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Growing black spots on plants in 3 day old aquarium

monozuki

New Member
Joined
8 Dec 2020
Messages
5
Location
UK
Hi all,

Posting in hopes of getting some help, as am pretty freaked out by now. This is my first aquarium (planted or otherwise) and I tried my best to do things right, but apparently something's out of whack, because within the first 3 days of setting it up (finished everything on Sunday), the plants are rapidly developing these black (or at least very dark) spots, which are quickly growing too. They appear on leaves, not around the edges. The spots are somewhat translucent and gentle rubbing will cause the affected leaf matter to dislodge from the leaf , leaving a hole.
I've first noticed it on the Anubias Nana on Monday (as a few small black spots), and by now half of one leaf has been overtaken and other spots are visible on other leaves. I've noticed these spots (just single ones for now) on my Bucephalandras (Wavy Green, my Kedagangs are too small for me to notice anything, but for now they seem rather healthy), Hygrophila Siamensis 53B seems to be afected too (here spots appear around the edges too), Windelov seems to go around the edges.. please see pictures attached for details and others too.

Now, as for the required stats:
1. Size of tank - 125L (Fluval Roma 125)
2. Filtration - Fluval U3 (slightly modded, insteads of cartridges coarse and fine pond filter foam layers sandwiched on each side; the middle media cartridge filled with the media that came with the filter + remaining space topped up with ceramic mini balls)
3. Lighting and duration - The attached bluetooth led from Fluval, 8 hrs on 60% across all channels plus an hour long sunrise and sunset, then 5% blue for a part of the night and then turned off until 'sunrise' (specs: BT Led Unit Roma 125, A13292 model, 16.5 W, 1300 lumens, 24 Vdc)
4. Substrate - Tropica substrate ca. 1.5 cm over the back half, covered with a 4 - 5 cm layer of fine silver sand (washed in water until water was clear) and topped up with just over 1kg of crushed coral for buffering as my water is very soft and I have basically no kH
5. Co2 dosing or Non-dosing - no CO2
6. Fertilisers used + Ratios - TNC Complete, dosed on startup on Sunday (as per instructions, poured in roughly 13 mL), to be used once a week (as per bottle instructions)
7. Water change regime - not changed yet. For now was planning on 30% per week
8. Plant list - Bucephalandra Kedagang, Bucephalandra Wavy Green, Anubias Nana, Hygrophila Pinnatifida, Monosolenium Tenerum, Aponogeton crispus, Hydrocotyle Tripartita, Microsorum Pteropus Narrow and Windelov, Cryptocoryne Usteriana, Hygrophila Siamensis 53B, Echinodorus Aquartica. All plants were from Tropica and there was no such damage when I was planting them (there were some v. minor brownish spotting on the narrow java fern). The only algae-like growth I noticed thus far is these translucent-cloudish tiny growths around some loose bits of the liverwort and brownish growth on the narrow java fern (as mentioned above). Shockingly, Hydrocotyle Tripartita seems to be the only one that doesn't have any issues... thus far.
9. Inhabitants - just the plants
10. Full tank shot - attached photos below.
11. Additional info: the temp is being kept between 22 - 23 C, for water treatment I use Prime and initially I also poured in API Quick Start (as per bottle instructions). None of the products I use are past due date.

I would really appreciate any help as the possibility of killing all (or most) of my plants within THE FIRST WEEK of setting everything up just drives me up the wall with stress, hah.
Thanks,

Monozuki
 

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MrDFI

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Joined
5 Mar 2020
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3
Location
Budapest
The hardness and pH of your water in the tank are important factors, can you measure them? You have to provide ideal conditions for the plants in the transformation phase to make it easy for them. At the start, the accordance of the light intensity and the macro and micro nutrients is also essential.
 

monozuki

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Thread starter
Joined
8 Dec 2020
Messages
5
Location
UK
The hardness and pH of your water in the tank are important factors, can you measure them? You have to provide ideal conditions for the plants in the transformation phase to make it easy for them. At the start, the accordance of the light intensity and the macro and micro nutrients is also essential.
pH is just above 6.5 (and should rise a tad as the coral dissolves, I expect), kH is nearly non-existent (as I said, really soft water), hence the crushed coral.

Don't stress it just keep doing the same don't make alot of changes keep your thing as stable as possible, this is completely normal it's just the plants changing to their submerged forms.
Thank you, really appreciated! I'm hoping that as well, but it's always better to get some advice from people who got more experience.
 

Witcher

Member
Joined
15 Jan 2020
Messages
300
Location
London
By the images and water conditions I can bet you have Calcium and Magnesium deficiency altogether. We can assume Ca will be supplied by crushed coral (but I'm not sure how quickly it will start to dissolve in those conditions) but you'll also need to supply Mg (usually as MgSO4 - Epsom salts).

This calc may be helpful with setting up correct doses etc.:
 

monozuki

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Thread starter
Joined
8 Dec 2020
Messages
5
Location
UK
By the images and water conditions I can bet you have Calcium and Magnesium deficiency altogether. We can assume Ca will be supplied by crushed coral (but I'm not sure how quickly it will start to dissolve in those conditions) but you'll also need to supply Mg (usually as MgSO4 - Epsom salts).
TCN Complete already has Mg though? Along with N, P, K as well as trace amounts of Fe, Mn, Cu and Zn as I recall... Yeah, Mg - 0.8%. Are you saying more is needed? As in, a fertiliser with a higher Mg concentration than what I'm providing at the moment?
 
Joined
20 Dec 2019
Messages
345
Location
South Carolina
The black holes and browning in Java fern mean that leaf is dying. Go ahead and cut those affected leaves off the rhizome. It will recover and send up new leaves. My trident does this when something changes in the water chemistry and I now know to get rid of those leaves ASAP or they will rot quickly.
 

monozuki

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Thread starter
Joined
8 Dec 2020
Messages
5
Location
UK
The black holes and browning in Java fern mean that leaf is dying. Go ahead and cut those affected leaves off the rhizome. It will recover and send up new leaves. My trident does this when something changes in the water chemistry and I now know to get rid of those leaves ASAP or they will rot quickly.
Would this apply to the other plants exhibiting this as well? The anubias, bucephalandras, Siamensis 53B.. etc? Or are you refering specifically to java fern? Also, if I were to do this, would it be every leaf where a black spot appears or rather just the ones most affected? Though, I guess if the black spots mean the leaf is dying there won't be much difference between one spot and 5, both will prolly die.
It's just that I knew crypts like to die off before they re-adjust to the new environment and grow new leaves, but for this to happen to most of the plants..
 

monozuki

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Thread starter
Joined
8 Dec 2020
Messages
5
Location
UK
They are all adjusting yes, anything with holes I would trim so it doesn’t pollute your tank. @DeepMetropolis gave you great advice, just let everything settle and keep up your routine.
Thank you :) Yes, I was hesitant to go wild with more cheimicals and I think your and @DeepMetropolis advice hit the nail on the head. I read a lot about this hobby 'needing patience' and thought I assimilated that fact, but it seems that once it's ones own babies plants on the line and panic sets in, patience is the first thng to go out the window, haha.
Am gonna wait til tomorrow and once I'm done with my work, I'll go in with some scissors do some sad aquascaping, lol.
 

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