Plants are turning brown and have some weird things growing?

BigGib

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Hello, I have a planted 5ga aquarium with live plants and 1 male betta. I'm about 3 weeks in to the cycle, and the plants are not looking great. The moss balls have some weird brown ball snapped things growing on them, as does the Anubis. The Java Fern has a few dark spots but doesn't look horrible, and the 1 water sprite floating looks good where it is under the light, the other one in the corner that's planted looks really brown.

I'm using Prime, stress coat, and flourish from Seachem.
Ph around 7.2 to 7.4

I do partial water changes every couple of days or so, but haven't had any large ammonia spikes, just now starting to show some Nitrites, but really low levels.

Do I just need more light? Or is there something else going on here? The things growing on the moss and Anubis have me a little concerned. Any help would be appreciated!
 

Maryellen

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BigGib said:
Hello, I have a planted 5ga aquarium with live plants and 1 male betta. I'm about 3 weeks in to the cycle, and the plants are not looking great. The moss balls have some weird brown ball snapped things growing on them, as does the Anubis. The Java Fern has a few dark spots but doesn't look horrible, and the 1 water sprite floating looks good where it is under the light, the other one in the corner that's planted looks really brown.

I'm using Prime, stress coat, and flourish from Seachem.
Ph around 7.2 to 7.4

I do partial water changes every couple of days or so, but haven't had any large ammonia spikes, just now starting to show some Nitrites, but really low levels.

Do I just need more light? Or is there something else going on here? The things growing on the moss and Anubis have me a little concerned. Any help would be appreciated!
Do you have a plant light? Pictures? Do you have sand or gravel?
 
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BigGib

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Sorry, trying to attach photos but having issues for some reason? I've posted photos here before.

I have the 3 LED light that came with the tank, it's not very bright and pretty sure the water sprite that is floating is blocking a lot of it. I have really fine river gravel.
 
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BigGib

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It's hard to see the spots on the Anubis, but they are grayish brown balls, almost looks like thick dust or something
 

Maryellen

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BigGib said:
Sorry, trying to attach photos but having issues for some reason? I've posted photos here before.

I have the 3 LED light that came with the tank, it's not very bright and pretty sure the water sprite that is floating is blocking a lot of it. I have really fine river gravel.
I’m no plant expert by any means, but I have most of the plants you do. When I was setting up a new tank I moved my Marimo ball into a little container for a month or so, and it turned almost completely brown. I fixed this by putting it in a decent sized container of water and then leaving it in a dark drawer for like two weeks. It’s doing great now. Perhaps that could help your Marimo ball?

You probably just need a brighter light. When I set up my 5gal planted tank a few months, I did so without a light (it was by a window) my plants didn’t die exactly... but they certainly didn’t thrive. I bought a light, (beamswork EA 12” aquarium light) and in just days saw a HUGE improvement. Now my plants have all doubled in size.. I think that’s most likely your problem if your water is fine.
 

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BigGib said:
It's hard to see the spots on the Anubis, but they are grayish brown balls, almost looks like thick dust or something
Have you tried rubbing those spots off? My snails leave waste like that all over my plant leaves. Your bettas adorable by the way...
 

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BigGib said:
Hello, I have a planted 5ga aquarium with live plants and 1 male betta. I'm about 3 weeks in to the cycle, and the plants are not looking great. The moss balls have some weird brown ball snapped things growing on them, as does the Anubis. The Java Fern has a few dark spots but doesn't look horrible, and the 1 water sprite floating looks good where it is under the light, the other one in the corner that's planted looks really brown.

I'm using Prime, stress coat, and flourish from Seachem.
Ph around 7.2 to 7.4

I do partial water changes every couple of days or so, but haven't had any large ammonia spikes, just now starting to show some Nitrites, but really low levels.

Do I just need more light? Or is there something else going on here? The things growing on the moss and Anubis have me a little concerned. Any help would be appreciated!
To me it looks like the the thick 'dust' you see are brown diatoms, even on the moss ball. These are a type of algae, so a good tank cleaning will help clean them up. That being said, there is almost always a reason that you have them, given that this is a betta tank, stronger flow is kinda out of the question, but upping the strength of the light a bit and letting the floating plants grow in, or just making sure he has things to hide under will help keep him comfy, while helping your plants grow, this will cause diatoms to have less resources to grow with.
 
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BigGib

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Thanks for all of the quick responses! I did remove the coconut that the Anubias is attached to and as soon as I touched it, the spots came off in the water. Same with the moss balls. I still pulled them out and rinsed them with some tank water before placing them back in the tank. The Anubias looks healthy otherwise.

I'm guessing some of this is from being a few weeks into cycling the tank and the nutrients being off?

I can definitely add a light, just need a good recommendation for one to fit a tank with a closed top? I work at SuperbrightLEDs and have access to many types of waterproof strip lights, could something like this work?

Should I quit using flourish for the time being?
 

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BigGib

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I did a 40% water change today and removed the one water sprite that was glued to a rock. As soon as I touched it the roots crumbled and it came detached from the rock. I have it floating in a pitcher of water under some good LED lights in hopes to perk it up some.
 

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