Black spots on leaves?
So within the past 2 weeks I've noticed some black spots forming on the leaves of my plants. At first I thought it was just aging because they started on the older leaves but now I'm not so sure. I have Broadleaf Ludwigia, Compact Hygro, and a type of Crypt I'm not sure the name of. So far the Compact Hygro is fine but it's also the newest. I'm using two 13 watt compact florescent blubs for my 10 gal tank. Are compact florescent bulbs ok? And is 16 watts enough for 10 gal? I've read that 2 watts per gallon is good.
The newest top leaves on the Lugwigia seem fine but it's the lower ones that have the most black. Should I just trim them or is it something else?
On the Crypt its on pretty much all of the leaves which is why I haven't started trimming. My fish do eat the algae that grows on them but I'm not sure if this is a big problem.
I hope the pictures help. If more would be more helpful just say so. Also if someone could name the crypt for me that'd be awesome. Thanks.
If you are meaning the black mainly around the leaf edges, that is algae. I get it in some tanks. Too much light is usually the cause. If the light is balanced with the nutrients, the plants will use it, but if not, algae takes advantage.
Tour two 13w compact fluorescent bulbs over a 10g is maybe a bit high but not so much that it can't work. I have two 10w over my 10g and 20g. But what type of bulb are they? The photos appear quite "warm" (light high in red) which may be one issue. Let me know the bulb name, and the kelvin if you can.
Second, how long is the light on daily?
And third, are you using any fertilizer, and if yes, which one and how often?
Thanks Byron. Algae was my first thought but the leaves were looking a little wilted so I figured I'd ask.
Anyway it took a little searching but I found the bulb on the internet. It's a Philips bulb and 2700 K. I bought it at a local hardware store since they are cheaper there than a fish store.
Mini Dec Twister 13W Med EL/mDT - 60 Watt Incandescent Equivalent, 13 Watt, 120 Volt Warm White Spiral CFL Bulb | Bulbs.com
The lights are on between 10-12 hours a day and no fertilizer. I started vacuuming the gravel more often if that could make any difference on nutrients in the gravel.
And in my first post I meant 26w between the two not 16 just incase there was any confusion.
First, the background. Plants need adequate light (spectrum, intensity and duration) plus nutrients to balance. If any of these are too little, plants slow or even stop photosynthesis (growth), and algae is eager to take advantage. The trick is to provide the correct spectrum and intensity of light, nutrients, and then balance the light duration with the available nutrients. Plants use the light and nutrients and out-compete algae.
First, the tube should be a full spectrum with more blue. You can buy good "daylight" or similar-named CF bulbs in hardware stores. GE, Phillips and Sylvania make them; and the 10w size is adequate, as I mentioned i think, I have two 10w bulbs over my 10g and 20g. Look for a kelvin rating around 6500K.
Second, don't vacuum the gravel in planted tanks, or minimally. I vacuum the "open" gravel to keep it clean for my bottom feeders (corys, loaches), but never around the plants. The detritus is converted into useful organics by bacteria in the substrate, and used by the plants with substrate roots.
Third, you need fertilizer. All 17 nutrients are unlikely to be available just from water, fish food and organics. But you don't want to overdo it, or it will be a nutrient overload of green pea soup. I use and highly recommend Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement. It has everything in balance. It may be more expensive than other liquid ferts, but you use so very little that long-term it is actually considerably less money. For a 10g, I use just under a 1/2 tsp twice a week; it can be once or twice max, it depends upon the plants, fish load, etc. That "balance" issue again.
With the above, reduce the duration to no more than 10 hours; a timer is best as then it is consistent, and this is important for plants and fish. After maybe 3 weeks, if algae is increasing under the above, reduce the duration by an hour or two. You can go down to about 6 hours but that should not be necessary. Provided the light is good, and nutrients are present, the plants will thrive.
Wow, thanks again Byron. I really appreciate all the time you're taking to help me. I will go out and get the new bulbs and some fertilizer.
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