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Anubius and Bucephalandra Failure to Thrive and A Little Freakout/Vent (sorry).


desolesiii
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Hey everyone. I am a total newbie here and I am feeling a little bit down right now. So, here is what I have been up to. 

I ordered 5 Anubius Nanas, 3 Nana petites, one anubius golden, 3 java ferns, three crypt wendtii greens, some leopard valisneria, a red amazon sword and about 3 different bucephalandra varieties (9 bucephalandra total). The package was delayed by USPS and took way too long to arrive. It was supposed to arrive in 2-4 days, but instead it arrived in over 8 days. When I opened the package, one of the crypts had disintegrated and the sword was in bad condition, but everything else looked pretty good. ( refunded my money for all the crypts as well as the Amazon Sword, even though I just asked for a refund for the one crypt). The Leopard val was rotting at the tip, but I trimmed off the necrotic portion and planted the rest. 

Over just the last two days though, I have been looking into the tank, and what was formerly a beautiful anubius golden started developing holes in the leaves. Then the leaves started turning black. Then, all the anubius nana started shriveling up and the leaves started turning black. Same story with 1 of the three kinds of bucephalandra. The bucephalandra is also turning yellow, so I clipped all the leaves off, leaving just the rhizome. I dosed Easy Green as soon as I had planted the sword, val, and crypts, and I added several roots tabs to help the sword regenerate (I had to clip all of these leaves off too, but there is new growth at the bottom). 

The Java Fern looks good so far. One of the crypt wendtii's is looking ok. The other one melted, so I cut all the leaves off. I bought some ludwigia repens stems from my LFS to replace some of the greenery that's died off and that seems fine so far. The leopard val hasn't exploded yet, but it's just been two days so the fact that it's not melting is warming my heart. 

Most people I saw on other forums suggested trimming the dying leaves off to the rhizome (which I've done for the anubius nana and golden anubius and for the bucephalandra that was turning black), but it killed me a little bit on the inside because the leaves looked so nice coming out of the package. I think the worst thing is that I don't know whether I'm doing something wrong, or whether the leaf issue is attributable to the shipping delay. 


My tap water parameters in Columbus, Ohio are: 
PH: 7.5 out of the tap; 6.8 after running the cheap little Fluval C02 kit. 

GH: 10 
KH: 4

It's uncycled so the ammonia/N02/N03 are all close to zero. 

Temperature is set to 75. 

This is what will be my main display tank. 

I was working on cycling a 10 gallon tank to use as a quarantine tank as well. I cycled it using Dr. Tim's ammonia and Fritzzyme 7. So now, whenever I add enough ammonia to make my API kit read 1-2 ppm ammonia, it will drop back down close to zero overnight. I have 12 cherry shrimp in this tank now, but one of them died and was lying right in front of me after I clipped all of the leaves off the anubius and was feeling depressed about it. I think that, for lack of better words, I was foolish to buy these blue dream shrimp before my tank was better established. I've been feeding them Hikari Shrimp cuisine, but what I've learned is that it would have been so much wiser to put them into an established tank with naturally growing algae. 

So, the last thing is that right now, I have started quarantine with the med trio on some false julii catfish. This group of 6 is looking pretty chipper so far. My thought is that by the time quarantine is over, there will be enough growth in my main tank to support them. I'll post some pictures down below, but I am just feeling pretty discouraged right now and I am worried that I am doing something wrong with my plants. 

Edited by Cory
Edited out to remove the company as it is a competitor and now allowed.
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So for the plants:

The holes in the leaves resembles a deffiency (not enough of something) holes in leaves resembles either a lack of potassium or iron (cant remember). I HIGHLY suggest you check this video out. It was VERY helpful to me when I started keeping live plants and I look back on this video every so often. 

When cycling a tank we test for nitrates, this resembles that there is benefical bacteria in the aquarium. The bacteria transform the amonia (fish poop and other stuff) to nitrites and then to nitrates. It seems to me that the tank was not cycled. What are your nitrates? 

The video above will answer lots of questions, I know it answerd mine.

The Java Fern are industructable and may melt but not a lot. 

And remember never be sorry for asking a question, thats what this forum is for. Its okay to feel discouraged, this is a tough hobby especially when dealing with live plants. We may not all get it the first time.

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OI dont have alot of experiences with all of those plants. However the research ive done over the years would suggest that youve done the right thing so far. I do have two peices of advice though. One, for the shrimp I had great results using shrimp kings food (I got the trial pack that came with something like 5 different foods and id just rotate between them for every feeding) I was also using bacter ae and that stuff was awsome. Its a powdered bio film that may help in your situation. The same company that makes the bacter ae also makes mineral tab things that my shrimp loved. Fluval bug bites (shrimp or small fish) was another favorite for my shrimp as well as boiled zucchini. Hopefully that helps your shrimp begin to thrive a bit better. For the plants i don't have lots of personal experiences with crypts or bruce but what I've seen online (and I think I watch more aquarium themed youtube videos than I do regular tv lol) pretty much all agree on one thing. Do what you can. Then have patience. Everyone who loves to plant their tanks wants the plants to look great as soon as they can. But these things take time. And at the end of the day part of the beauty of this hobie, especially with a planted tank is the fact that this stuff doesn't work out every time. But it will put you on top of the world when it does. Keep your chin up take a deep breath or two and I'm sure that in the end it will all work out. The refund sounds like it was a good plus too. Sorry that was so long winded and I hope it helps out.

