This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.
  1. Dismiss Notice
  2. We are after as many aquarium plant images that we can get, doing so will assist us in completing the aquarium plant database.

    https://barrreport.com/threads/aquatic-plant-images-wanted.14374/
    Dismiss Notice

Polysperma melt

Discussion in 'Talk to Tom Barr' started by dielectric, Jul 19, 2009.

  1. dielectric

    dielectric Guest

    Local Time:
    1:12 PM
    ok this is my first post on this forum. so hello.

    i have a 125g planted dicus tank. r/o, roughly 400 watts of t5 lighting, 2 xp3's, 4 powerheads, pressurized, LARGE diy external reactor that was just added the other day after reading about inadequate co2 all over this site. (my smallish interal just could not keep up)

    the tank has been doing good since i started EI a few months back when i tore it down, added the turface, planted it, cycled it and readded my fish everything was growing like weeds, alot of things still are.

    my sag has grown so thick you cant see the substrate, armomatica has turned into huge bushes and so on.

    i had to trim my polysperma (green & sunset) once a week with WC (not so much anymore) but all the cuttings melt. after day 1 the leaves droop and bend down, by day 3 they have clearish spots in the leaves, and by day 5 the stem is rotting from the top down, and by day 7 they have disintegrated. this also happens to my tiger, and sometimes my ceylon. also by mid week my pearling slows down. the day after WC fine leave plants are absolutely smothered in bubbles, but by the end, not so much. the growth rate of the original stems has also slowed down.

    my tank has an "ambient" po4 level of 2.0-3.0 from beefheart and bloodworms, so i dont dose kh2po4. i am adding enough KNO3 to be between 20-30ppm (yet the lowest leaves on polysperma have pinholes). i add 12grams of GH booster per 5 gallons of r/o water at WC (my nerites & ramshorns have shells that look like a calcium defiency) and 5.5 grams of baking soda per 5gallons of r/o. i change anywhere from 40 to 55 gallons a week. depending on how much i have stored up.

    there is enough flow in the tank that i can see leaves gently moving everywhere. i am going to be purchasing an inline pump just to run my reactor. right now its powered by an xp3. co2 is dispersed via 2 spraybars.

    my question is what gives? why are my cuttings melting? (ive read the similar posts) i also have a few ludwigas that turn black 1/2 to 3/4 the way up and break off. other symptons are some sword leaves have brown spots. and brown diatoms are showing themselves again.

    thank you!

    [​IMG]
    this was taken at the beginning of the month
     
  2. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    Messages:
    821
    Likes Received:
    1
    Local Time:
    7:12 PM
    H. Polysperma is a tricky plant in my opinion.

    In your case, you seem to have enough macro dosing, You don't say anything about micro, but I assume you dose them as suggested

    You have 400W of T5 on a 125gal, that's 3.2wpg of T5, it is insane, if I'm not wrong. Dropping it to 250W would for sure help all your issues

    With that light and the plant biomass, it's quiet impossible to have good CO2 everywhere. Also, the plants are so dense, that diatoma appearing on some plants can be a sign of too low light reaching bottom leaves.

    I had 3.6wpg of T5 too and backed it down to 1.8wpg now elevated at 14in from water surface. This is after I was actively adviced to do so, here in the forum. I also had a dense forest like you, and maintaining good CO2/light balance on the most dense parts is tricky. I trimmed my tank and it has now a much nicer open look. Overall, I'm much happier. It's a hard step to remove the biomass, but once done, once you lower the light intensity and put it higher, you'll appreciate a much steadier tank with so much less pruning, yet growing every plant you like

    By the way, there's no clue in adding baking soda anymore, in my opinion
     
  3. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Messages:
    1,346
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    7:12 PM
    You aren't dosing potassium because there's phosphorous? Either this is a typo, or you're heading for a potassium deficiency. I only mention this because pinholes are a potassium deficiency indicator even more so than calcium.

    All the same, we can nearly always call CO2 on the issue until a planted tank keeper turns in to a CO2 nut.

    The average CO2 level in air is something around 300-450ppm if I remember right, as high as 1100ppm in some homes. You'll be lucky to push 60-70ppm before your fish start to swim funny and gasp at the surface. Algae does not need so much CO2 because it lacks the same requirement for a supportive structure that plants have.

    Have you researched how to get good distribution levels, and the amount required? Odds are with your lighting level, you've got a CO2 deficiency, and if you meet that CO2 deficiency, any errors in dosing will show up as well. This includes the well known issue of skipping out on the much needed K2SO4.

    Drop the light, up the CO2 if it won't hurt the fauna, start dosing the K2SO4.

    H. polysperma isn't so hard when you've got things settled in; it's a plant I've kept before. It reminds me in its sensitivity of P. stellatus, with less leaf tip melt.

    -Philosophos
     
  4. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    Messages:
    957
    Likes Received:
    9
    Local Time:
    7:12 PM
    dielectric,

    Ah! The cause of this problem is....wait for it........CO2!

