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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, my anubias were losing alot of leaves following a hydrogen peroxide dip and now down to a single leaf. I decided to try something bold to save them so I grabbed an empty fluval edge tank that I had sitting around to make an emersed set for them. So I put the rhizomes in a pot of soil and covered the top with some plastic wrap. So far the single leaves left on the two rhizomes seen to be doing fine.

I have a few concerns however because the air in the tank smelled bad and I have no heater in the water. Room temperature is 78 and I live in the tropics so humidity should be 76% outside according to a weather forecast. Is a heater absolutely necessary for the water to warmer than the air?

I discovered one of my anubias had the tip of the end of its rizome rotting, so I cut off the tiny bit and the end looks green and solid now.

I spay the plant occasionally with club soda (carbonated water with potassium bicarbonate, potassium citrate and potassium sulfate).

Any advice on how to continue?
Some pics:







 

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The only option now is to hope for the best. Nice idea to try and revive them emersed.

A heater is unnecessary, because I believe the lighting will give enough heat to increase the temperature of the tank itself, unless the room temperature of your house is really cold, then yes, I would recommend a heater..

Good luck and I hope for the best. :)

-Will
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, do you think the light should be on 24/7 and how much ventilation would be best? As you can see I did cut a hole in the plastic wrap, I have it parially covered but want to allow some fresh air in because its starting to smell like cooked brocoli does when left in container in there. Heard those gases arent good for keeping food fresh so could be bad for plants too? LOL
The anubias have been in there for about two days now and the single leaves left are still green and look healthy. Think I'm starting to see tiny little roots grow.
 

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Sounds good, I would give them a good 12 hours a day, and open the tank for some fresh air for 1 minute and close it back for humidity every few days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Things haven't changed much, not a big surprise considering the plants growth rate, however I can confirm new root growth. Some tiny roots growing out of the side of the rhizome and also the end of the rhizome which I removed is still firm and green. The Ludwigia cutting I put in has grown new leaves.

An interesting thing I came across is the possible benefits of 'club soda' for plant growth which I think are very handy for emersed growth setups. I use Canada Dry club soda (sodium free and contains: potassium bicarbonate, potassium citrate and potassium sulfate) and put it in a spray bottle to mist the plants. I came across this post on Yahoo answers from a contributor called Mark G which sums it up nicely:

"Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
As stated soda water is mainly carbonated water.

BUT... depending upon the bottler Soda water may contain one or more of the following table salt, sodium citrate, sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate, potassium citrate, potassium sulfate, or disodium phosphate. These are used to adjust the taste of Soda Water.

Potassium Sulfate is a fertilizer component. (Look up ferilizer N-P-K rating)

Sodium bicarbonate is amphoteric, reacting with acids and bases so this would act a a Ph buffer and will generally raise Ph

potassium bicarbonate has widespread use in crops, especially for neutralizing acidic soil, and is also under consideration as an organic fungicide


Nutirent uptake of plants is also effected by soil Ph. Nutrients can be locked in excessively acid or alkai soil. The club soda is acidic due to CO2 (carbonic acid) but as the CO2 is released the Ph rises. Also carbonic acid is neutralized by base minerals in the soil and may have disolved some of these minerals making them available to the root system.

Once the effects of carbonic acid disapate the other alkaline components added to the water remain and will buffer the soil Ph and provide potassium and phosphates. You may want to test the soil ph on all of your plants to see if there is any difference. Also look up the preferred soil Ph for the plant you are growing.

The plant may also benefit from the Carbon Dioxide

Nitrogen:

essential for growth of foliage;
produces lush, tender, green leaves (or grass blades);
deficiency results in a yellow-green color (chlorosis) and little or no growth;
is easily flushed through the soil.

Phosphorous:
stimulates root growth;
hastens the maturity of plants;
promotes development of flowers, fruits, seeds;
deficiency can result in slow or stunted growth and purplish discoloration on leaves;
remains in the soil quite well.

