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Subject: Plant Problems

Subject: Plant Problems
*    From: "Michael Pizzi" <Michael.Pizzi2 at Verizon_net>
*    Date: Wed, 20 Nov 2002 23:11:57 -0500
*    Disposition-notification-to: "Michael Pizzi"
<Michael.Pizzi2 at Verizon_net>

> I figured someone might be able to assist me with my plant problems.

You should be able to get some good help here. However I am answering your
post first. =) Im sure someone will correct me though ifn I steer ya wrong.
> I currently have a 90 gallon tank which has various fish
    How many? What is your approximate stocking level and feeding habits?

it was heavly 
> planted, until a few days ago and slowly all my plants have been rotting away.
> I stored a picture of a Amazon Sword Leaf at the following site:
> http://hometown.aol.com/aquariumcats/myhomepage/index.html

You are right, it does look unhappy. A lot of times Echinodorus plants will
cannibalize older leaves to get the nutrients they need.
> Currently i have 215 Watts of light which consists of GE Aqua Ray Bulbs on my
> 90 gallon and i use 2 DIY co2 reactors, My tank ph goes no higher than 7.2,
> most of the time i use peat moss to get the ph to 6.8-7.0. I had pearling on
> all of the amazon swords and plants then every thing started dying including
> the anacharis. Oh yes i also use a co2 fizz factory.

Couple of things, Im glad you have a CO2 can on the way, smart choice.
Unless you have sensitive black water fish, you probably dont need peat
filtered water. A Tom Barr mantra is "lower pH with CO2 gas only." Also, in
order to help a little better we need to know what your water's carbonate
hardness is. Look on the plant section of www.thekrib.com especially the bit
about the relationship between CO2,pH, and KH.
> My substrate is Seachem Flourite i have a 4 inch substrate level.
> I use 2 Tetratec PF300's and a Fluval 204 for filtration
> The tank temp is 78 deg F
All good.
> I use Seachem Flourish, Flourish Iron, Flourish Excel, Flourish Trace and
> Flourish Potassium as Directed.
> My Iron is 1.0 PPM
I have to confess, I dont know what the best iron level is. I kinda just
check out how green things are, anyway, nutrients are covered pretty well by
the aforementioned Mr Barr at www.sfbaaps.com. If I had to guess, I would
say that your tank may have run out of nitrate. Im a hard headed guy, and it
took me a year or so to learn this, buy some test kits that can at least
tell you your KH, pH, and nitrate. Phosphate and others are helpful, and as
an alternative, take your water to your lfs for testing. I say all that to
say this, buying every fertilizer in a line and using as directed isnt a
recipe for success. Plants are only as good as their most limited nutrient.

So where do you get nitrate? Well, if you are lucky like me, you get some
from you tap. Just measure your tap, change x amount in your tank and check
for NO3 level then. Another equally acceptable method is to feed your fish.

> I thought it might of been light, but everyone said no that isnt the problem,
> but i ordered a new light kit which should be here soon:
> It consists of 2 175 Watt Metal Halide Bulbs @ 5500K and 2 NO 48 Inch
> Flouresents which should give me approx 430 Watts of Light.

Ermm...my brain cant really count that high but the 2 metal halides should
be plenty. That would give you almost 4 watts per gallon. Depending on what
your goals are what you have now with the aquasuns and all that could be
enough. Ines Scheurmann has a great little book about aquatic plants, oddly
enough called "Aquarium plants, something or another" ask for it at your
local fish store =)
> I also have a 10LB CO2 Tank w/Regulator on its way to me, i was told i would
> have to go with pressurized Co2 with the 430 Watts on my tank.

good good, see above about light. Compressed gas CO2 is about the best thing
since sliced bread for the planted tank, at almost any light level.
> I got a town water report, the water contains all sorts of great chemicals in
> it. I am wondering honestly if it is somthing in the tap water causing me
> these problems. If so do you think i could use a Reverse Osmosis Unit? That is
> my last resort, if you cant help, or the RO unit doesnt work i just think i
> cant keep live plants, i just cant figure it out.
Chances are you can skip the RO, just buy more tanks, donate to the APD
defense fund, or get really geeky and buy some boxer shorts with vallisneria
on them, whatever floats your boat. What chemicals does your local tap have
in it? Cu can be bad at certain levels for your fish.

Decide what your goals are with light and plants, get your nurients in
check, get that CO2 going.

> Thank You for any help and suggestions

Now is where you take out that large grain of salt.


BTW you might want to check your word wrap setting in your e mail client
thingy. Otherwise your sentences run on and on to the right without a
carriage return.

Best of luck.