I've been having some issues with my 40 breeder that I just can't seem to figure out. In the recent past, I had a big problem with BBA, which I've pretty much solved. But now, even though the tank is largely healthy, I've got some plants that just aren't right. Alternanthera reineckii
(removed) was growing leaves that looked OK at first but became folded down at the sides as the whole leaf curved to one side. Other than that, color was great and it kept growing. Same issue with Ludwigia glandulosa
. A new Ludwigia
hybrid I collected has leaves that curl down at the edges and twist. Common theme, as you can see. A while back I had L. arcuata
with strangely bent and twisted leaves, but that was before the "improved" conditions I have now. Limnophila
sp. 'Belem' (a RIDICULOUS name, as it's strictly an Old World genus) likewise has leaves that curl down but also in pretty much any direction in addition to weird forked tips. It grows fast but is generally a mess. I have regular Hygrophila polysperma
that formerly looked really ratty and full of pinholes lower down before I cranked the co2 and added more N. I haven't seen this in a bit, but some leaves had an odd sudden kink and hole along the midrib.
It's probably worth mentioning that I had some of the small form Limnophila aromatica
that was pale and chlorotic looking that got fixed after adding Flourish Trace. Some Pogostemon helferi
pretty much stunted when I got it but is recovering. Tonina
doing well, as do all Bucephelandra
(grow all those like weeds) and crypts. Riccardia
sp. 'Guyana" (an explosive grower) do fine. But pretty much anything that has the potential to grow funky does.
Water is reconstituted RO. I've had better results with it than the tap water here. Currently, I use a 50/50 mix of Seachem Equilibrium and Aquavitro Mineralize. GH is 6 and kH is 2.
For traces, I'm currently using Flourish, Flourish Iron and Flourish Trace at the recommended levels. In my case, that's 6.5mls of Flourish, 1.25mls Flourish Iron and 20mls of the Trace weekly. Trace two days and Flourish two days. Iron in smaller amounts daily. In the past, I dosed much more heavily, always with Seachem stuff (for a while, Aquavitro Envy) and at one point, 10mls a day.
I add potassium sulfate for K daily, and possibly too much. I'll get into that later. For N, I use Flourish Nitrogen. 9mls the first day after the weekly water change and 5mls daily the rest of the time. Potassium phosphate (dry dosed) .45g the first day and .25 daily other days. I was until recently not adding even close to enough N. Currently, I'm adding 17ppm weekly. Before that, it was 12.64 and before that, even lower. Some clear leaf margins on Nymphaea were fixed when I got on top of that.
Lighting is a fixture I made with RapidLED parts. 24LEDs with 4 blue and the rest a mix of (I think because it's been a while) warm and neutral whites. If turned up all the way (and it is now), PAR at substrate is about 150ish with no lenses on.
Substrate is mostly a mix of Flourite Black and Soilmaster. I will never use the latter again because it's so light. Much of the foreground is pool filter sand; that area was formerly the same as the rest.
Filtration is a Rena Filstar XP2 and a Fluval 306. The Fluval has a surface skimmer attached to the inlet. Plenty of flow in the tank. A few hours after the lights go out, I have an airstone running the rest of the night until when the co2 comes on an hour before the lights.
Co2 is maxed out. It was definitely not enough until recently but now should be. 4mls of Excel added every morning on top of that.
The tank itself is about five years old in its current iteration.
Stocking levels are low. 12 lampeyes, 7 Corydoras habrosus
, a Farlowella and a geriatric, 8 year old glowlight tetra. Also a wood shrimp and a ton of Malawa shrimp.
Currently adding in PPM per week:
I know that's a lot of phosphate. If I back off of it I get a green haze on the glass. But really, there's not really any algae otherwise other than some of the non-attaching Cladophora in tiny, inconsequential quantities (but an indicator of high P, I know). I've pretty much eradicated the BBA.
Without the potassium sulfate, I'm at just over 29ppm a week with all the other K sources. Turns out adding more N did more than all that K. But too much now?
Old overdosing catching up with me? I think Flourish products are more fool proof than CSM+B but I wonder if it might have accumulated in the substrate.
Too much Trace?
I should note that a few years ago, I had REALLY high zinc levels. As in .4ppm or so. I think that was what scared me into using RO.
Just be more patient with the newer regimen? I feel like I'm running out of possibilities here and it's rather frustrating. I've had issues like this to some degree for quite a while now. Help is appreciated.