nutrient deficiency issues, help!!! - The Planted Tank Forum
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  • 8 Post By Vinster8108
  • 2 Post By Highseq
  • 4 Post By PortalMasteryRy
  • 4 Post By PortalMasteryRy
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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nutrient deficiency issues, help!!!

please help me diagnose my deficiency!!

75 gallon
no co2 injection
ph this morning 7.6, ph of tap is 7.4...? api master test kit
kh 40 api test strip
gh 60 api test strip
nitrate 10-20 ppm api master test kit
temp 78.3-78.6
substrate is eco complete
lighting is one finnex planted plus 24/7 se ran from 8am to 8pm only and is 20.5" from substrate.
filter is marineland c360 canister

I've used Osmocote diy root tabs with the gel capsules
5ml liquid ferrous iron every other day
5ml excel every day

I have algae growth, some looks green some looks greenish brown

plants are all about 2 months planted except the last 2 on the list, about 3 weeks
crypt spiralis
Amazon sword
red flame sword
crypt wendtii
anubias nana
red tiger lotus
pygmy chain sword
water wisteria
alternanthera reineckii roseafolia (from tissue culture)

spiralis is becoming pale on edges and looks burnt on tip
Amazon sword new growth is very translucent but see veins and eventually edges start to look burnt, also wavy or curled edges
red tiger lotus just doesn't look right, kind of hard to explain, the new growth is disintegrating
wendtii is really wavy edged, looks a little veiny
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 07:17 PM
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Are you dosing any NPK ferts? I'd get some dry ferts and try a low dose EI method.

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 08:43 PM
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Osmocote doesn't contain chlorine or calcium. Chlorides (salt) are typically prescient in tap water) so chlorine deficiency is unlikely. Your water GH is 60ppm and may not have enough calcium. Some of the leaves in the aquarium are nice and flat while others are wavey or distorted. Based on what I have read that can indicate excess magnesium and or not enough calcium. You may want to try a small amount of a GH booster or just add some calcium sulfate.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 08:54 PM
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I would also put my money on a NPK problem. The biggest contributor of the deficiency you see is probably from potassium, maybe nitrogen. Although you could easily tell by measuring your nitrate levels. Submerged sword leaves are always a little wavy at the edges, even in a healthy tank. Some nitrogen and phosphorus will come from fish, but whether it is enough depends on your bioload. Potassium is usually the nutrient that is deficient first.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-30-2017, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highseq View Post
I would also put my money on a NPK problem. The biggest contributor of the deficiency you see is probably from potassium, maybe nitrogen. Although you could easily tell by measuring your nitrate levels. Submerged sword leaves are always a little wavy at the edges, even in a healthy tank. Some nitrogen and phosphorus will come from fish, but whether it is enough depends on your bioload. Potassium is usually the nutrient that is deficient first.
when you say "you see" are you referring to me or in general?

nitrate levels are always in the 10-20 range depending on my water changes
if it's an npk problem, i would want to lean towards P or K but which?
could I have multiple deficiencies?
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-31-2017, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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will kh or gh readings change between tap water and tank water in the time between water changes? I'm assuming fish and plants would use the minerals? or would the elapsed time not be long enough to see a change in readings?

I am sitting at about 10ppm maybe 15ppm nitrates (the colors on the chart are close to my eyes) and it's been 5 days since a water change. I usually only take ~15 gallons out of the 75gallon tank each week. could only 15 gallons of fresh water from the tap each week lead to the plants not getting enough minerals like calcium or magnesium added to the tank?
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-31-2017, 07:28 PM
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will kh or gh readings change between tap water and tank water in the time between water changes? I'm assuming fish and plants would use the minerals? or would the elapsed time not be long enough to see a change in readings?
Yes. Plants consume carbonates and magnesium and calcium so KH, GH, and nitrate can go down. However the amount of drop would depend on how much is in your tap water, how fast your plants are growing, the size of the water change, and the time between water changes. Keep in mind the GH test doesn't tell you if your water hardness is due to just calcium or just magnesium. In nature calcium levels are typically 3 to 4 times the magnesium levels and if the ratio between the two is significantly different than the natural environment plants may not grow well or at all.

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I usually only take ~15 gallons out of the 75gallon tank each week. could only 15 gallons of fresh water from the tap each week lead to the plants not getting enough minerals like calcium or magnesium added to the tank?
Yes that is potentially the problem your fertilizer is adding magnesium so magnesium levels should stay stable or rise slightly. For Calcium your listed fertilizers don't add it. so it could drop before a water change. with only 15 gallons changed there may not be enough calcium in the 15 gallons to compensate for the drop. Possibly you can try a larger water change. Many people due 50% water changes on smaller tanks. But I don't know what is common for large tanks. If you don't want to do a larger water change then the easier option is to add some calcium to your fertilizer. With NPK is being added in your fertilizer I would suspect that these levels will stay reasonably stable.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-31-2017, 07:51 PM
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You can dose Calcium Sulfate and Magnesium Sulfate without any issues. Better yet use a GH Booster which is the combination of the 2 ferts plus Potassium sulfate. Add enough to increase GH by 3 and see what happens. If it was any of the 3 then you should new leaf with a better color. It might also help the other older leaves color up.

If the leaves still stay white then it could be Fe that is missing.


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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-02-2017, 02:03 AM Thread Starter
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I ordered the gh booster, I will start there and see what happens. thank you guys
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-06-2017, 11:41 PM
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Does anyone know the optimal calcium and magnesium levels (ppm) for a planted tank? Just curious.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-06-2017, 11:53 PM
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Dose for 4 ppm Mg and 10 ppm Calcium and watch the plants. Magnesium might help color up the older leaves. If these do color up then it means you were lacking Magnesium.

In my tanks I got for at least 10-15 ppm Mg and target around 40 ppm Ca. My target potassium or K levels are always around 30-50 ppm.


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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-07-2017, 12:12 AM
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Hi matsev,

Welcome to TPT!

@PortalMasteryRy is on the correct path. It does not appear to be a NPK issue but another nutrient, specifically Magnesium (Mg). The GH booster will likely resolve the issue but you could run to the drug store and pick up some Epsom Salt. Add 3/8 teaspoon 2X per week and see if the new leaves look better as they emerge. It is likely that the older leaves that are already effected will not improve or only improve slightly. If the problem was calcium we would see the tips of the leaves 'hooking' downward and I didn't see that in any of your photos.

On a side note, I hate "test strips".....they are 'marginal' at best and much less accurate that liquid test kits. When you run out of test strips buy an API GH/KH test kit.
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