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Bunch-Plant Root Rot... Cause: High light?
My 30gal planted tank has been and running for a while now. Most of the
plants are doing great, except I am having horrible trouble with the bunch
plants I ordered. The problem is quite strange and has made me really think.
I come to you for your comments and suggestions.
I ordered plants from Arizona Aquatic Gardens. Everything looked good
except for the Ludwidgia which was D.O.A. I ordered mostly bunch plants, so
that I could have a good variety in a smaller tank. I set up the tank with a
very rich substrate...
the bottom 2" is 100% Flourite, and the top layer is Estes "Bits of Walnut"
gravel mixed with a little DuplaRit powder. Very, very rich. My light levels
are also quite "rich" at 110 watts of Perfecto SHO-Lighting. So far it's
great by the way, but I don't really like the 5,400K color. It's too
yellow... but it's good enough I guess. Everything is going nuts... but I'm
having serious root problems.
All of my bunch plants (Didiplis Diandra, Rotala Magenta, Ambuilia, &
are growing steadily and all are looking well. However, when I go to prune,
many of them come up from the substrate. Upon further inspection it is
evident by the visual black color and the rotten stench that the roots have
rotted. What's going on here? I use DuplaPlant drops nearly daily (I have
since stopped because I measured iron and it was way too high), I do regular
my pH is fine and I have perfect medium-soft water. The only thing I lack is
CO2... and I don't see how that could be the cause of only the roots rotting
completely. The water has enough hardness for the plants to assimilate their
My planting procedure was straightforward... I took off the lead weights
and dug a pit, in which I pushed the roots into. At some points it seemed a
to the roots when I pushed into the Flourite layer. Should I change my
What is going on here? These plants are too young to be showing major
nutrient deficiencies and all of the leaves are fine. It almost seems like
the plants are spending too much time putting out new leaves and more
height, when they should be forming roots. Could my extremely high light
levels be causing the problem, or do I need to add yet more fertilizer to
the substrate? It should also be noted that I started out right (used
Phos-Zorb, Otocinclus, False Siamensis "they're good enough I guess" and
started with Fast-Growing plants) so I have no algae at all except for on
the very highest leaves floating on the surface of the water. Any
-- Derek Wingert