    I had *exactly* the same problem as you and posted a detailed thread about it several months back (you may be able to find it).

    Yep - my cuttings would basically disintegrate. Exact the same as you describe.

    The problem was that the CO2 in my tank was all over the place, I was actually feeding the CO2 into my canister filter and the irregular CO2 output coupled with poor circulation was causing my CO2 level to fluctuate too much.

    As an experiment, I fed my CO2 directrly into a strong powerhead which misted the CO2 throughout the tank.

    Sure, I had to crank the bubble counter right up to get a decent CO2 level, but, surprise surprise, my H. Polysperma cuttings stopped rotting and started growing nicely again.

    It's CO2. I'm 101% sure.

    Work at getting a good stable CO2 level and *excellent* distribution (i.e. good circulation - multiple CO2 entry points etc), and the problem will go away.

    The cuttings that aren't looking so good won't recover - toss them out.

    Wait until the main plants are looking ok and try taking some cuttings again.

    Scott.
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,676
    Likes Received:
    644
    Local Time:
    7:12 PM
    H polysperma is actually a noxious weed.
    I know I say this often, but this plant actually is one.

    10 miles of infested rivers in Florida etc.

    Lower light and slight current, good CO2 and it's not too picky with respect to nutrients, I used plain sand and fish load with 80W over a 55 gal to have a mighty stand of H polysperma, used DIY CO2 etc.

    Use it every so often for non CO2 tanks where is grows much slower.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,210
    Likes Received:
    1
    Local Time:
    7:12 PM
    H polysperma was one of the regular plants, weeds:), we had back in the distinctly low tech days of the 1960's.

    I actually have some growing, inadvertently, in bucket out on my back porch, I top of the bucket, evaporation is considerable here, with admittedly I nutrient water from a tank out on the porch.

    I tend to agree with the less light, maybe even less care theory :D

    • The Occurrence and Ontogeny of Hydathodes in Hygrophila polysperma T. Anders
    • W. M. Reams, Jr.
    • New Phytologist, Vol. 52, No. 1 (Feb., 1953), pp. 8-13
    (article consists of 6 pages)
    • Published by: Blackwell Publishing on behalf of the New Phytologist Trust
    • Stable URL: JSTOR: An Error Occurred Setting Your User Cookie

    The url is JSTOR: An Error Occurred Setting Your User Cookie

    Biollante
    Disclaimer: As an evil plant monster, these comments are my own; based on my experience. I am no one on this site; I do not believe I am ‘better’ than any other plant or even person; I love basic science; I try new things all of the time; I make many mistakes; I enjoy the exchange of honestly held views; I claim no professional credentials in biology, chemistry or there ancillary fields. Should I find myself trapped and wish to rely on my rather rusty professional credentials, I will present them. Those requiring constant validation, believing there is only one-way to skin the proverbial cat, tough sclereids.
     
  7. dielectric

    dielectric Guest

    Local Time:
    1:12 PM
    jonny_ftm - If i remove some wattage the light doesnt seem to reach everywhere.
    i have 10 - 36" bulbs, if i remove some, there are dark areas because of the reflectors pinpointing light. i am dosing CSM+B per EI guidelines. the brown diatoms are not just on lower leaves, also on the top leaves, everything but the newest growth. its not to the point of smothering anything yet... i dont really have an option to hang the lights right now, and they are sitting on the legs. the tank is an open top. is there a safe way to raise them? i've tried removing 1 bulb from each fixture but it just seems so dark. ive also tried only using 4 out of the 6 fixtures, but the plants wont pearl.


    Philosophos - ooops i meant KH2PO4 :D
    i do dose K2SO4, 1/2 tsp every other day. i was under the assumption KNO3 would take care of the K.
    My co2 is cranked up so high that my bubble counter fluid is just a mass of bubbles. so high my xp3 cant keep up and there is an air pocket in the top of my reactor. which is why i'm getting a pump. i dont have a drop checker, but my co2 is on a controller. at night PH is around 6.4-5ish, and the lowest i can get it to drop is 6.1-2ish.... when i first set this tank up, the turface sucked up all the KH and my PH was in the 4's with 6.0 r/o going in. i was using eco complete prior to this and it was a constant struggle to keep the ph in the low 7's... degassed it shot up over 8, and i was using r/o.
    the reactor is hooked up to 2 spray bars at both sides of the tank, so it SEEMS that it is getting disperesed pretty well. i have powerheads at both end and in the middle to push water around.
    the only reason i purchased polysperma was because "its so easy", and it can withstand warmer temps, which i dont even keep up that high anymore.

    scottward - yes i read over your thread twice. so your problem was "solved" by more co2 and circulation?

    so in theory i could back off the lights and co2 uptake will decrease


    Tom Barr - i know its a noxious weed! thats why i figured i could grow it.

    Biollante - less care is a task for me. i have trouble keeping my hands dry. patience is not one of my virtues. right now i want to pull everything out, bleach or PP it and start over.

