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Plant Issues

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Hey Everyone,

I've had a Top Fin 55 gallon going about 3 years now but I recently (thanksgiving) moved the tank to a different part of my house. I changed the substrate out and rearranged the wood, stone and plants for the most part. Everything with the tank is going well, I lost no fish and all of the stem plants (only a few) seem to be doing few. The issue is my larger Anubias plants are all suffering from the same issue. The tips and the sides of the plant starting from the top towards the stem go dark which gradually moves towards the middle of the plant leave causing small holes to develop until it eventually takes over the entire plant causing it to turn dark black and then yellow. This is a pretty slow moving process and new stems/leaves seem to grow very healthy and in good color until slowly, over time, they develop the same issue.

The pictures will show different stages of development of this disease/deficiencies and I let some get really bad just for the sake of being able to take pictures to show the evolution of this plant 'issue'. I suspect this is stemming from a couple different deficiencies rather than just one but I would love any advice that you could provide to hopefully stop this 'issue' from getting worse. These large plants took many years to grow in so clipping the stems is always painful.

I have hard water with a very high KH and a PH of about 8-8.2. The standard LED lights that came with the tank runs 8 hours a day. I do water changes about every 2-3 weeks as I have a fairly high stocking level which leads to a nitrate level of about 60-80PPM before a 50% water change takes place. I historically haven't dosed the tank as Easy Green brings in more nitrates that I don't need. Every so often I'll buy 'generic' fertilizer that doesn't contain nitrates. In the past I've dosed Seachem Potassium weekly but I haven't recently. I've also used Seachem Phosphate sparingly when I thought maybe part of the darkening was caused by low phosphate levels.

I have a 75 gallon that has been running starting from Thanksgiving with similar plants and the led strip that came with the tank (9 hours a day) - On that tank I do dose Easy Green. Overall most of those plants look healthy in that tank but I seem some leaves have a similar problem as the plants in the 55 so I suspect it's the same issue just not as bad; but I don't want it to get worse o55closeup.jpg.022560ad9fb9586d1fbf747f725d3cb2.jpgbviously.

55Darkening Leaf.jpg





55 full tank.jpg

75 plant.jpg

75 plant2.jpg

75 plant3.jpg

75 full tank.jpg

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You may have gotten some BBA spores from your tap water.  Unfortunately, that's BBA.  Treating the tank with flourish excel is going to help as well as spot treating problem spots.  You'll need fish like BNP, RLP, or otos to try to clean off algae on big leaves like that, but there's not a lot that will go after the BBA itself.

Does the new location have excess ambient light through the day? Do you think any of the lighting itself needs to be turned down, given that anubias really don't require a bright light.

Given the SAEs in there aren't taking care of it. try to cut back on food and get them grazing on the plants more.

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Those anubias def need something to block the light over them. They really don’t need lots of light to do well. Mine has been flowering in shade under very low light, once I removed the floaters all it got was algae.

Also anubias are really slow growers so they can’t consume the nutritions in the water column fast. I would personally dose less ferts than recommended if I had a tank full of slow growers.

I would highly recommend floating plants and preferably some fast growing plants to suck excess nutrients in the water column and don’t leave it for algae growth. Elodea and hornwort are great in that regard.


Edited by Lennie
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I appreciate the replies! The black part of the plants doesn't look like BBA or an algae of any type. I can see how it looks like that from the pictures but the black is the green changing color from standard green, to dark green, to eventually dark black and then developing holes/dying. I've had BBA before and is the reason for the SAEs being in the tank in the first place.

I tried to take some better pictures of just the black for you to see. After uploading the pictures, I don't know if it makes much of a difference but when I look at them, you can't see any BBA, just the plant thinning and eventually turning yellow over a really long time period. If this was BBA and with it having been months since this problem started, I would think the rock, wood, filter intake, heater would develop BBA as well; but this issue only shows on certain leaves that start with minor discoloration and then move to more severe erosion.

**EDIT** to reply to most recent comment that posted while I was typing. I can understand the lighting issue but honestly, these plants touched the same height in my previous location and were wonderfully green and healthy for years. If you look at the plants in my tanks, the ones closest to the light are the least impacted. Both tanks basically came with super cheap LED light strips. If you look at the 75 gallon, the leaves impacted are the most shaded. In the 55, it's random across the board but it's definitely impacting leaves further down the plant (middle leaves) versus the leaves closest to the light. Conversely, you can argue that light isn't strong enough and it's the light that is the issue but there are also leaves down at bottom or in the middle of the tank that are perfectly healthy as well.




Edited by NeRo9k
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https://podtail.com/en/podcast/the-aquarium-guys/-62-plant-fertilizer/ the aquarium guys have an episode talking about plant leaves, specifically 34 minutes in they talk about holes in leaves and doing water changes replenishing the fertilizer. 

Any signs the leaves are being eaten by something small?

it might be a nematode but probably not. 


On 4/3/2023 at 6:02 PM, Ninjoma said:

Since the leaves are turning yellow, I would guess it is a nutrient deficiency like phosphates and/or potassium. I would personally start doing more frequent and/or larger water changes to get the nitrates lower so you can dose more easy green and see if that helps.

I agree it would seem worth it to do more frequent water changes so you can dose fertilizer providing any nutrients the plants are needing. 

-This is if it starts yellowing before it becomes dark green and then black like you said.  Yellowing of the areas between the veins (interveinal chlorosis) is usually indicative of manganese, iron or magnesium deficiency. Iron deficiency affects the youngest leaves first, whereas the symptoms of manganese and magnesium deficiency tend to start in the older leaves.-


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