Help! Plant disease?

Quill

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So today I went into my new tank to take out some hygro corymbosa, because it was growing some fuzzy white mold on its stem. As I pulled it out, the plant just kind of broke apart. The stem was extremely soft, not hard like a normal stem. Kind of like it was rotting. If the plant was dead that would explain the mold, but the plant still had green leaves and everything. Even worse, I noticed that all the plants in a 5 inch radius had some degree of this mold too! So if I even nudged them, they would break apart and the top would float up. I was horrified! I ended up throwing out about 50% of my hygro corymbosa, all the one that were "infected" with the mold. Note that only the stems were soft and moldy, not the leaves. I also noticed the symptoms on a bacopa plant right next to the hygro, except it had lost its leaves as well.

So what do I have? Plant disease or something else? The plants didn't have roots so I just buried about an inch of the stem in the substrate. But surely that would only cause the part underground to rot, not the whole plant (and also the mold usually seemed to be located higher up on the stem, not near the base)? Help meeee! I don't want to loose all my hygro corymbosa- or worse, all the plants in my tank!
 

junebug

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Hygro is a stem plant. It's possible for part of a stem plant to die off while the rest remains healthy.

What you have is melt Usually due to insufficient lighting or insufficient substrate fertilization, IME. What type of lighting do you have and what, if any, ferts do you use?
 
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Quill

Quill

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Is white fuzz/mold common on a melting plant? Also does the plant usually melt without the leaves turning brown or having holes in them or anything?

I have a 48 watt t5 ho fixture, however I did notice that all of my floating plants had colonized right above there the infected plants were located, so were likely shading them. I can try to move them somewhere else. My substrate is eco-complete, though I doubt the plants cared because they hadn't grown roots yet. I don't dose liquid ferts but I'm picking up flourish excel on Sunday.
 

junebug

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Mine have had stem melts at the base where the top and leaves remain perfectly healthy. Happened on two of my hygro compacta that weren't getting enough light. The white stuff is probably fungus. Not harmful to plants or fish IME, my fish sometimes eat it

It might be a good idea to float your stem plants for a while until they start to grow roots near the base before planting them. I've found this helps prevent melts in some of my stems.
 
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Quill

Quill

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Ooh I've got way too many stems to float. Over 100 to be exact. I've got hygro, wisteria, bacopa, rotala, etc, etc. Only the wisteria has grown roots so so far to my knowledge. Even the jungle vals float up every couple days since they don't have roots, and they're supposed to be deep-rooting plants.,.

So would you say it's unlikely that the fungus is infecting healthy plant tissue- ie, when I find a plant with fungus on it, that means it's already melted? Should I remove the plants right away or is there a risk of them contaminating nearby plant? Considering all the plants with this stuff on them were found next to each other, it kind of seemed like it was spreading..
 
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Quill

Quill

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No all the plants that had it broke apart to I chucked them. It just looked like run-of-the-mill white mold though.
 

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