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brandelion 06-04-2010 10:40 AM

odd question... 'silk' plant turning brown
ok first things first - stats:
brand new 20 gallon high - (aqueon kit with power filter, 100 watt heater, fluorescent light which I keep on about 12 hours a day) a 6" airstone, 20 lb. generic black gravel, some rocks and fake plants

set tank all up with conditioned water - filter/heater/bubbles running about 2 weeks ago - and last Friday night (7 days ago) added 3 small spotted corys (to get the ball rolling)

temp hovers around 78-80

tested TODAY (with API master kit) at:

NITRITE = zero
(just for S&G checked nitrates yesterday which were of course at zero as well)
PH = a whopping 8!

corys are acting normal - not AS active as they were at first when they were exploring the bubbles for a few days but definitely typical of what I remember corys acting like (darting up and down, 'sniffing' around the rocks/gravel & whatnot)

the question is... I have a small blue 'silky' plant in there (definitely an aquarium plant) that I noticed this morning is starting to turn BROWN... the brown doesn't look like it's ON the plant but more IN it like a stain or scorch)

it can't be the ammonia because I've used that same plant in a 1 gallon betta bowl that at times had MUCH worse ammonia than this...

any ideas WHAT might be causing this?

also the thermometer has a sorta white-ishness accumulating toward the bottom/middle that has been happening since before I even added the corys - I assumed it had something to do with the hardness of our water since everything that touches water in our house EVENTUALLY winds up with a whitish 'crust'

also the water is slightly cloudy - and has been since about a day after I added the corys - I assume that is due to the ammonia?

it's been a long time since I've done this and it seems I've forgotten everything I used to know haaa

any help I can get would be much appreciated =)

iamntbatman 06-05-2010 03:35 AM

The brown is most likely brown algae (diatoms). It's very common in newly set up tanks and usually goes away on its own as the tank becomes established. Can you rub it off the plants easily with your fingers?

The cloudy water is likely a bacterial bloom caused by the ammonia. The bacteria themselves are "harmless" but if the bloom gets out of control they can seriously deplete your dissolved O2 levels and your fish can suffer for it. However, since this tank is cycling, you're going to be doing frequent water changes anyway to keep the ammonia (and nitrite, eventually) down to keep your fish healthy, so the bacterial bloom should never become a problem for you. I would do a water change (say 25%) every time the ammonia and/or nitrite hits 0.25 ppm. Your corydoras may seem fine now but they are sensitive to ammonia and nitrite (compounded by the high pH) so it's important to keep those levels low while the tank cycles.

brandelion 06-10-2010 01:10 PM

so sorry for the delay - had a bit of a monkey wrench thrown into my life recently (6 year old staying with me)
while doing a water change after I posted that, I pulled the plant up and no I can't rub the brownness off... just as I thought it is more like a stain IN the leaf rather than something ON it
I just removed the plant altogether because if I can't rub it off like algae, I don't have much hope that it will just go away on it's own - I will try to wash it and if it doesn't come out I'll just throw it away... so far the weird brown stain has not appeared on my other silk plant (which was also previously used with a betta)

I really wish I had known I could cycle this thing without fish because the ammonia seems to go up to .25 within a day of doing a 25% water change - and I just don't have the time to be doing a 25% water change every single day!!
especially now that I have this monkey wrench :/
actually the ammonia has been holding steady at .25 for close to two weeks - until today it tested at .50 (planning to do another water change tonight) and I predict the ammonia will be right up to at least .25 by tomorrow night
I guess at this point I just have to hope for the best - meanwhile the glass is getting spotty - I assume with algae as it also feels slimy :/
I don't remember having anywhere near this much difficulty the last time I did this
and that time I was told all I had to do was let the tank sit running for a week before adding fish, after a week I added a cory, a pleco and 2 angelfish - with monthly 50% water changes and never tested the water (as the fish store clerk never told me I needed to:/) and I had ZERO casualties - crystal clear water, no weird stains, no cloudiness and no spots on the glass!!
I also never used water conditioner... I just filled gallon jugs with tap water and let it sit in a box in the corner between water changes
maybe I shoulda done that this time too haaa

willow 06-10-2010 01:17 PM

have you tried leaving the plant out in the sunshine ?
i have found it can bleach out some algae.

brandelion 06-10-2010 01:46 PM

no I didn't - I wasn't in love with the way that plant looked in there anyway... but thanks for the suggestion - I'll totally try it because I would like to still be able to use that plant with my betta =)

willow 06-10-2010 01:59 PM

good luck.

brandelion 06-10-2010 02:41 PM

thanks =)
p.s. my cat's name is willow

willow 06-10-2010 02:47 PM

is she as lovely as me :jk:
any pictures ?? :-D

brandelion 06-10-2010 05:06 PM

britnyjackson 06-10-2010 05:13 PM

Awww pretty kitty!!

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