Everything is Melting

Philosophos

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Mar 12, 2009
1,346
0
36
So over the last couple days I've had crypts melting from the outer edges, echenodorous having major structural issues, and leaf melt/shed on star grass, L. cardinalis, and staurogyne. Nothing apparent has changed; my ferts are as usual, excel dosing caries on, lights and CO2 are good. The whole tank isn't turning to liquid, but there's a lot of leaf death going on despite maintaining good growth. No new algae outbreaks either.

The one plant unaffected is H. sibthorpoids, after that the crypt shows the least signs.

Any ideas?

-Philosophos
 

Tom Barr

Founder
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 23, 2005
18,695
736
113
Tap water sources changed, KH etc?

I check the CO2 also.
Swords are a good sign something really big occurred.

If the swords get skeletonized leaves, then you know it's a CO2/KH issue.

Check the KH

Tom
 

Philosophos

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Mar 12, 2009
1,346
0
36
CO2 is as usual; the fish are obviously annoyed, the drop checker is limey, and the bubbles are everywhere. Plants are even perked up like they've got plenty.

I just did a KH test on the water column with a fairly fresh API kit; 2-3dkh which is probably actually 1-4 at worst. Well within bounds. *edit* AS would be reducing KH, and tap sits 7 most of the time; I'll check tap.

It's not as if everything is melting severely, but there's a sprinkling of melt here and there. Some of the staurogyne and star grass was recently trimmed/moved, and that's showing the worst of it. The H. sibthorpioides probably got the worst abuse, but as I said, it's looking good.

The real confusing part is where chunks are missing out of plants like they've been bitten then smoothed off without any signs of melt, but I'm sure my apistos couldn't have done that sort of damage.

So here's what I can think of:

- I'm adding the equivalent of 2.6ppm 100% HCL to 500ml of my trace, but that's been going on for a while.

- I just did a thorough filter cleaning, and replaced fine filtration. No algae though, no stress from sensitive fish, high plant density.

-*edit* looks like some hydras got in from another tank that has issues.

-Philosophos
 

Biollante

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jun 21, 2009
3,210
1
36
Surprise, AZ
Bummer!

Bummer Philosophos,

The obvious answer is CO2.

That the Lawn Marshpennywort are fine, is singular.

I would expect, based on my experience with these contentious little plants that they are the leading indicators of CO2 deficiency. In fact, I find them suitable and grow better as floating, bog, or terrestrial plants, growing most aggressively on an incline in a swamp, I mean bog, display. :eek:

The hydra infestation with the violation of good practices could confuse the issue.

Your Apistos’ may well find them tasty. The Hydras’ themselves should not bother the plants, the great hazard with Hydra are the protozoan’s that often accompany them. Flubendazole is an effective treatment to rid the hydras’ as well as some related problems, most notably fish wasting disease. http://www.inkmkr.com/Fish/FlubendazoleArticle.pdf.

I think you are likely to find something, some spike in your tap water to be the direct cause of your plant problem.

A telephone call to your local water company is in order. The chemists can generally tell you anything that has gone on in the days prior to the onset of your unhappy situation.

I wish you well.

Biollante
 

Philosophos

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Mar 12, 2009
1,346
0
36
CO2 would be the obvious but for the fact that I know how to get good CO2 in a tank. If I push my CO2 any higher, the fish will be gasping at the surface again. I have two powerheads and an XP1 on a 28 gal, and the biggest powerhead runs 180gph pushing CO2 out over some of the worst effected plants. Bubbles are everywhere. The plants are not twisting or stunting; the unaffected leaf growth is sticking out straight and green, like it's got plenty of CO2. I'm even dosing excel daily along side CO2 to slow hydra growth, since it seems to do something. BBA does not exist in my tank in any visible way right now either.

The melting has stopped its progression. No new leaves are wasting, some of the ones that showed mild signs are recovering. One of the advantages of pushing high light is getting fast response times.

If it's water quality issues, I'd suspect a line flush within the days of my last water change back on the fourth. Since then, as of yesterday, other plants in other places have received the same tap and been fine. If they show any symptoms, I'll be doing a few tests on my tap water. If it was a line flush, it's too late to do anything now except recover.

