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Getting desperate with my new setup, plants dying

SOulGirL

Member
Joined
16 Jun 2010
Messages
26
Hi everyone,
I've been having a terrible time with my new setup and getting desperate as I've already lost many plants and as a consequence buckets of money down the drain.
To give you some context, this setup started a bit more than a month ago and the specs are as follows:

Tank: Ada 60p (60x30x36cm)
Lighting: Twinstar III 600S currently at 50% ( 6 hours with 30 minutes sunrise and 1 hour sunset, CO2 turns off 1 hour before lights)
Filtration: Oase Biomaster Thermo 350 (filled with Susbtrat Pro from Eheim, Seachem Matrix and some bio media that came with the filter)
CO2: Pressurized with CO2Art regulator and Twinstar diffuser (about 2bps and turns on 1 hour before lights)
Substrate: 12L of Ada Amazonia V2 with nutrient pellets underneath
Hardscape: Redmoor Wood and some small Seyriu stones for detail
Fertilization: I've been dosing (just recently) 6ml daily of Tropica Specialized

Tank is still cycling at the moment, no Ammonia but high nitrites and nitrates.
I use tap water and my tap is very soft. Gh around 6/7 and Kh around 3/4
Ph from tap around 6.8 and about 6 or a bit less with CO2. The substrate acts as buffer so it may be a bit lower.

Current plants all from Tropica and most of them from the 1-2 Grow Line:

Rotala Hra
Rotala Rotundifolia
Rotala Green
Ludwigia Palustris Super Red
Bacopa Australis
Alternanthera Reinikii Mini
Eleocharis Acicularis Mini
Anubias Petite
Hygrophila Pinnatifida
Microsorum Trident
Fissidens Fontanus moss

Plants just added less than 2 weeks ago and already melting:

Rotala Bonsai
Pogostemon Helferi

I've tried pretty much everything and nothing seems to help. The plants start out ok and after a few days they all start to melt or do poorly.
I was using a weaker filter at the beginning, (Eheim Eco Pro 200), but recently changed to the Oase which has much better flow.
As you can see from the pictures, all the plants in the back aren't in good shape, some melt, they don't look full and appear dirty or whatever is going on. Also, they don't pearl at all.
The bacopa has some leaves turning yellow and the Ludwigia has melted quite a lot of times already and I always trim and replant the tops that appear to be healthy. Still doesn't look good and doesn't seem to be growing at all.
The eleocharis was doing ok but then suddenly started to turn a bit brown and doesn't seem to want to spread anymore.
The Rotala bonsai and pogostemon helferi that I got recently, just started to melt as well.

I've turned down the lights to 50% today, from 80% that I had it previously. Still no clue if it helps anything or not.
Was using the Twinstar 600C when I first started the setup but changed to the more powerful 600S, thinking it would help. It did not.
I've already lost Blyxa Japonica, Staurogyne Repens, several Bucephalandras, Pogostemon Erectus and Myriophyllum Guyana. All melted...

I'm at a complete loss and almost feel like giving up this hobby completely. :(
Can anyone help me figure this out?
Thank you

Here are pictures so you can see the state of the tank as it is now. Almost ashamed to show it, cause it looks so terrible. :(

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Toby C

Member
Joined
19 Mar 2021
Messages
44
Location
Warwickshire
I've turned down the lights to 50% today, from 80% that I had it previously.
80% of a twinstar S series is really strong lighting for newly planted plants. I’d turn it down to 40% ish and give it a little time.

Adding some floating plants can act as a curtain to dampen the light too. You can then also re assure yourself your fertilisation is sufficient - 6ml daily should be. ( as if the floating plants that aren’t co2 limited are unhappy, it’s likely fert related)

From a CO2 perspective have you done a pH profile? When does your 0.8 drop occur by? Given you don’t have any livestock in there, you can inject more at start up. - 2bps doesn’t sound like a lot for 15 gallons.
 

ceg4048

Expert/Global Moderator
UKAPS Team
Joined
11 Jul 2007
Messages
9,598
Location
Chicago, USA
I've turned down the lights to 50% today, from 80% that I had it previously. Still no clue if it helps anything or not.
Was using the Twinstar 600C when I first started the setup but changed to the more powerful 600S, thinking it would help. It did not.
I've already lost Blyxa Japonica, Staurogyne Repens, several Bucephalandras, Pogostemon Erectus and Myriophyllum Guyana. All melted...

Hello,
Melting plants are a typical symptom of CO2 deficiency. The higher the light energy the higher the demand for CO2.
You may wish to reduce the intensity even more, perhaps down to 25%.
Another thing you may wish to try is to move the CO2 diffuser as close to the intake pipe as possible so that the gas is sucked up into the filter and then exits the lily pipe.
We normally advise to drop the pH about 1 unit (or more) prior to lights on. So if the water comes out of your tap at 6.8 then your target pH is 5.8 prior to lights on. If that takes 2 hours then start the gas 2 hours prior to lights.

Cheers,
 

SOulGirL

Member
Thread starter
Joined
16 Jun 2010
Messages
26
80% of a twinstar S series is really strong lighting for newly planted plants. I’d turn it down to 40% ish and give it a little time.

Adding some floating plants can act as a curtain to dampen the light too. You can then also re assure yourself your fertilisation is sufficient - 6ml daily should be. ( as if the floating plants that aren’t co2 limited are unhappy, it’s likely fert related)

From a CO2 perspective have you done a pH profile? When does your 0.8 drop occur by? Given you don’t have any livestock in there, you can inject more at start up. - 2bps doesn’t sound like a lot for 15 gallons.

