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Emersed HC turning black in places...

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by DaveSurfer, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. DaveSurfer

    DaveSurfer Prolific Poster

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    My HC was doing good up until about a week ago when I noticed that in a few areas where the HC touches the front glass the leaves were turning black. I started pulling out the black stuff and noticed that the roots were not a healthy white but a brownish color. It seems to be spreading. I'm suspecting it had something to do with algae growing between the front glass and the HC?

    I thought maybe the HC it getting too wet? So I have been airing out the tank in the last few days but I don't think it's stopped it. Maybe i have to be more patient and see.

    Or is it lack of ferts? I haven't fertilized in several weeks and there was pretty much no water level except the humidity that caused droplets to ooze down the glass.

    I have noticed a few little HC leaves going yellowish here and there too.

    What should I do?

    Thanks for any help! I don't want my nice HC carpet turning all black and dying now!
     
  2. jazzlvr123

    jazzlvr123 Guru Class Expert

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    what substrate are you using?
     
  3. DaveSurfer

    DaveSurfer Prolific Poster

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    Eco-Complete. It's been doing very well and flourishing for over 6 weeks now.
     
  4. DaveSurfer

    DaveSurfer Prolific Poster

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    Maybe, as a terrestral plant it's not getting enough nutrients...I should flood the tank with nutrient rich water just below substrate level again??

    I haven't been fertilizing at all and leaving it just humid. There was practically no water level...
     
  5. DaveSurfer

    DaveSurfer Prolific Poster

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    ...ws pulling out some of the dead stuff and noticed that there's a bit of a space between the substrate and the roots in places. I'm guessing it was feeding off the humidity in the space and when the water level dropped to non-existant it got dry in the substrate even though the aquarium was humid.

    Anyways...I have no clue. But I have to try something different. I've tried drying everything out for several days but that wasn't doing anything. So I've fertilized water and filled to substrate level and sealed the tank again. Even though some algae was growing on the glass it's worth it if the HC grows good. I'll probably just tape off the front of the aquarium glass by the substrate so the sun doesn't get at it.
     
  6. DaveSurfer

    DaveSurfer Prolific Poster

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    Ok, because of the lack of replies I assume no one knew what this was. So I did a test on it. I was going away for a trip for nearly 4 days and thought that I would try covering the entire tank (including canopy) with two blankets to see if heat was causing the black parts on the HC.

    Unfortunetly it did a LOT of damage and now nearly 75% of my once nice HC is black and mushy. I didn't know it would happen so fast! :( I opened the canopy and a huge gust of hot air came out. So, I know I didn't follow the scientific method but I think that was the problem to begin with: having the canopy sealing in the air was causing it to heat up too much for the HC.

    I'm airing it out now and will let you know if any new shoots come up. I hope it's still ok as it did get a lot of roots down.

    Thanks for any help or suggestions.
     
  7. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    I don't think I would ever have guessed that heat was the problem. How are you going to prevent future heat build-ups?
     
  8. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    I'm growing a tiny patch of HC emerged on rock wool right now; the same thing happened for me at first. There was a bit of BBA on it, and it seemed to keep spreading in the humidity, turning a lot of the patch to black moosh save for the odd bits of leaf. Now, a couple weeks later, there are new green shoots all over it. The HC seems to be rebounding solidly. Nutrients are very high, lighting more than necessary for fast growth, and the heat appropriate. If I had to guess, I'd say it's a loss of growth rate while adapting to emerged growth or replanting. Everything started slow for me while adapting, even H. micranthemoides.

    -Philosophos
     
  9. SuperColey1

    SuperColey1 Guru Class Expert

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    Sorry I didn't read this earlier :(

    I grow mine in standard 6cm high propogators with 27 5cm pots in each propogator

    When growing HC emersed it will race off at the beginning. Just as it looks like it is about to start covering the pot it starts to yellow or look 'dry'.

    The trick I use these days is to stick a pencil under one end of the propogators lid to let air in and out.

    Humidity and Heat are different things. You want the humidity but you don't want too much heat.

    I think it may also be something to do with theplant being a huge CO2 consumer and therefore once it gets established it can empty 'sealed' conditions pretty quickly. The space for air should let the temperature stay at a reasonable level (above 20ºC sould be fine) and also maintain both O and CO2 levels whilst also maintaining the humidty.

