If Calcium Deficiency, how much stunted growth? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-04-2010, 01:06 AM Thread Starter
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If Calcium Deficiency, how much stunted growth?

if a tank's only limiting nutrient, high light (deep tank 72) glass top, co2 injection through 1000 reactor 3-6 bps. 265W 6700 brand new bubl CF coralife fixture 65 watt bulbs, EI dosing by recommendation, flourish iron, and flourish with trace, started excel today as well... flourite for gravel and heavily planted...

if the limiting nutrient is calcium and plants are turning sorta white not so yellow at all but more of a white fading green color and My plants aren't growing that fast at alllll... even when I dosed HEAVY EI + trace for awhile... could the limiting factor of calcium or magnesium cause stunted growth... especially in riccia because it is more of a harder water plant (with soft water where you live)
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-09-2010, 01:35 AM
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if a tank's only limiting nutrient, high light (deep tank 72) glass top, co2 injection through 1000 reactor 3-6 bps. 265W 6700 brand new bubl CF coralife fixture 65 watt bulbs, EI dosing by recommendation, flourish iron, and flourish with trace, started excel today as well... flourite for gravel and heavily planted...

if the limiting nutrient is calcium and plants are turning sorta white not so yellow at all but more of a white fading green color and My plants aren't growing that fast at alllll... even when I dosed HEAVY EI + trace for awhile... could the limiting factor of calcium or magnesium cause stunted growth... especially in riccia because it is more of a harder water plant (with soft water where you live)
I'm thinking that your limitation is CO2. 265w cf is a good amount of light and 3-6 bps while may seem like a lot it's not as much as you think in a 72g. If you don't have several powerhead/circulation pumps in the tank that would add to the problem. Dosing heavy won't make any difference. Light is the driving force and without enough CO2 it's gonna be algae city.


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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-09-2010, 03:07 AM
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Ca, Mg, and S are the minor league Macros, but plants still need all of them to grow.

EI should take care of S.

Leaves that cup longwise (esp. hygros) are a sign of Ca deficiency, also thin or transparent shells on snails.

with cheap gh and Ca test kits, you can determine Ca and Mg levels, and elimitate the guesswork.

Once you have established the levels, you can adjust as necessary. Typically a 3:1 or 4:1 ratio of Ca:Mg is advised. I use Ca at 25-30ppm, and Mg at 5-10 (reconst RODI water). I use CaSO4 and MgSO4 for this.
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-09-2010, 03:12 AM
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Adding a tablespoon of GH booster at water changes should eliminate any Ca deficiency without the need for a test kit and then you can concentrate on CO2.
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-09-2010, 07:52 AM Thread Starter
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thanks, appreciate all the feedback... I dosed seachem equilibrium yesterday... and rescaped... under aquascape, uploaded pictures...

i dosed 2 tablespoons of equilibrium mixed with water change water...

so do you think I should up co2 to like what... 6bps? + seachem excel?
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-09-2010, 10:56 AM
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thanks, appreciate all the feedback... I dosed seachem equilibrium yesterday... and rescaped... under aquascape, uploaded pictures...

i dosed 2 tablespoons of equilibrium mixed with water change water...

so do you think I should up co2 to like what... 6bps? + seachem excel?
How close is your fixture to the tank and hour many hours of light? Do you live in an area of extremely soft water? Are you using RO (reverse osmosis) water? What do you have in the tank to circulate the water so CO2 is distributed? You should consider getting a drop checker and some 4dkH water to see if CO2 level is adequate and is getting to all areas of the tank. If you have average water it's probably not calcium or magnesium. But as others have said that is easily fixed using various products.


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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-09-2010, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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"How close is your fixture to the tank and hour many hours of light? Do you live in an area of extremely soft water? Are you using RO (reverse osmosis) water? What do you have in the tank to circulate the water so CO2 is distributed? You should consider getting a drop checker and some 4dkH water to see if CO2 level is adequate and is getting to all areas of the tank. If you have average water it's probably not calcium or magnesium. But as others have said that is easily fixed using various products."

My fixture sits on the glass tops of the 72... looks like 10 hours of light... I live in Corvallis, OR where the water is really soft... no just straight tap water...

