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Plants rotting

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Gautam, Oct 8, 2010.

  1. Gautam

    Gautam Prolific Poster

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    Have set a new 3ft by 1.5 ft by 1.5 ft tank:

    ADA AS substrate, MH 150 W light, Pressurised CO2

    Initially the glossitigmas were growing well but then they have started rotting. My questions are:

    1> Can this be due to sudden increase of chlorine in the supply water? and
    2> Can this be due to due very soft tank water (2 degree KH) or very low pH. Read on the Net that very soft water and low pH can lead to plants rotting?

    The condition is pretty serious as even the ever hardy Elocharis vivipura has started to rot too.

    Would remain grateful if any one of you can help.
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    How high above the tank is the light? I'd raise it about 18" inches. CO2 is the rest of the issue along with more frequent water changes, dosing ferts after.
    You are looking at 1-2x a week 1/3 to 1/2 the water.

    Dechlor should take care of any of that and then adjust the CO2 very slowly uo and watch fish, plants etc careful, do this part very slowly.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. Gautam

    Gautam Prolific Poster

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    Thanks Tom.

    The light is above 12". I am using a dechlorinator. Despite that all the fishes died. Drop Checker is showing green.

    Recently I took out the carbon and replaced the same with more biological media to increase the bacterial activity and the rotting increased.

    Again I am asking the same question - can the very low pH and KH be the reason for the rotting aided by the high chlorine.

    Water changes were done 2 times a week till this week which is about 1.5 months from the tank setup date.

    Awaiting for your feedback.

    Regards,

    Gautam
     
  4. shoggoth43

    shoggoth43 Lifetime Charter Member
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    How many and what kind of fish were in there when they died?

    How long was the system setup before the fish were added, and before they died?

    pH? KH?

    I've got pretty soft water and the glosso wasn't an issue.

    -
    S
     
  5. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Chlorine Doing What Chlorine Does

    Hi,

    If you have chlorine in your tank, not much else is going to matter, that is chlorine’s job in water, keep people safe by killing living organisms in the water. If you are adding de-chlorinator either you are not adding enough or it is not de-chlorinator. :gw

    My guess is that the activated carbon was removing enough chlorine to keep things going, your tank is only six weeks old and may not have fully cycled, certainly has not had enough time to develop the rich bio-films that allow our tanks to survive the occasional chlorine/chloramine mess up. You removed the activated carbon, the chlorine took over. :eek:

    Biollante
     
  6. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Vitamin C For What Ails You!

    Hi,

    If you can smell Chlorine, there is way too much in the event you have bum de-chlorinator, maybe it has been oxidized. Sodium ascorbate or ascorbic acid are excellent reducers. :)

    That is Vitamin C, sodium ascorbate being best, ascorbic acid is okay though.

    Either way 500 mg should be sufficient to reduce Chlorine/chloramine from the tap for 40 UK gallons (190 liters) of water. ;)

    If you are using Vitamin C in pill form (as opposed to a gel capsule), crush or grind prior to use.

    I think you could, if necessary, be able to use up to 5 times the dose safely, just remember it is a reducing agent. :gw

    Biollante
     
  7. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    The low pH/kH won't harm the plants (unless the pH is like battery acid). ;-)

    The chlorine - yes - as Biollante said that's what chlorine is meant to do.

    But seriously, how much chlorine are we talking? Isn't there a maximum amount the water supply should be able to put in the water and a typical dose of dechlorinator should knock it out?

    Are you adding the new water straight to the tank and dosing the *entire* tank volume with dechlorinator, or are you dosing the water seperately (e.g. in buckets) and then adding it?

    Did the fish die with their mouths and gill covers open? I have poisoned my fish in the past by not using enough decholorinator (I was only dosing the amount to cover the water being replaced in the tank, not the entire tank volume), and I found the fish would swim about with their mouths and gill covers wide open (I assume the gills were 'burning'). Poor fish, I've learnt my lesson!

