Anubias Rotting and How to Start

Subject: Anubias Rhizome Rotting!

>      PROBLEMS: Anubias are my favourites, I have 4 types A. Bart
>      Barteri var. nana, A. Congensis, A Coffefolia (sp.?).  The 
>      best established and has been present since day 1, it cover
>      of the gravel surface. They are having problems. In places 
>      has rotten away completely in small areas 10-20mm, the plan
>      side of the rot seems to be OK. The rot appears on many Anu
>      and all 4 types. Is this an infection, a result of some def
>      a method of vegetative reproduction..... anybody?
>      ASIDE: Measurable water conditions have not changed much fo
>      most of my duckweed has disappeared also.

Bells went off when you mentioned the Duckweed disappearing.  Have 
you measured your nitrate level?  I find that in my tanks if all 
the Duckweed and/or Salvinia goes away, thatmy tank has become 
nitrogen starved.  Is it possible that this is what's happening in 
your tank?


Subject: How to start?

> Now my questions: The plants will probably arrive only Friday (b
> ordered Tropica plants). What should I do in the meantime to pre
> water from getting cloudy and prevent algae?

As long as the lights are not turned on, you won't get any algae. 
 You _probably_ wouldn't get any even if you _did_ turn on the 
lights at this point, but there's no need to take the chance.

> I plan to switch the light on and add Duplaplant only when the p
> and if they arrive on Friday, I plan to add 6 SAEs and some plec
> ancistrus on Saturday and also to add some filter sponge from my
> cycle.

That sounds fine.

> The heating system is not switched on yet, either. Temperature i
> the tank is about 21 Celsius. I switch it on on Thursday, I gues
> CO2 will be switched on on Wednesday to stabilize the PH level.

You can turn on the heat as soon as the heater(s) are covered with 
water.  It can take a while to heat up a large volume of water.
> Natural light comes from a window 3-4 meters away, but no direct
> As soon as the tank is full, I will switch on the filter (tank h
> filtration system). Is running the filter without light and heat
> CO2 ok to prevent the water from turning "bad" until the plants 

The water won't turn "bad" at this point with or without 
filtration.  There's nothing organic in the tank yet besides the 
root.  If you're concerned about the root, take it out until your 
ready to plant the tank.
> Another question: I got the advice to start with 8h of light per
> increase half an hour per week until I reach 10 or 11 hours. Is 
> to prevent algae?

I always start my tanks with the full compliment of light (12 
hours, 3+ watts/gal) from the very beginning, to give my plants as 
good a start as possible. I have never had an algae problem with 
this approach in a heavily planted lightly stocked tank. OTOH, I 
know other people use you approach successfully too.

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Assoc.
Boston, MA