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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-23-2013, 12:48 AM Thread Starter
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root rot?

My 36g is planted with Miracle Grow Organic, layer of flourite, layer of gravel....Im finding that my wisteria tends to rot around the base of the plant and float up. I didn't pay much attention till I rescaped and pulled up a few other plants and found that their roots were blackened and smelled like rotten eggs (like the wisteria). The swords root systems are fine. But every bulb I've planted rotted. (I just thought it was bad bulbs) . I had a lily bulb floating, it started sprouting, I put it in and barely covered it and it turned to smelly mush...
My sagitari (sorry for spelling errors) is doing great and spreading though...

I am also finding alot of decaying leaves floating at the surface from various plants. So now I am working on the tank trying to remove any leaves that look like they are melting before they rot and get into my water system.

The tank has been up since Nov. My snail population (Ramshorns) took a hit when the "peaceful" zombie flesh eating ghost shrimp were introduced...they were sent away and yet the snails aren't making a comeback and I am still finding dying snails. I have been seeing airbubbles burst up through from the substrate.

Anacharis is doing great. Hornswort is metling so I finally took most of that out. Anubis is happy, new growth on java fern...its mostly the Bacopa and Hygrophilia species of plants that seem to be "rotting" at the roots along with a misc bulb plant I think is an aponogeton.

My ph is between 7.2-7.6 . Temps around 78-80. Water on the harder side closer to 150 GH. KH close to 180. I bought a better water testing kit and will be testing it with that soon. I was dosing once every 2 weeks with API Leafzone , I think. was using Excel Flourish but then read about it melting anacharis so I switched. I have stopped dosing when Nitrates showed up. Not high but they were 0, then popped up around 40.

The odd thing though, ALL the plants are showing crazy green growth, even with some losing leaves. The Bacopa hit the surface in about a week and I am popping their tops and replanting like mad.

I am just a little worried about the dying snails and the rotting roots. Any ideas?
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-24-2013, 12:22 AM
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What lighting does the tank get - what brand, and what kind of light, T5NO, T5HO, T8, etc.? If you have too little light you can get the symptoms you mention. You do need to be removing all dead plants, leaves, etc. from the tank to avoid fouling the water.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-24-2013, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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It is just the bulb that came with it. When I saw the new growth I figured it was good enough but as I thought about everything I was writing , and reading up on posts, I'll start looking into better lighting. I am also going to stick to a fertilization plan with the leaf zone...I was thinking it was my substrate but I spent awhile reading last night and now I think its lighting and nutrients!

For a standard, nothing fancy, low tech 36g bow front, what would be a good bulb? I'd like to stick to the hood style light due to my cats and their love of dipping paws in by the filter to fish....any suspended light system would be an invitation for swim time for furballs...
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 12:49 AM
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Re: root rot?

I bet your substrate is getting anaerobic - too compacted. That's a pain to fix when it is multi-layered.

Get a long drinking straw (or a piece of smaller diameter tubing etc) that reaches from the bottom to above the surface. Add 5-10ml of Prime and start pocking holes in the substrate. Most of the gas will escape through the tube. Repeat before every water change untill you see very few bubbles.

After that you might want to add MTS (Malaysian Trumpet Snails). They move through the substrate, helping to keep it less compacted, allowing more water to flow through. I the snails start to die, back to hole pocking.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 01:03 AM
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Quote:
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I bet your substrate is getting anaerobic
+1

How deep are the layers of soil and of gravel?


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 02:52 AM Thread Starter
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In total it is about 4 1/2 inches. Miracle grow on the bottom, 2 inches, about 1/2 inch flourite and the rest gravel....

I did get about 10 MTS from a local store, the only ones I could find....he'll have more in a month or so...I've seen the gravel move so I know at least one is still alive!

I will get some long straws and start poking!
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 03:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShannanD View Post
In total it is about 4 1/2 inches. Miracle grow on the bottom, 2 inches, about 1/2 inch flourite and the rest gravel....

I did get about 10 MTS from a local store, the only ones I could find....he'll have more in a month or so...I've seen the gravel move so I know at least one is still alive!

I will get some long straws and start poking!
A depth of 1" of soil, and 1-1/2" of gravel is recommended, so you are probably running into anaerobic issues. Releasing the pockets of gas will help. Just be careful of large pockets so as to not cause a bit of explosion of soil into the tank... poke slowly


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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 03:49 AM Thread Starter
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I knew I needed more substrate than I had in my 5 gallon so leave it to me to over do it! I will start poking. I do see alot of bubbles rush up and thats been bothering me but then all the fast growing happy tops of plants threw me off.

Thanks all for the replies!
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 04:01 AM
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I had made the same error on my first soil tank. With routine soil poking, plants and fish were all fine.


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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 01:03 PM
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Would a toothpick work for poking through the gravel and other layers, or should it be a straw?

Also OVT, you mentioned that ShannanD should use Malaysian Trumpet Snails in the tank, but don't they need a sand substrate, not a gravel one?
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-25-2013, 01:29 PM
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Re: root rot?

You want to use a straw / tube so that methane gas can escape into the air, not into your tank. It can be rather toxic.

MTS can live in any decent substrate, not just sand. I did not recommend them for you as they are likely to mix up your layers.

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-04-2013, 01:13 AM Thread Starter
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ive been poking as much as possible and still get tons of bubbles. I went and bought a new bulb, 6500k t8 17 watt super day light from Petco. Had a 5500k t8 "flora" light but it seemed so dark and the plants did not seem to respond well to it. Hoping this new one helps.

Haven't had anymore wysteria rotting off and floating up but when I pulled up one of my rooted plants the roots were black, slimy and smelly....tearing down the tank is my last option but if I have to, I have to.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-04-2013, 01:33 AM
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That is very low light, you may want to consider upgrading.
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