Stems Rotting Dead Center

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csmith

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Philosophos;51538 said:
New growth should be a good indicator; perhaps try trimming off above and below the necrotic areas then re-planting the tops.
I did that before this happened, but I will continue to remove dead/dying matter.

Philosophos;51538 said:
It is worth noting that if ferts aren't burning a hole in your pocket, and you tend to be a light feeder, 2-3x the PO4 doesn't hurt. I find GSA can pop up with low bioload tanks and that mix.
If I up dosing by, say 4-5 mL, will that cover it and keep my other stuff in a suitable level?

Philosophos;51538 said:
Would you care to write out a basic time line of changes these plants have gone through in their environment?
Dates may be a little off, I'm using pictures to form this timeline. Pictures added to show different substrate levels. To see these pictures together, I like the old look better. The glosso still looks like crap.

10 May - Established tank as DSM sans plants. Done this way to establish bacteria/give myself time until the weekend to move plants over from 10 gallon.

15 May - Planted and flooded tank. Dwarf sag, Crypt wendtii x2, H. kompakt x2, L. arcuata bunch x2 that floated in my 10 for about a week. Used filter from 10 gallon so all bacteria presumably transferred. Take a close look at the crypt in the center. See how it's pulling itself up from the substrate? Everything with roots was doing this.
16May20102.jpg


22 May - Up until this point everything seems fine. I grew tired of the low sand and thought I might pull up the worm castings with my constant dabbling in the substrate so I added sand, change the dwarf sag for glosso and added two bunches of M. aquaticum and two of L. arcuata. This was the day I took my aquatic dwarf frogs in and in return grabbed a couple shrimp. The frogs were bulls in a china shop when it came to stems.
22May20101.jpg


23 May - Found 1 shrimp having issues in one specific spot.

24 May - First noticed the downward spiral, posted it in this thread. Just use it for picture reference. That's two days after the above tank picture. Also posted this about my shrimp. Short post, continued and ended in the first linked thread.

28 May - Posted this thread thinking stuff was turning around. Wow nipat, you're right, I should've kept this all together. Sorry about that guys.

31 May - Started this thread.

Today when I got home I spotted GSA on the front glass very low to the substrate and only in two specific spots. The weird thing, though, is it's dark brown and not green.
 
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csmith

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shoggoth43;51553 said:
Did the "Freshly Paved Road" smell ever come back? That one alone was pretty alarming although I have no idea what it could possibly have been. Anything that bad probably should have killed every fish in the tank no matter what.

Short answer: No, it didn't come back.
Long answer: Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo, it didn't come back. ;)

Seriously though, it basically dissipated with 2-3 water changes. It was horrible though, like nothing I've ever smelled in a body of water.
 
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csmith

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Tom Barr;51536 said:
Good trimming, cleaning, fluffing, preening of the plants, do no more than say 1/3rd of the tank at a time and then follow up with a large water change anytime this is done.

I'm glad you said that. I was pruning all of them at the same time.
 

Philosophos

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You've been messing with the plants a whole lot, altering tons of things. I wouldn't be surprised if the plants have stressed for any number of reasons. It's also been less than 2 weeks; plants take time. I wait a month before making any judgment calls about conditions being generally favorable or not;

I'd dose 50% more at most, but even that won't be the PO4 you're looking for to really knock back GSA. Finish this batch, keep it in mind for the future if you're going to be keeping a low bioload. Brown on the glass may be diatoms; if these are popping up then you're far from over-lit most of the time.

Did you mineralize the worm casings? How have you adjusted your CO2 over this two week span?

Having those roots pull out is a bit strange; that does stick out as an issue. Any bubbles coming up from the substrate?
 

Tug

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My Two Cent; You Can Never Have Enough Bottles of Stuff.

This is why I suggest keeping PO4 in a separate stock solution. EI can very a little depending on how much phosphate and nitrate are in the tap water. Look for indicators like GSA to adjust your dose and if you have a spare bottle, dose PO4 separately, use it until you settle on a dose tailored to your tank.
csmith; said:
If I up dosing by, say 4-5 mL, will that cover it and keep my other stuff in a suitable level?
For your tank, adding 19.8g (1Tbsp) of KH2PO4 to 900mL DI would bring it closer to the recommended EI dose of 1/32 tsp. Adding 14g of KH2PO4 to 900mL DI would boost your PO4, while keeping some distance between it and the NO3. EI doses of KH2PO4 are closer to 7.5ppm/3, about 3 times your dose.

