View Full Version : Melting water sprite

01-12-2016, 10:35 AM
My water sprite was growing vigorously for about 4 months, then gradually it began to melt and now it is dwindled down to about 4 short stalks. I keep the roots planted in gravel.
My tank is 50 gallons, planted with Java fern and cryptocoryne both of which grow well (esp. Java fern). The tank is populated with 5 large angelfish, 9 platys, clown loach, 3 siamese algae eaters, one otocinclus, one large pleco. It is equipped with CO2 from a 10 lb cylinder. I use an eheim canister filter and the temp is set about 76 deg. I don't dose with chemical ferts. I change 50% of the water every 3 weeks and at that time I vacuum the gravel.

Is there any macro or micronutrient that water sprite needs? Thank you for any advice you can provide!

01-12-2016, 10:50 AM
Let what is left float so it gets more light. Maybe it will come back. For me, melting Water Sprite means my pH has dropped. They usually want water that is neutral to slightly alkaline and some calcium and magnesium in the water. The absolute finest crypts I have ever seen were in a multiple fish rooms and in a greenhouse fishroom in Central Florida. In that Florida liquid rock. Tanks I add plant ferts and ground oyster shell have great water sprite. The other tanks have melted water sprites, or just the stems left, browning away. Others may have a different experience. I really do the best algaes in greens and reds. Plants are always iffy except water sprite, java moss and java fern.

01-12-2016, 08:11 PM
Why is the tank on injected CO2? None of the plants you mentioned require CO2 injection and will grow quite well without it at low to med light levels. Generally, CO2 injected tanks require regular fertilizer dosing or a nutrient containing substrate which eventually runs out of nutrients. The crypts might be getting enough nourishment from the substrate and java ferns are slow to show deficiencies due to their slow growth rate but your water sprite is likely dying due to a lack of nutrients in the water. The fish in an aquarium do not produce enough nutrients for a CO2 injected aquarium. Either reduce or eliminate the CO2, or start a fertilizer dosing program.
What are you using for lighting?
Water sprite grows very quickly at medium to high light levels with adequate nutrients in the water and likes to either float or grow emersed in my experience.

Mog Carns
01-13-2016, 04:31 PM
Stop the CO2, as said. Not needed.

How gradual was the decline in the Water Sprite?

If it suddenly happened over the last week, replace your heater.

If it started a while back, and it is something you have just been noticing, but not really noticing, until it was all gone.... the pleco and or SAEs are eating it.

Did the 10,000 little 6 inch plants floating at the top of the tank disappear at the same time?

01-13-2016, 05:16 PM
Melt occurred gradually over a 6 week period. Before that growth was vigorous. Remaining sprites are sickly in center of tank. Few if any floating sprite-lets. Period between water changes varies but 50% change/3 weeks.
I want to solve the problem of the sprites. More frequent water changes? Add chemical ferts? If so, which ferts to use? Lighting in this tank is for 9 1/2 hr/day: 4 EIKO CFLs DT55/65 RS in a 48 in Coralife fixture

Mog Carns
01-14-2016, 10:07 AM
Feed the Pleco/SAEs more is my suggestion.

01-14-2016, 07:49 PM
If all 4 bulbs are in a spectrum that plants can use, that is less than 10k, you are running way too much light without a comprehensive fertilizer program and making sure that your CO2 levels are up at 30ppm, which would require a drop checker. I suggest that you only run two out the the four bulbs as you have way too much light for a non high light set up. Cut your photo period back to 7 hours, turn off the CO2 or at least turn it down, and start dosing with an aquarium fertilizer, following the directions. I think that would send your tank chemistry in the right direction. If it were my tank I would dose weekly with 10g of KNO3, 5 g of KSO4, and 5 g of Plantex.

01-15-2016, 12:33 PM
My plan is to get a drop checker, and start a dosing program. Since I do not have an algae problem why should I reduce the light?

01-15-2016, 12:40 PM
I just checked my drop checker: the CO2 rate is 52 drops/min. The CO2 regulator has a solenoid that is timed to stop the CO2 flow at night.

01-15-2016, 05:41 PM
Let us know how the dosing program works out. I suspect that your bulbs aren't producing much PAR compared to their rated wattage. Still, if it works for you that's fine, just be aware of the potential for changes if you ever replace the bulbs.