-Philosophos
 

Biollante

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jun 21, 2009
3,210
1
36
Surprise, AZ
Hi Philosophos,

I really don’t think it is a CO2 problem.

I am glad to hear your tank is recovering, :) tends to make me think it was a tap water problem.

The main reason to call the water company is to find out what caused the problem. Around here, I see occasional copper sulphate spikes, which can be a problem and serious phosphate surges that don’t really cause much trouble.

Just a thought (painful).

Biollante
 

Philosophos

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Mar 12, 2009
1,346
0
36
The water department said nothing's happened in the area recently. I have a feeling it may have been some sort of random contamination. If it were anything essential, other tanks would be showing. Still, It was kind of amazing; like tank wide crypt melt for a day or two.

-Philosophos
 

Tom Barr

Founder
Staff member
Administrator
Jan 23, 2005
18,695
736
113
Philosophos;41758 said:
CO2 would be the obvious but for the fact that I know how to get good CO2 in a tank. If I push my CO2 any higher, the fish will be gasping at the surface again. I have two powerheads and an XP1 on a 28 gal, and the biggest powerhead runs 180gph pushing CO2 out over some of the worst effected plants. Bubbles are everywhere. The plants are not twisting or stunting; the unaffected leaf growth is sticking out straight and green, like it's got plenty of CO2. I'm even dosing excel daily along side CO2 to slow hydra growth, since it seems to do something. BBA does not exist in my tank in any visible way right now either.

The melting has stopped its progression. No new leaves are wasting, some of the ones that showed mild signs are recovering. One of the advantages of pushing high light is getting fast response times.

If it's water quality issues, I'd suspect a line flush within the days of my last water change back on the fourth. Since then, as of yesterday, other plants in other places have received the same tap and been fine. If they show any symptoms, I'll be doing a few tests on my tap water. If it was a line flush, it's too late to do anything now except recover.

-Philosophos

This recently occurred with one species, R pusillia in my 180, , it's occurred with downoi a few times, but is generally plant specific. I crank CO2/light and things stabilize, it's typically when I change the lighting a lot.

Or CO2 issues.

Rarely any other issue, I do the water change slike crazy to keep any of that issue/s in check.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

Philosophos

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Mar 12, 2009
1,346
0
36
Have you ever had it happen during a lighting decrease? The bulb is a 65w CF and probably hitting its 6 month mark.

-Philosophos
 

Philosophos

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Mar 12, 2009
1,346
0
36
And the melt is back... I woke up to the sibthorpoides melting, and the staurogyne wasting even worse. The staurogyne is actually structurally integral enough to have leaves sticking straight out, completely devoid of chlorophyll.

I'm thinking it might be in the nutrients; my macro batch just spoiled, and it's showing tons of flakey, organic looking precipitates. I must've contaminated it with micros or something from an unwashed pipette.

Looks like I'll be spending a good part of today re-mixing all of my ferts.

If I'm leaving anyone hanging on any threads, please private message me as a reminder; I'll get back to you about it either later tonight or tomorrow.

-Philosophos
 

Biollante

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jun 21, 2009
3,210
1
36
Surprise, AZ
Hi Philosophos,

I have been reducing my lighting, significantly as in half or more, I guess I have seen some melting in a couple of sensitive plants, I attributed it to my messing up reducing CO2 too rapidly. None of my swords or any robust plants were affected, at least to a degree I noticed.

It just seems doubtful that the dimming of a bulb over six months seems unlikely to have caused something this dramatic to robust plant.

That pretty well seems to my uneducated self to leave CO2 or something significant added to the tank. The oddity (singularity?) is no affect to the Lawn Marshpennywort. I cannot think (my problem?) of anything that would so radically affect Echinodorus, but leave Hydrocotyle sibthorpioides unaffected.

Biollante

EDIT:Hi Philosophos,

Sorry I did not see your prior post. Keep us posted; I am convinced it is a ‘pollutant’.

As I have heard, “Dilution is the solution to pollution!”

