UPDATE - Deficiencies! Pls help me understand. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-19-2017, 11:48 PM Thread Starter
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UPDATE - Deficiencies! Pls help me understand.

I have several planted tanks 3 low tech nanos (2.5G, 5G, 6G) and a 54G high tech. The 54 Gallon is the one that I am most focused on.

CO2 injected
PPS ferts
High LED lighting
I use treated tap water (only option)
WC: 10% every 3-4 days and 50% every 2 weeks.

Average normal perimeters:
pH: 6.4~
Ammonia: 0
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates: 15-20ish
TDS: 284 ppm
CO2 drop checker is always green.

I have GH, KH, Phosphate, and Calcium checkers coming in the mail tomorrow along with "Calcium Nitrate Ca[NO3]2" and a TDS meter came in the mail today.

I dose both Macros (5 ml) & Micros (0.5 ml) in the mornings , CO2 is 1 to 2 BPS.

——————

My plants are suffering from deficiencies, most of them…
Anubis'
Rotalas
Crypts
And most importantly to me my S. Repens!

- Anubis' have yellowing fully grown leaves, new leaves coming in stunted growth, pin-holes forming.

- Rotalas are lacking color with darker veins.

- Crypts are lacking color, with some pin-holes.

- S. Repens are what worry me the most because they had been carpeting beautifully! Lately the lower and older leaves are being reabsorbed from tip to stem and eventually dying (N or PO4 deficiency I dunno). I cut them back about three weeks ago the new leaves are coming in but the old are turning brown and melting.

I'll add photos of the plants later tonight.

——————

Can I dose my PPS w/ Calcium Nitrate Ca[NO3]2?
Will using KNO3 & CaNO3 the two combined NO3 be able to help me with what I think is Nitrogen deficiency?

Also I tested my TDS for the first time today and it was just below 300 ppm is that two high?

Can anyone give me some quick advise but also…

—Most Important!—
Please post some good articles to read up on PLEASE. I don't want to just burden other people when I have problems, I want to educate myself so that I can not only solve my own problems but also so I can help others in need.


I want to understand individual fertilizers more so I can more understand what exactly it is I'm doing when I dose PPS and so that I can maybe customizing to my own liking, what I can do to resolve plant deficiencies when needed.

So… Please & Thank you…















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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-20-2017, 01:11 AM
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Pictures will help many with replies.

TDS of your tap is?

If heavily planted PPS Pro dosing may need to be increased.

Include a FTS too.


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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-20-2017, 03:27 AM
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Hi cdaJiv,

Welcome to TPT!

I agree with Maryland Guppy, a picture is worth a thousand words. Actually several pics one of the tank overall and then pictures of leaves of the plants being affected. Also info on the light (make & model), and photoperiod. Are you using 4.0 dKH indicator solution in your drop checker?

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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-20-2017, 03:40 AM
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The good article that you can read is : https://www.biotops.biz/PDF/solvers/...lantDamage.pdf (thanks Seattle_Aquarist!)
You can find good stuff in the stickies of APC : Plant Deficiencies - Aquatic Plant Central

Pinholes in older leaves make me think you have a potassium deficiency, but might only be the tip of the iceberg, so I'll let others comment.
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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-20-2017, 03:48 AM
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Hi @Glude,

lol, good job tracking that down!

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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-20-2017, 07:20 AM
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While you can look at eh leaves and depending on what you see could tell you what the deficiency is. But many times it is not obvoise as to what the deficiency is. For example I did have a copper deficiency once and the only symptom I had was very slow plant growth. The plants looked normal.

One hing I found to be very helpful is to look at a list of the nutrients plant need and compare that to what is in your fertilizer.

The Needed Macro nutrients are Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P), potassium(K), Calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and sulfur

The needed micro nutrients are iron (Fe), Boron (B), Chlorine (Cl) Manganese (Mn), Molybdenum (Mo), zinc (Zn), Copper(Cu), Nickel Ni)

Quote:
I have GH, KH, Phosphate, and Calcium checkers coming in the mail tomorrow along with "Calcium Nitrate Ca[NO3]2" and a TDS meter came in the mail today.
By "Checker" are you referring to the Hanna instruments Colorimeters? If so be advised that my understanding is that the calcium checker is for salt water only. Hanna does sell a calcium hardness and magnesium hardness colorimeters but they are intended for lab use and have a maximum reading limit of about 1ppm. Aquariums will always read off scale high. That said I do have the hanna phosphate, alkalinity, and ammonia Colorimeters and I like them alot.

