White Fungus on Banana Plant

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Aquarium Advice Apprentice
Jan 22, 2023
This may be the wrong place to ask this but I absolutely cannot find any solutions any where else.

I have been keeping aquarium plants for about a year and a half or so now but only have been «*successful*» in the last few months upon changing my gravel. Just recently I went all out and bought a ton of new plants for my aquarium, and I have done tons on research on plant keeping in aquariums so I know already that it will take my plants at least a few more weeks to acclimate and settle into my aquarium, and I totally expect them to look weak/melt.

Of all of these plants however I bought one new banana plant, a plant I’ve had prior experience with and that I’ve previously had no problems with. I placed it in an aquarium with a few of my other plants, and immediately after it started growing new leaves I noticed a very strange type of fungus on the edge of the leaves, and I was super worried as to what it was, why it was only on this plant, and whether or not it was dangerous for me to keep it in the aquarium. I’ve tried rinsing the fungus off many times, I cut one leaf off thinking it was the problem until more fungus grew on the next one. The newest leaf looks odd as well as it doesn’t curve/turn wavy like my other banana plant’s leaves do.

I have no idea what it is, what the cause of it is, or how to fix it. Here are some of my parameters below, let me know if you have any questions. For reference I do not have any fish yet in my aquarium as I was worried something like this could happen. My gravel is CaribSea Ecocomplete and I put it in my tank around 1-2 months ago so I don’t think it could be bacterial bloom? I also have been stopping my liquid fertilizer (aquarium co-op) for now and am about to do a 50% water change on my aquarium right after I post this.

Consistent Temp: 79º
Tank size: 10 gal / 40L
pH: 7 (from 2 weeks ago)

I’m about to do a bunch of tests on my water parameters (nitrate, nitrite, ammonia) as well so if that is a possible problem I’ll be happy to update the parameters.

For some reason I can’t attach more than one picture so I do apologize but I think this captures it sufficiently. Also I do recognize my cryptocorynes are melting I’m taking care of them they are still transitioning.

Once more let me know if any of you have any questions. Thank you for any help or advice in advance and I apologize for the long post.


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More pictures

Here’s another picture of the banana. The rest of the plant looks fairly healthy to me (?)


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Hi and welcome to the forum :)

If you cut the leaf off at the base of the stem and a new leaf grows and develops the same issue, the plant could have a fungal infection and is probably going to die. You could try putting it in a container of Methylene Blue for a week and see if that helps. Methylene Blue kills fungus and bacteria (including filter bacteria), and also stains things blue, so don't use it in a container you want to stay clean. :)

You could also try salt, (see directions below). However, if the fungus is inside the plant, it might not cure it and this could continue to be an issue. In which case I would bury the plants in the garden and get a new one from a different supplier.


You can add rock salt (often sold as aquarium salt), swimming pool salt, or any non iodised salt (sodium chloride) to the aquarium at the dose rate of 1 heaped tablespoon per 20 litres of water. If there is no improvement after 48 hours you can double that dose rate so there is 2 heaped tablespoons of salt per 20 litres.

Keep the salt level like this for at least 2 weeks but no longer than 4 weeks otherwise kidney damage can occur. Kidney damage is more likely to occur in fish from soft water (tetras, Corydoras, angelfish, Bettas & gouramis, loaches) that are exposed to high levels of salt for an extended period of time, and is not an issue with livebearers, rainbowfish or other salt tolerant species.

The salt will not affect the beneficial filter bacteria, fish, plants, shrimp or snails.

After you use salt and the fish have recovered, you do a 10% water change each day for a week using only fresh water that has been dechlorinated. Then do a 20% water change each day for a week. Then you can do bigger water changes after that. This dilutes the salt out of the tank slowly so it doesn't harm the fish.

If you do water changes while using salt, you need to treat the new water with salt before adding it to the tank. This will keep the salt level stable in the tank and minimise stress on the fish.

When you first add salt, add the salt to a small bucket of tank water and dissolve the salt. Then slowly pour the salt water into the tank near the filter outlet. Add the salt over a couple of minutes.
Thank you so much for the advice!
I do currently have salt and I am planning on buying methylene blue!
Would it be a good idea to isolate my plant when I'm treating it just so I dont disrupt the rest of the plants or is it a better idea to keep it in its environment? I have 2 quarantine tanks that would work great if you think that is a good idea!

