Blackening around leaf edges
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Blackening around leaf edges

This is a discussion on Blackening around leaf edges within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> My planted tank has been set up for a few months now and growth has been good for all of my plants. recently however ...

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Blackening around leaf edges
Old 07-07-2010, 02:04 PM   #1
 
Blackening around leaf edges

My planted tank has been set up for a few months now and growth has been good for all of my plants. recently however i started to notice this blacking effect around the edges of the leaves of my amazon sword and also my pygmy chain sword. This was only on old leaves of the amazon sword but on all leaves on the pygmy sword. i've only been sparingly using root tabs til now. I guessed it might be some sort of nutrient deficiency so bough some flourish comprehensive and have been dosing for the last couple of weeks - since which it hasn't got significantly worse but there has been no noticeable improvement. I think also the tank might have been getting too much natural light as it gets about 2 hours/day on about 1/3 of the tank, so i've been shading it when its sunny lately

any ideas of the cause of this effect and also, will the leaves recover or are they doomed and best removed?


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Old 07-07-2010, 03:23 PM   #2
 
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That appears to me like algae, the start of black (or more accurately "red") brush algae. I have it in my Amazon tanks.

Before suggesting options, what is the tank light (number of tubes assuming fluorescent, tube length, wattage, name) and how long are they on. [I understand about the daylight.] And what size tank.

And how often are you now using Flourish Comprehensive, once or twice weekly?

As for the leaves, removing this algae is next to impossible from leaves. I have found that the leaves will die; if you remove them the base at the crown will be brown or starting to turn brown which is the sign they are dieing. I don't know whether the algae attacks leaves and causes them to die, or whether the algae attacks leaves that are in the initial stages of dieing, but when I remove such leaves regardless of the degree of algae they are always brown at the base which means death. New leaves sprout from the centre of the crown on swords and as long as that occurs, not an issue.

Byron.
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Old 07-07-2010, 05:47 PM   #3
 
i'm using 2 x 30w juwel day lite and warm lite on for around 10.5 hrs per day, 47 gal tank, dose flourish 1 x per week
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Old 07-07-2010, 06:04 PM   #4
 
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Originally Posted by sik80 View Post
i'm using 2 x 30w juwel day lite and warm lite on for around 10.5 hrs per day, 47 gal tank, dose flourish 1 x per week
Thanks. From this info, I would suggest your light is too much. As the intensity is more difficult to manage (unless you can remove one, but then you only have the colour of the other, and I can appreciate this combo being a good mix) the best thing is to reduce the duration. Even cutting back one hour often helps. I had this algae increasing and I reduced from 12 to 11 hours and it ended. Try nine hours a day, use a timer if you aren't already as that allows for consistency (same day/night periods).

I could suggest increasing the Flourish to twice weekly but I'd rather not until you've tried reducing the duration. I see no signs of nutrient deficiency in the one photo; if the swords were developing yellowing leaves I would increase Flourish, but for now I think the light change will help. Give it a couple weeks. What's there will not go away (unless you remove the leaf) and it will always be there but minimally. Hard to explain that. You could reduce down to 8 hours even, with the intensity you have you would still be balanced with the nutrients (though I don't know the fish load which is important for the carbon and nitrogen nutrients) but without evidence of deficiencies I don't recommend increasing nutrients (Flourish); better to bring the light down to balance.

Byron.

Edit: Just happened to spot the photos of this aquarium in your log. Very nice aquascape by the way, I like it, plants look very good and healthy. Anyway, there is no nutrient issue now that I've seen the other photos so it is definitely the light. The intensity is slightly more than what will balance the available nutrients (and I saw the fish list) but not more than what I think will be OK with reduced duration. Try the 1.5 hour reduction first. B.

Last edited by Byron; 07-07-2010 at 06:09 PM..
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Old 07-08-2010, 05:36 AM   #5
 
thanks very much byron. As ever, you've been very helpful and it is much appreciated. i will reduce light duration as suggested.

Interestingly i saw a small malasian trumput snail muching on some of this algae around the leaf edge and he/she cleared a little spot of it. Sadly the rest of the mts don't seem very interested in this activity.

Last edited by sik80; 07-08-2010 at 05:40 AM..
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Old 07-08-2010, 09:46 AM   #6
 
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Originally Posted by sik80 View Post
thanks very much byron. As ever, you've been very helpful and it is much appreciated. i will reduce light duration as suggested.

Interestingly i saw a small malasian trumput snail muching on some of this algae around the leaf edge and he/she cleared a little spot of it. Sadly the rest of the mts don't seem very interested in this activity.
Snails will eat algae, though not a great deal. But in tanks where things are in balance and algae is always present (its natural) they do quite a job of keeping it in check. We just don't notice it. But when it begins to increase, they are not up to the task of keeping up as they are such small consumers. Pond snails and bladder snails also do this. This is one reason why I always like snails in my tanks, and can't understand those who freak out at the sight of one; they are part of the natural balance that is essential in a healthy aquarium so why get rid of them?
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Old 07-29-2010, 05:51 AM   #7
 
just a quick update. I've reduced the light to 9 hrs per day for a few weeks now. The growth of the algae seems to have stopped, though the leaves that are already affected have remained affected. I've removed the worst affected leaves

I've also comprimised the 'South American-ness' of my tank and got a couple of amano shrimp. These guys are very industrious algae eaters and i've witnessed them cleaning the red brush algae from the leaves of my echninodorus tenellum. I'm very happy with thier addition to the tank and hopefully they will help keep my algae issues in check
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