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Yucked up tank and plants

This is a discussion on Yucked up tank and plants within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> So it has been a few months since I have been on here. It has been so busy lately and everything is suffering because ...

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Yucked up tank and plants
Old 01-20-2012, 10:18 AM   #21
 
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So it has been a few months since I have been on here. It has been so busy lately and everything is suffering because of it. The tanks are still getting water changes but only once every other week once every 4-5 days like I did before. The major maintenance has taken a hit too. Not as much time to prune plants or clean wood, glass etc... All that said, not much has changed. I am still struggling with the plants that got that yucky stuff on them. I am assuming it is an algae or fungus. It started when I was hospitalized and the lights were on for an extended period. I came home to a mess and though I made progress, I have not knocked it out.

I am pretty much at a loss with this and have considered pulling everything out and starting anew. I just have not had time the past few months. I have already removed about 60% of the plants and held off with the other 40 % but they are now looking worse too so...

The pictures are not good but you might get the idea. Any thoughts on what it is and how I should proceed?




Are they past the point of saving? Any thoughts on where to go from here? I am so sad because it wasn't long ago (a few months) and My tanks looked amazing. The plants were full and healthy looking and so thick they had to be regularly pruned so the fish had room to swim. Now...
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Old 01-20-2012, 02:19 PM   #22
 
I would give my yucked up plants a massive trimming because plants love scissors! :)
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Old 01-20-2012, 04:15 PM   #23
 
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I would give my yucked up plants a massive trimming because plants love scissors! :)

Yes, sadly if I cut every leaf that looks rough, I will have nothing left. I suspect I will just have to start anew with most of the plants. I have already cut out the bulk of them. How sad to see my beautiful tank go to heck so bad, so quickly. My poor plants. Still, I wish I knew what caused the issue in the first place so I can avoid it happening again.
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Old 01-20-2012, 05:41 PM   #24
 
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The issue in the first photo is algae, caused by excessive light. Reducing the light and cleaning up as best you can will deal with this.

Nice to see you back Inga. Best wishes.

Byron.
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Old 01-20-2012, 06:09 PM   #25
 
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It hasn't been that simple. The light was on nonstop for 48 ish hours. I have gotten back to the old schedule which had the plants looking beautiful, and then even cut back another hour. I have cut the bulk of my plants out because the brown yuck seems to spread from leaf to leaf. Do you think that there could be a fungus? Why would the algae spread without too much light? I expected it would take some time but getting back to the old schedule should have fixed it, shouldn't it? Once algae has gotten a hold in a tank, does it continue to spread in the absence of excessive light?
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Old 01-20-2012, 06:27 PM   #26
 
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It hasn't been that simple. The light was on nonstop for 48 ish hours. I have gotten back to the old schedule which had the plants looking beautiful, and then even cut back another hour. I have cut the bulk of my plants out because the brown yuck seems to spread from leaf to leaf. Do you think that there could be a fungus? Why would the algae spread without too much light? I expected it would take some time but getting back to the old schedule should have fixed it, shouldn't it? Once algae has gotten a hold in a tank, does it continue to spread in the absence of excessive light?
I am fairly certain the first photo shows brush algae on the leaves. I have had this, in fact is is continual though not this bad, usually it appears on decaying leaves and I remove them. But light will cause it to spread. It can also happen if nutrients are not sufficient to balance the light.

Light can be too intense, or too long duration, or both. Second, if the light is weakening in intensity (tubes giving out) this will also occur. Third, additional light entering the room such as more sunlight or diffused daylight in summer with longer daylight has also caused this for me. Fourth, organic imbalance; I had a tank that was a constant problem with algae, cyanobacteria, and something else related.

In all cases except the last, fixing the light solved the issue. Reducing the duration, or putting in new tubes, or shading the windows all summer [I have a fish room so this is feasible]. In the organic tank I pulled it apart, didn't like the pea gravel anyway [that may have been a factor too, the large gravel].
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Old 01-20-2012, 06:53 PM   #27
 
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I wondered about the gravel. It is the same as the gravel I had in there for a year prior except for color and depth. Even after changing out my substrate, I replanted many of the older, mature plants and they grew and filled out looking very healthy and nice. Then they took a hit from what I assumed was the snails. I started getting small holes. I got rid of the snails and then they took a hit from the accidental over dose of lights being on for so long while I was in the hospital. I have struggled since.

I did change bulbs at your suggestion and cut the length of time I was leaving the lights on. I might increase the amount of fertilizer for awhile and see if that helps. If not, I will have to just pull them all and start anew.

Darn Algae. Today I actually thought a little about getting another mystery snail as when I had him. I keep thinking of anything that changed and how I can get back to that. I guess it isn't a huge deal. At least my fish seem very healthy and happy.

Did you find that you had to cut out every leaf that was affected or did the decrease of light and increase of fertilizer help save the affected plants?
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Old 01-20-2012, 08:21 PM   #28
 
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I wondered about the gravel. It is the same as the gravel I had in there for a year prior except for color and depth. Even after changing out my substrate, I replanted many of the older, mature plants and they grew and filled out looking very healthy and nice. Then they took a hit from what I assumed was the snails. I started getting small holes. I got rid of the snails and then they took a hit from the accidental over dose of lights being on for so long while I was in the hospital. I have struggled since.

I did change bulbs at your suggestion and cut the length of time I was leaving the lights on. I might increase the amount of fertilizer for awhile and see if that helps. If not, I will have to just pull them all and start anew.

Darn Algae. Today I actually thought a little about getting another mystery snail as when I had him. I keep thinking of anything that changed and how I can get back to that. I guess it isn't a huge deal. At least my fish seem very healthy and happy.

Did you find that you had to cut out every leaf that was affected or did the decrease of light and increase of fertilizer help save the affected plants?
Algae wil not decrease, though it may die. Removal is the only way to get rid of what is there. Plants (if healthy and all else is OK) will grow new leaves according to the species, and those should be unaffected. If you see this spreading to new leaves, then whatever is causing it is still there. I would normally say light, period. But, in a complex biological system there are many things to go wrong. In my case, I do not know why, but every thank with crypts seems to have organic issues. Plants need light, but also nutrients; reducing fertilization that was previously being given is not likely tohelp plants out-compete algae, assuming it was not being overdosed to begin with. Every tank is different.
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Old 01-21-2012, 03:45 PM   #29
 
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Algae wil not decrease, though it may die. Removal is the only way to get rid of what is there. Plants (if healthy and all else is OK) will grow new leaves according to the species, and those should be unaffected. If you see this spreading to new leaves, then whatever is causing it is still there. I would normally say light, period. But, in a complex biological system there are many things to go wrong. In my case, I do not know why, but every thank with crypts seems to have organic issues. Plants need light, but also nutrients; reducing fertilization that was previously being given is not likely tohelp plants out-compete algae, assuming it was not being overdosed to begin with. Every tank is different.

This whole thing is my fault. I was getting a little cocky when my tanks looked so beautiful. I was thinking to myself "this whole planted tank thing is so easy" and now look, I can't get my lovely plants back. I am so disappointed that one mistake can really ruin the plants. I did plant some crypts though so... maybe? I am going to try cutting them back even more and maybe adding a few new ones. I am just shocked how they can go from so beautiful to yuck in no time and how hard it is to reverse that. Thanks so much for all your suggestions.
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