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Jungle val not looking so well

Discussion in 'Aquatic Plants' started by Grahams, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. Grahams

    Grahams Medium Fish

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    Hey guys, I added some jungle val to my tank last weekend and it's not looking so good. This is my first planted tank so i wanted to ask you guys. The leafs are starting to turn clear and fall off, does anyone know what it could be?
    The tanks a 75 gallon
    Corallife actinic and corallife 20k bulbs
    florish weekly, and florish excel every other weeked
    The tank also has java fern an anubias and they seem to be doing fine
     


  2. skratikans

    skratikans Large Fish

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    you dont need actinic lights for a freshwater tank, you should replace them

    how much wattage are you getting total?

    is the light distributed evenly throughout the tank?
     
  3. Grahams

    Grahams Medium Fish

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    I know i don't need it, but i like the look it gives the tank. 80 watts total. Yes its even though out the tank.
     
  4. Lotus

    Lotus Ultimate Fish
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    Actinic lights don't give light that's usable for plants, so I wouldn't even count that in your WPG. A 20K bulb isn't ideal, either, but probably gives some usable light for plants. Bulbs in the 6000K to 10,000K range are generally best for plants.

    Jungle vals do need medium to high light to do well, and they can be a little tricky at first, so the melting may stop. Make sure you have a rich substrate, and supplement with root tabs.
     
  5. Grahams

    Grahams Medium Fish

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    Any specific root tabs i should be using? im heading out to my lfs tomorrow
     
  6. Lotus

    Lotus Ultimate Fish
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    I usually use the Flourish ones. They seem to work really well.
     
  7. iapetus

    iapetus Large Fish

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    I'm having a similar problem. My jungle vals have been in my cycling 29G for over 2 weeks. They sit below a 65-watt bulb (not sure of the spectrum -- I really should find out, but I'm sure that it's not a saltwater bulb).

    I left town for a long weekend on Friday. When I got home last night, I noticed some of the leaves were clear, some were yellow and parts were falling off (not every strand looks bad).

    The jungle vals are rooted in ~40 lbs of Eco-Complete. I trimmed the roots when I planted. Algae is just starting to rear it's ugly head, which I expect at this point in the cycle. I am not pumping any CO2 into the tank. The water is at 79 degrees F.

    Are my jungle vals just acclimating to the tank? Should I look at adding fert tabs? They looked really good when I added them. I'd hate to think that I can't grow some nice jungle val to serve as a nice backdrop to this tank.
     
  8. iapetus

    iapetus Large Fish

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    Anybody? Please?
     
  9. frozenbarb

    frozenbarb Medium Fish

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    !!!!. No one even mention that Excel melts and kill vals?.

    Excel kill most soft plants unless they have developed a resistance.
     
  10. TabMorte

    TabMorte Superstar Fish

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    I was just going to say... Vals and Excell don't mix.
     
  11. iapetus

    iapetus Large Fish

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    That's good to know.

    But, I haven't put any Excel into the tank -- though I did add a 50% dose of another fert. That was over two weeks ago. I haven't dosed since.
     
  12. ishar

    ishar MFT Staff

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    Well, I have been problems with my jungle vals and I am finally having them do well- after 8 months of melting, death an decay. There were many problems in my tank to contribute to this:
    > I used excel. If you want to use excel with vals, you must use only small doses and add it to the tank gradually, not all in one big dump. Even this will likely melt them.
    > I had regular gravel. When I had inert aquarium gravel my vals hated their life and just died off over eight months. They need a nutrient rich substrate like Flourite or Ecocomplete as they are very heavy root feeders.
    > I didn't dose enough or the right stuff in ways of fertilizers. They need a lot of macronutrients, like nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. If you are not dosing these they might have trouble.
    > I had low light to start them with, and until I added good plant lights did they start to enjoy life again.

    I bought mine last October (as you can see if you check out my journal) and it wasn't until I think roughly a month ago did they just continuously melt and die off. I started with a tonne of the stuff and ended up with a very small amount left. Once I added more light to my tank, put them in flourite, dosed a liberal amount of N and trace (Flourish) did they start to grow again. They sent out a few runners when I did this. Then I stopped dosing excel and started a DIY CO2 reactor. They sent out a lot of runners at this point- I more than doubled the number of plants in a month. Once I started dosing K and P they really started to grow vertically as well and produce more leaves.

    Moral of the story? Dose macronutrients N, P, and K, give them a nutrient rich substrate, good lighting, and real CO2 (not excel) and let them adjust to the tank as they tend to die off initially in anyone's tank.
     
  13. iapetus

    iapetus Large Fish

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    Thanks, ishar! That's what I needed to know. I'll look into picking up some N, P and K when I head to the LFS this weekend for more plants (I'd been hoping to pick up some fish, but the tank won't have finished cycling by then).

    I'm also somewhat pleased to hear that some initial die-off is to be expected. I was wondering about that.

    I really don't want to start messing with CO2; I don't need lots more jungle val. But, I might be starting to come around on that ...

    ;)

    Any other advice would be greatly appreciated, too.
     
  14. ishar

    ishar MFT Staff

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    Be careful with the leaves, as they can be quite easily damaged and I find my vals don't really fix their leaves very easily. Also once they tart growing, I have read that they don't like frequent trimmings, so let them get a little unwieldy and ten trim them down, and make it as infrequent as possible. Don't let them shade out the other plants, but don't be trimming them small amounts a lot, do bigger not so frequent trims.
     
  15. iapetus

    iapetus Large Fish

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    Ah, that might be another problem. I did trim most of the leaves as well as the roots when I first planted them. :( I hope I didn't kill them.
     
  16. ishar

    ishar MFT Staff

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    o I doubt you killed them. When I said they died over eight months and I was let with only a few? Well those few had terrible leaves and a bunch of rotten leaves. All they had going for them that I kept them for was they had one or two good white roots. As long as you give them what I suggested they should be fine given time.
     
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