Your TDS meter measures the water conductivity and compares that to a calibration reference. While you might see 300ppm on your meter someone else with a very similar aquarium may read somewhat higher or lower do to differences in the water chemistry. However even with this limitation TDS meters are very helpful. A TDS reading of 300 is considered Moderately hard according to this site:Hardness,Conductivity,TDS measurement

I have considered experimenting with Calcium nitrite but at present i have not done that yet.



if you then look what is in your fertilizer you will see some problems. Most people just dose NPK and don't think about Ca, Mg, and sulfur. Chlorine and nickel are also missing.

Since your fertilizers are providing everything but Ca, S, Cl, Ni the most likely deficiencies are Ca, S, Cl, Ni. Now tap water typically has more than enough l Cl. The amount of nickel needed by plants is so low that tap water and fish food should have enough. Calcium and sulfur are however are macro nutrients and plants need a lot of these. As a result these are in my opinion the most likely to cause people problems. On good way to test for a calcium or Sulfur deficiency is to is to try a sulfate GH booster such as Sachem Equilibrium. It contains calcium sulfate which would deal with both potential deficiencies at once. Or you can just by calcium sulfate apply some to your tank.

Unfortunately these fertilizer deficiencies are very common. I have searched but so far have not found one that has all of the needed nutrients. Ca, S, Cl are often not added because they are common in soil on dry ground or are typically present in tap water. Foster fertilizers were not designed for aquatic plant and aquariums. Additionally with CO2 injection and high light aquatic plants will burn through nutrients very fast which can make it hard for you to keep up with the nutrient demand.

I would like to provide you a good link but much of the above Is what I have learned on my own from my own experience and observations on aquarium web sites. Web information write and wrong and sometimes can be misleading.
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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-20-2017, 07:55 AM
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Hard I believe to say that most folks dosing only NPK +traces are not providing for their plant's properly and thereby they are suffering from deficiencies, or are omitting key macros/micros without knowing what source water make up is or food's they may be providing.
Plenty of evidence as supported by photo's here at Planted tank forum,UKAPS.org,Aquascaping world forum,Barr report, and other forums,, that EI or PPS dosing schemes are successful on their own.
Hell,some hardly dose anything in El natural method.
OP in my view, should first and foremost reduce"High led lighting" energy,intensity,Duration, which will slow down demand for nutrient's that may or may not be lacking.
This will give plants a break while one determines whether CO2 distribution,consistency, is on PAR with light energy being used for it is the light that drives everything in planted tank.
Light is easy to control ,perhaps easiest.
Can add nutrient's at will also. This leaves that pesky CO2 to dial in,get right.
My two cents
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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-20-2017, 11:25 AM
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Nickel needed by plants is very low = Parts per billion.
Same for copper,zinc.
Dechlorinators convert Chlorine to salt of Chloride.(can't keep fishes/inverts in water with chlorine for long.)
Plants aquire sulfur from Growing medium and or K2SO4 mineral salt used in most dosing schemes.
Agree that Seachems Equilibrium is good source of calcium/magnesium for those blessed with very soft water or those using R/O water in high % .
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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-20-2017, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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Deficiencies! Pls help me better understand and learn.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maryland Guppy View Post

TDS of your tap is?

The TDS of my tap water is a constant 56, I tested it twice yesterday and this morning before I went to work.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Maryland Guppy View Post

Include a FTS too.

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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-20-2017, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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Deficiencies! Pls help me better understand and learn.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Surf View Post



By "Checker" are you referring to the Hanna instruments Colorimeters? If so be advised that my understanding is that the calcium checker is for salt water only. Hanna does sell a calcium hardness and magnesium hardness colorimeters but they are intended for lab use and have a maximum reading limit of about 1ppm. Aquariums will always read off scale high. That said I do have the hanna phosphate, alkalinity, and ammonia Colorimeters and I like them alot.


Calcium checker:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0006JDWHI..._.7NWzb13GNNW7

Phosphate checker:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0006JDWGY..._O8NWzb268MEDN

GH & KH Checkers:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003SNCHMA..._D9NWzbXADTR1K

I have two CO2 checkers one on either side of the tank one near the surface and the other near the substrate.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MY87WVP..._j3NWzbPQ4GAZB

I didn't really pay any attention befor purchasing Phosphate and Calcium test kits. Now I see they are for saltwater, they probably won't work in a freshwater planted aquarium will they? I imagine water parameters in fresh vs salt are pretty different requirements.

