View Full Version : Cabomba plant dying, Please Help!

02-02-2013, 08:49 AM
I have some Cabomba Green (Cabomba carolina) that I put in my 10-gal Hagan Fluval Edge aquarium 1.5 months ago (their standard 44 LED light). Until 4 days ago, they were doing GREAT. They grew so quickly, I had to cut them and replant the cuttings.

Now, they all appear to be dying. They are slowly turning darker green to brown (they used to be a really vibrant green). The leaves are folding up and some are falling off. The worse bunch of leaves appears to have a little web of algae on it too.

Most recent tank events:
(1) I did a 50% water change 2 weeks ago (using filtered water AND added water conditioner)
(2) About 1.5 weeks ago, I killed a bunch of snails (25+) that had come with the plants (these or others I got on the same shipment). When I killed the snails, I smashed them and then pulled out the bodies with a paper towel. However, about a week later, I noticed 6-8 very small (.5mm thick, 5-8mm long) white worms on the back glass. They slowly got bigger. From what I can tell, they might be planaria.

It was 2-3 days after I noticed the worms that my Babomba Green started dying. Any ideas?

Last night, I did another 50% water change (hoping to get rid of the worms and help the plants).

Aquarium details:
No fish, just 4-5 different types of plants, 2-5 stems each
water check showed
PH: 8.0 (pretty standard for me, can't seem to get it lower, probably same as it's been for months)
Ammonia: 0 ppm (checked 2 weeks ago and again 2 days ago)
Nitrite 0 ppm (same two checks)
Nitrate 5ppm 2 days ago; 2 weeks ago it was 40-80ppm which is why I did the 50% water change with gravel vac

I have CaribSea's "Eco-Complete Plant Substrate" in there. It's been there since October (when I opened the new bag). It's about 2 inches deep.
For extra CO2 I dose daily with small amounts of Flourish Excel.

Snail note: I'm not sure it matters, but the snails I killed off were small, mostly translucent, and moved in a continuous gliding fashion. I did not kill off my 3-4 trumpet snails (which inch around, moving more in steps than the other kind). I now have one big trumpet snail (1 to 1.5 inch long) and probably 6-8 smaller ones (some are just big enough to see).

02-02-2013, 09:52 AM
Appears to be a symptom of inadequate lighting. Has the plant grown sparse in between the nodes?

Lady Hobbs
02-02-2013, 12:06 PM
Here ya go.

"For extra CO2 I dose daily with small amounts of Flourish Excel."

02-02-2013, 01:54 PM
Have you been dosing any ferts? Eco Complete, like Flourite, is pretty lacking in nutrients and should be supplemented with additional fertilizers.

Also, what Lady Hobbs said. Excel can be deadly to certain plants.

02-03-2013, 07:50 PM
No, I didn't think I needed to add any "nutrients." I thought that's what Eco Complete was for. So you think I should add fluorite? Anything else? Do your recommend any particular product or website?

It's hard to imagine it is the Flourish Excel or the light. I've had them since Dec 15 and they grew faster than any of the other (5 different types of) plants. I had to keep cutting them halfway and replanting them somewhere else in the tank (so my original 5 stems quickly became 8 or 9). They grow roots like mad too. So when I cut them, I just cut below some recent root growth (which appears to happen anywhere along the column) and then replant that.

Anyway, they did well for 1.5 months with my lighting, the Excel, and my substrate. But if they've used up their fluorite, that could be it.

02-03-2013, 08:01 PM
I'm not entirely convinced unless you vaccuum really well. I've seen cambomba do fairly well in the gravel in a fish bowl. They can get enough nutrients from fish poop to struggle by at least. A sudden decline is usually related to a sudden change. Any change you accidently overdosed the excel? Or dosed it twice on a day?

02-03-2013, 10:27 PM
So you think I should add fluorite? Anything else? Do your recommend any particular product or website?

Not at all. I was merely pointing out that both Flourite and Eco Complete are not loaded with nutrients. It's entirely possible that what nutrients there were have been expended. You really should do some fertilizing. These substrates are used for their high CEC value, the ability to latch onto nutrients and make them available to roots. You still have to supply the nutrients, whether from waste products or from ferts.