Help with melting plants - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-11-2019, 04:50 AM Thread Starter
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I recently setup a planted tank, it's been 1 week and my plants appear to be melting and lossing leaves. Everything I read online is confusing. I can't figure out if it's expected to happen or something I did. I've done 3 water changes so far.

Here are my specs

20 Gallon Tall
Light: Stingray 2 LED Light
Filter: Oasis Filtrosmart 100
Substrate: Fluval Stratum
Decor: Dragon Stone
No heater
Dosing: Aquarium Co-Op Easy green,
Easy Carbon, Easy Iron, Seachem Prime
Fluval Cycle.

Water test results
Ph 7.4
Ammonia .50
Nitrite .25
Nitrate 10
Tempature: 73

Plants:
Bucephalandra Purple
Bucephalandra Blue
Staurogyne Repens (tissue culture)
Cryptocoryne Beckettii
Cryptocoryne Balansae
Cryptocoryne Wendtii Green (tissue culture)
Ludwigia Repens
Bacopa Caroliniana Red
Tiger Lotus Bulb
Dwarf Aquarium Lily Bulb

I do not have any fish at this time.

Thank you -Cindy 🌿
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-11-2019, 05:51 PM
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Many plants melt when they are transferred into a new tank. This can either be due to the change from emergent growth to submerging growth, or simply a change in parameters.
Plants will melt if parameters change too rapidly, it is a way to adjust to the new water.
Being a new tank, I am not surprised that there is melt. Best approach is to keep on top of maintenance. If leaves are too far gone, remove them. Leaving them in will only encourage algae.
This starting phase can be a huge nuisance. But be diligent and wait. Crypt and buce etc can melt back to nothing and return soon after.
As far as ferts, I am not sure how loaded up stratum is on fertilizers, but I doubt they need anything yet. Though we will leave that up to someone more knowledgable on the substrate.

Side note. It is important not to be lulled into a false belief of a completed cycle. Plants will eat ammonia and fertilizers are nitrogen, so it could look like a cycle has completed because you have no NH4,NO2 but have NO3. Yet all that's really happened is you added nitrate and ammonia is being eaten or not introduced. In other words...the bacteria dont yet exist.

Good luck and good start here!
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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-11-2019, 06:16 PM
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being your tank and plants are both so new,as was said,new plants will melt oftentimes,because they are grown emersed and have to transition to submerged growth.

I would add ammonia until I got to 3 or 4 ppm,and check it every day.That will get your bacteria built up,and the plants will love it.

The cycling products from my experience are sort of a crapshoot,if they got too cold or too hot,or have been on the store shelf too long,they may or may not still have live bacteria in them.

When my tank consumes 3 ppm ammonia,and maintains 0 nitrites,while nitrate goes off the scale,i consider it cycled.

the crypts are famous for melting away when introduced to a new tank.Is that Bacopa or rotala? I can see it's emersed and will grow new underwater leaves.If they're rotala,the new growth will look completely different.

MTS? no,I just need one more tank...
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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-11-2019, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
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It is bacopa, I ordered all my plants online from Buceplants.com

I retested my peramiters this morning and I am showing Amonia 1.0 nitrite .50 and nitrate 30.

Could I hurt the plants or damage the cycle by doing to many water changes?

I am not in a hurry to cycle for the addition of livestock. I want my plants to be well established first.

Also should I then hold back on liquid ferts untill the plants melt and start regrowth or should I continue to add them through out the whole process..?
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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-12-2019, 12:06 AM
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water changes will slow the cycling,I just cycled 2 tanks last month,I like 3 ppm ammonia and no water changes until right before I add fish.I've been using the 10% ACe ammonia,about 1 cc per 10 gallons.

MTS? no,I just need one more tank...
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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-12-2019, 09:42 AM
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Not good to put slow growing plants in a new tank .
Should start with fast plants and floaters, cycle tank and then add fish .
Need to lower light and cut the photo period down to 7 hours.
New tanks with new filters will have algae and you don't want to kill all your plants .
Patients you must have.....

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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-13-2019, 02:00 AM Thread Starter
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Should I pull out and remove all the melted plants ?

Or cut away all the leaves and leave the roots ?

They've melted pretty bad now. The Bacopa is the only one that looks like it's doing ok. Despite lossing some lower leaves.

What are some fast growing low light plants I can put in ?
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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-13-2019, 02:26 PM
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I would only remove the melted portions,the plants will usually bounce back.As far as fast growing plants,one of my favorites is wisteria,Hygrophila difformis.you can usually find it in a tube at petco or petsmart,another is hygrophila corymbosa,though it gets huge once it gets established.

a weighted bucnh of elodea or hornwort can help lots too,or even floating.I'm sure others will chime in as well.

another one that you can sometimes find at petco,would be rotala rotundfolia,the emersed growth will look like bacopa,but the underwater growth is pretty and it can grow pretty crazy too.

