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Bringing back my Brown Crypts

1654 Views 22 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  monty67
I've had a bunch of Brown Crypt that was my first aquarium plant when i started about 12 years ago. Started with a 10 gallon. The crypts were awesome. There was nothing special about this tank, a fifteen watt bulb and a charcoal filter and heater. the bio load shifted all the time depending on what i had in it. These crypts would be dense, thick, and reach the top of the tank and be very pretty purple or red underneath when the light shown through. I'd have to cut them back on a regular basis.

Fast forward and over the last few years i moved up to a 20 gallon and moved the plants, the plants had been pulled up, thinned , cut back, roots disturbed multiple times before this. Once they were in the 20 gallon though they started to just be thin, not robust, they would spread out somewhat but would never develop the beautiful strong and thick leaves that they had in the ten. they were hit and miss and would start developing right when i thought they were back a move would happen and then they would basically shut down again.

With the twenty i added T05 lighting to about 2.5 watts per gallon to try some other species, no difference.

Most recently i started up a 30 gallon and these have almost completely dissappeared, there are a few scragley shoots coming up from where i placed some bunches and that is it, the tank has been up for almost a year.

I might be answering my own question here, i've never really done fertilizer since i've always had plenty of fish in the tank but i almost wonder if i shouldn't, also, i've never done co2. I never really needed any of these when they were in the ten, but that was a much smaller tank so they might have gotten way more nutrients too and more co2 with the fish load it was carrying.

I just set up a ten gallon again for a hospital tank but i'm tempted to pull up the remaining Crypts that survive, pot them, and place them in the ten to see if they will revive at all. Any suggestions to bringing these plants back?
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What kind of substrate are you using? I would pot up at least one and put it in the 10. Why no CO2? How much light over the 30?
the substrate in the 30 is kinda sad, just a 20 lb bag of eco complete substrate mixed with small brown gravel, about 2 to 3 inches deep. the light over the 30 gallon is about 2 watts per gallon, though the bulbs need to be replaced so we might be down a little bit from that. I just found a bottle of Flora Pride liquid fertilizer, potash 3%, iron .19%, so i added it to spec last night just for the heck of it so we can see if that starts to make a difference.

I will pot one up but how would you do it? just some gravel in a small terracotta pot and leave it alone. I've never messed with soils and as you can tell I've got very minimal experience with substrates for a planted aquarium.
crypts melt easily when moved but can bounce back very well. They are heavy root feeders and get most of their nutrients from their root system.

It is imperative to provide the crypts with root tabs or a nutrient rich substrate in order to thrive.

I use rootmedic's root capsules and they work great.
shameless plug ^
unfortunately this is not crypt rot or melt, i wish it was cause i could deal with that, no this is just a lack of any vitality at all. The more i think about it the more i thing it is probably nutrient deficiency. In the ten gallon everything was compressed so they got way more nutrients, actually, if i think about it all my plants did way better in that tank. I remember pulling them up and their roots would be massive, i would pull up half the tank when i did. Last time i pulled them they weren't very impressive.
you need root nutrients, plain and simple
I wouldnt even consider trying to grow a crypt without dirt or root ferts of some sort.
like i said i really wasn't having any problems in the ten. if i load this right, i found a pic of them after they had been way trimmed back and i believe this was in the twenty gallon about 3 or 4 years ago, doing fine and no fert and no dirt. however ever since it's been the downward spiral so i'm sure they have been getting less and less nutrients. the tank was set up somewhat recently before this pic
What fish or other fauna sis you have in the 10? sometimes there is enough poop for them to be fertilized. I have some crypts in a 55 with Tahitian moon sand (read: completely void of any nutrients) and they are embarrassing a t best. I'm going to put some root tabs under them and see what happens. I wonder?./////
Crypts can also pull nutrients from the water column and they slowly wither away over the couse of a few years. The ones that are healthy from substrate ferts have big fat rhizomes on them.
What's your ph? Crypts thrive in a lower ph.

As far as cheap root ferts go, you can get a bottle of Osmocote from Wal-Mart for $5. They're a bit of a pain in the aquarium compared to regular root tabs though.

Perhaps the crypts are just dying a natural death from old age. It sounds like you've had them for quite a while.
gonna pick up some fertilizing plugs this weekend, I'm sure the whole tank needs it. I've got some swords that are looking pretty lame, but somehow the melon sword keeps exploding really well, don't know if i want to see that one jacked on fertilizer.

as for the fish in the 10 gallon, i went from one clown pleco in the beginning, to way too many fish and that was when the tank seemed to do it's best, I know i was also periodically putting in liquid fertilizer.

Oh, as for the clown pleco, i was told they would go for about 3 or 4 years tops in good conditions, mine is going strong at 12 years!

The Ph around here i want to say is an 8.5? I feel bad but i'm really just starting to get back into the hobby, this tank was really neglected for a long time, i don't remember the last time i even had a water test kit. I know, bad, bad, bad. but the kid seems to be taking a liking to the fish so there's some motivation. I remember how cool aquariums were to me when i was a kid so it's time to get remotivated and do it right.

As for the crypts being too old, i doubt that is the case, because these have been split so many times and i've had to throw out handfuls of them multiple times I doubt what i have is the original, no, they used to have huge roots but they have slowly gotten smaller and smaller, i'm thinking the root tabs are the way to go, hopefully it doesn't take a month to respond, I'll try and follow up on how it goes.

I'm still going to pot one up and throw a root tab in the pot, think i'm going to place it in my 10 gal hospital tank and just observe it, take some pics as it goes.
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I can almost guarantee you that (depending on which tabs) they will double in size in a week or two. It's amazing how well they respond to substrate nutrients.

Congrats on the clown. I love those cats. You must be doing something to his liking.
he (Pleco) must be into pain and suffering, i dont' know how many times i took that 10 gallon down to about 1 inch of water fully loaded with fish and plants and gravel to move it, usually in the car to a new apartment or a new room. Tons of abuse made him tough. Hope your right about the plants growing that fast, that would be a great!
Im with bSmith, even if you froze a little ball of dirt and put it in there, youd get a positive response from your crypt. Im guessing. But you have all of the signs of a substrate lacking nutrients. Crypts like alot of ferts around their roots.
Allright picked up what the local people were carrying, looks like Seachem Flourish Tabs. Yikes! 13 dollars later. If these work i will either order something online for cheaper or try and go a different route. but they do say they should last for 3 months or so.

Any suggestion on how i should put them in, should i just grid them out in the substrate or try to focus each one near a plant?
Should i be expecting any swings in water parameters here? I can't imagine but i also have no testing equipment, before we had the kid a few months ago i was off and on with my excitement for the hobby for a few years so i never replenished any of my testing equipment.

But you've got to give me some credit I'm trying to remedy my serious lack of attention to this.

OK, i've shoved them in basically where it looked good near plants, so i've been down already in the last few hours to see if there are changes. I know, dumb, it's gonna take at least a little while but it's nice to be excited again.
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