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Old 10-06-2007, 01:27 PM   #1
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Why can't I grow vals?

I have a 10 gallon tank with 40W daylight pc lights, 10hours/day. I put in about 10 plants of vals (not sure what species, leaves are loosely twisted) on September 16, so about 3 weeks ago. Basically all the leaves appear to be dying. They looked healthy to start out, and each leaf starts turning brown then gray and melting into mush, going from the tip down usually. I'm getting some new leaves growing which look healthy but I think some of them are starting to melt too. Two of the plants have lost all their leaves (I left the roots in there in hopes that they may put out new leaves, if this is sort of like crypt melt). To deal with the first obvious suspect, there's no Excel in this tank. I am lightly dosing with some drops I made up that are mainly potassium sulfate and CSM+B. Substrate is Eco-complete. Nitrates are around 10ppm and I have about 1ppm phosphates in the tap water. But anyway, I thought vals were supposed to be easy. I don't understand why they're dying. Any ideas?

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Old 10-06-2007, 01:35 PM   #2
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Other plants?
Ca? (gh, kh)?

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Old 10-06-2007, 01:45 PM   #3
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Do you have low GH/KH?
Vals s/b fairly easy. You mention getting the Phosphates from the tapwater, are you doing weekly water changes to replenish that?

IME, if you have reasonably hard water, the vals should do just fine. Over time, without water changes or replacing all the nutrients they need, they can strip the water of nutrients and that is when they begin to melt.
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Old 10-06-2007, 03:32 PM   #4
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My water is very hard. I don't remember the GH or KH exactly, but I'm sure it's not low -- pH is usually around 8. I do weekly water changes of about 30% in this tank. Other plants are Java moss, a couple swordplants, some Bacopa monnieri, and a tiny patch of Crypt parva. I think that's all. I do have a few olive nerite snails, and I've noticed when they try to climb the vals they bend the leaf over. I can see where that might damage the leaf, but it wouldn't explain the rotting from the tip, as far as I can see...

Edit: woops, I forgot something else that may be relevant : I'm doing the heat treatment for ich on this tank, so it's been around 88F for the last 2 weeks. I'm about ready to start lowering it gradually. Are vals especially sensitive to high temps?
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Old 10-07-2007, 05:44 PM   #5
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I've had the same problem with Vals and with dwarf sag as well. My water is similar, with high Kh (~9). Only difference is I have a water softener in-line, yielding pretty much 0 Gh. Wisteria, java fern, anubis, swords all do well, but after trying corkscrew val 3x, I gave it up.

55 gal FW
bristlenose / 2 otos / 5 corys / 12 platys / 4 giant danios / 6 serpae
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Old 10-08-2007, 12:31 AM   #6
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Higher temps could definately be an issue. Some plants do just fine, but others will struggle or even die off when temps get to high.

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