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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've had a low maintenance tank for a little over two years, and find I have a consistent issue with a tiger lotus.

I have a tiger lotus, and after the pads reach the surface, they immediately start drying out until they are so beaten up that I clip them free.
I've taken care of lotus in open tanks before, but never had this weird "pad rot" issue.
I wanted to know if this could be caused a humidity issue or a lack of lighting?

This tank is an open top, the lily itself has been living in the tank as long as I've had it set up. The substrate is organic potting soil with a gravel cap, and every 3-4 months or so I fertilize the tank with root tabs around the lily (which makes it put pads out vigorously) and use flourish doses about 2-3 times a week.

I'm in the process of upgrading the lighting of my set up (the plant should very well be redder, but I believe the conditions are too dim) and was wondering if anyone had insight before I start figuring out a new lighting set up.

Picture enclosed of the issue I'm having. Pad has been on the surface for approx. 4 days.
 

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snails are your friend
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Could it be burn? How close is the light? I've seen water droplets create a magnifying glass effect and burn holes in floaters before.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Could it be burn? How close is the light? I've seen water droplets create a magnifying glass effect and burn holes in floaters before.
The light is raised a little under a foot from the tank. I do wonder if that is a possible cause since my aerator does splash quite a bit... Thank you for that insight, I might see if I can try and reduce splash (through a finer bubble stone or placing it further from the pads) and see if that helps.

Is there a way I can place lighting differently to prevent this as well?
 

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Yep, same reason you shouldn’t water plants outside in full midday sun.

But I wouldn’t expect that to happen with a led bulb 1ft above water surface.
 

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I think you might have to experiment to be sure. Try balancing a bit of acrylic/polycarbonate across above them - if it's humidity that will help. Temporarily changing the flow to reducing splashing in that area, or placing something under the section of light to reduce intensity. Do one thing at a time so you can rule out each one.
 
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