Plant Melt

  • #1
Everything was growing and fine until I added some plants 3 days ago. My pogo erectus started getting white, and started shedding leaves, limnophila aromatica started getting transparent leaves. Nothing changed except that I added some new plants. What could've caused this? Nitrate: 80ppm, Phosphate: 10ppm+, co2: steady lime green, lights: 6 hrs daily
BEFORE and AFTER pictures below. Within a span of 3 days, after adding the new plants.


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  • #2
Well, your nitrates are almost dangerously high for your fish. The melting could be because you added more competition for trace elements by adding more plants. Do you use any ferts?
  • #3
My first thought is that you do not have enough nutrients in the tank to support all your plants. It's time to start fertilizing! I can comfortably recommend Dustin's Growth Juice from dustins fish tanks (though I have not personally used it), or a combination of Seachem's Flourish, Iron, and Potassium.

I would have to respectfully disagree with the nitrate comment; for a long time ours was 100ppm out of the tap and my tropicals did fine. You want it under 20 if you can get it there, but 80 is not -yet- in the danger zone. It isn't good but it's not going to kill them either.
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Guys, cmon now. The tank is daily EI dosed without problems for the first 3 months. As soon as I added the new plants, I raised the dose for micros by about 50% since the macros aren't a problem
  • #5
Your plants say otherwise about the macros. I had some do the same thing but they brightened right back up after starting potassium and iron.

*shrugs* Well, you know, not all of us know your tank history. I just got back from a long hiatus, myself. Don't be rude, please. Just let us know what's going on if it's apparent that we don't know.
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
I don't mean to be rude, sorry if it came off as that. I'm just saying I raised the micros, not the macros, since they are a bit too much as is. The co2 is steady like it was, along with the lights. 6 hours a day for both
  • #7
Nitrate is a bit too much, but have you tested iron/potassium? If you wanna go the cheap route to test my theory grab some API Leaf Zone and use that for a bit. See what happens.
  • #8
I said almost dangerously high. Nitrates have a cumulative effect over time. Maybe you could try root tabs. Note that plants are slow to react so something you might have done over a week ago is just now showing up. If nothing else has changed and you haven't done a very recent water change, you might have introduced something to the tank. But the odds of that are rather slI'm with aquatic plants in my experience. And any treatment methods for sick plants are not good for your fish that I know of either.
  • #9
Now that I think of it tho, when you put the new plants in, you could have done something with the roots of the plants already established that they didn't like too much or possibly even released a pocket of hydrogen sulfide gas that has dissolved into the water.
  • #10
I notice you're using sand. The plants in question are mainly root feeders, and sand doesn't work well in that area. I would highly suggest switching to gravel, or some type of planted tank substrate.
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
I just calculated, and I get about 12ppm weekly of potassium, which is low, but somehow end up with 80ppm accumulating nitrates, and 10+ppm phosphates. I'll start dosing K2SO4 at full dosage now instead of 1/2 EI like I did.
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
Eienna, it is sand correct, I have root tabs underneath, all of the groups of plants. The problem arose with the addition of the new plants. Might be a coincidence but who knows. Problems liek this don't arise over the course of a few days. I was dosing 1/2 EI because my plant mass wasn't large enough for full EI dosing, and I got green water dosing full EI. Now I'll dose potassium sulfate at full dose, and keep kno3/ kh2po4 at half like it was since there's plenty or nitrate/phosphate in the water already. I'll update next week if there are changes. Thank you, sorry again if I came off rude. Just frustrated
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Also, I have test kits for phosphate/nitrate. Where can I get a potassium/iron test kit that's somewhat accurate?
  • #14
The whole point of EI is no test kits and no nutrient limitations. To be clear, you added some plants and then the old ones started melting? What plants did you add?
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
Correct, the old plants started melting after adding the new ones. The new ones I added are: Ludwigia palustris/ sp red, ludwigia sp. rubin, rotala rotundifolia blood red, Limnophila aromatica, ar mini. I'm thinking iron deficiency since those plants are all red?
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
After a bit of mystery, I sat here for hours and found out I was deficient is K/Mg/ possibly Calcium. This is what I was dosing.
kno3 1/4tsp-
NO3 3.67
N 0.83
K 2.32

kh2po4 1/16 tsp-
PO4 0.86
P 0.28
K 0.35

k2so4 1/8 tsp-
K 1.26
S 0.52

csm+b 1/8 tsp-
Fe 0.124
Mn 0.035
Cu 0.002
Mg 0.027
Zn 0.007
Mo 0.001
B 0.015

K- 11.79
NO3- 11.01
PO4- 2.58
Mg- 0.08
Fe- 0.37

This is new weeks dosing:
gh booster 1 tsp-
Mg 0.28
Ca 1.38
K 2.7
S 2.58

kno3 2/4 tsp-
NO3 7.34
N 1.66
K 4.63

k2hpo4 2/16 tsp-
PO4 1.39
P 0.45
K 1.15

k2so4 1/4 tsp-
K 2.53
S 1.04

csm+b 1/4 tsp-
Fe 0.247
Mn 0.071
Cu 0.003
Mg 0.053
Zn 0.014
Mo 0.002
B 0.03
dGH 0.012

K- 24.93
NO3- 22.02
PO4- 4.17
Mg- 0.439
Fe- 0.74
I'll update with results
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
I know it will take a few weeks to see if this new dosing helps or not, but the pogo erectus is withering away, and I wake up every morning with a wave maker full of the needle leaves that I manually remove, and the stems are looking bald. I checked the stems, no stem rot, pulled on the plant, it's firmly rooted in the sand. What more can I do?


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