I cleaned the plant last night and I am waiting to see if the fungus comes back on the same leaf, the only reason I haven't cut it yet is because I wanted to make sure another leaf was on its way before cutting such a big and "healthy" one. I desperately hope this was isolated but I know already that it is more than likely not. In that case unless I somehow magically don't see new fungal growth, I will probably move the plant into another tank (should I put some of the same water in it too or is that a bad idea?) and start treating it.

Do you think this is affecting my other plants? Are the other plants at risk of this fungus as well or is it specie-specific? Is there anything I can do to prevent this in my other plants or just in the future in general? I have cut off a leaf of my other banana plant in a separate aquarium and am letting it float to see if I can propagate it. If it does end up working as a new plant is it safe for me to move it to my "infected" tank in replacement of my other banana plant or does that put it at risk / will infect it too?

Thank you again for all of your help! I appreciate it so much!
Hope you have a wonderful rest of your day/night!
I would move the plant into a container of aquarium water and treat it there if you use Methylene Blue. Salt can be used in the main tank or in a separate container.

If the fungus is in the plant, it is unlikely to spread to other species. If the fungus is growing on the outside of the plant because the leaf is somehow damaged, then it could spread to other species but is unlikely to if they don't have any damage. The fungus can normally only get into something that has damaged tissue (an open wound). If the other plants don't have any damage, the fungus is unlikely to be able to gain entry and won't affect them.

If the leaf that was cut off grows and doesn't develop any fungus, it should be fine to use in another tank.
Hi again!
Sorry for the late reply,

I cleaned it the other night in small hopes of it getting healthy, and for a while it was fine until I saw tiny little balls again. I'm going to try treating it inside the same tank just for now until it grows its new leaf. I would have preferred moving it but that takes a bit more effort than I have the energy for as I have absolutely no time as of right now and am hardly at home. In a few days I'll be back to normal but for now that's all I can do.

Is there a possibility that the plant can fight this off? I know you said it might be infected on the inside and incurable but does this kind of thing slow down / go away at some point? I guess what I mean to be asking is what are the chances of it surviving? I am not contemplating whether or not treating it, that is a given, but are there any signs at some point that I should look out for which tell me to just give up?
Sorry for all the petty questions, I recognize they aren't very urgent or necessary, but I am curious. '

Sorry, I should have clarified, what I mean is I cut a leaf from another banana plant in a separate tank. I'm letting it float in the other tank for now, but I was wondering if I could move it to my tank with the infected banana plant if it ever dies or would that risk it getting infected too?
Hey I just realized that one of the tubers/bananas is half broken, as in it is still green but somewhat detached, I'll attach an image below.
Do you think this could be the problem?
If I remove it will it magically "cure" it?
Apologies if this is useless information just wanted to make sure it doesn't mean anything.
However, I am going to be removing it now in case it is the issue, I will have no time to do so within the next 30+ hours and must take any action I can. I won't medicate it until tomorrow so nothing hurts it / goes inside the "wound."


It didn’t load my apologies


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Nevermind something came up.
Can't chop off the cut tuber,
Sorry for the spam :((
The broken tuber might have allowed the fungus access to the plant but it could have come from the suppliers or pet shop. Removing the broken tuber won't get rid of the fungus. The fungus is already in the plant so you can remove any or all of the tubers and it won't make any difference.

If you treat the plant with Methylene Blue or something that kills fungus, and the fungus comes back a week or two later, then it will eventually kill the plant. It might take a while but it. If you treat the plant and the fungus doesn't grow back, then that's fine.

If it's a species specific fungus that only affects the banana lily, then any other plants should be ok in the tank, except other banana lilies, and possibly other lilies.

If you want to use Methylene Blue I strongly recommend using it in a spare container because it will wipe out the beneficial filter bacteria and you will have to cycle the tank and filter again. Most other anti-fungal medications shouldn't affect the filter bacteria.
Alright! Thank you so much!
In that case how long should I refrain from adding other lilies in the tank for if this one dies?

Thanks again for everything! I'll keep you updated on how it goes! :)
If that plant dies from fungus, I wouldn't add any other lilies. If you really must have a water lily in the tank, wait 6 months before adding it, or flush the tank out and start again, then add the new lily.
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