Potassium:
gives vigor to tolerate changing weather conditions;
helps resist disease;
assists in the food manufacturing process;
strengthens cell wall structure for strong stems;
deficiency can cause week stems and slow growth;
leaches from the soil, not so fast as nitrogen.

3 years ago
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Asker's Comment:
Thanks for all the information-very informative!!!"

Link: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090223154158AAJDEvq
 

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Really interesting stuff on the soda water. I just notice my emersed anubias sent up a new leaf today. I have it in what is essentially a jar, next to a window (which has blinds most of the day) and I give it 12 hours of light from a crappy t12 plant light from a mega mart. Sometimes I will crack the blinds in late afternoon, around 4, lights are on and off at 8. I don't have a vessel of dirt sitting in water, just some really moist dirt with just a sprinkle of gravel over it. It's sealed, and I let it breathe every 2-3 days, and I often forget. It's also got staurogyne repens, ludwigia repens, rotala rotundifolia, and some moss in there, and they are all doing great. Had some ludwigia arcuata in it too, but it quickly shriveled and died.
 

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Ah yeah, I was going to mention about your use of club soda. Pretty interesting idea indeed. Seems that perhaps your introduction of Canada Dry club soda may have somehow helped the anubias get back on it's feet; so the elements in the club soda you used, and explained about, probably helped for sure. Sweet..

Anyway, it's a good sign that it's rooting now. I believe it's going to be fine in the long run. :D Whoo hoo. You saved it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Hey, Ive changed a few things, the nasty smell was coming from the soil which was anaerobic so I removed it and put in some sphagnum moss with a little soil mixed into the middle and top. I trimmed of the old roots which were dead on one plant ever since the beginning. The other one has some which seem alive. Also I added some flourish to the club soda spray bottle.

The anubias are green and growing tiny roots all along the rhizome. They're really short though and not mold or fungus in case u guys were wondering. The plants look like their growing hairs ever since I've been spraying the club soda haha

I also read on a hydroponics forum that adding quarter a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide per gallon of water is good for preventing rot. Any of you guys do that?
you can't see them in the picture unfortunately, its a little blurry
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
the anubias are slowly gowing big roots now in the emersed setup and one has grown a new leaf. No signs of rhizome rot either. I added diy co2 which releases the co2 into the air in the container and growth on the ludwigia definitely increased. Also added in some Taiwan moss which is doing good. Humidity is more or less 85%

 

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One tip I have for you is you need to put that co2 tubing in some water, even if you wan to dose the co2 in the air. If it is left with that tube open like that, other stuff can start growing in your yeast bottle, and it will kill the yeast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
yeah I have it submersed now and the bubbles come to the surface and pop! thanks for the advice, appreciate it. I've lowered the water level a bit since I want the roots to grow healthy, also aded a few new holes to the plastic wrap around the top since I want more gas exchange. Surely the plants must have converted to emersed form now. I'm surprised I didn't go through much die off during conversion. Now my primary concern is to make sure the anubias can get enough 02 via their roots. not sure If I should take the plastic wrap off entirely soon?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Oh and Iwas wondering if anyone could tell me if i need to fertilize the water I add?
I have some soil but I'm not sure if that covers everything. All I have is flourish as its the only aquarium fertilizer we have on the island. I went to the nursery the other day and found stuff liken
"all purpose 20-20-20 plant food not sure if thatll work?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
A quick update and some material for discussion.


I've had some success with reviving the anubias, the have both grown new leaves and large roots are growing. I decided to give each plant it's own pot because the ludwigia was taking over. Substrate in these is a mixture of dried sphagnum moss, top soil, worm castings, and pearlite (~s.m.=20 %, t.s.=20%, w.c.=20%, p.=40%) with some taiwan moss on top.
I also add all purpose 20-20-20 plant food from green light at about 1/4 tablespoon for each gallon of water. I add lower than the recommend dosage because when I added the full amount the ludwigia began to melt, perhaps because they were freshly planted which exposed stems?

