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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The tips of my african fern are turning blackish purple. It starts on the tips and appears to travel up the veins. None of the leaves have died yet, but it only started a few days ago. Does anyone know whats wrong? I've never had this happen before.
Thanks,
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I assume you're talking about bolbitis. If so, I had some with the exact same characteristics, which I had attributed to lack of light (it was my first tank and I hadn't found this forum and was using incandescent lights, even after switching to CFs it occurred again under 2.0wpg).

I'm sure it's more than light though. That's all I can remember of my experience with bolbitis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
yes bolbitis would be the plant I'm talking about. I don't know if it is a lack of light or not. I definitely need to replace my T5HO, and the replacements should arrive on the 20th, so I suppose I'll see then. The funny thing is that I also have blyxa, rotalas, HM and riccia which would all show signs before bolbitis would(I would think). HMM
Thanks for the reply.
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I was wondering if you meant Bolbitis. I could never get it to go for me either. It always looked nasty.
 

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In many tank condtions Bolbitus has a long acclimation period before it does anything. It is definitely possible that some of the existing leaves will turn black. I think it could be said that you are almost better off trimming all the original leaves down to the rhizome to get it going. It also seems to do better with co2 misting right on it with good flow.
 

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I added some to a healthy "natural" tank, ie no CO2 or ferts but healthy growth on most plants, it took a few months to sprout new leaves and the old look horrible, same as houseofcards was stating.

Has it been sprouting already and this is happening to newer growth?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Actually this plant has been in this particular tank since August, and I've owned it for about a year. It has been growing wonderfully for me for quite a while, that's why I'm bothered by the rapid change. And yes, it does appear to be on the newer growth.
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African Fern (Bolbitus) and other epiphytes derive their nutrients from the water column. When they do poorly, this is an indication that one or more macro or micro nutrients may be lacking. This can be a problem in higher light, CO2 supplemented tanks with other nicely growing plants that deplete the water column.
Did the demise of this plant coincide with more robust growth from the other vegetation? That would fit this competition hypothesis.

Ensuring that trace elements and NPK are adequate thru supplementation can correct the problem but once the plant is damaged, it can take a while before it recovers and puts out healthy new growth. Moving the plant to a slow grow, lower light tank can also be helpful where the plant will be exposed to a more constant source of food. Just make sure that it still gets CO2, say from a natural tank with pH <7.
--Neil
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
wow that sounds like exactly what I'm going through. I recently noticed some yellowing of the leaves on my bylxa, so I'll bet I need to reset my fertilizers. Unfortunately I really like my bolbitis in the tank, but now I'll have to see if it really is the right thing in my higher light tank with all the stems it has to compete with.

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