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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
over the past Month my Crinum calamistratum onion bulb plant has lost 90% of it's original roots, and left a sulfur smelling rotten mess behind. I don't seen evidence of any snail or animal disturbing the plant. I speculate either I planted it too deep (a common mistake I didn't think I was making since I've replanted this bulb several times over the past 6 Months with no prior issues) or maybe Seachem plant tabs touching the roots may have hurt them. Do plantlets kill the mother plant so they have room to grow? -cause their appearance coincided with this incident. I'm hoping someone with more experience with such Onion bulb plants can advise me on how best to save my beloved plant, and encourage healthy root regrowth.

black smelly mess at the roots


liberated 4 plantlets, removed loose soggy plant matter
 

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if im ot mistaken isint the bulb of the plant supose to be exposed and just have the roots in the subtrate? it may be like anubias and there rhizomes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm positive I did not plant it too low in my substrate, and was well aware that the onion bulb must stay well above the gravel, so there must be something else going on here. take a look at this red staining on the plantlets that were well above my gravel. I wonder if maybe something is wrong with my substrate. I have an inch of eco-complete over two inches of inert gravel. perhaps mulm trapped under the eco complete is a problem for any large deep rooted plant like this onion plant, but looking through the glass my deep gravel appears clean, and I do not over feed my tank. looking at other deep rooted stems thus far I have not notice this red stuff or any roots rotting, that's why I think it may be fert tab related, since this onion plant is the only area of my tank that I used them. I'm going to email Seachem these photos and see what they have to say. maybe I need to place the tabs deeper or further away from the roots.

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I pulled up a few other deep root plants today, and noticed their roots smell like sulfur. it seems that whatever roots penetrate below my 1" of eco-complete down to my 2" of gravel, are melting, rotting, and smelly.
I really need help from some experienced tank keepers here to figure out what's gone wrong! is the eco-complete layer somehow sealing in the gravel below, making the mulm attack my deep plant roots? must I use all eco-complete with no gravel base? are some sort of noxious gas pockets forming in my gravel, as I do notice large bubbles breaking out of the gravel and going to the a few times per day, but I thought that was normal.
I have not vacuumed my gravel in a few Months since putting the eco-complete layer down. If I do so, it will make a big black mess, and I don't think I need to as I truly do underfeed my fish tank, and doubt there is excess debris in my gravel. I also have bottom feeders that always clear my gravel within two hours of feeding time. my nitrates stay in the 5-10ppm range which again may be an indicator that my gravel is not dirty. My gravel hosts a few dozen MTS which I had hoped would keep the gravel base healthy.
 

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Maybe I should dig up mine to see if it stinks...hmmmmm
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
it's been about 2 weeks and my crinum continues to deteriorate.
in the interim I tried a bleach dip, but that did not help.
neither did keeping the plant completely out of my gravel.
I trimmed away the bottom centimeter of the bulb hoping
that removing most of this red ulcer will help the plant.
the stuff I'm cutting away smells like fecal matter.

I document this in hopes someone will eventually benefit
from a better explanation of these observations. I removed
the crinum from my 29gal and put it in my 10gal for now.
at least it had 4 baby plants I saved before going bad.
so far my other plants appear unaffected, but few have
roots that went as deep as this crinum once did.

I'm wondering if I should wrap the crinum bottom in
white filter floss and a plastic plant plug to protect it.

I worry that putting a layer of eco-complete over my
old mulm gravel was a mistake, since it was after doing
it that I saw these root problems. so in a few weeks
I will remove all my plants, do a gravel vacuum which
will mixed my eco and gravel all together, then replant.

after this I don't trust buried Seachem root tabs,
so from now on I will just leave them at the surface.

I really don't want to disrupt all my plants like this,
especially now that I have a decent foreground going.
nobody here seems to have a better explanation,
so I'll just start over and hope for the best.



 

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Could be anaerobic pockets in the substrate.....

Do you see bubbles in the lower part of your substrate? If you pull up plants in other parts of your tank do youget that sulfur smell?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Could be anaerobic pockets in the substrate? If you pull up plants in other parts of your tank do youget that sulfur smell?
I did a trim/transplant over a week ago and did not notice any large bubbles when pulling up plants, nor any foul odor. The problem may be localized to where the crinum was which is also the only area where I used plant tabs. I might just vacuum that one section and leave the rest of the tank alone. I just wish someone who has seen this kind of "onion bulb red sulfur rot" can chime in with a more direct cause and effect.

