Plants are melting! About to give up.... - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-30-2019, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Plants are melting! About to give up....

Most of the plants in my 29 gallon are melting and I am just about ready to throw away the entire thing. Please see pictures below.


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I started this tank back in Dec 2018 using the dry start method using aquasoil as the substrate. Everything grew well and first week of March, I decided to flood the tank and cranked up the CO2. I was super proud of this tank since my previous attempts to grow plants were disastrous. I started to dial down the CO2 in April and plants were still thriving even though spider wood was leeching tanins. I did daily water changes to reduce tea water but someone told me not to do daily water changes and add purigen to help with the discoloration. I noticed plants starting to melt about a week after adding purigen. I assumed it was because purigen was removing fertilizers from aquasoil so I started dosing ferts using the EI based method but it didn't help much.

Checked my nitrate and it's between 80-160ppm and I am not sure if it's because of this crazy melt. Ammonia and nitrite are 0. At this point, I am not sure if this was caused by adding Purigen or something else. I am still dealing with tanins as well.

Any help you can give me will be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-31-2019, 08:58 AM
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160 ppm nitrates is really high and could be the reason your plants are melting. Did you possibly do anything that could have disrupted the cycle? How long has the tank been cycled since you started dry? Also how long are you running your lights and CO2? There could be a small chance that your tank may still be cycling.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-03-2019, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for your reply. Sorry for the delayed response.

I flooded the tank first week of March and checked ammonia, nitrate and nitrate almost religiously. Ammonia and nitrate were at 0 and nitrate was between 10-20 ppm before the melt happened. CO2 comes on at 6AM and light comes on at 7AM and CO2 shuts off at 2PM and light an hour after that. I have a finnex planted plus cc light on my tank running at max. My drop checker was a light green color and I used to change the solution every 3 weeks. No algae issues till after the melt happened and spider wood was covered with some sort of stringy algae. I added an algae eater and it took care of that. Even my bucephalandra has melted completely now. The only plant that is still standing is the Pogostemon Stellata but it's dropping leaves now.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-08-2019, 03:48 AM
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So sorry you are having these issues! Since you had no ammonia after flooding, I'm going to assume your bacterial culture grew well during the DSM stage. Amazonia is very ammonia rich (part of the process they use), so that is probably converting quickly to NO3.

Some melting is to be expected when doing DSM and then flooding, but the extent depends on the plants. The amount in the photos does look like too much to me though.

Do you know more about your water parameters such as GH (Ca and Mg)/KH, and other nutrients? Are you using tap or RO?

Personally, I would do a 75% water change to bring NO3 down, then dose based on PPS or EI levels (whatever you are comfortable with) for a week, then do one more 75% water change, dose normally and then do the 50% water changes from there on out.

The large water changes over time are really to help remove dissolved organic content as well as keep an upper limit on parameters.

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