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Spontaneous melt and plant browning. Need some second opinions...

Discussion in 'Are you new to aquatic plants? Start here' started by ShadowMac, Apr 6, 2016.

  1. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Lifetime Members
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    Hello folks, I'm not new to keeping plants and generally I'm able to do so pretty well these days. However, I've run across a problem that has me a bit baffled. My 30 cm cube has experienced two rounds of spontaneous melting and browning in some plants. The first episode began about 2 weeks ago, the top leaves of the mini myrio turned downward and after several days browned and melted. I saw browning in my mini pelia and even some it would appear in the E.parvula. H. pinnatifida looks fine as does the anubias. I chalked it up to doing something wrong at my last maintenance where I changed water and cleaned the atomizer. Maybe I didn't rinse the acid detergent off of atomizer well enough or maybe I forgot dechlorinator.


    So after seeing all the browning and melting I decided I would remove the dying stems and replace with healthy ones. It has been about 36 hours and I can see the browning beginning to happen to the new stems. I don't expect to see the pelia improve quickly...but what is troubling is the new stems from another tank are looking like they are beginning to take the same turn. I did a large water change and made sure to use Prime at the time of replanting.


    Any ideas what could be going on? I can upload some pictures as I took some before removing all the plants. The overall impression of the tank from afar is a bit dreary and browning. It is not the bright vibrant green of a couple weeks ago.
     
  2. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    Sounds like you have some acute toxicity from something suddenly added to the tank. Environmental or accidental or unintentional something. Could be the detergent. My guess is not because you don't mention inverts or fish dying.


    Add activated carbon. I usually don't like to, but in this case, it may help. Keep doing water changes. If it does not improve after several 50-70% (bigger if you can) water changes, every couple of days, then you can rule out environmental contamination after a few weeks.


    Mini Myrio is usually well-behaved without melting issues. So take that as a sign that something serious is up.


    If the water change and carbon does not fix it, then you have to look at other things being added tank or ferts and solutions you're adding. Toss the ferts - may be it is a bad batch. Then go bak to your old dosing routine with a new batch of ferts.
     
  3. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Lifetime Members
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    Thanks, Pikez. Those were my suspicions as well. I added the carbon shortly after posting the question. I doubt its the ferts unless I measured wrong. I'll make a new batch. I did find one dead shrimp upon the removal of the melted plants the first time. I forgot to mention that.


    Yes mini myrio is a nice easy plant...so this was troubling. I was enjoying the scape and then boom. I suppose I can be glad I have a spare grow out tank, so plants don't have to be a total loss and and replacing them just costs me time. I want to avoid pulling the hardscape and substrate though.


    I'll continue with the carbon and regular water changes and post an update once something turns the corner...or doesn't. Thanks again.
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Clean everything good, a few big water changes, clean filter out real good, check CO2 system good. No excel or any of that. Lightly vac the sediment surface. 2-3x a week water changes.


    Might be a change in the tap. Spring time does weird things to many folk's tap. Stay on top of cleaning for a couple of weeks, it should improve quickly.


    they are aquatic weeds mostly.


    I swapped out my CO2 direct fed in the 120 for a reactor loop, improved things greatly, same CO2 and rate, much less mist. 70 Gallon Buce had that all along. And it is/was robust for it's entire life span so far.


    Dechlorinator might be it. This happened to a few folks who did not do it and myself a couple of times over the years, the fish usually tell you long before and the shrimp, well, they will die off also, but harder to spot and count. Chlorine does not burn plants that much though. Kills fish much easier. Also, a bunch of shrimp can clean up such tanks post recovery.


    Water changes and AC will not hurt. Cannot over do those.
     
  5. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Lifetime Members
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    Thanks Tom. I'll keep at it. The melt continues to spread...but this is probably because I changed water cleaned things up and then promptly replanted. One of the buce has had some melt and it hit my mini bolbitis really hard. There is still some rhizome left, so hopefully I can propogate more once things settle.


    I'll clean things up, change water very regularly, filter with carbon and see what happens. Spring can be weird for the water around here. I was thinking it might not be as bad because we didn't get as much snow and with the weather being regularly warmer there wasn't really any melt other than the ground thaw. There were no fish at the time to tell me. I'd been going back and forth about what to stock it with...found a very nice looking betta and put him in there several days after the possible event. He's had no problems.


    I like reactors, ran one on my 90 cm until the internal pump on it crapped out and the efficiency went down. I have a small one that may work with this setup. The clearer less bubbly water is nice.


    A rescape wouldn't be the worst its only a 30 cm cube, but I don't want to put all that work in to melt the heck out of new plants and be in the same boat. I'll wait to see if things get better. Its such a bummer to see something that was just getting to a full mature scape take a turn like this...and worse because its probably something I errantly did while doing all the maintenance.
     
  6. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Lifetime Members
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    Also, no problems in other tanks with the same tap.
     
  7. ShadowMac

    ShadowMac Lifetime Members
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    A quick update. I cleaned up twice and replanted the mini myrio twice after the initial melt. The second planting was probably after running carbon and frequent water changes (2-3 a week) for two weeks and it still melted back. I ended up rescaping in order to clean up as much of whatever happened. Replanted mini myrio again...and it melted...again. I have to say I have noticed some issues in my other tanks as well which leads me to think something happened with my tap water. This is the most drastic response to the spring melt I've seen in my 6 years of the hobby. The plants more severely impacted would be those you'd expect. Mini pelia, mini myrio, stargrass...mostly the thin leaved or primitive type plants.


    I cannot be certain if its my tap, but I did see crinkling leaves in S. repens for some weeks as well as other plants. Some plants had downturned leaves. Its hard to ascertain completely because the tank I've deemed the Wild Dutchman which is where I hold all my plants and grow things out had a major fert overdose from the "poor man's auto doser" I setup. The timer got bumped and dumped 2 months worth of EI into the tank. Sat there for several hours before I was home and noticed. Changed the water 3 times over before it cleared up. I expected to see something happen after that and the melt in the stargrass could be because of that...same for the downturned leaves in that tank.


    The one consistent symptom between many plants has been the crinkled leaves. S. repens and rotala green both had them recently. I thought maybe dosing issue. Doubled my EI dosing in the tank with the S. repens. It is so hard to really pinpoint things...because at the same time I did other things to try and alleviate the stress like reduced light intensity and switched back to a pH controlled Cerges reactor instead of inline atomizer. I've always done better with the reactor. Other tanks could have dosing troubles....but new aquasoil in the one with the rotala green...maybe 3 months old now and it would get irregular EI dosing (3 times a week of EI daily probably).


    One thing I noticed is my tap seemed to be down a couple degrees KH from what it normally runs. I was actually happy to see about a 6 dkH from the 7 or 8. But all these plant issues in multiple tanks has me leaning towards setting up an RO water system. I didn't do any water changes on one tank and the mini myrio is perfectly healthy. Another option would be to cut water changes between the months of March and May. Hopefully melt is gone by June and water is back to better shape.


    Anyways, this is a bit of a ramble and all over the place. These issues have been perplexing for me and I think I'm turning the corner now.
     
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