I have eheim 2234 on one side with the straight output blowing at angle from back corner to front-middle of tank...

also have XP4 spray bar in back middle of tank that sprays straight forward towards front of tank... also have a powerhead on opposite side of eheim 2234 blowing towards front of tank... i have 2-3 other powerheads that I could place in the tank...

i used a drop checker with 3dkh solution and 2 drops of pH solution checker from my master test kit...

it was blue at first and turned green after being in my tank for an hour or so...

on opposite side of eheim 2234 that blows CO2 saturated water out... maybe I should have placed it lower towards gravel because that is where plants lack i think... but even my mid level red plants are struggling, stunted growth....

I just dosed 2 tablespoons of seachem equilibrium with water change... i dunno if that's making a difference... i've literally done everything possible...

I even put newer bulbs in my 265W CF fixture... I'm gonna turn my CO2 regulator up so it's literally a line of in the bubble counter... this is crazy... no matter how much I turn up CO2 I can't gas my fish? bs! how come I can't get enough co2 in the freaking water... this is crazy I have a inline 1000 on a BRAND NEW eheim 2234... with plenty of circulation I think... maybe I need more circulation down lower or something...

we'll see... I'm PUMPING my CO2 up today...
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-09-2010, 05:49 PM
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I've never seen one confirmed case of Ca++ deficiency in an aquatic plant. Not saying it cannot happen, just that even with the super soft tap in my area and around CA, NYC, a few other places, no one seems to ever have had this issue.

I have seen plenty of CO2 issues, pretty much every day.

Given this, It's exceedingly rare and unlikely it's Ca++, a nutrient that is very simple and easy to measure......versus a nutrient like CO2 which is much more difficult, and the ppm's move around several orders of magnitude faster/more variable than Ca++.

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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-09-2010, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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ok well I got my CO2 really pumped up and I don't really notice a difference... I really don't know what else I can do to saturate the water with CO2... you all know my setup by now... yet I can't gas my fish... I swear it's impossible... maybe I'll literally turn my co2 needle valve as far as It can be turned up later... lol.
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-09-2010, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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PLUS i've been dosing hella flourish excel...

don't really get it.
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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-09-2010, 10:05 PM
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PLUS i've been dosing hella flourish excel...

don't really get it.
Be careful! Watch your fish closely. The fact that you can't see any response seems to me to indicate a CO2 issue. Shouldn't you have 4dkH water in your drop checker? Where did you get 3 dkH water? If you move your drop checker around to other spots does it indicate less CO2? Easy on the excel too. Might be possible to reach toxic levels not sure.


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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-10-2010, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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i mean't 4 dkH water... but ya I'll try moving it around today...
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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-10-2010, 05:27 PM
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PLUS i've been dosing hella flourish excel...

don't really get it.
Look nutrients are a lot easier and more certain when it comes to providing non limiting amounts. VERY EASY to rule out.

CO2?

The most difficult of the plant parameters.

Even a newbie can reason through the limiting Ca++, simply add more and wait and see if that fixes it.

Do some water changes and re set and dose, repeat.
Easy.

CO2?
It's much more complex.
It's not just about CO2, since we have fish etc, which use O2, so it's both the O2 and the CO2, current, flow, water changes etc.

Try doing a water change about 1 hour after the lights come on, do say 60%.
Then dose etc.

What does the tank look like at the last 1 hour of the day?
Does it look like this most days? This is a good reference for the max growth/pearling, what it could be.

It's not likely you will get this much when the CO2 is set right, you can also reduce the light intensity, as this will reduce CO2 demand and it will reduce Ca++ demand or any nutrient for that matter.

You have several things you can do, not just add more CO2 gas, that's too simplistic. Fish should not be gassed due to poor CO2 management.

Use less light, increase surface movement, do water changes, dose routinely etc, clean filters to maintain good current/mechanical filtration etc, clean CO2 system to keep it optimal, use good quality CO2 equipment.

Adjust CO2 gas once you addressed the above, progressively and slowly, watch the tank, compare to water change day growth etc, adjust slowly and watch fish, or algae issues, plants etc.

Take your time adjusting this, no rushing.

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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-10-2010, 10:29 PM Thread Starter
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ok but Tom... I've done all this...

