View Full Version : Faded plants

The Baer
05-13-2013, 08:05 PM
New 55 gallon planted freshwater. CaribSea FloraMax substrate. The Amazon Sword, Java Fern and Anachris did OK for two months; growth was noticeable and leaves were dark green. But now the growth has stopped and leaves are light green in color. Even the Anachris has stopped growing. Sylvania Gro Lux 40 watt bulb lit 12 hours per day. No algae. Addition of Fluorish Excel and Fluorish Trace have no noticeable change. 20% water changes every two weeks. All water parameters are AOK. Any thoughts will be appreciated.

05-13-2013, 10:24 PM
Some plants like the amazon sword are heavy root feeders, so fertilizer root tablets near it's roots would help it a lot. I think the amount of light you have on the tank probably isn't enough.

05-14-2013, 01:02 AM
Big water change? It can sometimes replenish what was there that is gone, though water supplies can change seasonally. The seasonal change in sun angle can affect growth in tanks in direct sunlight (or leaves of trees now block the light). Fluorescent light intensity can drop off over time. If this is a T12 40W bulb, you might actually get more light out of a 32W T8 in the same fixture. If its a light issue a new bulb may help, or leave it on longer. Clean your lid and reflectors, thin floating plants. One plant talk advised trying adding potassium, or testing the level.

The Baer
05-14-2013, 10:35 AM
Thanks. I'll try it.

The Baer
05-14-2013, 10:37 AM
Thanks for the reply. I'll test for potassium and increase the light timing.

05-14-2013, 10:56 AM
Likely lack of light. How often to you add fertilizers to your tank and what kind besides Flaurish?

The Baer
05-14-2013, 07:47 PM
No ferts besides Fluorish Excel and Fluorish Trace. These are added every other day. 2 inches of CaribSea FloraMax under the gravel. Now have lights on 14 hours per day.

05-14-2013, 09:43 PM
No ferts besides Fluorish Excel and Fluorish Trace. These are added every other day. 2 inches of CaribSea FloraMax under the gravel. Now have lights on 14 hours per day.

Your substrate doesn't have any nutrients. dosing flourish trace and not the elements P, N & K which are fundamental for plant life and growth is like putting you in jail and expecting you to be just fine on vitamin pills and not any real food with protein, fat, carbs, etc.

Go here and read for a few days:

05-14-2013, 10:02 PM
Change only one thing at a time and log everything. Eventually you should get there. You may get enough nitrates & phosphates from fish food and buffers (I like neutral regulator) there are tests for all this stuff. Potassium can come from water changes, but can also be in short supply in our soft rain/lake water. I can't see adding nitrates to any tank, I'd just add fish and/or feed more. But none of my tanks are "heavily" planted.

05-15-2013, 06:39 AM
I would increase light (not time but intensity) and add a iron supplement, CMX+B and iron Chelate, and KNO3 if you are not already. I have a spreadsheet I use to calculate the dosing for the week. I am currently trying to incorporate uptake and losses into the equation, the variation there is a challenge. If you think that would be helpful I can send it to you.

I also love this product called Vita-Chem. It is a fish vitamin supplement but I think it is a cure all.

Good luck

09-28-2013, 03:44 AM
change your grow light out to a 6500k or 5500k bulbs. How many fish are in your tank? May need more NPK, best way to supply fertz to your tank is to buy dry fertz, they are cheaper and you get a lot more, I buy mine from a member on plantedtank.net.

09-29-2013, 08:52 AM
If you're willing to rip everything out again, I'd do dirt under your substrate with some red clay mixed in with the dirt. I've had the best success and aggressive grown with dirt versus conventional plant substrate and ferts. Just my opinion and experience but I'm no pro either. As a newbie, it's what worked for me.