I do not think your dosing levels have a lot to do with what is happening in your tank, but when you start to increase your plant mass you will need to think about adding more all round (NO3 and PO4) to reach EI recommended levels. :)

Take Your Time.
Tom Barr;51536 said:
I think slow methodical adjustment of current (increase it) and CO2 are in order...
Only, think brain waves and how we process information.
Comprehension and observation are slowly being replaced by jumping from thing to thing. Exactly why EI was created. It recognized the growing number of us with ADHD.

'The Shallows': The Brain Online
 
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csmith

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Philosophos;51571 said:
I'd dose 50% more at most, but even that won't be the PO4 you're looking for to really knock back GSA. Finish this batch, keep it in mind for the future if you're going to be keeping a low bioload. Brown on the glass may be diatoms; if these are popping up then you're far from over-lit most of the time.

Did you mineralize the worm casings? How have you adjusted your CO2 over this two week span?

Having those roots pull out is a bit strange; that does stick out as an issue. Any bubbles coming up from the substrate?

I boiled the worm castings for 20 minutes, let them sit outside and dry and stored them in ziplock bags until the time came to use them. No CO2 adjustments, didn't seem needed. No bubbles in substrate either, but I'll poke around a bit with a skewer this weekend.
 

chad320

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If your stems are rotting but not your leaves the toxin is obviously being brought in through the stem/roots. After looking at your ferts and co2 you shouldnt be experiecing this kind of melt down. id say the problem lies in your wormcasting bed being too "hot" or not aged enough to start a tank with. To check to see if this is your problem id stick a stick into the gravel several places aroungd where youre getting your stem rot and see if gas bubbles come up. If so, here is your problem. If not, ill shut up and read. say this because I recently "discovered" this by my own default and had exactly the same problems you have.
 
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csmith

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chad320;51617 said:
If your stems are rotting but not your leaves the toxin is obviously being brought in through the stem/roots. After looking at your ferts and co2 you shouldnt be experiecing this kind of melt down. id say the problem lies in your wormcasting bed being too "hot" or not aged enough to start a tank with. To check to see if this is your problem id stick a stick into the gravel several places aroungd where youre getting your stem rot and see if gas bubbles come up. If so, here is your problem. If not, ill shut up and read. say this because I recently "discovered" this by my own default and had exactly the same problems you have.

I'll be testing the substrate first thing tommorrow. Thanks for the suggestion.
 
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csmith

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Update

So, I may be having more problems or I may be overcoming. I'm not particularly sure. My glosso is only growing in specific spots and where it is growing, it's going up and not out. The glosso is having the same problem I had with the rooted plants I had before which is pulling up from the substrate.

Glosso4June20101.jpg


Glosso4June20102.jpg



I had to wait a few days for my GSA/diatoms, whichever it may be, to grow out to get decent pictures. This stuff runs along the bottom perimeter of the tank, but half on the substrate and half on the glass. Which is it? It's 90% brown, 10% green.

Diatoms4June20103.jpg


Diatoms4June20102.jpg


Diatoms4June20101.jpg



To be honest I neglected the tank this week other than dosing to allow things to fix themselves without my hands in it all the time, and I've also developed a white fuzz on one entire plant. I pulled that plant out to find it had spread to another it was next to. What is this? It's dead center of this picture.

WhiteFuzz4June2010.jpg
 

chad320

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In response to my previous post your substrate doent seem to be anaerobic. If it was youd probably be able to see little gas bubbles in your pics. I cant say for sure what the name of either of your algaes/ fungus are although ive experienced both at one point or another. Have you considered adding more plants to your tank. they seem to do better and have fewer algae issed if theyre densly populated with plants.
 

Tug

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It's food.

Hmmm, white fuzz. It is hard to say from the picture. It could be Rhizoclonium/Hair Algae, that forms soft, slimy, fine green or brownish threads. It is often associated with low CO2, poor water flow, and low nutrient levels. It could also be decaying plant matter. It might also be time to clean/replace the filter if it continues. Omnivorous fish will eat it, but a toothbrush is a nice method for removing it manually.

The other stuff appearing along the glass would be BA (diatoms). It too has a soft/slimy structure. Otos and Snails love eating this algae and should keep it in check.

I'm not sure why this didn't click with me right away. With a nutrient rich substrate, I should have seen why you dose slightly less NPK into the water column then I might. :eek:

I found this article recommended by Tom to be an informative algae reference.
http://www.aquariumalgae.blogspot.com/

rhizoclonium2.jpg


algae1.jpg
 
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csmith

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So I went to the LFS today to get more plants. Something told me to take some water with me, as they'll test for free. Um, wow. Granted their test kits aren't calibrated by any means, but my ammonia reading came out darker than the chart will show. Estimated around 10-12 ppm. Nitrites came to about 5 ppm.