    The only other thing that has caused rotting in my tank has been due to autofragmentation due to *unstable* CO2 levels (i.e. not low but unstable).

    My 1 cent.

    Scott.
     
  8. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    Waisting away

    Most likely, not enough CO2 is available in the areas were you're seeing problems. Rather then adding more CO2, focus on how well you are getting CO2 to those areas, injection systems, water flow, etc. The levels of CO2 should be consistent and at levels that encourage the production of RuBisCO. Solve this problem and I am willing to bet things turn around for you. Yes, it will take some time. It's not likely that raising your KH or adding de-chlorinator will fix it. Yes, there will be some casualties until it's fixed.
     
  9. Gautam

    Gautam Prolific Poster

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    First of all thanks guys.

    Biollante: Yes I agree with you with the theory of removal of activated carbon resulting in cholrine taking over and then the rest damage. Yes chlorine can be smelt and next time I will check out the dechlor dozing much more carefully. I have also decided to mix the dechlor in bucket and then add. Thanks for the tip on Vitamin C - fantastic DIY I should say. Great

    Scott: The chlorine levels are exceptionally high. As I said you can smell it. Can you please explain what you meant by "autofragmentation due to *unstable* CO2 levels "

    Tug: Problem is that all plants were growing pretty well and plants started rotting only after removal of filter carbon. CO2 is being given thru a 30 mm dia ADA CO2 diffuser and diffusion is not a problem. The filter is assuring that the water is churned pretty evenly - the pale green colour of the drop checker placed exactly opposite galss of the diffurser can be considered as a proof.

    Interesting observation on RuBisCO, my knowledge of bio-chemistry is very limited but tell me isn't the activities of RubisCo regulated by both CO2 and Mg+ ions. So if the water doesnot have enough Mg+ or is in other words not having a little alkalilinity isn't that going to affect RuBisCo production?
     
  10. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Chlorine Doing What Chlorine Does, Chlorine Is The Trump Card

    Hi,

    If chlorine is present, whatever the source, in sufficient quantities a human can detect using their nose, especially in an immature tank, then the chlorine will win, no matter the CO2, circulation, fertz, wishful thinking, whatever. :(

    See disclaimer.

    Biollante
     
  11. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    Quite right. At least on one count. The removal of AC in the filter preceded an event. If chlorine and a scorched earth campaign ensued, it shouldn't happen again.

    Ca and Mg are often listed as macro-nutrients, implying a high level of significance. Magnesium is the only mineral constituent of the chlorophyll molecule and accounts for about 20% of the total Mg content of plants. I will look into how it plays with CO2. Thank you, it makes forsome interesting reading.

    :confused: Raising alkalinity would not be necessary to insure appropriate levels of Mg for growth. Alkalinity can affect CO2, but not in the way you're speaking of. I would suspect Rubisco would be more useful in water with a lower pH, but I'm not sure.
     
    #11 Tug, Oct 11, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 12, 2010
  12. Gautam

    Gautam Prolific Poster

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    Yes it's pretty much established now that chlorine has played the spoilsport. But then it would be interesting to understand whether absence of Mg+ can lead to lack of tissue formation and hence plant rotting.You see the water has a very low KH which might signify very little Mg+ or even Ca+.

    Will wait for further inputs while I tackle Mr. Cl.

    Thanks again to all of you.

