Odd new growth on Java Fern: holes?
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:53 PM   #1
DBridges
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Odd new growth on Java Fern: holes?


I have a 65 gallon set-up that's pretty heavily planted. 36Lx24Hx18D tank with pressurized CO2 and 2x39W T5HO lighting. Mostly Crypts, Anubias, Java Fern, and a single large E. cordifolius. I also have a lot of Amazon Frogbit and floating Pennywort. Water parameters, as of 12/5/12, are:

GH = 6
KH = 9
pH = 7.0
Ammonia = 0ppm
Nitrite = 0ppm
Nitrate = 5ppm

I keep the CO2 levels around 25 to 30ppm, and there's not much algae to speak off, other than a bit of green dust and diatoms (enough to keep my Oto and Nerites fed). Tank stock is: 1 anglefish, 10 red-eye tetras, 14 cories, and 1 lonely Oto. All fish are very healthy.

The problem:
Over the past month or so, new growth on my Java Ferns is growing in strangely. As the leaf grows, holes form occasionally in the new leaves. The holes tend to be not-uniform in shape or size, and tend to be in the upper half of the leaf. Sometimes, the tip of the leaf will end up slightly malformed. Smaller new growth tends to be more adversely affected, whereas larger new growth tends to grow more closely to normal. All other plants are very healthy with no noticeable deficiencies.

I dose as follows:
K2SO4 - 1/2 tsp. twice weekly
KNO3 - almost stopped dosing this entirely. Seems the fish are able to keep NO3 around 5 to 10ppm.
KH2PO4 - 1/8 tsp. twice weekly
CSM+B - 1/8 tsp. twice weekly
Fe chelate - 1/8 tsp. twice weekly

Water changes are now monthly, with water parameters checked weekly and so far have been very stable.

Soooo...
Any ideas what the problem could be with my Java Ferns?
Help is appreciated!

David
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:28 PM   #2
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do you have pics? maybe i can help...i keep java fern ....
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Old 12-07-2012, 12:29 PM   #3
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I'll take some pictures today and post them up.
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Old 12-07-2012, 03:39 PM   #4
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Here's some pics of what I'm talking about:

This leaf is larger (approx. 9", maybe more) and developed holes in the upper half while growing in.


This leaf is much smaller (approx. 3") and developed holes throughout the leaf while growing in.


Nutient deficiency? Some other problem? Or normal growth?

David
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Old 12-07-2012, 04:08 PM   #5
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Maybe the java ferns are getting the short end of the stick? Crypts and swords can scavenge from the substrate, the floaters get all the CO2 they want and Anubias just might not be showing deficiencies yet. I would try increasing the amount of either nitrate or phosphate for a couple weeks to see if things change.

How hard is the water? Mine ought to have plenty of magnesium in it but the plants sure respond to a bit more, might look into GH booster too.

Just do one change at a time and observe. Sometimes change happens with the very next new leaf, sometimes it takes a while.
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Old 12-07-2012, 06:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathyy View Post
How hard is the water? Mine ought to have plenty of magnesium in it but the plants sure respond to a bit more, might look into GH booster too.
GH stays around 6, and KH around 8 or 9. I add my own Ca/Mg mix whenever I do water changes, as the tap water here is very soft.

I may try to add some more phosphates, and experiment again with the KNO3 at a lesser dosage as opposed to the none at all/occasional I've been doing for a while now.

Other input is of course still welcome!

David
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:23 PM   #7
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some sort of deficently alright
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Old 12-07-2012, 09:10 PM   #8
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leaf damage is sadly forever but NO3 >10ppm and PO4 2-4ppm maintained and new growth will be bright green again after a month,,, or so,,, slow growers can be a challenge

Tested levels rather than spoon dosed as that can be misleading
My high light tank chews through PO4 every week. 4ppm on Sunday and 1ppm by Friday yet NO3 stays 10-20ppm.
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Old 12-21-2012, 10:21 PM   #9
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Thought I would give an update on this. I upped my bi-weekly dose of KH2PO4 from 1/8 tsp. to 1/4 tsp. and it seems to be helping. I have 3 or 4 new growth leaves in varying stages and in various locations in the tank, and so far no holes, not even the smaller leaves. Looks like phosphates were deficient.

David
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