Anyways, one of my anubias is doing great and the other was growing too but I did notice some dark reddish spots on the lower half of the rhizome which seemed to be slowly spreading to the growing side. The rhizome did feel firm on the dark spots but I noticed stunted root growth on that lower half. I did some research and believe the cause may be a fungus called 'Rhizoctonia solani'

I removed a large portion of the rhizome from the anubias and moved it about an inch away from the growing portion. I guess I hope it'll recover but leaving it could mean risking that the fungus spreads to the healthy portion. Will have to figure out what to do.



I decided to find out if my beloved 'club soda' might help since as quoted above, I found it contained potassium bicarbonate which is being considered as an organic fungicide. So I found this article from the African Journal of Biotechnology which describes the effects of potassium bicarbonate (found also in club soda) on the the gorwoth of R. solani. To quote the article "This study demonstrated that different concentrations of potassium bicarbonate significantlyinhibited in vitro mycelial growth of R. solani".

Also found this interesting:

"Soil fungi are more active under acidic pH values (Ordonez et al., 2009). Previous studies showed that pH changes of medium due to use of bicarbonates prevented or stimulated the mycelial growth of fungi (Punja and Grogan 1982; Palmer et al., 1997). S. rolfsii showed optimal mycelial growth and sclerotial germination at low pH (3.0-5.5), while no growth occur above pH (8.0). Preventive effect of potassium bicarbonate on mycelial growth of soil pathogens may be partially explained by
pH changes, which became more alkaline as bicarbonate concentration increased. Our result showed that S. sclerotiorum could not grow at pH 8.3 (at 100mM KHCO3), and R. solani could not grow at pH 8.4 (at 750mM KHCO3). Increasing concentrations of KHCO3 caused growth reduction of both fungal strains."

(African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 10(43), pp. 8605-8612, 10 August, 2011 ISSN 1684-5315 © 2011 Academic Journals, Full Length Research Paper, Evaluation of in vitro antifungal activity of potassium bicarbonate on Rhizoctonia solani AG 4 HG-I, Sclerotinia sclerotiorum and Trichoderma sp., at pp. 8611

Now, I read that that using a synthetic fungicide may not be the best solution for the plants, club soda is a source for potassium bicarbonate which is an organic funicide, is there some more effective source of potassium carbonate? Sodium bicarbonate was mentioned in the article too actually (dont think its in canada dry cub soda)... Will look into that later. For now I just poured decent amount of club soda in the pots and spray the plants with it every now and then,

I'm just sick of worrying about rhizome disease and am anxious to treat the affected rhizome and to prevent spread. I will likely not be able to find more anubias on the island where I live easlily. Any advice would be appreciated!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
just to quickly add a few thoughts, I think a number of factors contributed to the poor state of the anubias. first their rhizomes were buried under gravel at the pet store where I got them. Second the water here comes from a desalination plant and is very soft. finally the hydrogen peroxide dip probably nearly killed the already weak plants.

I saw a youtube video where a guy who had tons of anubias said that using reverse osmosis water melted his anubias.

I think that when my healthy one grows one or two new leaves I'll move it back into the the tank. Before I do I'm gonna add a tiny bit of seachem marine buffer to bring up my pH and hardness.

in my last post I quoted the article from the African Journal of Biotechnology that there seems to a correlation between pH and the growth of R. Solani (which I suspect as a result of research, is the fungus responsible for some cases of rhizome rot). I think that if the pH is higher, it may suppress the growth of the fungus and promote the growth of the anubias (since Ive heard they naturally exist in harder water in Africa). I think I'll try and aim for a pH of ~7.8.

I've also switched the brand of club soda I'm using on the emersed setup to Seagram Club soda. It contains Potassium Bicarbonate as well as Magnesium Sulfate and Potassium Phosphate. Better IMO.

I also found out that you can obtain potassium bicarbonate from the ash of burnt shrubs, leaves and wood. You let the ash sit overnight in a container with water and you collect that water. Next you pour cold water over the ash again through a cotton sheet and collect that as well. Next you boil that down in a disposable pan and you can collect raw crystals.

