Cupped/Twisted Java Fern Leaves - Help?! - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
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Cupped/Twisted Java Fern Leaves - Help?!

Here is my issue: the tap water I use for my tank has a PH of 7.6, but I still end up with my java fern looking like it has a calcium deficiency.

Is there any other reason for this that I might be overlooking?

Thanks for your help in advance - this issue is really annoying me.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 03:47 PM
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are you fertilizing regularly or in spurts? sudden increase in nitrate followed by absence of nitrate for long periods may be the cause of the leaf deformity.


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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Crispino Ramos View Post
are you fertilizing regularly or in spurts? sudden increase in nitrate followed by absence of nitrate for long periods may be the cause of the leaf deformity.
I do fertilize regularly. I did just switch to EI from using Seachem's line, but the cupped leaves have been always been an issue for me.

Thanks for the input though.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 06:39 AM
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pH is not Calcium, and there is almost no link between them.
pH is a measure of H+ and OH- ions.

GH (General Hardness) is a measure of calcium and magnesium. There are also separate calcium tests.

The link between pH and calcium is very tenuous.

Rain that flows through limestone will dissolve the limestone and pick up those minerals. Usually this is calcium carbonat and magnesium carbonate. Water that has high levels of these minerals will test:
KH (carbonates) high.
GH (Ca and Mg) high.
The pH will usually test in the alkaline range when the carbonates are high. It has nothing to do with the calcium. Just that the most common source of both Ca and carbonates is the very common mineral, limestone.

Each of the components of limestone are found in other minerals and soils, and there are other materials that can alter the pH, no matter how much or how little Ca, Mg or carbonates are present in the water.

So...
testing pH and calling it Calcium is sort of like kissing Aunt Martha when you really wanted to spend some ;-) time with your significant other.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
pH is not Calcium, and there is almost no link between them.
pH is a measure of H+ and OH- ions.

GH (General Hardness) is a measure of calcium and magnesium. There are also separate calcium tests.

The link between pH and calcium is very tenuous.

Rain that flows through limestone will dissolve the limestone and pick up those minerals. Usually this is calcium carbonat and magnesium carbonate. Water that has high levels of these minerals will test:
KH (carbonates) high.
GH (Ca and Mg) high.
The pH will usually test in the alkaline range when the carbonates are high. It has nothing to do with the calcium. Just that the most common source of both Ca and carbonates is the very common mineral, limestone.

Each of the components of limestone are found in other minerals and soils, and there are other materials that can alter the pH, no matter how much or how little Ca, Mg or carbonates are present in the water.

So...
testing pH and calling it Calcium is sort of like kissing Aunt Martha when you really wanted to spend some ;-) time with your significant other.
Thanks for the informative response. This really helped me understand PH correctly. Now, I do have an API GH test kit (I know, not the most reliable) but it tests around 10 degrees of hardness. From what I've read, I should have plenty of calcium in the water at that level.

I'm guessing that either my test kit is screwy, or my plants are consuming calcium at a level higher than what my standard tap provides.

Once again, thanks for the help though.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatPlantedAquariumGuy View Post
Thanks for the informative response. This really helped me understand PH correctly. Now, I do have an API GH test kit (I know, not the most reliable) but it tests around 10 degrees of hardness. From what I've read, I should have plenty of calcium in the water at that level.

I'm guessing that either my test kit is screwy, or my plants are consuming calcium at a level higher than what my standard tap provides.

Once again, thanks for the help though.
Or...that it's not a calcium deficiency. What else can you tell us about your tank? Size, lighting, fertilizer dosing if any, CO2 ect. Do any of your plants grow normally?


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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Or...that it's not a calcium deficiency. What else can you tell us about your tank? Size, lighting, fertilizer dosing if any, CO2 ect. Do any of your plants grow normally?
Here's some specs:

-10 gallon tank (stuck with the nano size tanks for right now)
-Fluval 205 canister filter with purigen, filter floss, sponge, and bio balls
-Pressurized CO2 with external reactor - plants pearl about 3-4 hrs after lights turn on....Ph starts at 7.6 and will end up at around 6.4 by end of day
-Current USA Satellite 2x40W light fixture - one bulb on at a time for 5 hours to equal a total of 10 hrs lighting (6,700K/10,000K combination bulbs)
-Just switched to EI dosing from using Seachem fertz - I follow the guide that's stickied in this forum
-Eco-complete substrate
-add one scoop of Seachem acid buffer at water changes to help lower PH just a tad

Plants:
-Just ripped out all my spiral vallisneria, but it has been in the tank for a while
-Currently, java fern on driftwood, glosso foreground, just added blyxa and pygmy chain sword to add total plant mass

I've also had hygrophila siamesis in the tank at one point and it's exhibited twisted and cupped leaves also

Hope this gives you some background on the tank.

Here's some recent testing specs
GH around 10 degrees (API test kit)
KH around 8 degress (API test kit)
PH from 6.4-7.6 depending on time of day
NO3 around 20ppm (API test kit)
Nitrite is 0ppm
Ammonia is 0ppm


I'll try to get some pictures up later of the tank and the fern
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-31-2010, 10:27 PM
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I know this may seem crazy but even with only one light on at a time it seems like a lot of light over a 10g which are not very tall. The light fixture you have is designed for reef tanks I think so it probably has a good reflector in it. Can you raise the light a foot up off the tank? Try that for a week with only 8 hours on and see if it makes any difference.


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