Help please...Deficiency or Toxicity? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 04:56 AM Thread Starter
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Help please...Deficiency or Toxicity?

Hello folks,

My tank's dimensions are 46"x17"x14" LxWxH

My measurements are from the inside of the glass, so I am not including the thickness of the glass. Also, the height is measured from the top of the substrate to where the surface of the water is. This results in a volume of 47g

When making my macro and micro doses, I calculate for a volume of 45g.

For the past two weeks, I have been dry dosing my macros

Macros 3x a week: Sun Tue Th

1/2 tsp KNO3

6 ppm of K
9.4 ppm of NO3


1/8 tsp KH2PO4

1.2 ppm of K
2.9 ppm of PO4


Micros 3x a week: Sat Mon Wed

Using 1/2 tsp of CSM +B solution in a 500ml container and dosing 30ml per dose provides .05ppm of iron.

I also dose 5 ml of flourish iron three times a week

Total iron dosed during micro days is 1.05 ppm if my calculations are correct using zorfox's calculator.

I have also been adding 4 3/4 tsp of Nilocs GH booster after water change on Saturdays.

According to zorfox's calculator this should provide,

10ppm of Ca
20ppm of K
2ppm of Mg


Nothing is being done on Fridays.

The tank has been setup for more than a year.

I am using one 48" Dutch style BML light fixture suspended. The distance from the substrate to the light is 21"
And the fixture is set at 100% power.


The tank has two 2217 Eheim filters and using pressurized CO2.

The co2 is set to turn on if the water's pH is > 6.1 (using a Milwaukee Ph controller)



The issues:

Well, most plants seem to be doing well with the exception of my rotalas and some ludwigia (I think)

Here some pictures that could help identifying the deficiency or toxicity.

















Full tank shot:



Other possible information that could help diagnosed:

Par levels for my light:



My city's water report:



Please let me know if there's any other information needed to help with diagnosing the issue.

Million thanks

Cristian
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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 05:28 AM
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When you do the Saturday water changes, it's 50%?
Previous to 2 weeks ago, were you dosing the same amount in solution form? And have you been doing that for the tank life, or at least the last few months?
Is 6.1 the stable pH? How far is the pH drop? Is the controller on when lights are off? Do you use a drop checker?
Any other changes in maintenance over the last 3 months or so?

The only thing that jumps out is that it sounds like you're using a lot of GH booster. I could easily be very wrong, but I'd look into that.

Also, that's not diatom algae on the first couple pics, is it? I doesn't rub off?
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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 05:32 AM
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testing water for nitrates, phosphates and iron on saturday morning before dosing would help.
you might find something is sucking up phosphates at enormous rates or you have way too much of something built up in the water.
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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 06:01 AM
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Edit: Misread the dose initially

1.05 Fe per week is a pretty good bit, hard to think it would be deficient enough to cause that kind of damage. It certainly looks like a toxicity. Could try increasing the csmb, maybe to .1 - .15, and cutting out the Seachem Fe, or lower it significantly

First thing I'd make sure there is adequate CO2. If CO2 is poor it's going to be like playing whack a mole no matter what you do.


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Last edited by burr740; 02-12-2016 at 08:06 AM. Reason: clarity
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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 08:26 AM
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I'm going to go with phosphate toxicity. Here's why:

Most of the plants display similar symptoms of twisted and deformed new leaves which could indicate a micronutrient deficiency. But the Rotala with the new leaves appearing healthy while the old leaves suffer confounds this pattern. As does the appearance of a calcium deficiency - stunted, crinkly, small new leaves. Ordinarily, these various symptoms would strongly indicate a micronutrient toxicity, but it just doesn't look like one for some reason.

Since you're dosing excess phosphate, and excess interferes with the way nutrients are used in plants, then it's quite possible that the symptoms are due to excess phosphate. Plants can't use 10-20ppm of PO4 each week. 2ppm may be the max in such a tank, which is less than 0.7ppm of phosphorus.