    Gautam
     
  13. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Socially Unacceptable... That's Me

    Hi Gautam,

    Really Magnesium deficiency is kind of hard to spot, it is a mobile micro-nutrient, it is involved in many reactions, generally the easiest way to tell if you have a Mg++ deficiency is to increase the Mg++ for a couple of weeks and see if things improve. :)

    According to the Tom Barr-Report-Newsletter-Magnesium, Mg++ is to chlorophyll as iron is to hemoglobin. Mg has a lot to do with the strength of the cell walls but as I understand it, far less than Ca++ has to do with there construction. :rolleyes:

    If you are seriously interested in understanding Magnesium’s role, for the price of a subscription here you gain access to Tom Barr's Newsletter and in particular Magnesium’s role in aquatic macrophyte nutrition, http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/1384-Barr-Report-Newsletter-Magnesium. :cool:

    I find this stuff fascinating, as someone that had hung out for a couple of years prior to subscribing, I was amazed at how much I had missed. :eek:

    In addition to not being very smart, likable or socially acceptable, though incredibly handsome, I am at heart (if I had a heart :() a full fledged Nerd. :rolleyes:

    In addition to this incredible database of information (even if they are not willing to provide proper search tools), the newsletters represent, should you opt to become a lifetime charter member, they guarantee in writing how long that lifetime is, I do not know or care how they know (my guess is that they are part of the all knowing all powerful conspiracy of inter-galactic proportions), they just know... :eek:

    Sorta like those signs in the Mall that say, “You Are Here,” kinda creeps me out, I mean how do they know and why should they care... :gw

    Biollante
     
  14. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    Guatam,
    If your GH is low then yes, you likely have low Ca and Mg levels. A water's bicarbonate concentration determines it's alkalinity, not Mg. Even your GH will say next to nothing about Mg. Your local water authority should know what levels are in the tap water. As far as chlorine goes, if it continues to be a problem. It might not have been the problem in the first place. Try increasing the GH. You might also try following Tom's advice.

    I hope this helps
     
    #14 Tug, Oct 11, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 12, 2010
  15. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    GH & Chlorine?

    Hi Tug, Guatam,

    By definition low GH translates at minimum to low Calcium/Magnesium.:):)

    Ionic chemicals with cations of a +2 valence increase GH. Beryllium (Be), Magnesium (Mg), Strontium (Sr), Barium (Ba), Radium (Ra) and Calcium (Ca) have a valence of +2. Iron (Fe) the ferrous form has a valence of +2. Of these we generally only find Calcium and Magnesium in great quantities in water. :gw

    Tug, I am not clear on “ As far as chlorine goes, if it continues to be a problem try increasing the GH.” :confused: Perhaps you would elaborate on the relationship between Chlorine and GH?

    Tug's, “You might also try following Tom's advice.” Is good advice, following Tom Barr's advice is generally good advice. In this case the “Dechlor” part is extremely relevant.

    Biollante
     
  16. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    Mall signs personified?

    If shopping mall signs had emotions on occasion, they would tell us - "you can't get there from here".

    Biollante, I say "If" it's chlorine because I do not know much about it one way or the other. Some of it sounds very convincing, some does not. Really, wouldn't a healthy plant stand up to the chlorine in tap water with dechlorinator added? I do not know all the facts. All I am saying is, if the rotting continues, chlorine might not be the problem and Guatam should contact their local water authority (if they can) and find out the levels of Ca and Mg in their tap water. No connection between chlorine and GH intended.

    What is intended is how the connection between GH and rotting plants might exist, especially if the situation does not improve. I'm sorry, it was confusing. Oh, becoming a shopping mall sign will be in my next life.

    I have edited post #11 & #14 to more accurately express my doubt.
     
    #16 Tug, Oct 12, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 12, 2010
  17. Tug

    Tug Lifetime Charter Member
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    Yes, it is low, but is it low Ca or Mg in Guatam's case? I think it's pretty clear that we do not know solely based on a GH reading and certainly not from the KH. The quick remedy would be to raise them both appropriately.

    We also have no idea if there are any fertilizers being dosed under conditions that would IMO, demand more then just ADA AS substrate.

    Just looked at the OP again (sorry about the fish). I have to wonder if O2 levels might also be low. There are a lot of things that could be going wrong. I hope, as sad as this might sound, it was chlorine.
     
    #17 Tug, Oct 12, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 12, 2010
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