I am able to turn two of the 65 W bulbs off and on, i.e. (130W power buttons CF 6700k)

I really don't get it... I saw exactly the same setup in portland... a 72 bow... glas tops, same light fixture... the only difference was the ADA soil...

it has magnum 350 or maybe a eheim 2235 on it.... with a spray bar and just a bubble ladder...

the plants looked like they were growing great... they would only dose the regular Flourish once or twice a week... water changes every week or two... maybe.

plants grow great in there....

maybe I'm dosing too many nutrients if anything...

here's what I have done...

I have had 3 powerheads in there at a time but took two out when I added the eheim 2234 with the XP4

I have increased surface agitation a little bit so it flutters at the top... no splashing ever...

I have added airline to power head at top that sprays O2 into the water...

I ALWAYS do 40-50% water change every sunday...

I have been always dosing heavy macro on sunday w/ water change

I have tried dosing heavy macro and heavy micro with daily flourish iron

I have tried dosing regular EI with flourish for trace by recommendation with daily iron

saturdays ALWAYS a rest day

I have tried 3 different light fixture harnessing methods (legs, no glass on top, glass top (currently))

I am never able to gravel vaccuum because of baby tears... I would easily suck them up but am gonna try using a smaller vacc soon to clean baby tears mulm build up...

The only thing I haven't done is put my airstone back on at night... I guess this could help with photo synthesis....
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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old 03-11-2010, 12:54 AM
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ok but Tom... I've done all this...
Patience as well?

Quote:
I am able to turn two of the 65 W bulbs off and on, i.e. (130W power buttons CF 6700k) I really don't get it... I saw exactly the same setup in portland... a 72 bow... glas tops, same light fixture... the only difference was the ADA soil...
Well, once things are fine, no issues with algae or plants, then it likely should be pretty close, but you really are not sure/certain of the CO2.

No matter how much folks want to say they have gotten that down....hell, I'm not even sure UNLESS the plants are growing well.
I doubt you can be more sure that I am?

Quote:
it has magnum 350 or maybe a eheim 2235 on it.... with a spray bar and just a bubble ladder...
CO2 bubble ladder?

Quote:
the plants looked like they were growing great... they would only dose the regular Flourish once or twice a week... water changes every week or two... maybe.

plants grow great in there....

maybe I'm dosing too many nutrients if anything...
No, as any newbie can tell you, those are easy to rule out.
Bark up another tree. What is too many nutrients?
What does that look like?

I've heard this claim 1001 times, and every single time , without fail, I've been unable to repeat the claimed effect. That's a lot of repeating and long term experience.

For it to actually be true, we'd have to have seen it a lot more often and the test should be repeatable for EVERYONE, or almost if....that is really the cause.

I'd not be so sure of yourself.
Frustrated, perhaps, but not sure.

=> Light/CO2.

Quote:
here's what I have done...
I have had 3 powerheads in there at a time but took two out when I added the eheim 2234 with the XP4 I have increased surface agitation a little bit so it flutters at the top... no splashing ever...
This is good then.

Quote:
I have added airline to power head at top that sprays O2 into the water...
Bad, stop doing this.

Quote:
I ALWAYS do 40-50% water change every sunday...
I have been always dosing heavy macro on sunday w/ water change
I have tried dosing heavy macro and heavy micro with daily flourish iron
I have tried dosing regular EI with flourish for trace by recommendation with daily iron aturdays ALWAYS a rest day I have tried 3 different light fixture harnessing methods (legs, no glass on top, glass top (currently))
Try using less light, say 1/2.
Give it some time to settle.
Try 8 hours, not 10 or more etc.
Try adding screen to block some of the light.
Quote:
I am never able to gravel vaccuum because of baby tears... I would easily suck them up but am gonna try using a smaller vacc soon to clean baby tears mulm build up...

The only thing I haven't done is put my airstone back on at night... I guess this could help with photo synthesis....
Not much, but will help fish perhaps.

You still need to try less light.
This tank has 1/2 the light you have, close to the same size etc, apparently does quite well.



Try running the front 130W for 4-5, hours, then the rear for 4-5 hours.

This will make both CO2/nutrients much easier and less demand.
So in both cases, it will make it less stressful for both.

Good filter cleaning, good CO2 adjustments, methods etc, reasonable light etc.......they all work together.

It's not one thing, rarely is.


Regards,
Tom Barr




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