MTS? no,I just need one more tank...
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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-13-2019, 04:13 PM
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Don't feel bad alot of first time planted tanks go through a kill plant cycle. What you have is high ammonia and low nitrate/nitrogen, this is really bad for alot of plants . Melted stem plants want come back but the cryptocoryne MAY come back.
I cycle my tanks with no light for a month and then add a few fish , few weeks later add plants .
The water that goes in the tank is a big factor in how things go from the start.
Old water from aged tank can help with plants from the start but if using tap water there will need to be adjustments.


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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-14-2019, 06:37 AM Thread Starter
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I decided the just remove my crypts and choose another easy plants. With less melting. And try and save my stem plants upper half they do show new leaf growth on the very tips. And my repens also has new lower growth. And I will replace my crypts with pearl weed and some jungle Val in the back corner. And maybe some pogostemon octopus.
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post #11 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-15-2019, 03:56 AM Thread Starter
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Day 1 November 9th
Everything looked so good.

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Day 5 November 14th
Total plant melt down.

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post #12 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-15-2019, 02:58 PM
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That's happened to me many times. I believe the plants are grown out of water so they can grow quantity. When they're put on water it's a shock and they die back but they eventually return. I started buying my plants from Aquarium Co-op and haven't had the problem. They start the plants in water when they get them in from what I read. Good luck, love your rock. Keep the crypts, they'll grow back.
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post #13 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-15-2019, 03:14 PM
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Alternatively,it takes more patience,but I've had excellent luck with the tissue culture plants,like the ones in the small top fin packs? I've got a huge bunch of crypt wendtii that came from one of those,but it took a couple of years to grow into a huge mass,Also,I have some cryptocorne undulata that seems to be coming in faster.

With those,A.R,and Staurogyne repens,I've had no melting or die back at all,

MTS? no,I just need one more tank...
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post #14 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-15-2019, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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Yea I have an entire shopping cart full of aquarium co op plants I want to order. I'm going to cut my losses and pull out all the overly melted plants and replace them. I don't have the patience. The tank just looks so bad I can't stop obessing over it.

My only plants showing new growth are the repens and bacopa.
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post #15 of 37 (permalink) Old 11-15-2019, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by furnfins View Post
Keep the crypts, they'll grow back.
Quote:
Originally Posted by YodaFishGrl View Post
Yea I have an entire shopping cart full of aquarium co op plants I want to order. I'm going to cut my losses and pull out all the overly melted plants and replace them. I don't have the patience. The tank just looks so bad I can't stop obessing over it.

My only plants showing new growth are the repens and bacopa.
I'd second @furnfins advice to cut back the melted parts on the crypts & see what happens. Totally get your frustration and desire for immediate gratification, but ripping everything out at the first sign of any setback is going to, well, set you back. A tank full of easy fast growing stems will require LOTS of maintenance. Crypts take awhile, but once they get established are very low maintenance. A mix of fast & slower growing plants will give you some options later on w/o having to keep tearing up your entire plantscape. May not matter now when all you've got is a few minnows, but most fish will hate having their surroundings continually torn up--and it can upset the balance and cause a mini-cycle--which your shrimp won't like one bit.

Promised you some jungle val, and may have some other stems I can throw in. Will PM you.

Bump:
Quote:
Originally Posted by furnfins View Post
Keep the crypts, they'll grow back.
Quote:
Originally Posted by YodaFishGrl View Post
Yea I have an entire shopping cart full of aquarium co op plants I want to order. I'm going to cut my losses and pull out all the overly melted plants and replace them. I don't have the patience. The tank just looks so bad I can't stop obessing over it.

My only plants showing new growth are the repens and bacopa.
I'd second @furnfins advice to cut back the melted parts on the crypts & see what happens. Totally get your frustration and desire for immediate gratification, but ripping everything out at the first sign of any setback is going to, well, set you back. A tank full of easy fast growing stems will require LOTS of maintenance. Crypts take awhile, but once they get established are very low maintenance. A mix of fast & slower growing plants will give you some options later on w/o having to keep tearing up your entire plantscape. May not matter now when all you've got is a few minnows, but most fish will hate having their surroundings continually torn up--and it can upset the balance and cause a mini-cycle--which your shrimp won't like one bit.

Promised you some jungle val, and may have some other stems I can throw in. Will PM you.
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