Brown Leaves a Lighting Issue?
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Brown Leaves a Lighting Issue?

This is a discussion on Brown Leaves a Lighting Issue? within the Beginner Planted Aquarium forums, part of the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium category; --> These wisteria are in a 10-gal cycled tank, filter but no carbon. Standard 18" flourescent, lights on approx 12 hours/day. They're turning brown and ...

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Brown Leaves a Lighting Issue?
Old 08-20-2011, 11:41 PM   #1
 
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Brown Leaves a Lighting Issue?

These wisteria are in a 10-gal cycled tank, filter but no carbon. Standard 18" flourescent, lights on approx 12 hours/day. They're turning brown and I'm wondering if they're receiving too much light. I've had these plants for about 4 weeks now. The first couple of weeks they lacked fertilizer because my tank was cycling so I had to do daily water changes. Hence the water conditioner would've rendered the fertilizer useless. The tank has cycled and now I'm fertilizing weekly. I may have a brown algea issue too, as I've been vaccuuming the leaves to remove it. In both of these pics, please note the plants in the back. I just started turning off the lights for a few hours during the mid-day to see if that might help. I have this same set up in my other 10-gal and the plants are flourishing. However, the tank is in a much better location for natural sunlight so I'm able to remove the hood and turn off the lights. Therefore those plants only received about 8 hours/day. Not sure if it's a lighting issue or algea issue. Thanks!
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Old 08-21-2011, 09:51 AM   #2
 
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You'll need to post the kelvin rating on the bulb. Is is 5500, 6700 or higher? I have that same plant. If you're getting brown algae that probably indicates too much light, and the plant is competing with brown algae to get the nututrients it needs from the water. Wisteria is a lower light need plant. Of course, you can't control the sunshine that hits the tank, unless you move the tank. Someone else will have some ideas too, and help. That's all I can think of.

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Old 08-21-2011, 10:35 AM   #3
 
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I think this is a low-light issue. I've had similar experience, I don't bother with this fussy plant any longer, I don't have sufficient light intensity.

The duration can affect algae, but otherwise too long a light period usually doesn't affect plants themselves. They will photosynthesize in sufficient light intensity as long as the essential nutrients are available; as soon as one of these is no longer available, regardless of the light, the plant stops photosynthesizing. So duration cannot "make up" for intensity if this is insufficient. And Wisteria like all Hygrophila requires more light.

This brown, does it come off if you use your fingers? That is diatoms. Hard to tell from the photo. I have had my Wisteria turn brown and that is the light. Next thing you will see are the lower leaves rotting off.

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Old 08-21-2011, 11:17 AM   #4
 
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Interesting Byron. I have that plant in my low light tank, and it's doing okay, but I do notice that the leaves are at the top and the lower leaves are gone, having slowly either fallen off, or I took off because they didn't look great. The leaves at the top are green and full and the plant continues to grow taller. I thought this was a low light plant. I will say, I cut off the top of one, and have been floating it in my other tank, and it does well that way. Has lots of root shoots coming out, which seems to make a nice cover for my tank with my German Rams and Cardinals. Perhaps floating this plant is something to try.

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Old 08-21-2011, 11:38 AM   #5
 
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Originally Posted by GwenInNM View Post
Interesting Byron. I have that plant in my low light tank, and it's doing okay, but I do notice that the leaves are at the top and the lower leaves are gone, having slowly either fallen off, or I took off because they didn't look great. The leaves at the top are green and full and the plant continues to grow taller. I thought this was a low light plant. I will say, I cut off the top of one, and have been floating it in my other tank, and it does well that way. Has lots of root shoots coming out, which seems to make a nice cover for my tank with my German Rams and Cardinals. Perhaps floating this plant is something to try.

Gwen
Yes Gwen, the shedding of the lower leaves is a direct result of insufficient light. All Hygrophila species require higher light. I have H. corymbosa in my 90g and the same thing is happening. Floating allows the entire plant to receive equal light so it should be better floating. My last attempt at Wisteria, I left it alone and within a couple of months I had completely bare stems from the substrate up to within 2 inches of the surface, then the stem continued to grow along the surface.

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Old 08-21-2011, 12:14 PM   #6
 
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I have had the similiar experience as Gwen with my wistera, in the 50 gal I have it planted, it has been growing and haven't seemed to have the same problem of the leaves browing or falling off. I do have a stem of it floating in my fry tank that has been doing well, as long as some floating in my betta tank which does not have a light over it but only gets light from the window that it sits in front of. The wisteria in this tank has been doing okay so far also.
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Old 08-22-2011, 12:14 AM   #7
 
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Thank you everyone. Here's the answers to the questions that were posed: The lighting is an 8,000K full spectrum daylight 15W 18" flourescent. I'm new to plants so I didn't realize I could glean all of this information from the bulb itself! I rubbed the plants and the brown coloring does not come off. The leaves are definitely browning and dieing. Bryon - you had told me before that these plants require lots of light. Being a novice, I figured my 12 hr/day lighting would suffice. Now I've learned that it's the intensity that matters, not the duration. I have a wonderful LFS that sells beautiful plants. I'll go back to some of previous threads where Byron reccommended plants for my specific parameters, etc. and get some other plants to replace it. Let me know if there is another issue based on the lighting information I provided above. Thanks!
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Old 08-22-2011, 11:46 AM   #8
 
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Originally Posted by flowerslegacy View Post
Thank you everyone. Here's the answers to the questions that were posed: The lighting is an 8,000K full spectrum daylight 15W 18" flourescent. I'm new to plants so I didn't realize I could glean all of this information from the bulb itself! I rubbed the plants and the brown coloring does not come off. The leaves are definitely browning and dieing. Bryon - you had told me before that these plants require lots of light. Being a novice, I figured my 12 hr/day lighting would suffice. Now I've learned that it's the intensity that matters, not the duration. I have a wonderful LFS that sells beautiful plants. I'll go back to some of previous threads where Byron reccommended plants for my specific parameters, etc. and get some other plants to replace it. Let me know if there is another issue based on the lighting information I provided above. Thanks!
That tube should be fine, but without adding more tubes the intensity cannot be increased, so one should select plants that work with the light. Stem plants in general require more light, I avoid most of them. Brazilian Pennywort is an exception, I have good luck with this in my tanks. I probably suggested other plants previously, so won't go further here unless asked.

I had thought the brown might be diatoms, but it can't be rubbed off so that serttles it, the brown is decaying plant leaf due to inadequate light intensity.

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