Crypts Falling Apart

Morganna

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Hey everyone! So, even though I have planted tanks, my knowledge is rather limited when it comes to plant care. I just changed my substrate, and my crypts just aren't adjusting well.
Before, they were in a really fine sand, and now the substrate is a slightly coarser pool sand. So I don't see why my substrate should be an issue. I will say though, I do have to push them deeper into the sand than I would like to, but it's the only way to keep them down.
Here's what's happening: 1 or 2 leaves on every single crypt is falling apart. It is NOT turning brown and dying off. It literally becomes see through thin as the stem melts to nothing.
Also, half the crypts have floated back up and it's happening to those too.
This has never been a problem before, so some advice would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks!
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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Sounds like a well known thing that happens when a crypt is newly planted or disturbed (like replanting in a new substrate) called, accurately enough, "crypt melt". :)

It isn't something you're doing wrong, and it doesn't always happen, but have experienced it myself when revamping a tank. I moved half of the huge, established crypts to one tank, where they settled in immediately and didn't melt back, but the other half in a different tank melted back to nothing.

The good news is that it doesn't mean the plant is dead! It can die right back to just a bunch of roots. But keep the roots planted, stick a root tab under them, and watch those new leaves grow! My huge crypts were grown from nothing but roots, hard to see in this photo, but the tall dark reddish/green plants in each back corner are crypts that I've grown from roots, and the ones that died back after a recent tank vamp have put out a ton of new leaves since. So don't despair! Stick a root tab under them if you haven't already since crypts are greedy root feeders if given the chance, then just give them time! :)


DSCF8976.JPG
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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Oh, to keep them down you can use leaded plant weights, ceramic rings that often come with plants now or can be bought separately, or use some larger pebbles or similar to hold down some of the roots. They'll grow just as well in course gravel or course sand than they do in fine sand - perhaps better some would argue, given the roots have spaces to expand into and find nutrients. They just need a little help to keep the roots planted while they recover from being moved and the crypt melt. :)
 

Byron

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I suspect it is simply the fact that the crypts were moved. All species in this genus do not like being uprooted, nor do they like changes in water parameters (GH, pH and temperature), or changes in light. In any one of these "changes" it is common for them to melt. Leave the roots in the substrate however (replant them) and usually they will rebound, though that may take a few months. I have had the same plants of three different species accept a change, but not accept another.

Adorabelle just posted much the same thing, but I've finished so I'll confirm.
 

Colin_T

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It could be crypt rot, which is where the base (corm) of the plant is damaged and rots away. The plants slowly disintegrate over a few weeks to a month or more.
If the corm has any soft parts or black/ brown bits, it is rotting. If you cut the rotting bit off, you can sometimes save the plant.

If the plants are new, they might have been grown out of water and the leaves are terrestrial leaves that are dying off.
 

AdoraBelle Dearheart

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I feel so much better now! I was so worried I was somehow killing all the plants that I have! I don't have any fertilizers or root tabs, do I'll see if I can order some soon! Thanks to the both of you!

Root tabs aren't totally essential for crypts, they're a pretty easy beginner plant that will usually chug along slowly even if they're never given tabs, and just live on the mulm in the substrate. But they do thrive when given a chance to really root feed well, so crypts and amazon swords I always stick a root tab under them now and then, especially in a new substrate that isn't full of mulm and stuff.

Nothing you're doing wrong. :) Plants just don't naturally get uprooted and replanted in nature! Same applies to garden and houseplants, repotting or buying and moving plants puts them through stress and a sort of plant version of shock. So they need some extra care and mainly time to get re-established, and some plants handle it better than others. With garden plants and lawns etc, you have to add ferts and water much more frequently when first planted, to give them the best chance of reviving from that. Same deal with our aquatic plants, just without needing to worry about watering them. :DWhich is great for me, since forgetting to water them is how I kill most of my houseplants...
 

Aqua67

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Hey everyone! So, even though I have planted tanks, my knowledge is rather limited when it comes to plant care. I just changed my substrate, and my crypts just aren't adjusting well.
Before, they were in a really fine sand, and now the substrate is a slightly coarser pool sand. So I don't see why my substrate should be an issue. I will say though, I do have to push them deeper into the sand than I would like to, but it's the only way to keep them down.
Here's what's happening: 1 or 2 leaves on every single crypt is falling apart. It is NOT turning brown and dying off. It literally becomes see through thin as the stem melts to nothing.
Also, half the crypts have floated back up and it's happening to those too.
This has never been a problem before, so some advice would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks!
Crypt melt is normal whenever the plants are disturbed, moved to a new tank, substrate changed, etc. Don't give up on them, just leave them be and you should see them begin to regrow back to normal soon.
 

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