Dendroboard banner
1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
454 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey all,

I have built a few tanks now all with eggcrate false bottoms and all is well. However, I built a 10-gallon tank using LECA I had laying around (only about 1" depth) and I just can't seem to get anything growing on it.

CUTTINGS: I have so far tried...
-Misting 1, 2, and 4 times a day
-mounting directly into the clay wall; mounting in clay wall with sphagnum ball; sticking directly into dirt roughly 1/2" deep
-buying a creeping fig from the local nursery, digging all the way until I found a rooted piece, and planting that.

My cuttings last 2-4 weeks and then they slowly turn yellow and then wilt away. No growth.

I also ordered some small rooted ferns from joshs frogs. I put a few into my other tanks, again no problems. I put them in this tank and although they haven't died yet, I have no new growth and the leaves are slowly turning yellow/brown....

Humidity: 70-85%
Temp: 75-77
12 hour light cycle
Substrate is coco fiber, tiny bit of organic soil, ground up charcoal, and a tiny bit of coco husks.


Lastly, I can't for the life of me get BABY TEARS to grow anywhere. I love the way they look and they grow fine in my backyard, but they die in every tank I have put them in (well I don't know exactly, they don't wilt they just get stringy and seem to get drowned/covered in mud?) I've heard others grow these and really want to esp as my groundcover....any tips?


Also, as for rooted plants so far I have tried planting multiple Coleus (all died eventually) and a ton of creeping fig cuttings from a very well rooted plant I bought at the local store. I should mention that my POTHOS and EARTHSTARS are both (BARELY) growing (like 1/16" at most, just sprouts) and this tiny red flowering plant I found at my local shop has just stayed the same.

There are NO animals in this tank (not until it can stabilize and grow right!)

Any advice appreciated.


EDIT: This tank has been "running" for just under 2 months now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,367 Posts
Pics are worth a thousand words...

What lighting are you using? Any air circulation? Coco fiber isnt a good substrate at all, holds to much moisture. It could definitely be your only problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
599 Posts
I was talking to someone who had EXTREMELY wet substrate, and his advice was to get plants that thrive (or can at least survive) in the wet substrate. I guess what I"m saying is to figure out what conditions you have in your tank, and get plants to match that, not get plants and then struggle to keep your tank in the condition to help the plants....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
294 Posts
Light and air circulation. Creeping fig will grow anywhere, however, if you give it the brightest light it will grow profusely. Philos do not like a whole lot of light. They will grow solely in water, however if there is too much light they will turn yellow and almost seem burned. If your substrate is soaked, ferns will not grow, moist not soaked. Baby tears are hard to grow, but I have two "species" that have been identified as "Baby tears". One was growing on lava rocks in the fish tanks at Petco, tiny leaves, like the size of "quick cooking oatmeal". That one died quickly. The one I have now the leaves are about the size of a dime. It loves water..and a bright light. My point is that you should either do a lot of research or experiment with different growing conditions and learn from your mistakes. (Viv plants are expensive, so I suggest the latter)

Hope this helps..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,203 Posts
Baby tears will almost NEVER do good in a viv because it's from the medeterrainian (I know I spelled it wrong)and does not like high humidity
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,465 Posts
For your substrate, I would use more crunched up charcoal and coco chips and less coco fiber. I like to add orchid bark instead of coco chips.

Is your water level below the substrate?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
454 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
yes my water level is below my LECA balls; as i increased my misting frequency i decreased the amount i watered....my substrate is consistently moist but i would not call it soaked (although it is "fairly" moist).


My main issue is that I can't even get CREEPING FIG TO GROW!! I have tried at least 20+ different cuttings in that tank now including a cutting where I dug down to a rooted section of my established plant and planted that...they all last for various amounts of time and then die. None of them have grown at all. I will get some pics shortly..

Some of you are saying my substrate is bad...I am very, very confused??? I though coco fiber was the ideal substrate?? Are you guys getting that my soil is holding too much moisture or losing too much moisture? I should use more orchid bark/coco husks and far less coco fiber ? Should I add play sand?

I thought I had the substrate thing down but now I am incredibly confused:confused:

EDIT: My tank is currently 80% covered and 20% open with no fans.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
i use ABG mix (i substitute charcoal or orchid bark for the fern panel it calls for since those are expensive and harder to find.)

there are alot of threads about how to make ABG.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,322 Posts
How did you mix up the clay?
What kind of clay did you use?

Are you sure that it isn't touching the water layer anywhere in the tank?