If I DSMed this tank for a week, transferred all possible bacteria (filter pads plus extra pads, all flora, even 10 gallons of water) how is this possible? Even more importantly, how did this take a week to start killing animals? Would this really be killing the plants?
 
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csmith

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Waiving The White Flag of Victory

csmith;51669 said:
If I DSMed this tank for a week, transferred all possible bacteria (filter pads plus extra pads, all flora, even 10 gallons of water) how is this possible? Even more importantly, how did this take a week to start killing animals? Would this really be killing the plants?

These questions don't really matter I guess, as no matter what the answer may be it just is what it is. I'm quitting. Well, quitting on the tank I want and going back to to the low grade stuff I know works. I'd rather look at green growing plants than dying colorful ones. I removed all of the water down to the substrate and poked around with a skewer to see if gas pockets were underneath but nothing came up. I've done away with the glosso and replaced the dwarf sag I had. The crypts (what's left of them), H. kompakt (what's left of them) and single stem of H. polysperma can stay, but I think I'm done with the other stems. I'm so fed up with replanting them. I'm not really sure what I want to fill in the back with, contemplating going back to swords but I might try something else. It'll have to wait until 2-3 weeks from now because I'm not doing anything but dosing and water changes until then, so there's time.

5June2010FreshStart1.jpg


5June2010FreshStart2.jpg


5June2010FreshStart3.jpg
 
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chad320

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Vallisneria grow easily and would make a nice background plant. And now that youve found your problem for rotting stems id stop changing water to let your nirtobachter population catch up to your water and create some equillibrium before putting in anymore is a sparsely planted tank.
 

Tug

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I guess the one thing I learned from this, is how tough Oto's are to kill, if you still have yours. Anyway, sorry to hear about your setback. Like so much of this stuff, it's easier said than done.
 
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csmith

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Tug;51686 said:
I guess the one thing I learned from this, is how tough Oto's are to kill, if you still have yours. Anyway, sorry to hear about your setback. Like so much of this stuff, it's easier said than done.

Yeah, the otocinclus. He disappeared a few days ago. Thursday afternoon I was looking for him and there was nothing. No body on the substrate or behind the tank, no fish on the glass, nothing. I pulled everything out of this tank yesterday and he was no where to be found. He was too big to get caught in the maxi-jets, the HOB filter had a prefilter (as do the maxi-jets now for added bacteria homes) and there was obviously nothing left in the tank to eat the body if he had died. Ackward. Unless the ammonia was uber-high enough to actually dissolve his body or something, I don't know. Maybe the crypts ate him. :rolleyes:

His disappearance is probably the main reason I took water with me to the LFS. Once I found out my aquarium was a black hole I needed some serious answers.
 

aquabillpers

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Your stem plants are rotting and you have no algae to speak of. Everything else seems fine.

No one has suggested that light could be a problem. If the tank is still up, why not try lowering the fixture to a few inches above the tank? It can't hurt, and you never know.

Bill
 
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csmith

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aquabillpers;51692 said:
No one has suggested that light could be a problem. If the tank is still up, why not try lowering the fixture to a few inches above the tank? It can't hurt, and you never know.

Bill

Very valid point. My only concern is that the plants weren't rotting as a whole, but specifically in the middle. There were two imaginary lines across the tank where things started and stopped growing. If it happens again, though, I have more than enough wiring left to drop the lights some. Thanks for mentioning that.
 
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csmith

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Update

So, I've done nothing for a while now as it pertains to this tank. Dosed it, replanted stems as they floated to the top :)mad:), but nothing major. I took my water into my LFS and my ammonia is still off the chart and nitrites are holding steady at 5 ppm. If I were to quit dosing ferts for say a week would the plants speed up the cycle process?
As a new development, everytime I replant a stem I look it over. The part that was in the substrate has a black edge to it. I'm starting to think my stems are actually dying beneath the substrate and not just coming out of it. My flow is such that the stems are actually bending for the 20 second interval that particular powerhead is on, but I don't think this is causing them to come out of the substrate anymore. Maybe my eyes are deceiving me, but is it possible for the stems to die only beneath the substrate? If so, what would cause it? Also, with the stems bending, is my water movement too much at a particular spot or is this typically how flow goes?
 
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