Crypts melting in an established tank - Cryptocorynes - Aquatic Plant Central

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Cryptocorynes Cryptocoryne plant species consists of 50+ plant species, and make a unique addition to a planted tank.

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Old 01-31-2020, 11:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Crypts melting in an established tank

I've kept C wendtii in two of my tanks for over 10 years. A few months back, I had a full meltdown in one of them. Lost every leaf, though they are coming back now in that one. All other plants are unfazed. I've had my share of crypts melt shortly after purchase, but never had mass melting in tanks until then. Fast forward to this week and it's happening in another tank! In this case, it's particularly bad because there's probably a bushel of Cryptocorynes.

Here are before pics:


Here's a today shot:


I use tap water on these two tanks, and am blessed with soft neutral mountain reservoir source water. It's always grown plants as well as remineralized RO for me.
Parameters are as follows:
KH -1
GH -7
pH 7.0
TDS -135ish
No testable amounts of nitrogen except NO3, which is <10, though these values are expected to rise from all the imminent leaf decay.
temp: 73


Tank is dosed lean with GLA ferts since there are shrimp in it. No glutaraldehyde products used. In the past, I was apt to skip water changes and fertilization from time to time, and the crypts weathered that well. But I have been really on top of these tanks the last few months, and it is now that I'm running into problems. Not suggesting that Cryptocorynes like neglect with that statement, just pointing it out. Besides the series of partial water changes I'm up against, any advice? Is there anything I can do going forward to prevent this from happening again? Thanks in advance.

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Old 01-31-2020, 03:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Crypts melting in an established tank

Wow, that is really disappointing! I really don't know what is causing it. Just guessing, is there any chance that your tap water chemistry changed drastically without your knowledge? I suggest this because in our area during our last drought, some water supplies did change a lot, and suddenly aquarists were having unexplained problems.

It does seem extremely strange that only one species is affected.
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Old 01-31-2020, 07:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Crypts melting in an established tank

Nothing I could test for, that was my first thought too. And I keep tiger shrimp in this one, which are pretty good at letting you know if something is too far out of whack by dying. The melt started 12 days after the last water change too. I've read threads of this happening over on Tom Barr's site, but haven't uncovered any clear reason for it. They'll grow back, I'm sure of it. So it's not even as if I've lost plants, I just have another month before I see leaves again if this goes anything like the last tank this happened in. Just strange to me the timing of this one. I had recently intensified lighting on the first tank that had this happen and chalked it up to that. No such change on this one, though I *did* change out the T5 bulbs January 1st like I always do the first of the year. Same brand, wattage, color temp, etc. though.
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Old 01-31-2020, 10:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Crypts melting in an established tank

Maybe just a natural cycle they go through. My Crypt affinis will grow fine for years, then suddenly melt; often in fall-winter but sometimes other seasons.
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Old 02-01-2020, 07:23 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Crypts melting in an established tank

I would absolutely buy that possibility except for that I kept the same plants for over 11 years without it happening until 2019.
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Old 02-01-2020, 10:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Crypts melting in an established tank

I think it's probably an annual cycle for Crypts in nature, but in aquaria we can usually bypass the dormant cycle by providing all the plants' needs year-round and avoiding the triggers that in nature would send them in dormancy melt-down. After multiple years of continuous growth, I'm guessing they get more and more sensitive to those triggers.
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Old 02-01-2020, 11:13 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Crypts melting in an established tank

Maybe crypts leaves have life span/natural cycle as mention. We've all seen them melt for no reason. Perhaps, at a certain point they can't manufacture carbs they needs anymore so they shed leaves and grow new one.

We know pruning plants help them grow.
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