Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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outpost 05-26-2010 11:43 AM

Plants dying -redtail shark?
Some of my plants are beginning to rot on the tips. My corkscrew Val and another plants that I don't know the name of are dying. I see my redtail nibbling on them. Is he just cleaning them or eating them?
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Byron 05-26-2010 01:52 PM

Most bottom fish will browse surfaces including plant leaves for food bits and/or algae. The redtail shark is primarily a scavenger and not a plant eater, so I see no harm in his normal behaviour in this respect.

Can you post a photo of your tank with the plant issues? Seeing the plants may suggest the cause. Also, indicate your light (please be specific, if fluorescent give the number of tubes and the info printed on the end of the tube). The brown leaf ends is likely either a light or nutrients issue.


outpost 05-27-2010 01:12 PM

Thanks Byron. I think I might have found the problem. My tap water in my house is softened which means thatit has salt in it and plants don't like salt. Also the plants that were dying seemed really frail and skinny. Corckscrew Val for example. My more beefier plants are doing fine. Maybe that has nothing to do with it but it makes sense to me. So Byron should I start using the garden hose for my water supply? The water will be harder but wont have salt in it.
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Byron 05-27-2010 01:30 PM

Depending upon the amount and what exactly it is, the salt is a problem for the fish, unless they are livebearers or rift lake cichlids which can tolerate salt better than soft water fish that basically cannot. I believe there are members here with softeners that have no apparent issues but there is no doubt that salinity is detrimental to soft water fish and plants in very low amounts.

How "hard" is your water as it would come directly without the softener? And what type of fish do you have? There could be some options around this.

One other comment, the effect of salt is that plants literally dehydrate. The salt in the water causes the plants to expel water through the cells and the plants dehydrate. The leaves become quite transparent as the green disappears. If this is not what you are seeing, then the trouble may be elsewhere, as with the light or nutrients I mentioned previously.


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