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DappleDoxieGirl 04-20-2010 10:21 AM

Broad-leafed plant melting?
Hello everyone. I have a broad leafed plant in my molly tank that seems to be melting or something. The leaves on the plant look like they are decaying, and I am not sure if I should lip them off, or if this is a sign of somethin else. The tank has black grael and that sand/mud substrate that is supposed to be great for plants. It's a 20 long tank that's about a month old with two mollies in it. The mollies have not caused this because I let the tank sit for the few weeks and then added the plants about 2 weeks before adding the fish.

My worries: The room it is in is a WARM room. It's a florida room, and it doesn't have blinds up right now. I've felt the tank water and it's probably 74-78 degrees F. I do not have any lighting on the tank because of two reasons, 1. the room gets a lot of light, and 2. I can't decide if a t8 bulb would be good enough for a heavily planted tank. BTW, I do plan on putting blinds in, which will substantially decrease the light and heat going into the room, but it will always be warmer that the rest of the house.

Right now I have a java fern, some white and green acorus, what I thnk is a pygmy chain sword, another mystery plant, and this one with the problem. It has a peppery look to the leaves as well. I chose it hoping that it's be a type of lotus, but I really am not an expert and wonder if the temperatures are too high for what I have right now. I'll include a couple of photos of the plant and tank for you guys.

Sorry the last one is so big, I wanted the plant to be identifiable.

DappleDoxieGirl 04-20-2010 12:15 PM

Edit: I was vieing this site; to try to identify some of th plants and was amazed, the acorus and the mystery plant, sold in my local petsmart are not even supposed to be submerged. I tossed those out so they will not continue to die. Also, the broad leafed plant is a Echinodorus schlueteri 'Leopard sword' and the other plant I thought was a pygmy sword is a Cryptocoryne species.

Any reccomendations for these two?

Byron 04-20-2010 12:21 PM

First, the plants shown in the smaller photo of the entire tank: the left is Java Fern, then a plant I am not certain of but suspect is not aquatic, then a crypt (prob the one you thought was pygmy chain sword?) and then the variegated (spotted leaf) sword (Echinodorus sp). The crypt looks fine, the Java Fern and sword do not.

The Java Fern should not be planted in the substrate, it will rot; it needs to be attached to wood or rock (or similar decor), cotton thread will work to do this, and eventually the plant's roots from the rhizome will attach it firmly to the rock or wood.

The sword is one of the red spotted leaf varieties. Swords usually lose their existing leaves when moved from the store tank to your aquarium, and as long as new growth emerges from the centre of the crown it is growing. I can see a new leaf in the photo. However, the plant's crown is below the substrate. If you gently pull the plant up to just expose the crown (the white area where the leaves emerge upward and the roots downward) it will be better.

If the water is 74-78F, that is fine for the plants, normal community tank temperature is around 77-79F.

As for light, I can't surmise if the "bright room" is sufficient or not; it will be for the crypt, they are low light; and the Java Fern once out of the substrate should be fine. The sword would depend upon the intensity of daylight it receives, and I can't tell without being there.

As for a tank light, a single fluorescent tube T8 in a daylight or full spectrum (around 6500K) would work fine. Alternatively, you might want to look into incandescent light, with a couple of the Compact Fluorescent bulbs now available; they provide a lot of light intensity,more than normal incandescent bulbs, with very little heat; over a small 10g tank this would be more practical. CF bulbs come in various "colours" like daylight at 6500K as well. Either way, that would be more than sufficient light for plants in your 10g aquarium.


DappleDoxieGirl 04-20-2010 12:56 PM

Thank you Byron! I had no idea that fish stores will sell non-aquatic plants as aquatics, and removed those. I also lifted the remaining plants to try to expose the crowns and I plan on buying some sort of rock or decor to tie the java fern onto.

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