Another deficiency/toxicity story - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 112 (permalink) Old 02-13-2016, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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Another deficiency/toxicity story

Recently (literally within 1-2 days) I started to have these spots on new leaves of Hemianthus Micranthemoides. New leaves seem also twisted and deformed, this has been happening for few days prior to the spots. (see images #1 - 5) - This I figured out was my fault with H2O2 treatment, which apparently this plant doesn't like.

Tank is 20l (5gal) nano. Been running for a year now, with a major redo 6 weeks ago. Redo meaning changed substrate and added new plants.
Everything is growing fine, only Rotala and HM seem struggling.

Plants are also pearling like crazy despite having obvious issued I described.

Plant list:
Hemmiantus Micranthemoides (started growing fine, very dense, but now started having some issues)
Rotala Colorata (I guess it had some Fe toxicity issues before, now it doesn't look 100%, but it's recovering and growing, but slowly I have to say)
Pogostemon Erectus (growing very bushy, with many sideshoots)
Myriophyllum Tuberculatum (also growing fine, had to trim it once after 2 weeks; noticed this plants growing faster with increased iron dosing)
Staurogyne Repens (spreading like crazy, 5 weeks growth from only 3 very small cuts; trimmed once, but only older GSA affected leaves)
Eleocharis Acicularis (was struggling at first, but now it's started to spread and looks healthy)
Flame Moss (growing, trimmed twice already)
Pogostemon Helferi (just recently planted, emersed grown plants adjusting to my water)
Alternanthera Reineckii mini
Rotala Wallichii
Rotala Indica (Ammania Bonsai)
Bacopa Caroliniana (growing extremely fast, had to trim it 3 times already as it has reached the top of the tank, only added this plant to help suck up the nitrates)

Substrate:
5cm of porous fired clay based substrate (1-2mm fragments) with osmocote added on the bottom.

Filtration:
Eheim Aquacorner with sponge as mechanical and SubstratPro as biofilter. (1 year old established filter)
+ added small cheap filter just for additional flow

Light:
DIY LED cca 1000 lumen / 6500 kelvin. 5cm from the top, 25cm from the bottom of the tank. Lights currently running on 66% as I stated to see some GSA on the glass and on S. Repens older leaves.
Total light period is 8 hours with 1.5h rump up and down.

Ferts:

EI daily method with values based on this calculator:
Aquarium Nutrient Calculator
I'm using EasyLife liquid ferts calculated for 15l of net water volume:
1.8 ml Fosfo = 0.6ppm
1.2 ml Potassium = 3.2ppm (+0.25ppm from Fosfo) = total 3.45ppm
0.1ml Profito + 0.05ml Ferro = 0.05ppm of Fe (basically 3 drops of 2:1 mix of Profito and Ferro)
0.05ml Ferro = 0.03ppm Fe
I'm not adding any NO3 now as there's 20ppm coming from the tap already and another large portion from the osmocote I added.
Also I'm not listing any week totals, as I'm doing more frequent water changes and dosing daily.

Note:
I was not dosing any micros for the past 4 weeks, only started dosing these 3 drops 7 days ago. Immediately noticed increased growth of Myriophyllum Tuberculatum, but this may not be related.

Water chemistry:
KH = 9 - 10
GH = 20 - 23
PH morning 7.1 - 7.4
PH evening 6.2 - 6.5

NH4/NH3 = 0ppm
NO2 = 0ppm
NO3 = 80ppm
NO3 = 20-30ppm

CO2:
1bps
Bazooka ceramic atomizer
On 2 hours before lights
Off 1 hour before lights
I don't have a dropchecker, but my tank literally looks like a soda...
Based on the KH/PH/CO2 table, I should be having crazy amounts of CO2 between 80-100ppm... I have some doubts about that as I have never seen my fish gasping for air.

Water changes:
2 times a week 50 - 60% (always after lights off, so I can start next day fresh, with new ferts added)

Fauna:
5x Danio Margaritatus
3x Ottocinclus Affinis
3x Caridina Japonica
All are doing fine, even had small Otos, unfortunately disappeared after few days, probably eaten by CPD's...

