Losing plants - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-03-2009, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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Losing plants

I keep losing plants. And I am not talking about difficult ones that don't survive conditions in my tank, or that grow seasonal.

Years ago, I grew nice Ludwigia palustris, and one day it just said "hasta la vista" and disappeared.

Rotala indica, beginners plant for sure. After growing it many years, it just went the way of the Dodo.

Potamogeton gayi, I love this plant, had it for a year and then, bye.

I almost lost my Wisterias. Always had a nice field of them, then all of a sudden, others took over, and one day I noticed there were just two little sick sprouts left. Weird. I moved them to another tank, where they are still looking just as sad. They would be gone by now if I hadn't moved them.

Last weekend I realized that I lost Lagarosiphon madagascariensis. The only fine-leaved plant that grew nicely (besides Ambulia) was missing from my tank. I must have uprooted it, meaning to take a few twigs and stick them back into the substrate. I must have missed that last part and all went out on the compost.



Does that just happen to me?


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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-03-2009, 08:20 PM
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Is there any fish in the tank or snails that would be eating the plants.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-03-2009, 08:25 PM
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I've inadvertently pruned many plants into oblivion over the years.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-03-2009, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Wasserpest View Post
I keep losing plants. And I am not talking about difficult ones that don't survive conditions in my tank, or that grow seasonal.

Years ago, I grew nice Ludwigia palustris, and one day it just said "hasta la vista" and disappeared.

Rotala indica, beginners plant for sure. After growing it many years, it just went the way of the Dodo.

Potamogeton gayi, I love this plant, had it for a year and then, bye.

I almost lost my Wisterias. Always had a nice field of them, then all of a sudden, others took over, and one day I noticed there were just two little sick sprouts left. Weird. I moved them to another tank, where they are still looking just as sad. They would be gone by now if I hadn't moved them.

Last weekend I realized that I lost Lagarosiphon madagascariensis. The only fine-leaved plant that grew nicely (besides Ambulia) was missing from my tank. I must have uprooted it, meaning to take a few twigs and stick them back into the substrate. I must have missed that last part and all went out on the compost.



Does that just happen to me?
I am not sure if I can offer and positive suggestions, but I am curious as to yoru setup. Substrate, lighting, water column dosing, etc., for the time that you have had the tank. Was this or is this a Natural Planted tank with no water column dosing?
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-03-2009, 08:37 PM
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So it's not like any one of those particular spp. won't grow in your tank, it's that those particular specimens that you were keeping sort of unexpectedly disappeared, eh?

Plants do have finite life spans, and there are a multitude of factors that can play into a plant's death. My guess is that the plants dies of "natural" causes.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-03-2009, 08:48 PM
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What are your calcium and magnesium levels looking like. Perhaps there was a change in the city water (if that's what you use for your WC) that changed the levels, presenting a deficiency.


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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-03-2009, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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I've inadvertently pruned many plants into oblivion over the years.
I am glad I am not the only one!

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Originally Posted by ColeMan View Post
So it's not like any one of those particular spp. won't grow in your tank, it's that those particular specimens that you were keeping sort of unexpectedly disappeared, eh?

Plants do have finite life spans, and there are a multitude of factors that can play into a plant's death. My guess is that the plants dies of "natural" causes.
That might apply to many rosette plants, but not the ones I mentioned. Stem plants don't really age the way a sword or crypt would.

I have a theory... often I notice that while one plant withers away slowly, another takes off. Either the conditions change and lead to that, or there is some competition going on. As my Wisteria retreated, Hottonia took over and all of a sudden grew really well. Is it related? Probably. Is one the cause of the other? Maybe.


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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-04-2009, 02:10 AM
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If I were to wage a guess (and that's about all I can do), I'd be curious about the substrate. Is it "aged"? Maybe some accumulation, maybe depletion? Nothing else really makes a lot of sense to me. Lights, water, chemistry...when you moved it to the other tank, was that a newly established tank or one of equal age?

I don't have a clue, I am just intriqued by the issue. Hope you discover the source of the problem...it's an interesting one.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-04-2009, 02:23 AM
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Are you autodosing this tank? Have you changed the amount you're dosing, or maybe the system is clogged up, or gets clogged intermittently?

Could be a change in the source of your water. They change here, one for warm months, one for the cold. The winter months' water lacks calcium or some such, and my plants looked ragged for a while until I figured it out. My downoi went to crap, the rotala did too. I started dumping in a bunch of GH booster, and things perked up.

And, like others have mentioned, I wonder about the bad effects of old substrate, especially if your plants go through a spell where they don't grow much (and therefore don't produce new roots, and don't aerate the substrate)


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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-04-2009, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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Good news...

I didn't really expect to solve the mystery, it's more of a group-hugging session to find out if that happens to others as well.

Aging substrate is a likely possibility for some of them. Perhaps a good vacuuming, and replenishment of some root tabs or whatever sticks could reverse things.

Seasonal changes in our water supply are another factor that might kill plants that got too used to some conditions.

In a wild growth of Lysimachia nummularia I found two tiny, sad looking sprigs of Lagarosiphon. I am so happy I didn't lose that one.



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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-04-2009, 10:52 PM
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Seasonal changes in our water supply are another factor that might kill plants that got too used to some conditions.
That is what I would have said, but I am not sure if that would make that much of an impact, especially considering that you said you have had some of those plants for a few years. If you said it was less than a year, then certainly this is the obvious culprit.

Could b a combination of factors, water, plus aging substrate and filter media, etc. etc. Even old bulbs could be an issue.


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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-04-2009, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Wasserpest View Post
That might apply to many rosette plants, but not the ones I mentioned. Stem plants don't really age the way a sword or crypt would.

I have a theory... often I notice that while one plant withers away slowly, another takes off. Either the conditions change and lead to that, or there is some competition going on. As my Wisteria retreated, Hottonia took over and all of a sudden grew really well. Is it related? Probably. Is one the cause of the other? Maybe.
Hate to break it to you, but you just made my point: your plants died of natural causes (ie competition). Stem plants don't age the way sword or crypts do because, typically, in aquarium environments, they are topped and replanted, leaving new, young plants to grow instead of older parent plants like swords, etc.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 03:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest View Post
I didn't really expect to solve the mystery, it's more of a group-hugging session to find out if that happens to others as well.


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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 04:50 AM
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I had some colorata disappear like that. Well, it didn't disappear but grew beatifully for months and months and then after awhile, the bottoms (i'd trim and replant or sell the tops) stopped growing new stems and withered away. It was sad. I have almost lost my Didiplis diandra several times because when the stems get too tall, they tend to be top heavy (if that's even possible in water) and uproot themselves....then they turn ugly until I realize they aren't planted....

You're not alone.

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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 03-05-2009, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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Hehe, thanks. Feeling much better now.

That reminds me, I had the same deal going on with D. diandra. It grew nicely first, then more and more black tips showed up, and after a while, it disappeared.

Of course there is a number of plants that I "tried" and they didn't like it here and left after a relatively short time. Not surprising. But if you have something that has been growing well for several years, it makes you wonder.

Having multiple tanks sometimes saves the day. A plant might die in one tank for some reason, but continues to flourish in another one.


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