Oh and Seachem Equilibrium should be here today too, I ordered it last weekend because I think my shrimp are having trouble molting as well.


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post #11 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-20-2017, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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These pics are from a week or two ago but I'll take better pictures and of the other plants in having problems with after work.







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post #12 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-20-2017, 05:16 PM
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API. Kits for PO4 and Ca work fine for FW.

Browning spots look like diatom algae.

Light yellowing leaves look like macro deficiency.

Are the S.repens from a tissue culture?


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Last edited by Maryland Guppy; 09-20-2017 at 05:20 PM. Reason: Edit
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post #13 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-20-2017, 06:00 PM
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Hi cdaJiv,

It looks like it is mostly an magnesium (Mg) deficiency, I see wavy leaf margins (anubias), chlorosis (yellowing) of leaf tips (anubias & S. repens), necrosis (S. repens) which are all indications of an Mg deficiency. Adding 3 teaspoons of Equilibrium per 10 gallons will increase the General Hardness by 2.0 dGH and should alleviate the issue. It will also add some calcium (Ca) and potassium (K) and a little iron (Fe). Watch not only your new growth but more importantly the older leaves on your plants, a Mg deficiency typically shows up on older leaves because Mg is a 'mobile' nutrient which means the plant can move the nutrient from older leaves to new growth....which causes the older leaves to show the deficiency. After a couple of weeks the deficiencies should have subsided and hopefully the older leaves no longer develop the symptoms. Do not expect to see any change in the leaves that are already affected, it is unlikely that they will recover much. Don't forget that when you do water changes, add 3 tsp of Equilibrium per 19 gallons of fresh water added.

I am not a huge fan of PPS or PPS-Pro, when I used that method I had a lot of deficiency issues with my plants. I have used Estimative Index (EI) for the last 5+ years with substantially less problems.

Quote:
Interveinal chlorosis. Interveinal chlorosis first appears on oldest leaves.

1. Older leaves chlorotic, usually necrotic in late stages. Chlorosis along leaf margins extending between veins produces a "Christmas tree" pattern. Veins normal green. Leaf margins may curl downward or upward with puckering effect. Necrosis may suddenly occur between veins. Potassium or calcium excess can inhibit uptake of magnesium...magnesium deficiency

When the external magnesium supply is deficient, interveinal chlorosis of the older leaves is the first symptom because as the magnesium of the chlorophyll is remobilized, the mesophyll cells next to the vascular bundles retain chlorophyll for longer periods than do the parenchyma cells between them. Leaves lose green color at tips and between veins followed by chlorosis or development of brilliant colors, starting with lower leaves and proceeding upwards. The chlorosis/brilliant colors (unmasking of other leaf pigments due to the lack of chlorophyll) may start at the leaf margins or tips and progress inward interveinally producing a "Christmas" tree pattern. Leaves are abnormally thin, plants are brittle and branches have a tendency to curve upward.

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post #14 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-20-2017, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
I didn't really pay any attention before purchasing Phosphate and Calcium test kits.
Most people just call those test kits. Next time before you buy make sure the kit has the measurement range you need and can work with fresh water. The GH, KH, and phosphate kit are fro fresh water. The Calcium one is not.

Checker is a term I have heard associated with colorimeters which are relatively new to the market (they started to appear about 10 years ago and selection is still somewhat lacking.

This is the phosphate color I meter I own. The cost about double most test kits. but I don't like color charts and it provides a digital readout.
Low Range Phosphate Colorimeter ? Checker® HC HI713 - Hanna Instruments

Quote:
The TDS of my tap water is a constant 56, I tested it twice yesterday and this morning before I went to work.
That is very soft You probably do need to use a sulfate GH booster. You only need to increase your GH by about 2 degrees. The GH test kit you ordered can easily measure 2 degrees.

Last edited by Surf; 09-20-2017 at 09:00 PM. Reason: Calcium kit is not for fresh water.
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post #15 of 43 (permalink) Old 09-20-2017, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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Yes they're TC, like I said those pictures are older. I probably should have gave context… the first three pictures are the only problems I'm having now, not the pictures with detritus/planaria. Some of the bottom leaves are dying and melting though.


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