Cabomba Green (Cabomba carolina) dying, please help
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:28 PM   #1
rabarrett
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Cabomba Green (Cabomba carolina) dying, please help


I have some Cabomba Green (Cabomba carolina) that I put in my 10-gal Hagan Fluval Edge aquarium 1.5 months ago (their standard 44 LED light). Until 4 days ago, they were doing GREAT. They grew so quickly, I had to cut them and replant the cuttings.

Now, they all appear to be dying. They are slowly turning darker green to brown (they used to be a really vibrant green). The leaves are folding up and some are falling off. The worse bunch of leaves appears to have a little web of algae on it too.

Most recent tank events:
(1) I did a 50% water change 2 weeks ago (using filtered water AND added water conditioner)
(2) About 1.5 weeks ago, I killed a bunch of snails (25+) that had come with the plants (these or others I got on the same shipment). When I killed the snails, I smashed them and then pulled out the bodies with a paper towel. However, about a week later, I noticed 6-8 very small (.5mm thick, 5-8mm long) white worms on the back glass. They slowly got bigger. From what I can tell, they might be planaria.

It was 2-3 days after I noticed the worms that my Babomba Green started dying. Any ideas?

Last night, I did another 50% water change (hoping to get rid of the worms and help the plants).

Aquarium details:
No fish, just 4-5 different types of plants, 2-5 stems each
water check showed
PH: 8.0 (pretty standard for me, can't seem to get it lower, probably same as it's been for months)
Ammonia: 0 ppm (checked 2 weeks ago and again 2 days ago)
Nitrite 0 ppm (same two checks)
Nitrate 5ppm 2 days ago; 2 weeks ago it was 40-80ppm which is why I did the 50% water change with gravel vac

For extra CO2 I dose daily with small amounts of Flourish Excel.

Snail note: I'm not sure it matters, but the snails I killed off were small, mostly translucent, and moved in a continuous gliding fashion. I did not kill off my 3-4 trumpet snails (which inch around, moving more in steps than the other kind). I now have one big trumpet snail (1 to 1.5 inch long) and probably 6-8 smaller ones (some are just big enough to see).

Last edited by rabarrett; 02-01-2013 at 11:43 PM.. Reason: more details
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Old 02-02-2013, 02:28 AM   #2
Wannaberooted
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If you aren't adding any fertilizers that might be it. I have two left in my low light tank, they are spindly and really shouldn't be in there, but I got them in a package deal. They started doing the same thing yours did until I started adding API Leaf Zone which is potassium and iron, and CO2 Booster. I rely on fish food for the other micros. They need a good amount of light, and grow very fast and bushier then. Replacing half the water with filtered water took out some nutrients, and that might have put them over the edge.

That's my best guess.
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:47 AM   #3
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That's an interesting idea. At least it creates a narrative (with the timing of when they started turning dark green ) that works.

However, I forgot to mention I have CaribSea's "Eco-Complete Plant Substrate" in there. It's been there since October (when I opened the new bag). It's about 2 inches deep. Is it really possible it has been used up? Maybe just the key thing for the Cabomba?
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Old 02-03-2013, 04:39 AM   #4
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It might be possible that they haven't developed enough of a root system to take advantage of the substrate. I use Flourite, and some of them as I removed them hadn't formed any after about three months. Many plants don't even feed through their roots, just the water column. I'm not sure about Cabomba, but as it's invasive in the real world, I suspect that they don't rely on their roots much except for anchoring.
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Old 02-03-2013, 06:52 PM   #5
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They have all kinds of roots (a big tangling mass under the gravel). Someone at another forum suggested I needed to add fluorite to my tank. That Eco Complete doesn't provide that.

I'm not sure what to do. Maybe I should try to API Leaf Zone and fluorite too.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:23 PM   #6
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I don't think you need to switch to Flourite, but you may need to use a more complete fertilizer than Leaf Zone which only has K and I, since you don't have any fish. I guess it depends on what you feed your snails.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:57 PM   #7
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in my experience, cabomba is one of those plants prone to melting when you do water changes. its kinda like crypts in that sense. if i move it from very hard water to soft water, it melts. if i move it from soft water to hard water, it doesnt usually melt.

just a thought. if it gets worse, i would back off on the water changes, or at least reduce the amount you change out and instead do more frequent small water changes.

it could be the osmotic pressure dropping too fast for the plant to handle.
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