Plant melting problem.

Discussion in 'Aquarium Plants' started by Scoutsfish, Sep 6, 2013.

  1. ScoutsfishWell Known MemberMember

    In my 15 gal Ihave anacharis, wisteria, little bit of duckweed and moneywort, as well as 2 cryptos. The substrate is sand, and Ihave root tabs for the cryptos. It seems my anacharis and money wort and even wisteria are slowly losing leaves and just 'melting away.' The temp is 76 F. Wisteria has tons of roots coming from stems/leaves, but tops are turning brown and more floppy. They're still submerged. Anarcharis is the worst(isn't growihg like a weed very well...) leaves just completely fall, leaving me with random, stem that has to be removed. My java fern also died in here...(turned black/brown) money wort isn't too bad but leaves still aren't what they should be. Duckweeds just annoying and gets into filters...(if anyone has ideas to stop filter blocking duckweed without removing the duckweed.. let me know:) ) lights are low lighting, on 12 hours a day. Barely any natural light. Do Ineed less light? Lower temp(betta in this tank/stock in profile) nitrate around 20-this was couple weeks ago. I usually add api leaf zone5 ml once weekly after water change.. tired of these 'easy growing, non killable' plants dying.. is it the sand? I take off leaves at bottom and bury stem into sand, no root tabs for these ones as they're water colomn feeders from my understanding. They all grow in my 29 gal, but substrate is for planted tanks, lights slightly higher and on 12 hrs as well. Temp is degree or two warmer.. but my moneywort in 29 seems to be melting as well-they get pin sized holes in them then just disappear/melt(especially if touched) could holes be from mystery snails? Btw thanks and sorry for long post!!!

  2. maccaWell Known MemberMember

    Your sand substrate could be the problem. There's absolutely no nutrient content or even the ability to absorb and contain nutrients. The other, is the fact that sand is very dense and will suffocate the roots of your plants, restricting the uptake of nutrients.

    Most plants, planted in the substrate will benefit from root tabs. The difference either than usuage between liquid and tabs is their absorption rate. Tabs are design to "slow release" nutrients where as liquid ferts are for quick absorption. Also api leaf zone is an iron and potassium only fert. You will need a complete fertilizer like Flourish comprehensive and if your tap water is soft, you'll most likely need micro nutrients as well, in the form of Flourish trace. However, you don't have to get flourish, simply look at the ingredients content of your choice of fertilizer to determine if it's a complete fertilizer.

    With the duckweed getting into your filter, you could use a sponge (from a sponge filter) as a sleeve at the intake tube.You can buy just the sponge online or from your lfs.   or even a mesh cloth e.g stocking and secure it with a rubber band.

    Hope this helps.

  3. _Fried_Bettas_Well Known MemberMember

    Over what period of time did these plants die? Is this something sudden or a trend over months. If it is a sudden die-off, many of these plants melt when water parameters change suddenly. Without knowing more I would assume that not enough light (or the wrong spectrum bulb) was getting to these plants. Even if you have strong enough light of the right spectrum, if the bulbs are too old they stop producing the correct spectrum. If this is a tall tank you need about twice as much light.

    I don't know of anything that can kill a java fern quickly. Some of those plants can be killed by Excel, but you didn't mention that, and most of those plants do well with that supplement. Could be that the duckweed is sucking all the nutrients out of the water, or the opposite you could be over fertilizing. Duckweed could be blocking too much light to other plants. Twelve hours is a long cycle, but it won't kill plants, usually the reason people don't go that long is because of algae, but I am sure the duckweed is likely choking out any algae. I'm not familiar with that API product so I don't know what it might be doing. Plant substrate could helps, but the lack of it wouldn't cause problems with many of those plants, although perhaps some.
  4. ScoutsfishWell Known MemberMember