Hello,
Melting plants are a typical symptom of CO2 deficiency. The higher the light energy the higher the demand for CO2.
You may wish to reduce the intensity even more, perhaps down to 25%.
Another thing you may wish to try is to move the CO2 diffuser as close to the intake pipe as possible so that the gas is sucked up into the filter and then exits the lily pipe.
We normally advise to drop the pH about 1 unit (or more) prior to lights on. So if the water comes out of your tap at 6.8 then your target pH is 5.8 prior to lights on. If that takes 2 hours then start the gas 2 hours prior to lights.

Cheers,

Makes sense! So how about turning it to 30%? Do you think is a good idea? Gonna turn up the CO2 a bit too and see if it makes a difference.
 

Konsa

Member
Joined
20 Nov 2010
Messages
1,018
Location
Lostock Hall
Hi
Its not unusual invitro plants to melt in new setup with aquasoil. Two weeks sounds about right for their small reserves to get depleted and melt to occur.
How often do you change water. It is recommended in initial days of the setup to change water 50 %+ daily .Did you have seeded filter media or you started from scratch?
I recently started new low tech nano and even with large daily waterchanges still got melt that wiped 80% of the plants.But I am not injecting CO2 so I was expecting some melt.
Do not get discouraged.It happens and It is possible to turn it arround with a little maintenance and care.
I will suggest to tune up your CO2 if you not have any live stock .Try to have 1 point Ph drop +lime green drop checker(as suggested)on lights on and it need to remain stable while the lights are on(roughly 0.1 Ph variance)This is best measured with calibrated Ph pen (probe) it won't cut it to use test kits.
Ensuring good oxygen levels during lights off is another important thing in starting new tanks while microbal colonies establish themselves in substrate .
Regards Konstantin
 
Last edited:

ceg4048

Expert/Global Moderator
UKAPS Team
Joined
11 Jul 2007
Messages
9,598
Location
Chicago, USA
Makes sense! So how about turning it to 30%? Do you think is a good idea? Gonna turn up the CO2 a bit too and see if it makes a difference.
When it comes to lighting, less is actually more. High intensity makes plants grow more quickly - but it also makes algae and all other problems grow more quickly.

Cheers,
 

SOulGirL

Member
Thread starter
Joined
16 Jun 2010
Messages
26
Hi
Its not unusual invitro plants to melt in new setup with aquasoil.
How often do you change water. It is recommended in initial days of the setup to change water 50 %+ daily .Did you have seeded filter media or you started from scratch?
I recently started new low tech nano and even with large daily waterchanges still got melt that wiped 80% of the plants.But I am not injecting CO2 so I was expecting some melt.
Do not get discouraged.It happens and It is possible to turn it arround with a little maintenance and care.
I will suggest to tune up your CO2 if you not have any live stock .Try to have 1 point Ph drop +lime green drop checker(as suggested)on lights on and it need to remain stable while the lights are on(roughly 0.1 Ph variance)This is best measured with calibrated Ph pen (probe) it won't cut it to use test kits.
Ensuring good oxygen levels during lights off is another important thing in starting new tanks while microbal colonies establish themselves in substrate .
Regards Konstantin
Hi, I changed 50% water for the first week daily, 2nd week every other day and the third week every 2 days or so.
Now I am changing around 50% every 3 days.
I used Stability from Seachem and when I changed the filter, also used the bio media that was in the previous filter. I believe the cycle is almost done because I don't have any ammonia anymore and have now nitrites and nitrates in the water.
I do know that melt occurs in invitro plants, but this seems to be something else since I had CO2 since planting and some of the plants did well at the beginning and just now started to give me issues.
Maybe too much light and not enough nutrients or CO2, so I'm gonna try lowering light intensity and up the CO2 a bit as you guys advised! Thanks so much, I will keep you updated on the progress and really hope I can turn this around, cause it's making me really sad to see the plants looking like this...
 

SOulGirL

Member
Thread starter
Joined
16 Jun 2010
Messages
26
When it comes to lighting, less is actually more. High intensity makes plants grow more quickly - but it also makes algae and all other problems grow more quickly.

Cheers,
Yes makes total sense! I'm sure I won't forget about this in the future. Hope this works! Will keep you updated on the tank :) Thanks so much!
 

Konsa

Member
Joined
20 Nov 2010
Messages
1,018
Location
Lostock Hall
Hi
keep us updated.By sharing what changes you are making and loads of pics others will be able to help and give you guidance.
There is nothing to be ashamed from in how your tank is looking now.Everyone needs to start somewhere and things not always go to plan.
Regards Konstantin
 

SOulGirL

Member
Thread starter
Joined
16 Jun 2010
Messages
26
Hi
keep us updated.By sharing what changes you are making and loads of pics others will be able to help and give you guidance.
There is nothing to be ashamed from in how your tank is looking now.Everyone needs to start somewhere and things not always go to plan.
Regards Konstantin
Really appreciate it, honestly. Been having such a hard time and didn't want to bother anyone else with my issues. You guys are great and I'll be sure to give updates and post pictures of the progress. Thanks again!
 

SOulGirL

Member
Thread starter
Joined
16 Jun 2010
Messages
26
Hey guys,

so today I decided to do a little rescape since most of the plants had completely melted and the tank was full of dead plant matter and debris everywhere...
I also placed the wood closer to the glass on the right side so it doesn't cast so many shadows. I had to cut a piece of the wood so it would fit, but I actually like the positioning more as it is now.
I removed all the plant matter and debris that I could and did a 50% WC as well.
Looks a bit on the empty side now, but at least it is a lot cleaner and no more dead plants in sight.
Hope the changes I made with lighting and CO2 start to pay off soon!

To be honest I won't be spending more money on new plants until I see some progress on the ones I still have. Crossing fingers that it works out!

Before:

IMG_7356.jpg

After:
IMG_7424.jpg
 
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