What is on my plants???? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 12 Old 06-02-2008, 01:48 AM Thread Starter
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What is on my plants????

So all the fish have been living pretty peacefully and happy in my tank, but today when i was looking around i noticed some weird brown specs on the leaves of a lot of my plants. I have no idea what it is. Is it algae???? I was thinking about getting a couple of otos when there was something for them to eat (since the tank is only a week and a half old). I am just concerned this is something else, any help would be appreciated.

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post #2 of 12 Old 06-02-2008, 02:44 AM
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A little more information may get you more responses. What type of plants? what type of substrate? what type of lighting and how long do plants receive light? what fertilizers if any are being used?

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #3 of 12 Old 06-02-2008, 03:46 AM Thread Starter
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I have a java fern, and the plant pictured i am unsure of its name, and i have another plant which i do not know the name to.

I am using Eco-Complete for planted tanks, and Leaf Zone plant food stuff.

For lighting, it recieves a small amount of direct sunlight, i really dont think its much because most of the tank is blocked. But the room is pretty bright during the day. The light hood houses 2 13watt CFL bulbs, i dont think they are full spectrum. Just the normal ones that you use in house lamps and stuff.
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post #4 of 12 Old 06-02-2008, 03:58 AM
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Brown spots on java fern are in my view normal . I have some in discus tank that do same thing. Other plant kinda looks like Micro sword or hair grass maybe. I would try and increase the wattage of light bulbs and see that they get no more than 8 to ten hours of light per day. Java fern is low to moderate light plant and will grow in less than ideal conditions but does better when attached with thread to rock or wood rather than rooted in substrate. I use orchid pots which have numerous holes in them . I just stick them in a hole and try not to disturb them while performing maint.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #5 of 12 Old 06-02-2008, 12:02 PM
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That's diatom algae and is pretty common in new tanks. Just dust it off the plants with your fingers before water changes. Eventually it will go away but it can be pretty annoying. It took about 2-3 months for diatoms to go away in my tank.

Otos will eat it but your tank is still pretty new and otos need mature tanks. They're pretty sensitive to water quality. You can also feed zucchini and cucumber to oto's. But they need lots of algae to keep them well fed.

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post #6 of 12 Old 06-02-2008, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replys. Im just glad its nothing serious. Im going to do a 50% water change today, so ill try to clean some of that stuff off.
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post #7 of 12 Old 06-02-2008, 01:35 PM
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In my view small frequent water changes of 20 to 25 percent are better than large water changes to maintain stable water paramaters. :)

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #8 of 12 Old 06-02-2008, 02:44 PM
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If I am correct in what I am seeing it looks like little trains, almost like snail trails. If this is what it is I am not usre hwat it is but I get it every time I cycle a tank. Might be some sort of natural thing from the bacteria becoming colonized might be an actualy trail from some sort of creature or something.

I don't think it is diatoms because they have no color and I have yet to find anything that will eat them. They just seem to go away after the tank cycles and things get on their merry way. I get them everywhere in the tank even in the fastest flow areas of the tank. Wiping them off with a toothbrush or other soft bristle instruments seems to work really well.
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post #9 of 12 Old 06-02-2008, 05:47 PM
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I got that in the last tank I cycled, I always assumed it was diatom algae. Regardless of what it is, you can just brush it off, it should clear up once your tank is more established.

It looks like you also have planaria? Tiny little white worms rippling through the water? I got those at the same time as the brown algae, it also cleared up on it's own when my tank was better established.

BTW, you should look into upgrading your lighting if you're using Eco-Complete and ferts. Otherwise you'll end up with some major algae problems later on. Plants need plenty of nutrients, light and co2. Have too few/too many of any of them and the algae takes off.

Last thing, I think the plant you have is a crypt. I could probably tell you more definitely if I could see the base of the plant as well, but that's my best bet.
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post #10 of 12 Old 06-02-2008, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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Ok thanks again for all the replies.

I went to Home Depot today and got a couple full spectrum CFL bulbs (14watts each). There is a huge difference between these and the old bubls, it makes the tank look much better too.

I dont think i have planaria (after looking it up), i think those are just small bubbles that are floating to the top but became elongated because i used my camera phones shutter is slow.
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