Lots of Melting!


I don't know what caused this but my (very bushy and healthy) Anarchis and my val and an unidentified plant I've been growing all melted...

They grew fine for 3 weeks until they died one weekend while I was gone...

I do bi-weekly flourish comprehensive (not to be confused with excel) dosing and continuous well-dispersed CO2 injection... It is also a planted tank. There is plenty of light.

The true monkey wrench in this mess is that ALL other plants int the tank are flourishing (not growing ok I mean flourishing I had a parrot feather grow from 3 inches to 10 inches and 20extra leaves in a week...).... Anyways

Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.
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Wow, 16hrs of light is a lot of light hours in a day!

I think most of our plant guys would suggest 8-10 (maybe max 12) hrs a day.

How did they die? i.e. just shrivalled up and died, fell apart and died?

What are your other parameters?
GH and KH?

IMO, it's possible they got burnt by too much light, or there is something else in the water burning them....

The other plant guys will be along soon with better advice, but that's my initial thoughts.


What are your test results? How much Comprehensive are you dosing? I would normally say that something like this is caused by Excel (not this time), inconsistant co2 or nutrient supply (or both) or plants simply needing to acclimate to their new home.
  • Thread Starter


I'm dosing comprehensive (just enough to cover the bottom of the cap) twice a week or less if I forget but never more....

My kh is exactly 4 I have not tested GH anytime recently (never thought that mattered for plants)

And my ph is around 8-8.4 I have yet to see it under that even with my CO2 injections. I realize this is high even for plants but my peat moss hasn't come in and I don't care what other people say about CO2 lowering ph... It does but from 8.4 to 8.0... that's in -.-... anyway

The plants all had the exact same reaction... They all turned ghostly white and then one of them is beginning to shrivel away now... And I realize this is a lot of light but I like to look into my tanks and I'm there/awake from 9am-2pm and then again from 9pm-1pm (I'm a college student so I have a weird schedule.)

Anyways I appreciate any advice/help! : )

Oh and my water is A=.1 Nitrite = 0 Nitrate = 0 (there is a cycled filter on this tank too) Oh every water change the Ammonia shoots up to .8 because the water out of the line is horridly high on ammonia.


I think this may be a combination of things.

CO2 deficiency. Forgive my poor memory but how many generators are you running & how are you diffusing the gas? Given the tank size (10gal?) & the fairly low KH, I would expect to see a much larger drop in the Ph unless it is being diffused poorly, little co2 is being produced from the generator, you have an airstone running 24/7 or you have high phosphate levels. In combination with irregular light hours & excessive light intensity, this kind of problem may result, especially if there is a nutrient deficiency. (probably iron or potassium)

It's also possible the plants were grown in much cooler water before you bought them. When plants go from warm water to cool the results of the shock can be seen fairly quickly but not as quickly when going from cool water to warm.

What I would do:
Get those lights on a timer & run a split light cycle. As in two shorter light periods per day. Something like 9am-2pm lights on, 2pm-9pm lights off, 9pm-1am lights on, then off for the rest of the time. The plants will appreciate less light hours, growth will hardly be effected at all & algae will have more trouble establishing in your tank. Run a phosphate test. Find out just how much phosphates there are & if the level is enough to buffer against PH swings. Once the phosphate levels are established, you will have a better idea of how well your co2 rig is working. If the phosphates are high, find a way to lower those levels. If the phosphates are low, start looking at your co2 rig & figuring out why it is not producing much co2 or the co2 is not being diffused well. Once I had those two things sorted out, I would consider changing my fertiliser dosing shedule or adding extra of one of the elements if the problem still existed.

GH is actually quite important in planted tanks as it gives an idea of how much of what minerals are available to the plants. Very low GH is just as bad for plants as high GH. SOmething in the rangs of GH 6-14 is usually quite good. EC meters are an even better tool for working out how many minerals are present for the plants as they measure the total dissolved salts in the water.


My opinion, I wouldn't worry about what you're doing wrong. It sounds like you have numerous plants working in that aquarium. To quote one of the speakers as the Minnesota Aquarium Society (I'm sorry, I forget which), "Try dozens of plants and stick with the ones that work. Ignore the rest."
In this case, something in your water is loved by many of your plants, but the anacharis (never had luck with the stuff, despite the fact that it's supposed to be one of the easiest plants to grow), val (have only had it for a week), and the unidentified plant disliked it. You could mess with things and try to get those three to thrive, but you may end up damaging the others' ability to thrive.

Of course, I'm about the opposite of Nutter as far as how I deal with my planted aquaria. I don't test for anything beyond the normal nitrogen products, and I rarely feed my plants anything beyond what I feed the fish. They sit in EcoComplete or fluorite, they get fed by the fish, draw minerals from my water supply (and the VitaChem I put in), and they thrive. Granted, like with you, there are some plants that haven't done well in my aquaria.
We both have great success with plants, it's just how we go about doing it. Play with both, see which works best for you (or come up with some middle ground, if that feels most comfortable), and run with it. ;D

Edit: Also, my plants get around 16 continuous hours of light a day.


Yep, both methods can work. It's just what works for the tank & the person. I've had plants that I just can't get to grow & give up on. There's nothing wrong with the try it & if it doesn't work, move on approach.
  • Thread Starter


thanks for the info guys... I'll try the time adjustment and see what happens... also the ph swing isn't so dramatic because the CO2 line runs into a pump that chops up the bubbles into really fine bubbles all day long while the plants are awake... but as soon as the lights go off the pump turns off... the CO2 continues but there is no air stone or anything so it just floats to the top and minimal CO2 is dispersed. : ) that's why the ph swing is low...

As far as testing I have an API test kit a GH/KH test kit and an empty wallet so testing phosphates is not an option unless there is a DIY route... I'll test my GH though and read up more on that.

And I have 2 different tanks I keep running for my plants the one with steroids (CO2 and ferts) and the one without (just a good ole' tank) And I keep "back ups" in my good ole tank so I'll just borrow and try again and just hope that it was the light that did them in.
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