I'm thinking adding ash to an emersed substrate could beneficial too!
 

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try read this too, I got this paper from Frank:
Evaluation of in vitro antifungal activity of potassium
bicarbonate on Rhizoctonia solani AG 4 HG-I,
Sclerotinia sclerotiorum and Trichoderma sp.

Key words: Antifungal effect, KHCO3, soil borne pathogens, sclerotium germination.
http://www.academicjournals.org/AJB/PDF/pdf2011/10Aug/Erper et al.pdf

and my post regarding the same problem:.

http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/...lture/80406-anubias-disease-3.html#post620337

Useful links:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhizoctonia_solani
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potassium_bicarbonate
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_KHCO3
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Thanks for posting that info, sounds like you know exactly how frustrating losing anubias can be! Since I last posted things have gotten alot worse for mine.

I was looking for alternative organic anti fungal treatment and cam across several experiments online which tested the effectiveness of cinnamon and rosemary extracts on the r. solani fungas. The results looked promising since they recorded up to 70% inhibition of growth for the fungus and they noted damage to the fungus' hypha if I remember correctly. The tests did not however involve aquatic plants, it was tested on rice seedlings I believe.

I made my own extract by putting both cinnamon and rosemary in Isopropyl alcohol for a few days and then boiling off the alcohol. The results were not positive however, the reason may have been that there was still too much alcohol left in the extract or the extract was too strong and had a phyto-toxic effect.

In any case I would not recommend that method for anubias since mine deteriorated following treatment.
I read in a different article on aquatic plants and R. Solani that he fungus could infect emersed forms of aquatic plants much easier via their stomates however, t didn't deal with anubias. The submersed forms were only infected often when they had a cut, otherwise negligible infection rate for submersed plants. They said this was because the fungus entered through the stomata in emersed form, and apparently the stomates are functionless submersed, so no entry. (B.G. Joyner and T.E. Freeman, Pathogenicity of Rhizoctonia Solani to Aquatic Plants, 684)

Coming back to KHCO3, I think it's the better way to prevent and stop the fungus emersed and for submersed I think its important to make sure the plants arent damaged. With anubias I think it's important to make sure that your water has enough hardness. I referenced a video earlier which stated that RO water melted that guys anubias. If the epidermis (i.e. skin of plant) can be damaged like this then the fungus can enter the rhizome or wherever.

I've now returned the one remaining living anubias I have to my tank and added Kent RO right to the water. My tap water comes from a desalination plants so i.e. RO water. When I first got mine, I must've damaged my plant with the hydrogen peroxide and then melted it in RO water and that's probably why the fungus got in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
oh and totally agree on adding ash, just make sure you know how the plant you're growing will respond to the increase in pH. I think it'll work well for anubias and other species too if used in the correct proportion. It should help prevent the proliferation of r.solani but I didn't get around to trying it.

By the end of my emersed experiment I switched over to only using perlite since it's a sterile medium. I'd avoid acidic substrates like peat where possible since soil fungi seem to prefer acidic substrates. To fertilize I just used plant food in the water similar to how it's done with hydroponics. I added baking soda to the water to bring up the pH, it didn't seem to effect the anubias but my ludwigia couldn't handle it and died.I think I overdosed the baking soda... In hindsight I was trying alot of different methods at the same time and should have stuck to one at a time to get a better idea of what works and what doesn't.

I'd guess that a better method would be to add ash and some dolomite to the pots with perlite for anubias since they can handle the higher pH and leave other plants in purely sterile mediums. It's also important to figure out what concentrations of KHCO3 would be tolerable for the species of plant being considered. KHCO3 does have antifungal properties but it can also be phyto-toxic at high concentrations. So my advice would be before using it try and figure out from experiments or elsewhere what concentrations are viable for use. Or if using ash maybe ask others who have tried it how much they add.
 
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