View Full Version : Stunted, Algae, Deficiencies - Plant Help

05-17-2015, 12:03 PM
Well somehow I can't post any of my photos on here, but I'll list some of the problems I'm having with my plants,
and would like to find solutions to them if possible


Trimmed amazon sword, brown at cut and going down leaf, deteriorating as well

Algae is also growing on these leaves, algae is on all plants moderate to severe

Amazon leaves are curling, new leaves are small

Yellowing of leaves on an Anubias

Deteriorating leaves on Cryptocoryne

Small holes in Amazon Sword

Few leaves are falling off on Cryptocoryne

Twisted leaves on Cryptocoryne

Moderate to severe stunted growth in all plants

Deterioration / stunted growth of marimo moss balls

Bubbles coming up from substrate


So if anyone has any good suggestions for me that would be fantastic, also I'm planning on getting another
Finnex Planted+ LED fixture. For the time being, here are my tank specs:


55 gallons

Ammonia (0ppm) Nitrites (0ppm) Nitrates (10ppm) Hardness (240) alkalinity (150) PH (8.0)

Marineland C-530 clean filter every 3 months

water change once a month (35gal) – 15% once a week x4

Flourish root tabs added once every 3 months

Stress Zyme added every 3 months

Monthly add Melafix and Pimafix

Weekly add Kent Blackwater

Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat – potassium nitrate, phosphate, sulfate (1/2tsp) (1/8tsp) (1/8tsp)

Tues, Thurs, Sun – CSM+B (1/8tsp)

Food (slight pinch) flakes, pellets, freeze dried shrimp, frozen cube

On Friday add Garlic Xtreme, Selcon (vitamins)

Substrate, mixture of both South American Cichlid Sand and Eco-Complete

Substrate has never been shuffled or “fluffed” up since tank setup (2013)

Filter – 2 trays bio filtration (MarinePure balls) 2 trays sponges, 2 polishing pads

2 Koralia Nano 240 powerheads

Finnex FugeRay Planted+ Aquarium LED Light, and Current USA LED+


05-17-2015, 09:14 PM
Apparently no helpful experts have stopped by so I will take a stab at it. I have a few questions, though. Since you are adding dry fertilizers on a daily basis, is this a high light CO2 injected tank? If so, what are your CO2 levels? Are you using a drop checker? It could be that your CO2 levels in the water are too low which will stunt growth. What light levels does your lighting set up produce?
Second question, have you checked your nitrate test kit against a known concentration of nitrate? Sometimes the test kits go bad and indicate a lot of nitrate when levels in the tank are really at zero. When you say you are adding sulfate do you mean K2SO4?
While I am used to thinking in terms of grams, not teaspoons, it's possible your dosing is a little low and your nitrate test kit has become inaccurate.
Descriptions of the algae and/or pictures of the algae would be very helpful. There a lots of articles here and there describing the common types of algae and knowing what algae you have would give some insight into tank conditions.
Just my opinion, of course.

05-17-2015, 11:35 PM
Is there a reason you are dosing Kent Blackwater and Stresszyme? And the Melafix/Pimafix is done as a preventative I'm assuming?

Knowing if you are using pressurized Co2 or not will help us to understand your situation. With that type of lighting and fert regime you would almost be forced to use Co2 as I doubt your plants would be able to convert the sugars/starches quickly enough otherwise. Stunted growth is usually a lack of Co2. And if you are using Co2 are you running it on a timer? Are you using a drop checker or pH controller? Do you know if your plants are able to "re-oxygenate" properly during the lights off period? Meaning are the Co2 levels dropping back down at night time?

What is your lighting schedule? As is in how many hours on each fixture?

Also your pH at 8.0 is rather high. Most plants will survive but not thrive in that kind of pH. Are you buffering your water with anything? It is odd to see tap water that high in pH in Georgia, but it is possible. Have you tested your tap water before adding to the tank to see what you are working with?

I would not throw another light on there in any case. Most of the plants you are keeping right now are low/medium light requirement. I believe you might be running too much light and fertilizer as is if you aren't using Co2.

The way you are describing "trimmed amazon sword" and the browning at the "cut" makes it seem like you trimmed part of the leaf. If that is the case you can not do this with sword plants. You must pull the whole leaf to prune the plant. As close to the base as possible. Any "cut" will always brown out. Also most algae feeds off of the leaf or plant. Once the algae is attach to the leaf usually the best course of action is to prune that leaf and toss it out. As the plant will keep sending nutrient to those leaves and inadvertently feeding the algae. Same goes for any dying or rotting leaves. The plant will keep trying to send nutrients to these yellowed leaves and which could be otherwise allocated by the plant for new growth. Just like pruning regular outdoor plants in the garden.


05-18-2015, 08:55 AM
@geotek - Zero Co2 is being added, and that's one thing I plan to get for my tank, and I haven't test my nitrates lately. I'm going to be doing a water change today that's 50% and I changed my tank schedule so that I do a 50% once a week instead of once a month. And yes, its K2SO4 its potassium sulfate, I'm adding that, but for the dosing parameters, what would you do? keep it the same or add more - Also I have these algae types, green spot, green dust, and brown algae.

@aXio - You know, I try to be as truthful as I can when I post, and sometimes it hurts. As for you're first sentence, yeah, I'm actually getting of those three things, because I posted this on another forum (to get the most feedback) but he said the exact same thing, too many chems in the water, no Co2, working on it. The Lighting schedule is 8am - 6pm which is 10hrs, so do you think that's fine or reduce? Also yeah, 8.0ph is insane and I really want to get an RO unit and mix that with either a 50/50 or 75/25 (RO/Tap) because it is quite insane, I live in north NJ, and its like 100% limestone up here with slate as well, rain water just soaks up all of those minerals. Well when I do get Co2 I plan to have 2 Finnex LED fixtures, but that's not necessary right now, alright, and thanks for that tip about pruning, I won't cut the leaf, I'll just pluck the stem out.

Also, this is picture like a year ago when my tank (and plants) looked really good - http://www.aqcenter.net/topic/5338-my-tank-at-its-climax/