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Since my driftwood disaster(accidently introducing a contaminated piece of drift wood)....I've noticed that many of my plants roots have turned black, some partially, some completely. Could this be caused by a chemical contamination? what else causes root rot? What Can I do? This is new to me! :icon_frow
 

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and also....clear leaves on my amazon sword....I fertilize with flourish, have pressurized co2, and high light. what gives?
 

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I would trim off the black portions of the roots. Amazon swords are heavy root feeders. Do you have any root tabs in the substrate? If not, I suggest you get some Flourish Tabs.
 

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There is no harm in doing both and there are benefits. I use both in my tanks...the tabs are for the heavy root feeders and the liquid is used by all plants but especially the stems.
 

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and also....clear leaves on my amazon sword....I fertilize with flourish, have pressurized co2, and high light. what gives?
This is likely due to a macronutrients issue. You did not mention whether you are dosing NPKs, and if so, how often and how much?
 

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Another thing that can cause root rot is anaerobic conditions in the substrate. When you poke your substrate do you see big bubbles go to the surface? Do you smell a sulfur smell? If the answers to those questions are yes then you have it. That means that there is too much mulm in your soil. You need to poke around in your soil and get all the air bubbles out. Get some MTS snails which will turn over your soil. Vacuum the top of your soil when you do water changes. Check to make sure you don't have too many fish and that you aren't feeding too much.
 

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Flourish, 1 capfull once a week. It doesn't have the amount, of NPK's listed, only %, which is .07% Nitrogen, .01% phosphate, .37% potash...on the other side of the bottle it does say one might need to suppliment these seperately as needed. I'm trying to keep fertilizing as simple as possible, are there any all inclusive ferts out there for lazy people like myself? :)
 

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Another thing that can cause root rot is anaerobic conditions in the substrate. When you poke your substrate do you see big bubbles go to the surface? Do you smell a sulfur smell? If the answers to those questions are yes then you have it. That means that there is too much mulm in your soil. You need to poke around in your soil and get all the air bubbles out. Get some MTS snails which will turn over your soil. Vacuum the top of your soil when you do water changes. Check to make sure you don't have too many fish and that you aren't feeding too much.


I try to keep my tank pretty clean, vacumming once a week for a 20% water change. No visible mulm, no air bubbles, but the roots do smell like rotton sulfer. Also, With the MTS, are they the little guys that I always see doing very well in petsmart? are there any other freshwater species that burrow like them?
 

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Flourish, 1 capfull once a week. It doesn't have the amount, of NPK's listed, only %, which is .07% Nitrogen, .01% phosphate, .37% potash...on the other side of the bottle it does say one might need to suppliment these seperately as needed. I'm trying to keep fertilizing as simple as possible, are there any all inclusive ferts out there for lazy people like myself? :)
In essence, Flourish (alone) serves only to provide micronutrients, and does not provide NPKs in the amounts that are required in a tank that is as lighted as yours.

You will need to dose these separately. While Seachem does make Flourish Potassium, Flourish Phosphorus and Flourish Nitrogen, it is much cheaper to buy bulk chemicals and mix them yourself to dose.
 

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My Petsmart does have MTS. They look like little cone snails. If the roots smell like rotten sulfur that's not very good. It may just be because you are starving the plant and it's rotting. 1 capful of Flourish is not very much of even the traces. (Of course I don't know how big your tank is...)

Get some Aquarium.com complete root tabs and use them. They have micro and macro nutrients. Push them in the substrate and you're done. You can use tweezers to push them in, you don't need to buy their tool. :D
 

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Anaerobic means lack of oxygen. In the substrate this happens when there is too much of a build up of DOC, dissolved organic compounds. Leaf litter, fish food, fish poop, dead algae, and any other decaying organic material as it decomposes uses up oxygen in the surrounding area. This prevents the roots from going thru their respiration, and anaerobic bacteria that produces hydrogen sulfide, (smells like rotten eggs) along with the lack of oxygen causes the plant roots to turn black and rot.

Fertilizer of any type will not help this problem. You need to vacum out your substrate and loosen it up and do a large water change to get rid of the excess DOC. Anaerobic spots is quite common in most aquariums in limited areas and is fairly easy to fix. A widespread anaerobic sustrate is much less common and much more serious. This would typically happen if the entire tank bottom was set up with a thick bottom layer of peat, compost, manure, or soil.

Isolated spots are easier to fix.
 
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