Additional data:
Occasional Excel dosing 8 - 16 drops (0.4 - 0.8ml)
Did H2O2 spot treatment for the GSA, mostly on the glass and driftwood (1 - 2 ml near the Hemmiantus) and 1 - 2 ml directly on the S. Repens (which seem totally unaffected)
Trimmed 2 stems of the Rotala 7 days ago, for some reason 2 stems grew really fast.
I will be removing the Bacopa. I think it's sucking up too much nutrients and mostly CO2. The way the water flows within the tank, it's in the way right before the Hemmiantus, although I can see plenty of bubbles around it.

Also I have to mention, except for the GSA on S. Repens, I don't see any algae in the tank.
But this may be due to help of Otos and Amano shrimp I guess.


13.02.2016
-----------
Today I gave the Hemianthus Micranthemoides a good trim (see image #6), removed the Bacopa, clean filters and did a 60% water change.
I was really surprised how bad it actually is... Basically the whole plant looks bad. Twisted, with spots, kind of dark colored and simply not healthy at all.
Not sure if this is light related, but the plant is not that dense (it has been in the tank for only 5 weeks now).
It has some small amount of new growth that doesn't look totally bad, so I guess there's hope.
I will continue with P and K daily dosing and stop all traces again. Will see what happens.
I'm expecting some improvements, at least from more nutrients and co2 now available when the Bacopa is out of the way.

15.02.2016
-----------
This morning I noticed all Rotala leaves except one stem (the very left one) pointing down, looking kind of saggy before the lights on. Never seen this before, the tips were always closed and pointing up in the morning. They all came up eventually after 2 hours of light, but still have some kind of curve.
Also I have noticed kind of short nodes between each pair of leaves. Definitely shorther than 6 weeks ago. I think I read in some of the recent toxicity threads, that this could be one of the symptoms. Not sure if this is the case, or could be light related, but thought it's worth mentioning.
Anyway, despite the obvious damage, it's still pearling like crazy (see image #7) (even the super damaged and trimmed HM has some bubbles on top)
One more point, you can see the stem on the right of image #7 trimmed a week ago, it has not grown much at all, just two small stunted clumps of leaves. The top portion of this trim is the one on the very left. The top portion is also looking slightly worse then 2 days ago (image #8 viewed from the top).
Will do another water change today and continue dosing P and K only.

29.02.2016
-----------
Two weeks update.
Dosing kept the same, daily 0.6ppm of P / 3.45ppm of K. No micros or Fe at all with 2 water changes a week.
Removed Eleocharis Accicularis and replaced with Staurogyne Repens trimmings. Added some Pogostemon Helferi I got, we'll see how that goes...
As you can see from the pictures 09, 10 and 13, Rotala Colorata has grown a bit, but again just two stems grew fast and have nice color, the rest is small and green. There's one taller stem on the left in pic. 9, but that one still looks kind of defored. Also some biger leaves have broken tips for some reason (maybe too much flow?). Despite all this, the Rotala never looked better in this tank before.
Hemminatus Micranthemoides is recovering slowly. First week it didn't do much, then it started growing tiny new leaves. I'm pretty sure now that the sudden die off was my fault with the H2O2 treatment. But still there was definitely something wrong prior to that. Top portion looks nice and green with new leaves, bottom portion sufferes a little from what I believe is diatoms which Otos's can't reach (pic. 11)
Since I removed the Bacopa, I can also see some diatoms and tiny little hairs on Pogostemon Erectus outer needles, not sure if related. Maybe should have reduced the dosing a bit.
I'm also seeing GSA on lower parts of the glass. Maybe still too much light or not enough PO4?
Thinking of removing the Myriophyllum Tuberculatum, it doesn't look so good since the Fe detox. Lost color a bit and not growing much. I think I'll replace it with the Pogostemon Erectus trimmings, I really like that plant.
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Last edited by Burito; 03-11-2016 at 01:59 PM. Reason: additional data
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post #2 of 112 (permalink) Old 02-13-2016, 07:50 PM
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I am wondering if it was a result of the H202. Also, since you have made changes to the tank, I usually wait two weeks before making more changes. If you make a lot of changes all at once, it is hard to know what is responsible for what.
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post #3 of 112 (permalink) Old 02-13-2016, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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I had similar problems with the Rotala before, that's why I made the whole remake. That was 6 weeks ago. I had to take it out completely and replant few healthy stems. Back then I was dosing a lot of Iron (0.5ppm daily) with horrible results, so i stopped all traces for 5 weeks and only started adding 0.05ppm daily last week. I'm still not fully convinced is just Fe toxicity and there might be something elese going on.
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post #4 of 112 (permalink) Old 02-13-2016, 08:00 PM
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Hemianthus callitrichoides (aka HC/dwarf baby tears) is extremely sensitive to a direct hit from H2O2 in my experience. Possible there could be a susceptibility throughout the genus. Does the timeline fit?