    There's to little duckweed for it to do anything, only a tiny handfull.. I may try the sponge/stocking. The lights are 2 years old, should I replace them? Should I try root tabs(have some) even though they're water coloumn feeders? It happened over a couple weeks or so. I don't use excel. Have hardly any algae problems. Shouldi let them float? I really want them planted... same thing began happening to my sword(had root tabs with) but I moved it to other tank as I don't want to lose that plant. Sounds like I may need new light? I can keep lights on longer or shorter, have them on about 6am-6 pm or so(school scedule:( ) don't really want to shorten time or I won't get to watch fish at all minus few min inn morn and after school before work... tthanks for the help!!!
  5. _Fried_Bettas_Well Known MemberMember

    They recommend replacing bulbs after 12 months (some recommend even less) because even though the bulbs still work they no longer put out the correct frequency range. Root tabs won't help (very efficiently anyway) any column feeding plants, and it doesn't matter if they are anchored in the gravel or floating. If you have been running lights 12 hours a day for a long time and not getting algae I would think that your lights are not very strong at all.

    If you do start to have problems with the lights being on 12 hours a day I would use a timer to turn them off for a few hours during part of the day; the brightest part not to confuse the fish (or plants) that it is night when it isn't.

    I don't think it is the sand unless it was a rhizome plant that you haven't mentioned, I see plenty of people with heavily planted tanks in sand and never heard of this problem.

    MTS snails can help aerate sand or plant substrate as long as you never overfeed your fish and increase their population too much. I have added MTS snails in my own tank now after considering the pluses and minuses of having them.

    Putting a sponge over the filter intake is a good way to prevent the filter from getting clogged with plants (or baby fry in my case). Pantyhose works but the foam sponges cost very little and look better, (I just bought 3 of them for $5 including shipping on Amazon).
  6. ScoutsfishWell Known MemberMember

    Ok will look into getting new lights, until then prob just putting troubled plants in other tank..they're already on timer but I'm confused, turn timer on like 6 hours, off for a few then back on for 6 more(or so) then off for night? I don't want mts.. I've seen what they can do with tanks. Unless my betta will eat them and the shell, I'm staying away... I'll look around for sponge filters, think lfs have some as they use one in each seperate tank they have(which is nice to not spread disease:D) thanks for help! I'm planning on adding one of the mystery snails from other tank, but had a scare with ich(or something) few days ago. Even though 1. Spots have disappeared, I'm not moving anything out of it for 2+ weeks and 2. Snails/inverts can't get that sort of illness, I don't want them carrying spores over... it will also give smaller snail to grow up a little before I move big one:) Ican get a snail that's small and has curly/pointy shell-ramshorn/trumpet??- but I don't want reproducing like rabbits...
  7. _Fried_Bettas_Well Known MemberMember

  8. ScoutsfishWell Known MemberMember

    I originally wanted nerites-about 3 per tank, but no lfs near me has any sold as freshwater. I can't get any online right now either..especially now I have to replace both lights, and still need another/bigger filter and new heater for 29 gal... also would those pre filters work for square intakes? :) so with lights should I have them on 6 hour sessions? Basically creating 2 short nights/ days rather than 1 long day/ 1 long night?
  9. _Fried_Bettas_Well Known MemberMember

    There are some who will say not to break up the daylight time for the fish, for various, perhaps valid reasons. But I used to work long hours and wanted the lights on when I was home. I never saw any problems and I did it for years. Since most people turn the lights on and off randomly I can't see where this can be any worse.

    I'm sure you can find somewhere that they sell the foam as a sheet and you cut it to size and wrap it around and connect it with a twist tie.
  10. ScoutsfishWell Known MemberMember

    Sounds like I have some researching to do!:) any pros or cons you know of about the breaking up day cycle?
  11. _Fried_Bettas_Well Known MemberMember

    Two that I can think of:

    It disturbs the day/night cycle of the fish and plants. Plants do slow down their metabolism at night and rest, so do fish, like people, so there is some logic to this argument. I tend to think this is negated if the lights are out during the middle of the day when it is still relatively bright.

    Possibly cause more algae, I've read this researching the issue, but it never impacted my tanks. And it certainly wouldn't cause more algae than running your lights 12 hours.

    Obviously I didn't think it was much of an issue or I wouldn't have done it for a number of years. Now I work at home so I have no reason to do so.

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