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Thread: Rotten Cryptocoryne leaves poisonous?

  1. #1
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    Rotten Cryptocoryne leaves poisonous?

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    I've lost at least 50 cherry shrimps, 5 red nose shrimps, 5 CRS, 1 woodshrimp, and my Cameroon armoured shrimp within the span of 1 week and the cherries are still dying at a rate of 10-20 a day

    It all happened last Wednesday, when I planted some Cryptocoryne wendtii, balansae and retrospiralis in my shrimp and Borara tank. While planting, the shrimps flocked onto the new plants to graze.

    After planting, I changed one third of water to clear up some of the mulm I kicked up but I noticed the shrimps all crowding at the surface. The red nose shrimps started to jump out and the armoured shrimp was frantically running all over the place.

    3 hours later, seeing that water is still dirty, and the shrimps are still as frantic, I changed another half tank of water thinking I might have introduced some kind of insecticide from the crypts as I didn't rinse them before planting. All the tapwater treated with double dose of AquaPlus just in case water has chloramine as was my normal practice. Regrettably, the waterchange didn't do a thing for the frantic shrimps. The fishies were unaffected though. I dropped in an airstone and ran it for the night although it is a non-co2 tank.

    Thursday, Found CRS carcasses. Fishes were ok, noticed missing red nose shrimps and the cherries and woodshrimps were still at the surface. Armoured shrimp had dug up substrate and fanned the basefert all into the water column. Didn't dare to change water anymore for fear that there is something in the water.

    Friday, 1 woodshrimp jumped out, cherry shrimps begin to die. All still hanging out at the surface. Because of basefert leak, I washed the choked filter with Aquaplus-treated tapwater. Shrimps seem to respond better and most returned to the mulm coated moss.

    Saturday, even more dead cherries, crypts start to melt down. Everything coated with a layer of mulm + basefert caused by the frantic digging-pushing of the armoured shrimp. Nitrite and Ammonia measures 0ppm. Scratching my head Decided to catch out the armoured shrimp when It comes out of hiding.

    Sunday, even more dead cherries. Armoured shrimp also dead. badly trampled crypts all melting rapidly, algae growing on everything as rapidly. Scrub and clean, removed all the moss, change choked fine filter wool and siphon as much as I can, in the end changing 75% of water. Shrimps returned to their grazing, most feeding off the melted remains of the crypts. Thankful.

    Monday, water still not crystal clear. Realised I've gone and hurt the filter bacteria! Cherries start dying again. sigh

    Tuesday, more shrimps dead. Daily, I've been clearing around 10-20 dead cherries so far. I don't know how many may have died whose carcasses are eaten up, but I see my population disappear over the days. I also noticed that the shrimp's appetite is poor. They shun pellets and feed on the rotten leaves. But after feeding, they will struggle, then lay down to die. Netted out 10 to transfer to another tank that was not planted with the crypts. Yamato had turned green.

    Wednesday, Those transferred out are well and feeding. Those in the shrimp tank are still dying. What can be wrong? My conjectures are:

    1) Insecticide in the crypt roots tainted the water because I didn't rinse them. However, the fishes and shrimps in the LFS tank were unaffected.

    2) High suspension of basefert + mulm in the water choked the shrimps

    3) There's something bad in the tapwater that Aquaplus cannot treat

    4) Choked filter lost efficiency severely

    5) Changing of fine filter wool further reduced the filter's bacteria count

    6) Further changing of 75% water further killed off more filter bacteria and hurt the shrimps even more

    7) Crypt melt is poisonous?

    I'm now really dazed and confused. Can anyone help shed some light? please?
    Warm regards,

    Lawrence Lee

    brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.
    Philippians 4:8

  2. #2
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    Well, with the massive water cahnges and filter wash... the filter bacteria colony could be damaged, but in my experience, that should introduce a detectable amonia or nitrite spike. You can try using Seachem Prime in the meantime to take these 2 out of the equation.

    Crypts do have some mild toxin. I get a minor rash if i expose sensitive skin to crypt prunings... which is quickly settled with a wash with soap and water.

    However, I've not seen anyone make a connection between crypts and shrimp death. I've had yamato shrimps in tanks planted with crypts before and there weren't any deaths that I could attribute to crypts.

    I've certanly not seen fish affected by crypts.

