Ok, first off, im a newbie to the planted aquarium scene, so im still trying to wrap my head around everything. I have done research after research. My tank is a 29gal tank, gravel substrate, i have a fluval 206 canister filter and an aqueon 50 hob for filtration. I have low light (its the original hood that came with the tank). The plants I have are wisteria, amazon sword, brazilian pennywort. I had corkscrew val and it just melted away. the wisteria is like melting away. the swords and pennywort seem to be ok. I dose with root tabs, flourish, and iron. I am seriously thinking about changing to a dirt substrate with sand and gravel cap. Im also gonna switch lighting to t5ho with a total wattage of 62watts. My question is why all the melting? They have been in the tank for about 2 weeks. My ph is 7.2, everything else 0. no fish yet. no co2 or excel but im thinking about doing diy co2. Im trying to think of everything and its blowing my mind cuz they are like dying in front of my eyes.

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the plants may just be adjusting to your tank=melting. also the t5hos are a good idea or even leds that will support plant growth. u really dont need all those ferts with the plants u listed other than root tablets..nor do u need dirt. to me dirt is a mess waiting to happen...come chat with us in main and we can all give you a little input. WELCOME TO FTTV! 

                                                   T-Admin

Hi T and thanks for the welcome. I know do a little melting because of acclimation but I thought 2 weeks would have been plenty of time. The corkscrew val I had just melted away to nothing and the wisteria isn't far behind. I just did a wc this evening and the amount of melted wisteria leaves I pulled off was crazy. I'll be getting the t5ho light this friday. I know you said about not doing dirt but I've done a ton of research on it and I do wanna branch out beyond beginner plants so that's why I'm thinking dirt with a mainly gravel cap and a small sand cap. That's also why I'm thinking about co2. I thought about doing excel but some of the other plants I want to put in excel has been known to melt

Welcome Luke =)

Great to see more people wanting a natural looking planted tank.

So your val and wisteria is melting.  Acclimation can take longer than 2 weeks but not always.  While ferting is generally okay, the main issue is your your current lighting.  If a plant cannot photosynthesize the way it used to in its previous tank, then the plants will melt away in addition to the usual acclimation.  Hope this might quell your question about the melting plants.  A decent clue to issues in the tank is to look at the remaining plants that havent melted away.  Have they started to grow new leaves, or do they look like they've not grown at all?  If they havent grown at all then there may be an issue.  

You seem to be wanting to go with dirt as a substrate.  What I can mention to you is be careful with dirt.  Its very messy.  And if you dont mind having tea colored water in your tank, possible noxious smelling hydrogen sulfide (sewer / fart smell)  that can lead to hydrogen sulfide bubbles that can kill fish, then go for it ONLY if you have patience.

If you are dead set on having dirt I suggest only having a MAXIMUM of half inch of dirt.  Any more than that seems to have lead people down the road of ammonia spikes, high nitrate levels and fish die off.  The only way to have a substrate with a thicker dirt layer is to have a ton of patience and knowledge of how dirt is properly used in a tank and the willingness to trouble shoot and not give up.  Most people give up because they dont know what to fix.

Here is some info to help you with a dirted tank  (Walstad method)

http://www.theaquariumwiki.com/Walstad_method

FINALLY when it comes to lighting exactly which light fight fixture did you get?  I'm wondering because Ive not heard of any 62 watt t5 lighting fixtures.

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