Thursday, 28 August 2014

Crypt melt

Within a few days of re-establishing my main aquarium, I noticed that my Crypts (Cryptocoryne wendtii, as far as I can tell) were not looking to well. With the move and everything, I didn't give it a whole lot of thought - most of the plants were looking more than a little worse for wear.
Nice growth of Crypts - obviously not mine!
Cryptocoryne wendtii, from Wikimedia Commons. Copyright User:Haplochromis. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license
Over the next week the leaves, already flopped over, grew thinner and less substantial and it was apparent that this was the thing I had long read about, but never actually seen - Crypt melt. Eventually nothing was left but a few petioles and a mass of gunk clogging the intake of my filter. Fortunately, the damage does not appear to be permanent (except in terms of shed leaf tissue). Just a few days after 'peak melt', fresh leaves are popping up and they look healthy.

This is consistent with what I've read online. Crypts can be sensitive to changing environmental conditions, and respond by losing their leaves. Hardier species like C. wendtii do this more rarely and recover more quickly. Other species are more sensitive.

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