 

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I wish I could help. I am thinking a systemic disease and that you should remove it altogether. That red color is throwing me off and the smell....well if it smells rotten it is...I would try to protect your other plants and take it out. If you have some babies plant those and cut your losses. I had this happen in the bulb portion of a ponytail palm, which is a succulent, and I had to treat it systemically. You cannot do that in a planted tank with inhabitants, so I would just get rid of the problem.
 

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I have a couple of crinum Lillies doing the same thing, and one Madagascar Lace -what a smell. I too am clueless to why, but I did try rubbing the bulb in charcoal to see if this will help. Will let you know if this works.
omboocat
wilma
 

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I have experanced the same thing, one recently in fact. Im still not sure what kind of plant it is. But its really pretty and came out of one of the bulb packs avalible dry at walmart. I never really expect much out of those packs but I have gotten lucky with about 4 truly outstanding plants from them. Anyhow...

In my case I carefully removed the plant from its attached bulb and trimmed away all of the 'sludgy' parts (like you did). Then put it in a smaller tank with lots of C02 and ferts. The plants mostly recovered, some very well infact. But As for the icky smell. Your very right. It does smell pretty bad. I BELIVE (though I could be wrong) it comes from a break down of the inside of the bulb. This could either be from a bacterial contamination to the inside of the bulb via damage or parasites or from them being burried. I dont typicaly burry bulbs at all in my planted tanks. I keep them anchored to the spot I want them with a small piece of bio degradable natural twine (like jute only SUPER thin) then I tie that to a rock or other hard scape. The result is that the bulb stays put untill its own roots can secure it. It also gives me the ability to move the plant more easily if what grows out of it is inanpropreate for that location, such as a very slow growing ground plant that came out of what I thought was going to be an onion (really fooled me!).

Anyhow. Keep us updated. Id be interested to hear if other people have experanced the same thing and their opionons as to why it happens and how it can be prevented.
 

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A few days ago, I purchased a C. calamistratum from an on-line vendor. The leaves of the plant look quite healthy. It is ten inches tall and has 7-8 leaves. The bulb, however, has a couple of red lesions that look similar to what you have shown. I floated it in my tank for a couple of days because I was too busy to plant it and when I did finally plant it yesterday, I noticed that the outer layer of the bulb was beginning to degrade.

Do you think that my plant will rot? I did not bury the bulb. I don't know what else to do except perhaps to spot-treat the red lesions with a bit of hydrogen peroxide.
 

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Family Amaryllidaceae
Continent Africa
Region West Africa
Country of origin
Height 40-120 cm
Width 20-30 cm
Light requirements medium-very high
Temperature 20-28 °C
Hardness tolerance very soft-hard
pH tolerance 5,5-8
Growth slow
Demands medium

Crinum calamistratum is a very graceful bulbous plant with dark-green, very narrow leaves. It forms smaller bulbs than the other Crinum species, and demands more light. In the aquarium plants that are thriving form a number of small bulbs. It is not eaten by herbivorous fish. It can also be used in brackish aquariums with low salt concentrations. [TROPICA]

Hi Kelley,

IME, the Crinum doesn't like to be moved too often. I think your plant had been replanted too often by the vendor. I had the same problem about a year ago. the plant were very nice and healthy from Tropica, but I moved it too often, and died slowly.

Regards,

Jeffrey
 

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I had an onion plant that did the same thing. Rotten, smelly roots and reddish slimy stuff at the base of the stalk/crown. I ended up throwing it out and not getting it anymore ;P
 

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I had this problem too when i removed my onion to move into a new tank. It was sitting in a temp tank for a week and got all rotten and smelly. The smell was awful >< I stripped off the ick, cut everything away until it was clean plant and then floated it in some really cold water for a day (dont know if this did anything or not, it was just in the process of plating). I then planted it in the new tank, laterite mixed with gravel substrate, and it seems to be doing okay besides being a little nutrient deprived like all my plants are.
 

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having the same issue i just bought one 2 weeks ago and i noticed the roots are rotting so i placed it on top of a potted crypt that is not growing and i will see it that helps it maybey from the gravel and anerobic bacteria in a pocket so i will see the top is growing though
 
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