    There have been cases reported in AQ of shrimp death associated with newly introduced plants.
    Vincent - AQ is for everyone, but not for 'u' and 'mi'.
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  3. #3
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    Took some balansae leaves out today, squeezed them and they produce some kind of sticky sap maybe as Vinz says, it can cause irritation when exposed in great enough quantities. I guess if the plant is growing well, with no problems with the leaves melting, then shrimps grazing on algae on the leaves won't be affected.

    My problem came because of all the leaves getting damaged the day after planting, and in typical crypt behaviour, it melts. That means one third of the tank's plant melting at once. And I didn't remove the melted leaves thinking the shrimps gets a free meal.

    Anyway, forgot to mention, I took measurement of the tap water on Wed night: pH 5.6. I didn't trust my testpen so I ignored the reading. Today, after recalibrating and verifying against 3 of my known tanks, I tested the tap water again. pH 5.5!!! What's happening to Hougang water?

    Anyone in Hougang did waterchange for their shrimps this past week? What is your experience?

    Thank God that things are much more stabilised today. Water is cleared and the woodshrimps are out fanning. Only 3 dead cherries, all removed. The rest have started to forage. Hopefully I'm out of the crisis by tomorrow.
    Warm regards,

    Lawrence Lee

    brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.
    Philippians 4:8

  4. #4
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    Ooo, hougang water... I'm near hougang (we're probably on the same water source - Bedok) and have been having been suffering from "new tank syndrome" everytime after a 50% water change (ala EI method). After trials, I've found that my tanks will be ok up to a 25% water change. I've not tried going beyond that.

    IIRC, Budak did mention that Cryptocoryne is related to Dumbcane... which is very toxic.
    Vincent - AQ is for everyone, but not for 'u' and 'mi'.
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  5. #5
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    hmm... recently had a 40% water change... 3 fatalities.. saw no wounds or diseases.. not sure why they died also..

    and i'm staying in hougang too!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by vinz
    IIRC, Budak did mention that Cryptocoryne is related to Dumbcane... which is very toxic.
    I think all members of the Aroid family have some form of toxin. When I was a missionary in Indonesia, the people will gather wild taro shoots to cook as a vegetable dish (quite delicious really), but some people will develop an allergy. A visiting pastor ate some and his lips and tongue swelled up.

    Quote Originally Posted by vinz
    Ooo, hougang water... I'm near hougang (we're probably on the same water source - Bedok) and have been having been suffering from "new tank syndrome" everytime after a 50% water change (ala EI method).
    Actually I'm starting to see the benefits of a Walstad-style tank; or a "Perpetual Preservation System" if I can find a freshwater Calcium testkit in view of the water change problems when using EI (so far, I escaped 2 weeks no change).
    Warm regards,

    Lawrence Lee

    brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.
    Philippians 4:8

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by GaspingGurami
    ...
    Actually I'm starting to see the benefits of a Walstad-style tank; or a "Perpetual Preservation System" if I can find a freshwater Calcium testkit in view of the water change problems when using EI (so far, I escaped 2 weeks no change).
    You don't need to find a freshwater calcium testkit. You can use a marine one. The problem is that marine testkits have very high resolution because calcium levels in marine tanks are very high. That's why they are always maketed for marine tanks only.

    You need to find one with reasonably low resolution to measure the kind of levels we have in our freshwater tanks. You will also need to change the testing routine slightly to lower the resolution even more... e.g. double the amount of the water sample used.

    One suitable kit is by Salifert. Has instructions on how to lower the resolution. They are not cheap though.... I bought mine at about $40 for 50 to 100 tests (probably even much more for us as we'll use less reagents)
    Vincent - AQ is for everyone, but not for 'u' and 'mi'.
    Why use punctuation? See what a difference it makes:
    A woman, without her man, is nothing.
    A woman: without her, man is nothing.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by vinz
    $40 for 50 to 100 tests (probably even much more for us as we'll use less reagents)
    doubling the resolution will use double reagents. Considering that in FW Calcium is lesser, giving appx 100 tests, but half that to make up for doubling resolution, it'll cost 80cents per test. Not cheap.

    Probably time to go look for a used RO machine. At least Equilibrium is not expensive.
    Warm regards,

    Lawrence Lee

    brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.
    Philippians 4:8

  9. #9
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    Or half the sample of water ... which is what the Salifert kit instructs for doubling the resolution. I got to wrong in my post above.

    Anyway, no point getting a test kit for Calcium. You don't need to be so exact with calcium.
    Vincent - AQ is for everyone, but not for 'u' and 'mi'.
    Why use punctuation? See what a difference it makes:
    A woman, without her man, is nothing.
    A woman: without her, man is nothing.

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