Biollante
 

Philosophos

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Mar 12, 2009
1,346
0
36
I'm pretty convinced it's something toxic as well. The end of that batch of macros was pretty gross looking. If you've ever soaked a wound in water that's shedding a lot of skin... it looked kind of like that but pure white. Water change tomorrow, for now I'm going to let my head relax.

-Philosophos
 

Gerryd

Plant Guru Team
Lifetime Member
Sep 23, 2007
5,623
20
38
South Florida
Hi,

I had some C. Wendti bronze melt a few weeks back immediately after raising my lights and reducing PAR to the substrate for >15%.

Came right back but I made no other changes than the light.

Glad it seems like you found the cause..............I just dry dose with a cup of water and dump. Is easier for me than mixing and storing,.......
 

Philosophos

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Mar 12, 2009
1,346
0
36
This is the first time I've had trouble with liquid spoiling. I use liquid ferts because I find weight to be about +/-15% more accurate than dry dosing in the ranges I use. The mix has been popular enough to sell through a LFS after turning around the owner's planted tanks from falling apart to pearling.

Interesting that it was C. wendtii bronze; that's exactly what's sitting in my tank. It caught the least of the melt, but was the most established plant to react.

Anyhow, hopefully things will turn around. Thanks for the post.

-Philosophos
 

Philosophos

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Mar 12, 2009
1,346
0
36
*update*
Does anyone know what turns stargrass tips black? Even if I've potentially solved the problem, I wouldn't mind understanding the details of what happened.

-Philosophos
 

Biollante

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jun 21, 2009
3,210
1
36
Surprise, AZ
Fungus?

Philosophos;41857 said:
*update*
Does anyone know what turns stargrass tips black? Even if I've potentially solved the problem, I wouldn't mind understanding the details of what happened.

-Philosophos

Hi Philosophos,

Could fungus be the black tips of the Star Grass?

Can you scrape the ends of the leaves with a scalpel or fingernail? How does it come off (assuming it does)? How does it feel? What does it smell like?

If you have access to a microscope, a drawing or picture would help.

If it is a fungus, it should be easily treatable.:)

Biollante
 

Philosophos

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Mar 12, 2009
1,346
0
36
It's the tissue its self turning black, enough to see the detail of the fibers on the leaf. It's not on most of the tips, but I figured it'd be a hint at least. It seems to go along with the deterioration, and only appears on the melting tips.

The L. aromatica seems to have one spot of it on one leaf, nothing else.

I doubt there's enough to get any smell off of the black areas.

-Philosophos
 

Biollante

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jun 21, 2009
3,210
1
36
Surprise, AZ
Scrape it

Philosophos;41860 said:
It's the tissue its self turning black, enough to see the detail of the fibers on the leaf. It's not on most of the tips, but I figured it'd be a hint at least. It seems to go along with the deterioration, and only appears on the melting tips.

The L. aromatica seems to have one spot of it on one leaf, nothing else.

-Philosophos

Hi Philosophos,

Can you scrape the ends of the leaves with a scalpel or fingernail? Does it disintegrate or roll or a layer of scum?

How does it come off (assuming it does)? How does it feel?

What does it smell like? Is it a smell of decay, pungent or perhaps even slightly sweet?

Biollante
 

Philosophos

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Mar 12, 2009
1,346
0
36
it doesn't scrape off; the leaf disintegrates. It really does appear to be from within the leaf. I can't say there's any discernible smell, and I've got a fairly good nose from wine tasting/cooking.

The blackness definitely doesn't add any sort of extra texture to the leaf.

And before you ask, no, I'm not going to taste it ;)

-Philosophos
 

Biollante

Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jun 21, 2009
3,210
1
36
Surprise, AZ
Sorry Not Any Help

Hi Philosophos,
Aw, come on just a quick taste.:D After “How does it taste?” Comes; did it make you sick? Give you the runs? Cause you to stop breathing?:eek:

I found a suggestion from the Krib that black edges on Star Grass seems to be due to poor competition for micronutrients. Heteranthera zosterifolia (Indian Stargrass)

That of course would tend to cause me to think that this is separate from whatever the major problem was. :eek:

Biollante