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Help! Something went wrong and I don't know what.

711 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  eyebeatbadgers
Last Sunday I did a major uprooting and pruning on my 32g tank in which I removed about 1/2 the plant mass. (You can see some of the details on my site if you want to see what i did, click on diy blog, pruning my tank.) I did a 50% water change and gravel vac and also increased my lighting from 1.25 wpg to 2wpg in the process ODNO. I then dosed ei ferts, fairly heavy on the NitrAte 2/3 tsp (went up to 40ppm or so on my test kit) and I also added 1 tsp calcium chloride for the first time ever since my tap water GH is 0, as well as the rest of my normal ferts (potassium 1/4 tsp, phosphate 1/8 tsp, magnesium 2 tsp, Plantex 1/4 tsp).

Within two days I found that some of my hygro leaves had started disintegrating, while others are pearling. This happened to me before when I stopped co2 and didn't resolve itself until a month later I started doing co2 again, so I thought maybe with the change in co2 with the water change I did, along with the fact that I had the plants out of the water for a while, I might have shocked them a little and I'll have some leaf loss. I had some ludwigia that was growing very well prior to the pruning too and it has lost most of it's leaves and was looking sickly.

Then I found that a plant I just got, Alternathera rosaefolia, started losing what looked like pieces of color off the bottom of the leaves. I thought maybe since it was new, it was just adapting.

Now today, I had a dwarf gourami die with no warning and no observable disease present. Shortly after I discovered that, I saw that two of my anubias plants (one new, one I've had for a long time) have serious disintegration on the leaves. I've done everything to these plants as far as co2, ferts, etc. and never saw an issue like this before. A couple of days ago just after the pruning I noticed small holes developing in the anubias, don't know if they were there before the pruning or not.

However at the same time, many leaves are pearling very well today on the hygro, anubias, and Alternathera.....

I did a 50% water change immediately today when I saw the dead fish and redosed ferts lightly. Water tested (before water change):
Ammonia - 0
NitrIte - 0
NitrAte - less than 5 (down from about 40 when I initially dosed ferts Sunday, so plants are using it up quickly)
pH - around 6.5 now with the co2
CO2 - 4KH drop checker shows a color greenish blue, not very high but I can assure you it's now higher than it's ever been
temp - 77
GH - 60
KH - didn't test but it's probably near 40ish as usual

50% water change weekly, ei dosing, residents of the tank are 9 neons, now only 1 dwarf gourami, 1 female molly, ~20 molly fry (small), 1 - 3" pleco, two cories (just added last week). 60 watts of light (approximately) with about 10 hours/day photoperiod. DIY co2, 2 - 2L bottles (one running into the intake on my hob, the other running into the intake of a small submersible pump that I have in the back bottom corner of the tank shooting across the back)

Tank has been up and running for 4 months, totally cycled for a long time now.

Any ideas what's plaguing my tank? Is it just adaptation after the vigorous pruning?? That doesn't explain the anubias though, unless being out of the water for a period of time did this to them.


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Could the pleco be chewing on the plants? besides the damaged leaves the plants look healthy.
I've had the pleco all along and he's never tried to eat any of the plants. Does a great job with the algae though.

Somebody clued me in to what may be part of the problem. Since I increased lighting, there would have been increased demand for co2. My co2 levels started off low and now they are finally getting up to sufficient levels. So perhaps a carbon deficiency.
those are physical damage on the anubias. some fish/snails may cause that.
those are physical damage on the anubias. some fish/snails may cause that.
its not physical damage, that is incorrect. i had the same problem anf it was a potassium deff.
I can pretty well say for sure that it's not physical damage. I add 1/2 tsp of potassium every couple of days...I'm thinking it must be carbon deficiency as much as I wish it wasn't.
hmm i didn't know deficiency cause that. what i always encounter is that the whole leaf rot but not some part like that and the rest is still intact.
Carbon damage? I'd say you've got enough from your DIY, I run 4 liters total in my 29 gallon and my drop checker stays near yellow all the time. My bristlenose pleco does some damage to my broad leafed plants if I don't feed him algae wafers for a few days. Also, I have mini-vivs that can destroy new and weak leaves if their population goes unchecked.
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