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Discussion Starter #1
My Anacharis and moss ball are suddenly in bad shape. My tank temp is 78 - 80F and I do 25% water changes every 2 - 3 days. I add API Stress Coat (was treating and now preventing a mild case of fin rot) and a few drops of BettaSafe with each WC. I've had the vegetation for less than a month. My boy is very healthy and energetic.

Pic 1 was taken 1/10/13.


Pic 2 was taken last night.


Is there anything I can do to help out my plants?
 

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Try moving the plants around. I know moss balls like being rotated every once in awhile. Also what kind of light bulb are you using? Did you check the medication to see if it was plant friendly?
 

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There is new growth. That light should be enough for those plants. They might need more nitrates though, so adding another source would help, rather if it's another fish or whatnot.

I would plant the anacharis and move the moss ball more towards the center of the tank. I don't recall what type of light they need, just that it's actually a type of confined algae (I had the luck of growing it on my terra cotta pots in a 10g. It was awesome!).
 

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The melting anarcharis is pretty common as the plant adjusts to the new water conditions. As long as you have new growth, the plant will recover
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My betta was unusually lethargic today and had some strange markings on his face (like he scraped himself?). I just did a 25% WC yesterday but I decided to check my ammonia and it's 4.0+ ppm! I've never had my ammonia go over 0.25ppm. Could this be related to the vegetation browning or is it a possible cause for the vegetation to have started browning? I'm at such a loss and I'm so devastated that my boy was showing signs of ammonia poisoning...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Also, the vegetation began to turn brown very suddenly within 3 - 5 days. The moss ball seemed to have turned brownish overnight.
 

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Anacharis when put into tropical tanks with 78-80+ degree tanks will often melt. Sometimes it recovers and sometimes it doesn't. We've completely melted quite a bit of it away but so long as a piece of it recovers and starts to grow, you will be fine as anacharis is an EXTREMELY fast growing plant.

No idea about the moss ball, it should survive and stay green under any conditions that I have seen so far.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Also, perhaps this is relevant: I blocked my filter intake with a mesh screen I had from an old tent I don't use anymore. My betta was getting his tail caught and damaged by it. I cut off a little block of screen about 3" x 5" and put it over the filter intake with a rubberband. Could there be something leaching from the mesh that caused this crap? Please help!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I've never given my moss ball a squeeze. I decided to do it now and move it out of my betta's tank, which is apparently too warm and bright for it. Thank you for the tips.
 

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The mesh shouldn't bother anything as long as you cleaned it (ran it under hot water a lot).

Does your tap water have any ammonia? When was the last time you did a water change? If it's really bad, then do a 50% water change every few days.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I have not tested my tap water for ammonia, but I treat it with Stress Coat. I had an ammonia spike (the day after a 25% WC and I clean my substrate daily -- unbelievable) above 4.0 ppm. I did a 100% WC, ensured I had 0 ppm NH3/NH4+ and planted my Anacharis. When I get home today, I'll check the ammonia again.
 

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Stress Coat does not remove ammonia, but Prime does. It sounds like your tank is trying to cycle, though I don't know if that explains such a huge spike. I believe excessive amounts of ammonia can kill plants. I don't think the temperature is the problem, since I've grown Anacharis at 80+ degrees with no problem. If it were just melting from being introduced to your tank, I think it would have done so immediately, not a few weeks later.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I agree with your assessment about the melting Anacharis. After the complete WC, I planted my Anacharis and have kept an eye on it. My highest ammonia spike since the WC has been 0.50 - 1.0ppm (which is still unusual compared to my 0.25ppm before, sigh) Unfortunately, it seems to be growing more pale and transparent.
 
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