Brown spots on plants - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-09-2020, 12:00 AM Thread Starter
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Brown spots on plants

Greetings,

I am completely new to live plants, but am doing my best so far. Glad I found this forum.

I'm currently part way through a fishless cycle, and have included a Java Fern, Anubias and moss balls in the tank. While the Java Fern didn't arrive in great condition (brown bits, etc.), I'm now starting to see what look like brown "burn marks". My fear is that it may be caused by adding too much ammonia while attempting to get the levels right during the cycle.

Any thoughts? Thanks in advance - I appreciate any input!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-09-2020, 12:48 AM
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Could just be getting settled in to new environment . Give it some time , trim off any leaves that turn brown all together and watch for new growth . The first rule of planted tanks is patience , patience , patience . It has been a long while since I have gotten new Java Fern so I maybe wrong . If you get it going it will last a loong time . I have a bunch that is over 15 years old and still going and spread to other tanks .

My wife says if I get one more aquarium she is going to leave me . I sure am going to miss her fried chicken .
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-09-2020, 01:20 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Leeatl, thanks for the reply. I appreciate the encouragement. It's good to know that I just need patience, because that I have! So would you recommend leaving the brown spots and waiting to see if they return to green? Or cut them off? Learning as I go...
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-09-2020, 10:38 AM
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Yep, new tanks, transfer shock and especially novice mistakes can severely effect plants. If after 2-3mo your still having problems with simple plants like this then we can start looking at user error, source water problems. New tanks are unstable to begin with, especially if you don’t have a basic knowledge of water quality/chemistry and interactions that can happen.

Seems you overdosed ammonia, lesson learned. Small gradual changes are best coarse in keeping aquariums. Rapid shifts in water chemistry very seldom works out way you want.

Learn your source water for water changes. Put some of it in a bucket, let it set for 24hrs to absorb gases (mainly CO2) from atmosphere, measure PH, KH, GH, Nitrate, Phosphate. That’s the water you have to work with. Only change from that in tank your going to get is from decomposition of leaves of plants rotting away, decomposition of excess food or fish/fauna poop. Organic acids.

Look beyond the “it’s just a big fish bowl full of water” that most beginners assume. It’s actually a complex interaction of gases that are absorbed into water, mineral content levels and organic compound bio-load, a ecosystem, if one part of that ecosystem crashes many more failures are going to follow. Balance when you obtain it and looking at your thriving tank is what makes you smile in this hobby.

Routine and consistency managing that routine is where you’ll find balance/equilibrium in your tank. Not seeing a slight problem and bombing your tank with adsurd changes trying to correct it is where you succeed in aquarium keeping.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-09-2020, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fish10 View Post
Hi Leeatl, thanks for the reply. I appreciate the encouragement. It's good to know that I just need patience, because that I have! So would you recommend leaving the brown spots and waiting to see if they return to green? Or cut them off? Learning as I go...
They will not return to green so just leave them till they get really brown then cut them off . The plant needs the leaves to grow new ones .

My wife says if I get one more aquarium she is going to leave me . I sure am going to miss her fried chicken .
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-09-2020, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DaveKS View Post
Yep, new tanks, transfer shock and especially novice mistakes can severely effect plants. If after 2-3mo your still having problems with simple plants like this then we can start looking at user error, source water problems. New tanks are unstable to begin with, especially if you donít have a basic knowledge of water quality/chemistry and interactions that can happen.

Seems you overdosed ammonia, lesson learned. Small gradual changes are best coarse in keeping aquariums. Rapid shifts in water chemistry very seldom works out way you want.

Learn your source water for water changes. Put some of it in a bucket, let it set for 24hrs to absorb gases (mainly CO2) from atmosphere, measure PH, KH, GH, Nitrate, Phosphate. Thatís the water you have to work with. Only change from that in tank your going to get is from decomposition of leaves of plants rotting away, decomposition of excess food or fish/fauna poop. Organic acids.

Look beyond the ďitís just a big fish bowl full of waterĒ that most beginners assume. Itís actually a complex interaction of gases that are absorbed into water, mineral content levels and organic compound bio-load, a ecosystem, if one part of that ecosystem crashes many more failures are going to follow. Balance when you obtain it and looking at your thriving tank is what makes you smile in this hobby.

Routine and consistency managing that routine is where youíll find balance/equilibrium in your tank. Not seeing a slight problem and bombing your tank with adsurd changes trying to correct it is where you succeed in aquarium keeping.
Thanks for this - exactly what I needed to hear! I want to keep learning, with as few mistakes as possible (since we're talking about living things), but I'm sure I'll make more along the way as I navigate getting this tank started. Your advice is much appreciated.

I have the API Master Test Kit that measures pH, Ammonia, Nitrite & Nitrate; is there a similar kit that measures PH, KH, GH, Nitrate, Phosphate? Or do they need to be purchased individually?

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Originally Posted by Leeatl View Post
They will not return to green so just leave them till they get really brown then cut them off . The plant needs the leaves to grow new ones .
Got it, makes sense. Thank you!
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-09-2020, 11:54 PM
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I recommend just get the API KH/GH test and Salifert Phosphate tests to add to your existing ones.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-11-2020, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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I recommend just get the API KH/GH test and Salifert Phosphate tests to add to your existing ones.
Thanks much for the help.

My Anubias is now starting to wilt (some stems turning brown), and one leaf fell off, even though I also see a new leaf starting at another place. Will keep being patient...
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