There are two ways you can potentially fix this issue:
1. dose more micros to counter the excess phosphate, which I don't recommend
2. reduce phosphate

Also, once you reduce phosphate, it may be unnecessary to dose so much iron since it's way more Fe than P. This results in nutrient balance issues which can affect the uptake and utilization of other nutrients and can lead to iron toxicity.
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 08:57 AM
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Looks like precipitate. Try and rub some of the brown deposits on the leaves, if it comes off, reducing PO4 and Fe dosing will help.

Feel free to edit.
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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
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I thank each and everyone one of you for taking the time to help me with my tank. I will be answering all of your questions later in the day as I am currently getting ready for work (5:12am). Thank you.
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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 02:08 PM
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Reposting from your other thread on APC:


From what I see the plants seem to have new growth only symptoms. Which leads me towards a deficiency of one of the immobile elements. Assuming all your and Zorfox's calculations are correct it seems you are adding enough of everything for the plants to grow well except possibly traces.

The safe limit for CSM+B and iron hasn't been figured out 100% yet, but problems seem to appear around 2 ppm of CSM+B per week from what I've seen in other people's posts. On the flip side of that coin, the minimum also hasn't been determined very well either and changes with each person's unique tank conditions. With that said I'd venture a guess that your issue is with a lack of one of the traces. It doesn't seem to be likely that iron is deficient with you adding over 1 ppm per week. I wonder if this problem isn't a lack of one of the other micros, possibly boron.

Try increasing the dose of CSM+B so you are adding about 0.2 ppm per dose for a total of 0.6 ppm for the week. Then just reduce your flourish iron so the total iron doesn't go beyond about 1 ppm.

If the issue is micros then you should see the plants growing healthy new tissues within a week or so.

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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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Help please...Deficiency or Toxicity?

@ kevmo911



I recently changed my dosing amount due to my readings on possible toxicities attributed to the excess dosing of CSM+B. Previously, I was dosing 30ml from a solution of 500ml of distilled water mixed with 5 1/16 tsp of CSM+B. I dosed 30ml three times a week and every dose added .5 ppm of Iron. So, I was adding 1.5ppm of iron per week. At this time I was not using any Seachem Iron. During this time, some of my plants were not growing and/or looked unhealthy.



About two weeks ago, I decided to change my dosing amount to the following:



Micros 3x a week:



Using 1/2 tsp of CSM +B solution in a 500ml container and dosing 30ml per dose provides .05ppm of iron.



I also dose 5 ml of flourish iron three times a week



Total iron dosed per week is 1.05 ppm if my calculations are correct using zorfox's calculator.





I always stay on top of my WC and Filter cleaning. I usually change about 60% of the water on a weekly basis.



According to my pH controller (I also clean the probe on a weekly basis during WC with the appropriate solution and calibrate it accordingly) the ph is about 7.3 before the lights turn on. However, since the Co2 comes on 4 hours before the lights turn on. The pH controller drops the pH to 6.1 right before the lights turn on. The pH controller is set to turn the co2 on if the pH is >6.1



Yes, I do use a drop checker...and it's yellow throughout the photoperiod. I also pay close attention to my fish and right around 6.1, I see one ore two gasping for air. So, I have the pH controller set to turn off at that measurement.



I decided to add more Gh booster since stunt growth and twisted leaves could be a calcium deficiency....But then again it could also mean an excess of K and Mg.

According to my water report, there is some Mg and Ca in the water. In fact, the GH reading for my tap is 9 degree. However, I added more since I atrributed the stunt and twisted growth to Ca deficiency.



@dzega



I have tested nitrated and phosphates before and after a water change and the amount I am adding three times a week is sustained for the entire week. If my eyes are on target, my phosphates are reading around 2-3ppm and nitrates >=40ppm



Never tested for iron...I have also read that they are "useless" or "inaccurate" i also don't want to spend $$$$ to get a really good iron kit.





@burr740



Are you suggesting I increase my dose of CSM+B up to 1.5 ppm per week or per dose? Will this be enough iron that seachem iron will no longer be required?



@Socielo Lawrencia



Please correct me if I am misinterpreting your post...Are you saying that plants need at most 2ppm of phosphates per week or per dose?



I am currently adding 3ppm per dose three times a week. At the end of the week, my reading are between 2-3 using API test kit. I was dosing 2ppm before but I was getting some GSA on some of my plants. Increasing the amount has helped a bit.