    Today i tested my phosphates and they are up to 5. i just dont understand how 2 cubes of bloodworms a day can increase them so much. every last bit is eaten within 5 minutes. so if my phosphates are at 5, do i need to up my kno3? will that increase the plants uptake of po4? what is the ratio 10:1?
    is this high phosphate level contributing to any of my problems? the diatoms? i dont want to have to use phosphate resin. my fish arent bothered by it.

    do i need to just wait out the diatoms? they appeared on everything when the tank was cycling and then went away. dont know if it was on their own or the nerites & ramshorns ate them all.

    i also noticed some clear leaves on my sag. should i be using some sort of root tabs for these and the swords?

    so back to the lights, i'm using 6700k, 10,000k and "pink". the pink being the dimest looking. which ones are the least important? i really dont like the yellowness the 6700. i plan on buying geissman mid days in the future.

    ive been keeping discus for years but i'm still new to plants and alot of it is over my head. maybe i shouldve started with a 10 gallon.

    thanks for your suggestions?
     
  8. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    Messages:
    957
    Likes Received:
    9
    Local Time:
    7:12 PM
    Yup. I didn't do anything different with nutrients and I ended up leaving my lights how they were originally (i.e. no reduction or extra light, just left them as they always had been). I ramped up the CO2 going into my tank and considerably improved the water circulation and the plants definitely came good.

    My current problem is that whilst I have at least proven to myself that CO2 was the issue, I was chewing through heaps of CO2. I am just in the process of setting up an external CO2 reactor and improving my tank circulation even further.

    I'll keep an eye on your thread to see how you are going, and I'll also let you know how I go with my external reactor etc.

    But yeah, CO2 was the culprit. I had been growing H.Polysperma very successfully for years before I started playing about with CO2 injection (low but stable CO2); my problem was that I thought you just hook up the CO2 gear and off you go (i.e. I thought it was a 'plug and play' type thing). I now know that there's a real science to getting the CO2 to work well.

    Scott.
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,676
    Likes Received:
    644
    Local Time:
    7:12 PM
    Most folks start off this way and hold this view about CO2.
    Many still do.

    Changing minds on this has been difficult.
    It's more complex than say illustrating that PO4 at 2ppm does not induce algae, that is a simple argument and a pic or observation works rather well.

    CO2 has many more interactions and parameters that influence it.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  10. dielectric

    dielectric Guest

    Local Time:
    1:12 PM
    i killed about 60 watts. turned the front most fixtures off. which are actually t8's. that leaves me with 312.
    my tank roughly holds 100g so im assuming that it puts me at 3.12 watts per gallon. will leave it this way for a week.
     
  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Messages:
    18,676
    Likes Received:
    644
    Local Time:
    7:12 PM
    I run 2 w/gal on my 180(and that's a full 12-16" above the water), plenty for Tonia and many other so called harder high light plants.

    Surely enough for this weed.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  12. jonny_ftm

    jonny_ftm Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2009
    Messages:
    821
    Likes Received:
    1
    Local Time:
    7:12 PM
    I can only fully agree with Tom

    Read my first post on previous page, drop light and enhance CO2, your Polysperma will thrive
     
  13. dielectric

    dielectric Guest

    Local Time:
    1:12 PM
    dont want to speak too soon, but it seems my hygro has stopped melting. now my new problem is that the sag is taking a turn for the worse since shutting off the front fixtures.
     
  14. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Messages:
    1,346
    Likes Received:
    0
    Local Time:
    7:12 PM
    If you've got a classic high in the back, low in the front rig going, move your lights forward; the shorter plants need it more than the taller ones because of spread. It'll make for more even growth and lighting, given that taller plants tend to blot out the light more easily when the fixture is in the back.

    -Philosophos
     
  15. dielectric

    dielectric Guest

    Local Time:
    1:12 PM
    i took your advice and moved the t5's foward and put the t8's in the back
     
  16. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    Messages:
    957
    Likes Received:
    9
    Local Time:
    7:12 PM
    Have you taken any new cuttings from the Hygro and replanted them? If so, are the cuttings doing ok or are they melting?

    Just wondering how it's going as I had the same problem.

    Scott.
     
  17. dielectric

    dielectric Guest

    Local Time:
    1:12 PM
    well this week i have been rearranging everything. uprooted most of the plants and moved them to different locations. thinned everything out for the most part. only took a few cuttings even though i couldve cut alot more. think i will wait another week to take some more.

    the ones i took last time are apparently fine. they already had small root systems. but i noticed one of the cuttings from the other day is drooping. i also noticed a few of the originals have drooping tips, closest to the light, which coincides with the two much light theory.

    i have a 10 gallon underneath in the cabinet that i use to QT new fish. it contains a few pots of soil capped with gravel that house some criniums, crypts and vals. im think of trying a few cuttings in there to see what happens. no co2, very low light, no ferts.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice