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[APD] All my plants Melted!

All my plants other than 2 are melting. My apon bulb formed a white mucas
and the leaves melted. My dwarf sag. melted. Crypts melting (the one that
doesn't suprise me much). My unknown variety of elodea melted. 

lysimachia nummularia is fine, jana fern is fine.

a short history in the last month... I moved to a house.

a while back I aquired another 75 gallon tank, which was nice to have.

day 1 - setup new 75 gallon in house

day 4 - broke down 75 planted and moved UGF small amount of gravel and
plants / fish to newly setup 75 at house.

day 8 - setup original 75 planted. 

I had a mix of sand and soil I had made and had been soaking since last
january, I never got around to redoing the tank at the apartment with the
soil, so it sat. It had quite a smell to it. I drained the water, and wanted
to add something to it. I wanted to try some 'greensand' due to its wide
variety of nutes and high iron content. So I added a little, but since it
did not sit and leech, I used a very small amount in the tank. Its mostly
sand with soil mixed in, looks grey and smelled nasty! 

Covered it with an inch of gravel. All is well, the water colum was flawless
in 2 days. 

I planted most of the plants, save for a few crypts and java fern I wanted
to leave for the fish in the other aquarium. I moved the lights, hooked the
CO2 back up (I hate my reactor its the small aqua medic the bubbles go in a
spiral to the bottom, would not reccomend it for any decent sized tank)

All looked well for the first few days. I went out of town for business, and
when I came back, all my plants had melted. My first thought was anything
whos roots touched the soil died, that was not the case when I saw that the
nummularia had not melted. I tested my pH. very high...turned the test a
good solid blue, I would guess high 7's near 8 or even 8.1 (don't have the
comparison chart anymore). Wow, so I tested my KH....4. not bad. That tells
me there is little CO2, or something is buffering the water. I tested the
sand and soil mix already, and even had some in a tray in the old setup. I
did read the greensand in the UK is sea mulm, and will buffer pH :( 

I tried to test GH, but it would not work. the first few drops did nothing
to the color, and then slowly changed it to the same color as the liquid
reagent as I added more. There was no solid color change as there always had
been before. Perhaps I need a new bottle of reagent.

I want to get a better reactor that does not let so much CO2 escape and can
be run outside of the tank, I am hoping a better reactor for my setup will
help bring the pH down. 

What should I do? I have a bag of sphma. (sp) peat in the garage...but its a
bit late to add it to the substrate.   Can I add it to my magnum 350 or a
bag in the sump?

Hope thats enough but not to much info to help :) feel free to ask for more
lol I am affraid to get new plants or add fish at this point. Below gravel
soil is totally new to me...first try at it.



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