigger algal blooms or to risk Nitrogen toxicity. 20% this week, another 20% in another week, and so forth.

    OOOOO.....Kay.....:shh:


    Dose as you wish mate. Since you have it you may as well use it. This is a completely different story from the UV. In the case of the UV, adding it was counterproductive, but nutrients have great benefits and very little negative issues.


    Well....it's a long story. I'll refer you to the following threads:
    http://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/new-design-of-drop-checker.1560/
    http://www.ukaps.org/forum/threads/cladophora-vile-weed.11320/#post-120485


    Yes you can, but this is only a coarse adjustment and you need to determine exactly how the gas is behaving instead of just making arbitrary changes and hoping for the best. That's why we suggest to measure the pH at intervals. That will tell you a lot. You took the measurements before, and now that you have made a change you need to both observe the reaction in the tank as well as to determine the new pH profile and that will give you an idea of how effective your changes are. You may find, for example that you can turn the gas on later rather than earlier. That would be unusual, but it can happen if it happens that the changes you make significantly improve CO2 availability and uptake.

    Cheers,
     
    Zak Rafik likes this.
  15. Zak Rafik

    Zak Rafik Member

    Messages:
    466
    Location:
    Singapore
    Hi
    Just a quick update. For the first time since setting up the tank, today I saw the carpet plants pealing. :)
    The rest of the plants seem to be pearling much earlier after lights on. Usually it take about 2 to 2 1/2 hour to start pearling but today it started after 1 hour.
    I'll update soon after taking a series of Ph readings as per Clive's advice.
    Happy Friday everyone and Cheers
    Raffik.
     
  16. Zak Rafik

    Zak Rafik Member

    Messages:
    466
    Location:
    Singapore
    Hi Clive and everyone

    The plants seem to have stabilized since adjusting the spray bar and power head position.
    Mote Carlo plants has stopped melting and this is evident by the decrease in the number of leaves found floating in the tank. It's the same for the Repens.

    However the Lobelia cardinalis ‘small form’ is not doing so great even though they're growing new leaves and new roots. Two more plants have completely melted in one day. :(
    The melting starts from the stem near the soil and spreads upwards. Once the steam have turned to almost gel like condition, all the leaves come loose and simply float to the top. I took these photo about 30 minutes ago.

    I'll be doing the Ph test tomorrow.

    The photoperiod for the tank has been since setup been 6 hours. Form tomorrow onwards it'll be set for 8 hours. Is this ok?

    As for fertilizations, since two days ago, I'm dosing daily for potassium only and dosing for trace elements and iron on alternate days.

    If any members have experienced the same, I would like to know how you tackled this condition. Thank you.

    Have a nice weekend
    Z. Raffik


    http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums...0-7524-453C-80CC-905A837E0228_zps6e6gigk4.jpg

    http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums...2-6B9A-4093-96F0-605A4EDB0D37_zpsmcgwugte.jpg

    http://i1295.photobucket.com/albums...0-6374-4B2A-B5FC-AB982E1B0FCB_zps1omvqamr.jpg
     
  17. Mick.Dk

    Mick.Dk Member

    Messages:
    1,346
    Location:
    Dk
    I have tested Lobelia cardinalis mini-types from several different sources ( incl. TC's )............ and only one of them really grew well immerse. This was plants I received directly from C. Kasselmann.
    These tests was done years ago, so there may be improvement on the market..........
     
    hogan53 likes this.
  18. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    No this is not OK. Light causes the damage you are experiencing. Why on Earth would you want to increase it? You should be thinking about reducing the light intensity at this point.

    Fix your CO2 first. CO2 grows plants.

    Lobelia cardinalis simply needs more CO2 than the other plants in your tank. Continue to push the limits of CO2 availability in the tank until this stops happening.

    Cheers,
     
    Zak Rafik likes this.
  19. Zak Rafik

    Zak Rafik Member

    Messages:
    466
    Location:
    Singapore
    Hi Clive
    Thanks for the reply.

    I read in some websites like Tropica.com and The Green Machine and others and they recommend bright lights. But like you rightly pointed out these plants do need good Co2. If not they tend to grow leggy. That's what is happening to some my plants now.

    I have increased the Co2 quite a bit and will moniter the fish' reaction.

    Regarding the photo period, I have reset it to 6 hours. So when can one increase the photoperiod. After the wilting has stopped?

    Happy weekend.
    Thanks
    Raffik
     
  20. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,952
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi Raffik,
    You need to get your tank healthy. Light causes damage at every intensity level and the plant has to spend a lot of resources repairing the damage. If you are impatient and start blasting the tank with more light you'll be back in the same boat. I'm never in a hurry to add more light. Just do it gradually over then next few weeks, but first you have to stop the melting.

    I never recommend bright lights. Plants do not grow because of bright lights, they grow because of bright CO2, and there are no plants that "need" bright lights. Bright lights only makes things happen faster and so if you have poor CO2/flow/distribution then your plants will be destroyed faster.

    Cheers,
     
    Victor, hogan53 and Zak Rafik like this.

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