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17 hours ago, James Black said:

So for the plants:

The holes in the leaves resembles a deffiency (not enough of something) holes in leaves resembles either a lack of potassium or iron (cant remember). I HIGHLY suggest you check this video out. It was VERY helpful to me when I started keeping live plants and I look back on this video every so often. 

When cycling a tank we test for nitrates, this resembles that there is benefical bacteria in the aquarium. The bacteria transform the amonia (fish poop and other stuff) to nitrites and then to nitrates. It seems to me that the tank was not cycled. What are your nitrates? 

The video above will answer lots of questions, I know it answerd mine.

The Java Fern are industructable and may melt but not a lot. 

And remember never be sorry for asking a question, thats what this forum is for. Its okay to feel discouraged, this is a tough hobby especially when dealing with live plants. We may not all get it the first time.

Thanks so much for taking the time to help me out. I watched this video, and it is really helpful. I am wondering whether there was a phosphate or nitrogen deficiency. 

My nitrates in the quarantine tank (that I thought had been cycled) are about 20 ppm. This morning ammonia and nitrite are almost zero, which is concerning me a little bit. The nitrates might be somewhat higher than this, because the test kit requires an ability to discriminate between very similar shades of orange. Just to be on the safe side, I ordered a seeded sponge. 😕 

I had often heard about the hardiness of anubias, and I did not expect for it to develop holes or black leaves in just two days. Same with the bucephalandra. My remaining bucephalandra has some slight yellow on the leaves.

20210118_151837[1].jpg

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17 hours ago, Nick L said:

OI dont have alot of experiences with all of those plants. However the research ive done over the years would suggest that youve done the right thing so far. I do have two peices of advice though. One, for the shrimp I had great results using shrimp kings food (I got the trial pack that came with something like 5 different foods and id just rotate between them for every feeding) I was also using bacter ae and that stuff was awsome. Its a powdered bio film that may help in your situation. The same company that makes the bacter ae also makes mineral tab things that my shrimp loved. Fluval bug bites (shrimp or small fish) was another favorite for my shrimp as well as boiled zucchini. Hopefully that helps your shrimp begin to thrive a bit better. For the plants i don't have lots of personal experiences with crypts or bruce but what I've seen online (and I think I watch more aquarium themed youtube videos than I do regular tv lol) pretty much all agree on one thing. Do what you can. Then have patience. Everyone who loves to plant their tanks wants the plants to look great as soon as they can. But these things take time. And at the end of the day part of the beauty of this hobie, especially with a planted tank is the fact that this stuff doesn't work out every time. But it will put you on top of the world when it does. Keep your chin up take a deep breath or two and I'm sure that in the end it will all work out. The refund sounds like it was a good plus too. Sorry that was so long winded and I hope it helps out.

Thanks for using your time to help me out! It really means a lot! I partially followed your advice and ordered some Baxter AE. Hopefully that will keep the shrimps happy and flourishing. I did see that one of the females was berried last night, which makes me feel a little bit better. Hopefully some of the new shrimp will survive and replace the one that died. Again, thanks for the comment. 

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35 minutes ago, desolesiii said:

Thanks so much for taking the time to help me out. I watched this video, and it is really helpful. I am wondering whether there was a phosphate or nitrogen deficiency. 

My nitrates in the quarantine tank (that I thought had been cycled) are about 20 ppm. This morning ammonia and nitrite are almost zero, which is concerning me a little bit. The nitrates might be somewhat higher than this, because the test kit requires an ability to discriminate between very similar shades of orange. Just to be on the safe side, I ordered a seeded sponge. 😕 

I had often heard about the hardiness of anubias, and I did not expect for it to develop holes or black leaves in just two days. Same with the bucephalandra. My remaining bucephalandra has some slight yellow on the leaves.

20210118_151837[1].jpg

Your parameters seem perfect. 0 amonia and nitrites is what you want. And anywhere between 10-20ppm of nitrates is good. If your worried because of your plants, if your dosing fertilizer you should be fine.

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1 minute ago, KaitieG said:

Is it just me, or does the anubias leaf in particular look like it's been frozen?  At least that's what my outdoor plants look like after a frost!

That is highly likely, considering the fact that they were in the mail for 8 days, and it has been below freezing at night in Ohio. 😕

Maybe that's what happened... 

