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FAQs on Cryptocorynes

Related Articles: The Genus Cryptocoryne in Planted Aquariums

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Cryptocoryne ciliata.

Just a few aquarium questions... <20 some Megs...>; residual NH3, U1 zots, Crypt melt, moving pH    8/7/16
Please re-size and re-send all... Your files are more than an order of magnitude too large.
Re: Just a few aquarium questions...   8/7/16

Yikes...I was wondering why they were taking so long to upload, didn't even notice they were that big.
Resized in PS, hope this is a little better!
<Yes; now just need you to delete the carats (<<<<) in the text below and re-send. BobF>
re: Just a few aquarium questions...   8/7/16

<Oh, found the original text here>
Hello crew! I just started up my old aquarium and I have a fair amount of questions about water quality, some of my old plants, etc.
My tank is a 10 gallon. Started it up a little over 2 months ago, let it cycle through, and added a single Betta after the cycle was finished.
The parameters are
pH: 7.5

nitrates: 0
nitrites: 0
ammonia: .12? (it's not exactly at 0 and not at .25 on the test kit, so I'm
assuming it's right in the middle)
<Toxic; and am wondering wherefore/why the residual ammonia here?
temp: between 74-78 degrees
My first question is about the ammonia. Both in the past and currently, I cannot keep the ammonia at 0 for the life of me because my tap water has a small amount of it.
<This should cycle through though... And you should eliminate w/ water conditioner use ahead of placing it in the tank>
It's not at a terribly dangerous level but it's enough to be worrying,
I've tried using ammonia-removing products, including prime, on the water I store away for water changes, but the ammonia tests as 0 and then has a huge spike occurs a few days later. Is there any way to get it down and stay down?
<Yes... a few ways. Let's have you review here (as I/we have no way of knowing what you already know
and the linked files above>
My second question is about this strange white and brown stuff growing on my driftwood. I'll attach some pictures, some of them I couldn't get to focus but I hope they're good enough. There are brown chunks of what looks like fish feces or a kind of fungus, mostly on the bottom half of the driftwood. It's kind of tough to remove so I had to scrub it off with a
toothbrush, but it just comes back anyway. Along with that are white specs, mostly on the top of the driftwood.
<This appears to be bits of decomposition... the wood, likely food, feces>

I can't tell you how many pages I've checked trying to find out what these are. The only answers I come back
with are black beard algae/brown string algae and white fungus/Nerite snail eggs, but whatever's on my driftwood doesn't look like any of those. The white specs even look like they're starting to spread to one of my crypts.
My Betta seems to be unaffected by either of them, but I've had a baby Bristlenose in a hospital tank and I wanted to move him in soon. I'm worried that this stuff could make him sick if he eats it. Any ideas what either of them are?
<As stated... you might benefit from more circulation, filtration here>
Third question is about the crypts (also in the pictures) I was growing them in a large bowl for a while and they were doing very well with API leafzone and some natural sunlight. They shot out very nice, healthy green leaves, but when I transferred them to the tank, they started turning a reddish brown and getting ruffles. I read that this happened to a few
other people that changed the way they were fertilizing their tank, though they stated that they were still very healthy. Mine are kind of getting this weird translucent reddish-brown look and a couple of the leaves have completely melted, but the leaves had been bright green and strong before.
<Crypts are susceptible to this sort of decomp. under stressful and varying conditions>

I have an LED light strip but others have been able to keep crypts just fine with them. Is there another reason they're not doing as well?
<Can't tell w/ the data provided. There may well be a nutrient deficiency going on here... N, P, K, Fe....>
My final question (phew) is about the pH. It's always been at 7.5 (or higher, not sure if it even shows up on the test kit..) I want to lower it to around 6.8 or 7,
<I would NOT do this. Leave it as it is... will drop a bit in time. See WWM re pH and Alkalinity for a bit of background>
but just like the ammonia, I've tried two or three pH altering products and they drop the pH rapidly and spike it a few days later.
<... yes... alkaline reserve is buffering it back up. Common >
I was thinking I could try Indian almond leaves or wood, but they would release a lot of tannins and I'm not sure if it would add to the ammonia or not. Have tried adding distilled water as well and there is no affect (but I do have 20 empty gallon jugs laying around) Do you have other suggestions of how to lower it safely?
<Time going by is the very best. Don't fuss w/ pH here, period. 7.5 is fine for what you have livestock wise>
I'm very sorry this is so long, I was debating on whether I should divvy the questions up into different emails but I thought it might be more troublesome to get them each separately. But I thank you very much for your services. I always go to this site first if I'm having any problems and it has been extremely helpful and informative! I greatly appreciate any answers and advice you can offer.
<Glad to be (hopefully) of assistance. Please DO write back if all is not clear here after reading. Bob Fenner>

Anubias and crypt balansae   10/17/12
Dear WWM,
I have an established tank for 2+ years it's a Juwel Rio 125 with standard lights 2 t5 28w bulbs day and nature.
I have some crypt balansae growing but they never get big enough. They grow to around 20cm then curl or just curl and never really grow.
<Something missing perhaps... or perhaps, too much>
Could this be too much light, I put root tabs in recently and it improved slightly but I was hoping the would replace my vacillis
 as a tall bg plant without taking over. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
<I'd be testing (PAR/PUR meter) your lighting, and ferrous ion et al. nutrient concentrations>
Also, I have some Anubias round leaf which I'm planning on attaching to wood as it's recommended not to bury the rhizome. I would like to attach them to the wood about 10cm above the substrate using superglue.
<Mmm, no. Just time w/ thread, thin monofilament>
Would the roots get enough nutrients from the water as they may not reach the substrate straight away?
<You/I can't tell w/o water quality testing... N,P,K and Fe>
Many thanks
<As many welcomes. Bob Fenner>