How are you removing excess water from the tank?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
160 Posts
lightining is extremelly important, you still didn't say what you are using! also the placement of the plants could be important, as well as the ventillation, what you said looks few to me, specially if you have an aquarium and not a terrarium with a double ventillation grid, it makes a BIG difference on that point!
pictures will help as well!

greetings!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
454 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
How did you mix up the clay?
What kind of clay did you use?

Are you sure that it isn't touching the water layer anywhere in the tank?

How are you removing excess water from the tank?
The clay for the background? I took a large chunk of Dr. Elseys and added some RedArt and Sodium Bentonite to it, as well as a small amount of coco fiber and shredded sphagnum.

When you say "it" isnt touching the water layer what do you mean? My clay background starts above my substrate level and my soil is certainly not touching the water; the water layer is lieing in the leca balls

I have left a siphon tube hidden under my pothos to drain

@goku: for lighting I am temporarily using a single tube flourescent i think its 15W 6500K T8.

I am not sure what you mean by a "double ventilation grid" ? I have my own top on it consisting of 80% acrylic 20% open air
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
454 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
I have added two pictures to show the tank.

I removed all the dead plants last night so what you see is just what is surviving. These guys have been in the tank for roughly 2 months with no growth and some wilting.

Sorry the pics arent great I broke my camera yesterday :\ so all I have is my cell phone at the moment


EDIT: in the photos everything looks nice and green but if you look roughly in the lower right of the second photo you can see a fair bit of yellowing...I dont know why it always looks better in pictures but all 3 ferns have bout half their leaves browned. The thing is, either the ENTIRE STEM turns brown (from what seems to be the center/root of the plant) or the entire stem is green, the browning is NOT just on certain/random leaves.

I should also mention that there are several creeping charlie cuttings that have neither died nor grown; however when I first put them in they turned slightly brown and SEEM to be recovering albeit slowly...

Any ID on that upper right plant would be great; I totally expected it to rot away but it seems to be doing ok although it also has neither grown nor wilted and its flowers have been in bloom since I planted the tank :)
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
454 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I felt that way a bit myself and have tried decreasing the amount I water each time, but I am afraid to stop watering completely...should I? or do I need to transplant all those guys and just gut it :\

I siphoned out what little water I could (it was very little) not sure what the next step would be


EDIT: I do agree however that this tank is much more moist than either of my false bottom tanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,322 Posts
How deep is that Leca layer? It doesn't look deep enough to prevent the water from wicking back up (look at how shiny the leca is just below the clay). That in addition to the constant misting is probably keeping the floor of the enclosure way too wet.
As another issue, check the pH of the water you have siphoned out.. I'm curious to see if the pH is too high.

It is hard to see but from the shape and leaf arrangement, the flowering plant looks like an African Violet.

Ed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
454 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thx, I will probably just gut it and redo it. It didn't take too long and was meant to be a test tank anyway, glad I tested it :p


I am struggling on finding the right substrate info though; I tried searching for ABG which returns NO results (what the heck????) and "substrate" doesn't seem to find any satisfactory threads; not sure why I know i've seen tons of great threads floating around.


what base should I use?? Peat moss I believe is just as water-retentive as coco fiber? Should I be using a primary base of coco HUSKS/orchid bark and only topping it off with the fiber? I do currently have ground up charcoal in my mix but I guess not enough....can I also use play sand to help drainage?

Really confused on something I thought I understood! (note that the same substrate mix is working fine in my false bottom tanks so I think the leca layer is indeed too shallow)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,465 Posts
Here's what I would do:

Scoop out the substrate and put it in a container, add crunched up charcoal (cowboy charcoal from Lowe's is what I use), let the substrate dry out a bit. Sometimes I add LECA to the substrate to add to the umm texture to allow for more air pockets.

In the mean time, add another inch or two of LECA. When substrate is damp, not wet, put it back in, loosely. Maybe depress one corner of the leca and add pebbles on top, so you can use that corner to get a syphon hose all the way down to the bottom.

ETA: Add a nice leaf litter layer. I find that helps me to keep my substrate from getting too wet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,322 Posts
An easy method to siphon out a false bottom (that isn't fitted with a bulkhead and autodrain..) is to simply cut notches into one side of PVC pipe and during the build, place that in an easy access spot with the notched side down touching the bottom of the tank. This is then covered with either a pvc endcap or threaded plug (to keep frogs etc out). The end of the pipe can then be hidden under a decoration allowing easy access for siphoning.

Ed
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top