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post #5 of 112 (permalink) Old 02-13-2016, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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Hm could this really be from H2O2? What shocked me today was the ugly bottom of the whole plant I discovered after big trim. And the fact that these spots appeared literally overnight. The H2O2 treatment was on Wednesday.
Still there's some twisting of leaves that's been happening for the past few days and there was no H2O2 involved.
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post #6 of 112 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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So yesterday evening I upped my CO2 just a tiny bit and seems like I almost gassed my fish today. They were very lethargic kind of just floating around, so I quickly scooped them and threw them in a bucket with fresh water ready for today's waterchange. They're swimming normally in the bucket right now. So I guess low CO2 is out of the question here.
I have never seen something like this before and I have never had any problems with my fish until today's accident.

Did some water test and my tank water PH was down to 5.4, so definitely there was a lot of CO2. PH of the fresh water ready for water change was 7.4

Last edited by Darkblade48; 02-16-2016 at 11:20 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #7 of 112 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 04:04 PM
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I always go by a 1.0 to 1.3 PH drop regardless of the KH as the charts are unreliable. Seems like you had it dialed in about right before.

I believe your NO3 test is suspect and would suggest finding a source of KNO3 that you can make a reference sample from to calibrate your NO3 test kit. As an example, mine said I had 80 PPM when I actually had 20 PPM. You may have much less than you think and with the plants you have and the amount of co2 available that would be my first area to check since they will consume a good amount.

You can also check with your water company and see if they have a water report online or call and ask them how much NO3 is in the water from the tap. You can also use a test strip rather than the drop kits to get a rough idea of your water conditions.
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post #8 of 112 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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Water report from my water company says NO3 8-12ppm, my measurements are 10-20ppm from tap. Before the Osmocote added it was about the same in this tank. After the rescape I had a big swing up to 160ppm and currently lowering it down with frequent water changes. I did a calibration test with distilled water and EasyLife Nitro. I can say the test is reasonably accurate. Definitelly not 400% off like yours. And I'm not seing any nitrate deficiencies.
In my other low light/low tech tank with plain inert gravel the NO3 stays about the same at all times using the same water.

As for the PH drop, I was always aiming for 1 degree drop and it was pretty stable until today.

I did some more water tests and for some reason my KH dropped significantly to about 1-2 dKH. I suspect the driftwood, but I always thought about PH, not KH being altered by it. And to be safe, I did frequent water changes hoping it would flush away most of the tannis. With such low KH, it's no wonder the PH dropped so low and it can also contribute to Fe toxicity as it appears soft water is more prone to this.

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post #9 of 112 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 07:03 PM
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in b4 someone says micro toxicity

This seems to be somewhat similar to issues I have seen in the past... I will be interested to see what you find out


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post #10 of 112 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 08:58 PM
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Yeah, I will also be interested in what you find. I have seen my plants react to micros that way before as well. I currently have stopped dosing them although my issues were not as pronounced as yours. The yellowing was what threw me. The other signs look like possible micro tox but the yellowing is not how mine has ever looked.
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post #11 of 112 (permalink) Old 02-15-2016, 09:30 PM
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It's a micronutrient toxicity.
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post #12 of 112 (permalink) Old 03-01-2016, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solcielo lawrencia View Post
It's a micronutrient toxicity.
It's possible. I can definitely see some positive results after two weeks of Micro/Fe detox, but I'm not out of the woods yet..
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post #13 of 112 (permalink) Old 03-02-2016, 04:37 AM
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Burito, those sure are sign of trace toxicity in those pictures, if you could get rid of those osmocote from your substrate then that would help. you should be safe with quite higher amount of Fe 0.15ppm daily, long as that higher amount is not coming from DTPA or better chelator.

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post #14 of 112 (permalink) Old 03-02-2016, 04:52 AM
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I just want to say how amazing your tank looks!
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post #15 of 112 (permalink) Old 03-02-2016, 06:44 AM
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You guys saying this is a trace toxicity what are you basing this on? What are the difference from deficiencies you can tell from the images? Not calling you out on it but am interested since you are stating it as fact?
He is also doing 50-60% WC 2-3 times a week for some reason, how could he build up toxic levels of traces then?


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