Cryptocoryne melt    9/7/12
Good afternoon, folks.  Got a question for the resident planted tank experts.  A couple of months ago I had a heater malfunction and melted all the C. Wendtii in my 20H. 
<No fun>
These were sizable plants, one of them taking up approximately one-quarter of the tank.  They are coming back okay, but I have noticed an explosion of snails and have developed some nuisance algaes that weren't there prior. 
This has not abated with increased water changes - in fact, last week I tried 25% daily changes to no avail.  In trying to re-arrange some of the newer sprouts, I discovered a massive carpet of roots where the large plant used to be.  Should that be pulled out?
<I would do so... take the tank down, thoroughly was the substrate, toss the dead, decomposing plant material>
 I am wondering if it is beginning to decompose and causing my snail and algae problems.
<Very likely so. Bob Fenner, who has had similar experiences>

Web Site Correction Hello: Regarding your references on this page: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/PlantedTksSubWebIndex/cryptocoryne.htm The name of our magazine is misspelled. It is "The Aquatic Gardener," not "The Aquarium Gardener" Will you please correct this? <Yes, will do> If it would be appropriate to add a link to our site, it is at www.aquatic-gardeners.org. While these particular issues are no longer available, new issues are published four times per year. Thanks, Cheryl <Thank you for this notice. Bob Fenner>

An Affinity for C. affinis >Hello there, >>Hello there. >I am a 66 year old Scottish plant grower. >>I'll be 40 in February, and I spend so much time at this computer I think my bum is growing roots.. does that count? >For some time now, I have been trying to grow the Affinis Crypt, as I grew it many years ago. I am afraid that the continuing messing about with the water supplies, make this more difficult. >>Are you messing, or is your municipality messing? >Our soft Scottish water did not appear to suit the plant. Taking advice from the web, the plant appeared to prefer harder water and in fact the PH used in some cases was 8 to 8.5. I would wish to see this plant flourish again, but there appears to be too many variations in how this can be achieved. Do you have any advice on this ? >>If I understand you correctly, you wish to "harden" the water (raise alkalinity/buffering capacity as well as mineral content), as well as raise the pH (which buffering would do), yes?  If so, there are commercially available additives, SeaChem makes a whole slew of GREAT products.  Another way to handle this is to get some crushed coral or dolomite (calcareous substrate is the idea here), put it in a bit of pantyhose and either bury it in the gravel, or place it where it will get water being forced through it.  I STRONGLY suggest you also visit a site called ThePlantedTank - http://www.plantedtank.net/ and join their forums (or simply peruse).  Their information is excellent (though I still disagree strongly with medicating a display system).   >Many Thanks, Jim Davidson >>You're welcome.  Marina

Plant trouble Hi Sabrina, Thank you very much for your answer, I was really happy to receive it had to get so much personal attention, it was amazing, thank you again.   <No problem - that's what we're here for ;) > Well, I realized that I have a Cryptocoryne plant (I think I spelled it right)   <'y' instead of 'I' - Cryptocoryne - but hey, close enough!> and it usually dies off (this is what I have been told)  I am supposed to wait for it to regenerate later or clip all its leaves off and then see what happens.   <Umm, this is common practice with some Aponogeton species, but I've not heard of this being done with any Cryptocoryne species.  Perhaps you can find more about them here:  http://users.bart.nl/~crypts/index.html - there's more info on Crypts there than you can shake a stick at!> And the CO2 generator seemed to be too complicated to set all by myself, so I went to the store and bought a pretty cheap one, I thought though, I will make my own solution instead of buying theirs and may be hook it to my own bottle.   <Sounds like a plan.> So if it is possible I will save money on refills.   <Yup.> (thanks for giving me the website though, I am not much of a technical person I even do not know where is a powerhead, so there was no way I could have hooked up my own (I have a tank for maybe 4 months and have never had one before).   <Well, welcome to the hobby, then!> I still wondered how can I improve my light situation, yes, I have a black lid hood with one strip of light on it.  If I can do that by buying the hood with glass lid and then put 4 strips of light instead of 2, then I would do it, I don't think they are expensive.   <A lot of this depends on what size tank you have, and what kind of plants you wish to keep....> And then I have one more question: what ph level should I keep in my tank with added CO2 so it does not kill the fish <Again, depends on what plants and fish you have/wish to have.  A good plant book will help you in the plant hunt, and here's a nice website to browse:  http://www.tropica.com/default.asp .  You can find out pH tolerances of your fish (and so much more info) at: http://www.fishbase.org/ .> and how do  I regulate it because my generator does not have any control switches?   <My approach to this was to use two such systems, and alternate when I change out the yeast mix, so when one's petering out, the other's going strong.  Otherwise, test your pH in the evening right before you turn off the light, then again in the morning right before you turn the light on again.  You're aiming for stability, here, so if the two readings are the same or very close, you're okay.  If the readings are significantly different, you may want to disable your CO2 at night.> Well thank you for your answers in advance and I really appreciate you taking your time.  Lina <You bet, Lina.  Any time.  Wishing you well,  -Sabrina>

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