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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'd like to improve the rate of growth in one of my tanks and stop my crypts from recurrently melting.

Tank: 20 gallon long
Fertilizer: Flourish root tabs (when the tank was set up, probably between 6-12 months ago), Flourish liquid fertilizer (~ 2ml per week with the water change)
Light: Feit Electric A19, I have a SANSI bulb, but I think it was too bright (more below).
Substrate: Sand
Stocking: 1 Betta splendens male, 1 Copella compta?, 7 X-ray tetra, 12 Rosy loach, and a single Amano shrimp
Plants: Cryptocoryne balansae, wenditii and two other species I don't remember, a bunch of java fern, and Ocelot sword.

I do a ~50% water change every week*. The tank does not have CO2 injection.

The crypts seem to cyclically melt. They seem to grow slowly for a while then melt all the way back. At least one plant has died completely. This has happened a couple different times to multiple plants. The ocelot sword also lost all it's leaves at one point. It's re-sprouted multiple new leaves, but they are growing really slow. When I first set up the tank I was getting great growth, but with the recurring melt and slow regrowth it seems like the plant mass is decreasing over time.

Fish health has been excellent. I haven't lost a single fish (I did lose a dwarf mexican crayfish).

I swapped out the SANSI bulb for the Feit Electric A19 because it seemed to me that the SANSI was burning the crypts and causing excess algae growth. It also appeared like the plant growth was best where the light was dimmest.

I've never been successful at growing crypts, but I really like how they look. What can I do to mitigate melting? I would like the tank to be purely crypts, but I'm afraid I'll end up losing all the plants to melt. What can I do to specifically grow crypts better?

*One thing, I've gone on a couple of trips where the tank doesn't get a water change for a few weeks. Could this be causing the recurrent crypt melt? It doesn't seem like the melt is really associated with these periods, but I'm not sure.
 

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Your root tabs are most likely depleted. Try plunking a few of them in there. Expect some melt at first with crypts as they this temper tantrums if you even look at them funny so it will probably continue for a little bit but the new growth should come in stronger.
 

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Also crypts do best in low/ moderate light. High lighting without a high level of nutrients can make crypts grumpy. You could try planting something that shadows them a little or changing your lighting angle, that might help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Your root tabs are most likely depleted. Try plunking a few of them in there. Expect some melt at first with crypts as they this temper tantrums if you even look at them funny so it will probably continue for a little bit but the new growth should come in stronger.
Good to know. Should I look at root tabs from another brand?

You are using flourish
I thought so. What do you suggest as an alternative?

Also crypts do best in low/ moderate light. High lighting without a high level of nutrients can make crypts grumpy. You could try planting something that shadows them a little or changing your lighting angle, that might help.
I'm going to fashion a screen over the bulb to reduce intensity. This is a more immediate solution.
 
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