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No Newts, no healthy plants?

This is a discussion on No Newts, no healthy plants? within the Plants for Enclosures and Vivariums forums, part of the Vivaria, Enclosures & Product Reviews category; Hey everyone. I have a 29 gallon aquatic setup. Bare bottom, with java fern, anubias nana, anacharis, and some salvinia ...

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Old 15th April 2016   #1 (permalink)
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Question No Newts, no healthy plants?

Hey everyone. I have a 29 gallon aquatic setup. Bare bottom, with java fern, anubias nana, anacharis, and some salvinia and duckweed. I originally set this tank up a long time ago because I was hoping to get some adult newts, but it didn't pan out. I don't see much growth in my plants besides the anubias and java fern (it seems they just need to be wet to grow), but a lot of my plants are looking white. Even my duckweed is dying! I have been doing 25% weekly water changes and adding 3 frozen brine shrimp cubes for ammonia. I have full spec lighting LED and water temp is 69F by the way. What can I do to keep plants alive? Thanks.
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Old 16th April 2016   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: No Newts, no healthy plants?

I'm no expert on planted tanks, but given the fact that the Anubias and Java fern (both species that happily grow in low light levels) are the only things growing, I'd say your lighting is too dim. Anacharis, Duckweed and Salvinia are all species that need very high light levels to survive in an aquarium, so the lighting is where i'd start.
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Old 16th April 2016   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: No Newts, no healthy plants?

Greedy plants will out compete the slower growing ones. My guess is your anubis are taking up all the minerals. White leaf indicates lack of cholorophyl which indicates lack of magnesium. Different species of plants have different requirements. Some plants are successful on oligotrophic conditions whilst others would perish. Your water changes probably just prolong the eventual death of the slowe growing plants by supplying low levels of minerals etc. Is use some fertiliser, not the brine shrimp thing, specifically for aquarium plants. Some are embedded in clay and you insert it in the substrate next to the roots whilst others are in liquid form. Check out the fresh water aquarium websites, they are well up n this.
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Old 17th April 2016   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: No Newts, no healthy plants?

Thanks guys. I will change up the lighting and find some ferts safe for caudates.
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Old 17th April 2016   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: No Newts, no healthy plants?

I'd like to point out that anubias and java fern are all very slow-growing plants, so I believe lighting is the issue here. Java ferns and Anubias are often out-competed by other plants, and usually it isn't the other way around.
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