@Audionut



Have not tried to see if rubbing the leaves will remove the brownish stains seen on the leaves. I'll have to report on this later on today after work.



@Zapins



Thank you very much for following up with my thread here. It seems I am getting a lot more feedback here. Burr740 also suggested I increase my CSM+B either to 1ppm or 1.5ppm per week and stop or deduce the dose of seachem iron significantly.



What's best .6ppm or 1 ppm a week? I guess...I'll just have to try and see since my plants will response differently than your plants in your tank.







So, it looks like I need to change several things. However, I wont be able to pinpoint the culprit if many things are changed.



This Saturday is time for WC.



What do you guys suggest...
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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 08:11 PM
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So your substrate is high CEC clay-based. The extra phosphate is not being used up by plants at those concentrations, most of it is being adsorbed onto the substrate. Yes, plants use up around 2ppm of PO4 per week under those tank conditions, not very much at all.

Also, there is no absolute concentration at which nutrients are safe without knowing it's relative concentration to other nutrients. It can be toxic at 0.05ppm or 0.5ppm depending on the concentration of macros and secondary macros. This means that in soft water, 0.5ppm can be toxic but in very hard water, it's safe. Thus, any statement of absolute concentrations cannot be made without this information.
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post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
@burr740

Are you suggesting I increase my dose of CSM+B up to 1.5 ppm per week or per dose? Will this be enough iron that seachem iron will no longer be required?
.15 ppm, not 1.5!

Logic being that the current .05 dose of csmb may not be providing enough traces. So increase the csmb to .1 or .15, and decrease the other sources of Fe, so that each dose is somewhere around .2 or .25 total ppm for Fe.

Those arent exact numbers or anything, just the general idea. You may not even need additional Fe, just have to try it and see.


*Also; Based on the GH of your tap, it's probably not likely that the earlier twisted growth symptoms were due to low Ca or Mg. More likely to be trace/Fe related imo.


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Last edited by burr740; 02-12-2016 at 08:41 PM. Reason: .
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post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 08:54 PM
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Yes I agree with burr. A good starting point will be to increase each dose to about 0.2 ppm CSM+B and reduce the seachem iron for a total of about 0.6 from CSM+B and a little extra from seachem to a total of 1 ppm iron per week for both.

While you are changing 2 parameters here at once you will still be at about the same amount of iron with the only real change being an increase in CSM+B. I'd wait 1-2 weeks before assessing whether it helped or not.

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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-12-2016, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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Help please...Deficiency or Toxicity?

Okay, I'll go ahead and change my micro CSM+B dose as suggested by Burr. If nothing changes after 2-3 weeks...I'll increase a bit more as suggested by Zapins.

Should I continue with my GH booster dose despite the fact that you guys think my tap water most likely has enough of Ca and Mg?

I could just use potassium sulfate to dose after a WC. Aim for 15ppm of K
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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-13-2016, 01:13 AM
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The GH is likely fine and you probably do not need to add Ca/Mg, but why not just maintain that for the moment while you are changing the iron and CSM+B, That way you'll know with some certainty that it was the CSM+B change that worked.

Let us know how adding 0.15 ppm per dose works out (total of 0.45 ppm a week CSM+B).

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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-13-2016, 02:17 AM Thread Starter
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Help please...Deficiency or Toxicity?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zapins View Post
The GH is likely fine and you probably do not need to add Ca/Mg, but why not just maintain that for the moment while you are changing the iron and CSM+B, That way you'll know with some certainty that it was the CSM+B change that worked.

Let us know how adding 0.15 ppm per dose works out (total of 0.45 ppm a week CSM+B).

That makes perfect sense. I will take pictures later today and document visually the before and after effects of adding more CSM+B.

If all goes well within 2-3 weeks and stunting and twisting of leaves stops...I will experiment lowering the phosphates as suggested by solcielo and then stop my dose of GH booster and see if there's any negative effect.

So,

Everything will remain the same:

Macros: 3 x a week

1/2 tsp of KNO3

1/8 tsp of KH2PO4

Micros: 3x a week

.15 ppm of iron from CSM+B

GH booster added after water change:

4 3/4 tsp
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