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No idea what to do - poor plant health and algae

greenbliss

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21 Apr 2021
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Northumberland
Sorry to see you are still having a rough time with this tank.

I strongly believe that before you do anything else, get some floating plants in, see how they perform.

As others have said, though I know you have struggled with it, next get in tonnes of cheap fast growing stems. Hygrophila polysperma or even just plain cheap cambomba aquatica. You want a dense fast growing jungle to get things going.

I would be inclined, given the low light and non CO2, not to mess with EI salts. Get an all in one liquid food that is easy to dose. It's easier for you, and helps to rule out another bunch of variables.

Keep it as simple as possible, and try to change only 1 thing at a time. Don't underestimate the power of consistency, certainly at the start of a tank or recovery, you need to nail the consistency.

Good luck
I use a more dilute fertiliser solution, not exactly EI. I just don't like buying water with some salts in it. I don't really find mixing salts complicated at all, I'm accurate with my measurements and it has never gone wrong. I do it every water change after all (adding minerals to RO water).

I certainly do agree that being consistent will reward you with good plant health. It's just easy to lose motivation when the tank is doing badly to be quite honest.
 

dw1305

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7 Apr 2008
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nr Bath
Hi all,
I just don't like buying water with some salts in it. I don't really find mixing salts complicated at all, I'm accurate with my measurements and it has never gone wrong.
I know what you mean, I would cry if I had to buy <"liquid fertiliser">. If you feel happy using dry salts it is a lot cheaper.

I have made up my own in the past (<"mainly for work">) but now I just use a <"terrestrial fertiliser mix">, fed via the <"Duckweed Index">.

I have lean dosing and very weedy tanks so I'm not overly worried about <"using fertilisers containing urea">.

cheers Darrel
 

greenbliss

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21 Apr 2021
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I know this will sound completely made up, and I'm not true if this actually happened, but I feel like the plants are already a little bit more green after bumping the light up a few days ago. I really feel like it made a difference.
 

greenbliss

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If you would like some floating Ceratopteris, PM me. I need to remove some.
Thanks for the offer but I have already sourced some plants from some local aquarists. These include Frogbit and some Hornwort plus Elodea.

I also ordered some Hygrophila and Dwarf Tiger lotus online, as well as more Helanthium and Sagittaria. I got all of the plants for a good price on ebay so I'm quite glad.
 

greenbliss

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Hi everyone. Just a little update.

I recently tested the TDS of my RO/DI filter output water. It was almost 30. Way too high. I ordered some new prefilters plus D.I resin and will see if that helps improve the plant health. Previously, when I used my tap water, nothing would grow at all and fish would constantly die. Now that I use RO water I don't really have constant fish deaths at all.
 

greenbliss

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IMG_0549.JPG
IMG_0548.JPG

New plants planted. Hygrophila, Helanthium and Sagittaria... They Hygrophila and Sagittaria were meant to be submersed grown but they don't quite look like it.. Oh well. I won't complain if the plants grow well.

I also changed the DI resin and prefilters in my RODI unit. I am now getting 1ppm at the output which I am quite glad of. Means I don't need to replace the membrane yet.
IMG_0546.JPG
IMG_0547.JPG

The prefilter has not been changed since I got the unit about 2 years ago. I didn't even realise it looked like a filter sponge that hasn't been cleaned for 2 months.
 

arcturus

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Good job! It is improving! You can keep the Hygrophila floating - this can reduce the risk of melting and the plant will have access to atmospheric carbon dioxide. This will help the plant grow even faster and to clean up the water.
 

greenbliss

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Good job! It is improving! You can keep the Hygrophila floating - this can reduce the risk of melting and the plant will have access to atmospheric carbon dioxide. This will help the plant grow even faster and to clean up the water.
I do have some Frogbit in there which should multiply quite fast. If any end up floating up I'll just probably end up leaving them.
 

aaron.c

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27 Mar 2013
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Where in the country are you?

I’m in Manchester. Our water is super soft and I found that was a problem for plants and shrimp. I had to add crushed Coral to filter to get some buffering capacity. Mad ph swings without it


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

greenbliss

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Northern area of Northumberland. Our water here is crap. It's beyond messed up. Fish would die constantly and without reason, usually after water changes. I heard someone who lived in the same house as me and kept fish also had the same issue over 15 years ago.
 

aaron.c

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Our TDS out of the tap is less than 30 - there is nothing in our water. I run a BwT filter on coffee machine to add some minerals in.

Are you re-mineralising your ro water?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

greenbliss

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Our TDS out of the tap is less than 30 - there is nothing in our water. I run a BwT filter on coffee machine to add some minerals in.

Are you re-mineralising your ro water?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Yeah I'm pretty sure the remineraliser recipe is on the original post. If not I will update soon.
 

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