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crypts melting


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I have a 180 I have had running as of early June 2022

PH 6.8

GH 75

KH 40

CO2 via inline diffuser on my FX6 checking with drop checker using a spray bar under the water to spread the CO2

Nitrates around 25-30 when checked with API test kit (I think, I just received the CO-op test strips and it shows a LOT lower than API and I read and follow the directions on the API exactly like test strips 5 and API 25)

using aquarium co-op easy green. 1 pump per 10 gallons after weekly 25% water change. 

plants plated in plant substrate 

I got around 65 plants, it was some stem plants, moss, ground cover red dwarf lily  etc. and several crypts.  

I have been very very lucky. Only a very few plants did not make it.

Last week I noticed one of the crypts starting to melt. During my weekly water change I noticed all of them doing this some worse then others. I know this can be a thing with being submerged but I thought not this far into it. 

Should I be worried or can this happen this last in being summered?  I do not see any new growth just death. 

any input would be great. 

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On 9/12/2022 at 10:28 AM, paul1478 said:

I have a soil with nutrients, I don't recall the name but did make sure to chose one that had it. I can add some in, I have several.  

I guess wait and see for the plants to recover. Cryptocoryne are quite hardy (depending on species) and can bounce back. One suggestion is that crypts like stability, and I've personally grew nicer crypts in aquariums that only got water changes once every few months.

Edited by OutBout
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The more I think about this the more I think about it. Seems like nothing changed but it has like everyone I have spoked to said something changed. 

It took over 6 weeks to get the glass covers. So when I put them on that had to have reduced the amount of light getting to the plants. I have upped the percentage last night. 

When I first started the tank I had the easy green up to around 45 PPM. I have been adding 1 pump per 10 gal per week up to 150 gal (my estimate amount of water in the 180) but reading the instructions, that is for a low light setup. I have 3 kessil A360s and a LOT of plants. The test strips I received Friday made me start to think about this. They are showing around 0-5PPM  have a feeling my actual amount is close to that. I did some testing last night, API really seems to be showing around 10-15. Hard to tell for me but it is for sure not 45. I added more easy green last night, I will check when I get home and if need add more slowly until I get close to 40-45, then check every other day and try and keep it at this level for a month. 

If nothing else putting this all down helped me think it through. I hope to see results in 2-3 weeks and I will report back. 


Thanks for "listening" and your comments. 

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You are under dosing the tank. Especially with the addition of CO2. I would increase to 3 pumps per 10 gallons. Might need more to be honest.

You also need to calibrate any testing method against know amounts before you can ever say they are accurate.

Using Nitrates as the proxy for determining how much to fertilize is going to leave you in limbo in regards to other Macros. 

How high is the bioload? Can you test TDS?

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Thank you. 
yes I am sure I was under dosing. using the test strips made me rethink. 

bio load is low. Just getting it started. I have some Rummy nose tetras and some neon tetras Amino shrimp and a few autos. 
no I have no way to check TDS. Should I? How can it help ? I have not seen any tests really other than nitrate.  thanks for any advise. 


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On 9/15/2022 at 5:28 AM, paul1478 said:

OK, I will get one. Do you have a recommendation on brand? 

I will test my source water today.  

I have been adding easy green everyday and trying to get the level up, I think the plants have been consuming it. It just goes up slightly everyday but I am getting close to 20 PPM.

Thanks for the input. 

Just a cheap one on Amazon.

TDS Meter Digital Water Tester, DUMSAMKER Professional 3-in-1 TDS, Temperature and EC Meter with Carrying Case, 0-9999ppm, Ideal ppm Meter for Drinking Water, Aquariums and More https://a.co/d/fZutg6E

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On 9/15/2022 at 9:45 AM, paul1478 said:

Ordered !

Thanks. I really want this to work and appreciate any advise. 

I have that exact one, its a great lil tool.  Also don't forget it has a temperature mode.  Previously, I would always have to search for my temperature gun after testing my TDS. Then I clicked the link to re-discover it does also temp.........  😐🤯🤣

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well I was at the aquarium store and picked on up and canceled the amazon order. 

I have added 15 pumps easy green Sunday after a 25% water change. 15 on Monday and Tuesday, 20 Wednesday and 20 today. from what I can tell nitrates are around 20 ish. 

my new TDS meter is telling me 190.

tap water pending. 

Edited by paul1478
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So should I just try and keep it around 190 200 and nitrates around 20-30ppm? 
I after adding 70 pumps over the past several days and being sill at 25 PPM snd 190 tds I think I now know the reason the plants were melting. 

so far I have learned a lot and hope to keep learning. 

Edited by paul1478
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I'm right around 185 TDS after my weekly dosing.

One thing I want to mention that can cause crypt melt is TDS fluctuation. With your source water being 50, after your water change, the TDS of the tank is obviously lower. This could be one reason this is happening. Another issue I see is that you may not have the proper GH distribution. After I mineralize my zero TDS water with calcium and magnesium (GH) I have about 85 TDS (about 4.5dGH). This could be a case where your calcium magnesium ratio is off or just overall low.

One strategy you can use to have a more stable TDS is to front load your nutrients in your water change. Basically the per gallons used to change the water gets dosed and your water change is completed with that water. So to simplify it, you add pumps only to account for the amount of water being replaced. This has the benefit of maintaining a very stable TDS with water changes versus a high TDS tank, lowered significantly by a water change, and then TDS being added back to the tank over the week.

Does that make sense?

Edited by Mmiller2001
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I don't want you to change what you use to fertilize with, but with such a large volume tank, dry fertilizer makes a lot of sense. It's way cheaper too but requires a few more steps to manage. You also have way more control of what is being dosed. If the tank naturally runs high on Nitrates, you can easily dose less Nitrates while keeping the other Macros higher.

Something to think about at least.

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I think I understand. 
change water 25 percent (around 45 gallons) Add easy green as filling the tank about 10-13 pumps (3 per 10 gallons) 

Mid week should I check tds and adjust accordingly? I assume so. 

as for dry I am in so much deeper than I wanted to be. This was to be one fish for my 4 year old granddaughter and turned into this. I love it   best tank I had by far but more work ? Not yet anyway. 

all your help is greatly appreciated! 
again I will gladly take any advise I can. 


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