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Normal dieback / disease / deficiency?

Discussion in 'Algae in Planted Tanks' started by meadoughlark, Apr 25, 2019.

  1. meadoughlark

    meadoughlark New Member

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    [​IMG]

    Some of my new Bolbitis heudelotii fern is turning a dark brown (almost black) colour and has threads of what I assume is algae on it. The plants have been in the tank for less than a week and I've read that it's normal for some plants to partially die off adjusting to new water and light conditions, especially an increase in light intensity. Since it's mainly leaves close to the surface/light that are affected I'm hoping this is this case, and the algae is taking advantage of the high vantage point. But I'm worried it could be something more sinister, any thoughts/advice?

    The crypts, java fern and hydrocotyle tripartita in the tank are fine.
     
  2. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    the long filaments are filamentous algae

    the plant leaves have been damaged and are rotting. the most likely cause is rough handling by whoever packed it or you. If you have only just received it in the last 24 hours, then it was damaged by whoever sent it to you.
     
    #2 Colin_T, Apr 25, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2019
  3. meadoughlark

    meadoughlark New Member

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    Thanks Colin, should I prune off the damaged leaves?
     
  4. meadoughlark

    meadoughlark New Member

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    My plants are continuing to die off, not just the bolbitis fern now. The only unaffected plants are the java fern. Affected plants have the same orange/brown algae coating, which is on the driftwood and gravel too. Is this diatoms/brown algae?

    ammonia: 0 nitrate: 10ppm (could explain brown algae) nitrite: 0

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    The brown algae is nothing to worry about but might be an indication there is not enough light for the plants.

    Most aquarium plants like a bit of light and if you only have the light on for a couple of hours a day, they struggle. If the light doesn't have a high enough wattage they also struggle. Try having the tank lights on for 10-12 hours a day.

    If you get lots of green algae then reduce the light by an hour a day and monitor the algae over the next 2 weeks.
    If you don't get any green algae on the glass then increase the lighting period by an hour and monitor it.
    If you get a small amount of green algae then the lighting time is about right.

    Some plants will close their leaves up when they have had sufficient light. Ambulia, Hygrophilas and a few others close their top set of leaves first, then the next set and so on down the stem. When you see this happening, wait an hour after the leaves have closed up against the stem and then turn lights off.

    Some good plants to try include Ambulia, Hygrophila polysperma, H. ruba/ rubra, Elodia (during summer, but don't buy it in winter because it falls apart), Hydrilla, common Amazon sword plant, narrow Vallis, Water Sprite (Ceratopteris thalictroides/ cornuta).

    The Water Sprite normally floats on the surface but can also be planted in the substrate. The other plants should be planted in the gravel.

    If you add an iron based aquarium plant fertiliser, it will help most aquarium plants do well. The liquid iron based fertilisers tend to be better than the tablet forms, although you can push the tablets under the roots of plants and that works well.

    I use Sera Florena liquid plant fertiliser but there are other brands too.

    Do not bother adding carbon fertiliser to the tank because they are not necessary.
     

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