    To the other poster. If your plants are getting any algae growing emersed then your water level is too high. My water levels are about 1cm below the rockwool surface. The rockwool will suck water upward so you don't need the water level up to the top.

    Also to prevent the rockwool going green on top then sprinkle gravel over the surface to block light from it. When you come to sell the pots you can shake the gravel off and reuse. That is probs why you often find a few bits of gravel in pots when you buy them :)

    AC
     
  10. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    the water level isn't too high, the humidity and absorbent nature of rock wool left a ton of moisture though. The algae has ceased to grow; the BBA established its self when growing immersed in an aquarium.

    -Philosophos
     
  11. DaveSurfer

    DaveSurfer Prolific Poster

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    hmmm... well I will leave the black mushy HC for a few weeks and see what it does. Hopefully, as you say it will rebound nicely. Thank God I still have a few nice green patches left. I should've left it as it was and did the test while I was home :(
     
  12. quicksilver02

    quicksilver02 Junior Poster

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    Any updates on the regrowth of your mushy HC? My emersed HC has a few small mushy spots, but they've only been planted for a week. I'm ignoring it for now and just assuming that it's due to the transition from being immersed to emersed. I'm curious to know what happened with yours.
     
  13. DaveSurfer

    DaveSurfer Prolific Poster

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    Hey Quicksilver - several weeks later it melted into a black shiny slime that coated the substrate... all gone!

    Months later i have finally ordered more HC in.

    Im the meantime I've been maintaining the Gosso.
     
  14. DaveSurfer

    DaveSurfer Prolific Poster

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    So I got my replacement HC in again and planted it. Then today I noticed when the light was on that the surface of the substrate was still pretty coated with that black shiny slimy stuff. Worried it would hamper root growth for the HC runners I spent nearly an hour picking out all the stuff. I wish I would of picked it out BEFORE planting the HC.

    I don't know if that slime is some sort of algae or the remenants of the last HC but I don't think it's good. I also sopped most of the water out so there is no pools and the HC is dry. I think this will prevent algae growth. The only problem is that the condensation from the front of the glass pearls down and collects by the substrate making it always wet there and prone to algae!

    Man this is a pain, I had good HC till it turned black and now algae issues. I just have to dry it out as much as I can without killing anything. I still have to mist the anubias twice daily so their leaves don't dry up though.
     
  15. mi5haha

    mi5haha Prolific Poster

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    You may consider to use soft water to rinse them. If your substrate is deep enough, gently pour water in, and let water submerge HC a little bit. You may see film appearing on water surface. Then use a soft tube to suck the water out, half water in, half air in, so the surface things will be sucked out very quickly. When the water level is 1 cm below the substrate, then the job is done. You may see the water sucked out is in green color!

    You may need to do this almost every day if the algae is keep on growing, until HC is fully developed, shadowing the substrate.
     
  16. DaveSurfer

    DaveSurfer Prolific Poster

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    THanks, but the algae seems to be a heavy thick tarry goo. I think it's the emerged version of black hair algae as the sides of the glass that were getting wet had the black hair algae.

    So instead of dismantling the whole tank and drying out the substrate and restarting the whole deal I thought I'd give it one more chance. I stopped sealing the tank and opened it during when the tank was being lit to let air in and the humidity out. This started drying out the substrate and I believe the algae has stopped growing.

    However, because of the lack of humidity I have covered the Anubias and Glosso with moistened paper towel. This surprisingly works very well! The plants still get lots of light, albeit a bit diffused and it retains lots of moisture for them.

    4-5 days later I'm noticing that there are lots of new tiny leaves from the suffering HC plants. Every other day I'm carefully squirting a bit of water on each HC bunch but NOT on the substrate. I think this will get the HC growing back and keep the algae at bay. A dryer tank is a better one for this. I simply kept the tank too moist for too long (several months) and the algae was taking over the unplanted parts of the wet substrate.

    The Glosso and Anubias are doing very well under the moistened paper towel. I'll keep you informed on the progress! Thanks for the help and an any more suggestions are MORE than welcome!!! :)
     
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