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Discussion Starter #1
As some of you know I set up a tank for my grandmother. (75g fresh) I added two anubias, hornowort, and one plant I was told was some type of sword (amazon I think). Anyway I was told they were low light plants. She has a 48 inch hood with a T-8 daylight bulb (6500K). I know its not much but she doesn't want to put more money into better lighting. Below are pics of the plant I was told was a sword but am not sure. A few of the leaves at the bottom of the plant are starting to get thin and turn brown. The plant is tall and looks healthy. Its been in the tank for one week. I just started the tank a week and a half ago so it is cycling. There are 6 tetras in the tank as well. Is this from lack of proper lighting or a nutrition issue?

I tested the water today and got the following.
PH 8.2 (high, I thought)
ammonia between .25 and .50 ppm
nitrites 0
nitrates 5





 

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Pleco n bn breeder n BOSS
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Bear with me, as I might have trouble explaining this. Easy one first. It is an amazon sword.

The browning is caused by the fact that most swords are grown emersed, and you can tell from the shape of the leaves, being more round and compact. It has to adjust being submerged, which during that time the emersed leaves will slowly die off as new ones come in. The new leaves will be more narrow and longer. One thing that will help it start the new leaves better is to put some root tabs under it, then add a new one every couple of months. It should grow into a beautiful plant.

This isn't a real clear picture, but you can see the swords on each side of my 75. I was just using 2 shop lights on the tank at the time.

 

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I would have to disagree on the sword type. It is a melon sword (Echinodorus Osiris). But like Susan said the leaves that are dying are the emersed leaves and the crinkled new ones in the center are submerged. This is a very natural transition.
Dan
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks to both. What are some natural ways to lower my PH a little without having to add some chemicals?
I have also been considering buying an DI/RO unit to use with this tank and my 120 gal I just bought. Are they worth the money for freshwater or is it a better investment for salt tanks? The tank above is using city water (de-chlorinated) and I will have well water for the 120.

Thanks for the thoughts
 

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Until you get that RO unit, you can dilute the tank's mineral content quite nicely using rain water. It tends to be just as low in minerals as RO water and will help just as much as the RO. The only problem that I have with rain water is that it is not always available the way RO water is. The last week I have collected at least 100 gallons of rain that has topped off all of my tanks and allowed me to place about 40 gallons in storage tubs for when the rains finally stop. I just let it rain a while to flush out my gutter system well and then start collecting the clean water that comes after the initial gutter cleaning rain.
 

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Thanks to both. What are some natural ways to lower my PH a little without having to add some chemicals?

...


Thanks for the thoughts
I have a pH of 8.4-8.8 on all my planted tanks. The plants suck out the carbon dioxide which raises the pH.

So I do nothing to lower the pH.

I do use peat moss in the substrate to keep kh and ph from rising. Which I have found necessary for neon tetras.


my .02
 

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Pleco n bn breeder n BOSS
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I've never had plants raise the ph in any of my tanks. I ran a 75 natural tank for 2 years that was heavily planted and just sand substrate, my ph never rose.

With that high of a ph, do you know your gh and kh. Depending on the numbers there will tell you how much peat or driftwood would lower the ph. Which unless you have a low gh its not going to lower it that much and the only route to go would be with RO/DI. Even with a ph that high if you have a low gh the water can still be soft.
 

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That is true, so you should test your water out for the KH and GH but that PH still too high for plants and neon. Since you are welling to spend money for RO unit how about 2 big bags of ADA's aqua soil... they really work. You can mixed it with some silica sand to make it cheaper.
 

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With peat moss I get an initial pH of 6.5 that rose to 7.2 in a day. Then three weeks later ph rose to 8.4-8.8. KH was 4 degrees, gh 9 degrees and those values stayed at those levels for over 2 years.

Neon tetras survive 2-3 years, sliver hatchetfish also.

With no peat moss the pH rose to 8.4-8.8 in a day or two with kh and gh slowly rising over years. Silver hatchetfish survived but neon tetras only last a few weeks. kh was ~20 degrees and gh was 30-40 degrees. TDS pegged the meter.


Those tanks have no water changes, straight tap water, no mechanical filters or circulation.



Just my experience

Worth at most .02
 

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Have you tried testing the pH of water that just sits for a couple days? My guess is that the pH will go up reguardless of plants especially if you aerate.

Peat moss is just a acid that helps buffer the tank and keep it from rising as fast.
I actually did some tests with various substrates but lost the notes. I think the "jars" with plants did have the pH rise to over 8 but not the non planted jars.

Also I had a pH of 7.6 just before lights out or lower on my 55g marine tank. The addition of macro algaes brought that up to 8.2 the next day. And 8.4-8.8 a week later. And a month later, year later and several years later. It does have a sump and circulation.

my .02
 

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Discussion Starter #17
A little off the latest topic (Ph). The sword plant above seems to be doing ok. Not knowing any better I had planted the two small anubias in gravel. After reading about the rhizome I uncovered the bottom portion of the plant leaving only part of the roots covered. A few days later each plant has a few new leaves that have sprouted. I guess this is a sign it is getting enough light?? I think the next time I do a water change I am going to tie one of the anubias to a small piece of driftwood that is in the tank. I had to trim the hornwort already as it has probably grown 6 inches in three weeks. I trimmed and replanted the trimmed portions. I am still waiting on the tank to cycle. It was three weeks on Sunday and I am getting ammonia readings between .25-.50. Still zero on the nitrites. I got her the 50Ft python so I am doing water changes of at least 25% sometimes closer to 40% when the ammonia gets close to .50. My grandmother seems very pleased with just the 6 fish that are in the tank so I know once it is cycled and we can start to fill it she will be in heaven.
 
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