Plants melting

Tamara02

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Hey guys!
I have an established 30 gallon tank with a hang on filter. It is heavily planted with hygrophilia, vallisneria, sag, ludwigia, anubias, pennywort, Amazon sword. A month or two ago, the water turned green. I tried everything to fix it until I gave up and purchased a green killing machine. The water was clear within a few hours but a week ago I've noticed my plants are all melting (except the vallisneria, that one is throwing runners like crazy) I think my Amazon sword died completely, ludwigia shedding bottom leaves, anubias is still doing ok and the pennywort doesn't look too happy... The sag is almost all gone and the hygrophilia i still there but doesn't look too great either. I did a big clean out just now, cut all of the melted leaves. Probably lost about 40% of my plants. I'm wondering if the uv sterelizer changes the water parameters. I can't find anything on the internet.
 

MrBryan723

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Have you ever added any ferts or root tabs? The UV shouldn't have any negative effects for the plants. If your plants are doing well, and have things they need to grow, they should be able to out compete the algae, and green water tells me something is off with the nutrition for the plants.
 
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Tamara02

Tamara02

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MrBryan723 said:
Have you ever added any ferts or root tabs? The UV shouldn't have any negative effects for the plants. If your plants are doing well, and have things they need to grow, they should be able to out compete the algae, and green water tells me something is off with the nutrition for the plants.
I have organic potting soil in all of my tanks and it always worked very well for me without any additional ferts. I did add some exel flourish for a few weeks just to see what happens and the vallisneria started melting so I stopped but maybe the flourish caused a imbalance or too much nutrition and that caused the algae bloom? I can't really tell what exactly went wrong in that tank. Thanks for your reply
 

BlackOsprey

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I think it's a CO2 problem. I almost always see lower leaf shed on stem plants when they aren't getting enough.

How long has your tank been running? In my experience with dirted tanks, they tend to support dense and vigorous growth in the first several months because of the CO2 produced by decomposing soil, and once that's depleted, there's usually a dramatic die-back until the tank finds its balance again.
 

MrBryan723

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I mix my potting soil with sand in order to prevent it from gettimg too compacted. There's a chance you have a pretty anaerobic environment under your soil causing the roots of some of these plants to rot from everything settling over time. Amazon Swords are heavy root feeders and rather hardy, so maybe aerating the soil might help, but it comes with risks if you release too much hydrogen sulfide. So do small sections at a time. Just poke around the bottom with a popsicle stick or something. This only makes sense to me because the Anubias is doing ok and the sword is not.

Light could also be an issue. If youre using a fluorescent tube, it might be time to replace it as they degenerate over time.
Since you know what melting is, I'm assuming these plants were all well established and not recently transplanted.
Flourish and most aquarium specific ferts are formulated to not encourage algae growth(they don't typically contain phosphates)
An imbalance could be a cause, of a cause, that started the algae issue if you weren't dosing both micro and macro nutrients. But unusual with potting soil, which should provide plenty of both.

I'm definitely leaning towards a soil issue more than anything, it could be a nutrient imbalance, but with the way you explain it, the more a plant relies on it's roots for resources, the worse off its doing.
I hope this helps.
 

MrBryan723

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It could also definitely be a CO2 issue. I didn't even think about that whole aspect lol. Usually CO2 will stunt growth, rather than kill it tho. Maybe get some liquid carbon and add it to see if it spruces things up a bit. Will at least identify something and is cheaper than a proper CO2 solution to try and see.
 
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Tamara02

Tamara02

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MrBryan723 said:
It could also definitely be a CO2 issue. I didn't even think about that whole aspect lol. Usually CO2 will stunt growth, rather than kill it tho. Maybe get some liquid carbon and add it to see if it spruces things up a bit. Will at least identify something and is cheaper than a proper CO2 solution to try and see.
I forgot to mention, I did add seachem Excel the same time I added flourish, which is a liquid Co2 ( which caused the vallisneria melt) Should I start adding it again? I will try to poke the dirt. I didn't even think about that because my other tanks don't have any issues at all.
 
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Tamara02

Tamara02

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BlackOsprey said:
I think it's a CO2 problem. I almost always see lower leaf shed on stem plants when they aren't getting enough.

How long has your tank been running? In my experience with dirted tanks, they tend to support dense and vigorous growth in the first several months because of the CO2 produced by decomposing soil, and once that's depleted, there's usually a dramatic die-back until the tank finds its balance again.
This one has been running for about 8 months. My two oder dirt tanks are about a year. The other two have no. Thanks for the reply
 

MrBryan723

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So, what are the differences between this tank and the others? Soil depth, water volume, lighting including windows? Temp? Anything you might do differently with their maintenance? Do you use the same equipment for all tanks? Is/was this one more heavily planted than the others?
 

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