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18 hours ago, desolesiii said:

That is highly likely, considering the fact that they were in the mail for 8 days, and it has been below freezing at night in Ohio. 😕

Maybe that's what happened... 

Greetings from Porkopolis.   The speed at which your plants changed definitely suggests freezing. From experience, I know that your package did not take the most efficient route.  As the others said, the plants are also showing signs of deficiency.  I have very hard water but for reasons I can't explain my Anubia initially required some root tabs to supplement the Easy Green.  

As long as the rhizomes etc. haven't softened  I would keep them. 

 

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40 minutes ago, Tanked said:

Greetings from Porkopolis.   The speed at which your plants changed definitely suggests freezing. From experience, I know that your package did not take the most efficient route.  As the others said, the plants are also showing signs of deficiency.  I have very hard water but for reasons I can't explain my Anubia initially required some root tabs to supplement the Easy Green.  

As long as the rhizomes etc. haven't softened  I would keep them. 

 

Unfortunately, the rhizomes turned to mush in just three days. 😞 I kept wondering why my tank water was smelling weird, and when I pushed one of the rhizomes with my forceps, it split in half becaus it was mushy. I don't think overuse of superglue was the problem. I did use more than a drop, but even the plants on which I used no superglue turned to mush. I am pretty sure these plants got too cold in shipping.

 

The supplier sent me the following email, which struck me as being kind of weird.

Hello dear,

 

Here is some common reason that can make Anubias species rotten.

 

1. Attached to driftwood/rock by using string/thread or glue the wrong way. Read more*

2. Overshadow by a larger object or put the plant into a very tight spot in the aquarium. Resolve by put Anubias in bigger space where Anubias’s rhizome can grow freely.

3. Algae - Green / Slime algae can make Anubias rotted because of poor water quality. Resolve by doing water change regularly.

4. One rotten Anubias can make another Anubias species rotted as well. Make sure to remove all rotten Anubias from your aquarium and do some water changes. This only affects Anubias species, not affect other aquatic plants species. Also, don’t put Anubias near your water heater.

5. *The first reason is the most common reason. When using string/thread or glue to attached Anubias species to driftwood/rock. Make sure to do it carefully and always do research on Google / Youtube if you don’t know how to do it yet. Using glue is the most common way to kill the Anubias. When using glue, make sure to use a very tiny amount (less than a drop would be good) and only apply the glue to only the root part, trim the root shorter before apply glue for best result. Never apply glue to the rhizome because it will make them rotted.

 

TIPS: When you first introduce the Anubias to the new aquarium. Always let them float or sink in your aquarium for at least 48 hours to one week to let them adapt to your new aquarium environment before attaching them to your favorite objects (driftwood, rock, stone, decoration, etc).

 

Thanks for your question and please don’t hesitate to contact us again if you have any question or concern.

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1 hour ago, Brandy said:

Looks like they are a non-native english speaker, and they did their best to give anubias info in a form letter. I would say the info is mostly accurate.

If I ever buy Anubias nana again, I will be sure to implement all of this advice then. I have not heard of a failure to float the plant as causing the plant to completely rot within three days though, and I wonder if Anubias rot can spread this quickly too. 😕 In any case... the bucephalandra are doing well, so I might stick to those from here on. 

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8 minutes ago, desolesiii said:

If I ever buy Anubias nana again, I will be sure to implement all of this advice then. I have not heard of a failure to float the plant as causing the plant to completely rot within three days though, and I wonder if Anubias rot can spread this quickly too. 😕 In any case... the bucephalandra are doing well, so I might stick to those from here on. 

I think the floating is more to prove the plant is healthy before gluing it. Also, the rot CAN spread that quickly. It is one reason I am very careful adding anubias to my tank now. I added one rotting plant to a tank filled with anubias and lost 60% of the established plants before I knew what was going on. 

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2 minutes ago, Brandy said:

I think the floating is more to prove the plant is healthy before gluing it. Also, the rot CAN spread that quickly. It is one reason I am very careful adding anubias to my tank now. I added one rotting plant to a tank filled with anubias and lost 60% of the established plants before I knew what was going on. 

That is terrible to hear, and definitely shocking! However, with this information, I feel like I might be able to work up the courage to try Anubias again someday. One of the worst things about being a beginner in this hobby so far is that I haven't been able to develop common sense yet. Thanks so much for taking the time to help me along! 

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19 minutes ago, Ben_RF said:

If you are able to in the future, I hope you would consider shopping at aquariumcoop.com.  Almost every plant order I have done has come in great!  And their customer service is out of this world. The quality of plants I have bought from them in general have been almost always outstanding.  

Everything I've bought from them has been good too, Ben! I just hadn't considered buying plants from them yet, but I think I will buy from them if I ever buy any plants online in the future. Good to hear that their plants are solid (as I expected they would be). 🙂

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