What's wrong with my AR? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 09-27-2017, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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What's wrong with my AR?

I can't seem to figure out what is going on with my AR Cardinalis . . .
Tank is about 2.5 months old.


Tank: Spec V
Substrate: FloraMax and some small gravel
Hardscape: Spiderwood and dragon stone
Light: 16" Finnex Stingray (8hrs)
Ferts: 1 pump of thrive 2x a week, a few Osmocote+ balls around the base of the AR and Bacopa, double dose excel most days

Flora: H. Diformis, JV Needle, JV Wendelov, C. Helferi, S. Subulata, Bacopa caroliniana, A. nana petite, mini christmas moss
Fauna: nerite (1), Ember Tetra (9), RCS (4 adult ~30 juvenile)

Average parameters:
pH: 7.2
ammonia: 0
nitrite: 0
nitrate: < 20
GH: ~60 mg/l
KH: ~80 mg/l


Growth for almost everything except for the AR and SS seems good. I was under the impression that moss was slow growing but my mini christmas moss has exploded. B. Caroliniana is doing well and almost getting a pink tint to the upper leaves. Both types of java fern are continually producing new leaves and rhizome side shoots.

But then there's the AR . . . new leaves seem to be OK, but the older leaves are developing pinholes and I can't get rid of the algae on the surface of them. (there's no other real algae to speak of beyond a very light dusting on the glass that I easily wipe off weekly) I've read some other threads here that indicated that the holes could be potassium deficiency so I started adding enough flourish potassium to theoretically raise the level in the tank by 1~2 ppm 2x a week with my Thrive addition. I have trimmed off some of the worst ones but I'm worried it's just going to get bald underneath if I keep going. I've also read that these don't like to get moved, but at this point I wonder if I wouldn't be better off pulling them up and replanting the tops . . .

Am I missing something? Any guidance is appreciated.






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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-02-2017, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
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:Bump:

Any thoughts here?

The lower leaves continue to deteriorate.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-02-2017, 03:06 PM
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Ive seen it grown well without CO2 in a few cases, but....most likely it needs real co2. You could 3x the Excel and see if it helps.

Cant tell how the flow is arranged. it might benefit from better circulation around it. Those rocks in front and the other plants beside and behind it, might be sitting in somewhat of a dead spot.

Also might try increasing Thrive by 50%


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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-02-2017, 08:33 PM
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If you think those are pinholes then it might be asking for more K. Potassium is very easy to dose without any worries. I typically let it be always higher than or close to my Ca levels. People sometimes don't dose it if they dose KNO3. If you want to rule it out simply dose enough K2SO4 to dose 10 ppm K in your tank. Typically Mg is also needed so you might get some of that too just to ensure that you covered that nutrient. IMHO It is always better to dose all of nutrients needed than playing the "guess which deficiency is going to show up next" game. It is just a waste of time to play around with these nutrients since they are very easy to dose and are less toxic to plants.

FYI I've played around with Ca,Mg and K nutrient levels. I've done 100+ ppm, 80 ppm, 60, 40, 20+ ppm K. One thing I avoid is have super low Ca or Mg since my tap is very soft. I always let my Ca be higher than my Mg and my K to be higher or close to my Ca. I own a photometer (Hanna HI-83200) which lets me test my Ca, Mg and K levels so I've experimented with these nutrients a bit.


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Last edited by PortalMasteryRy; 10-02-2017 at 09:11 PM. Reason: more stuff
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-02-2017, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burr740 View Post
Ive seen it grown well without CO2 in a few cases, but....most likely it needs real co2. You could 3x the Excel and see if it helps.

Cant tell how the flow is arranged. it might benefit from better circulation around it. Those rocks in front and the other plants beside and behind it, might be sitting in somewhat of a dead spot.

Also might try increasing Thrive by 50%
Thanks for the feedback!

Regarding CO2, I'm not sure that I'll be able to make that happen on this tank as it sits on my desk at work . . .
I'll up the excel and see what happens.

The flow could very well be a problem as well, since the Christmas moss on the drift wood at the top has exploded and is blocking most of the real estate in front of the filter outlet. I've been meaning to give it a trim. If I could get something like this https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EWENMAU...CustomerImages situated so that it was directing flow across the back glass at substrate level would it be beneficial? That's the smallest I could find and as this is a small tank, with shrimp, I'm not sure about anything else.

I will keep working with it for a while, but I'm not completely tied to the AR, I would like some sort of red plant to provide contrast though. Are there better red options for low tech I could try?

Thanks again!
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-03-2017, 01:23 AM
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I wouldnt give up on the AR just yet. Sure, the older leaves are kinda ratty, but overall it looks pretty good. The top few leaves are nice and <almost> flat like they're supposed to be. Something many high tech folks struggle with.

Its just lacking a little bit of something to be able to sustain the old growth. Thats why the old leaves have algae.

Those tiny pumps are great, you can adjust the flow as well. Put it on the left wall blowing to the right. It can be up high. More surface agitation will only help things, and the flow will travel downward when it hits the left wall.

Try that and a little more Excel. Wait and see what happens. If it doesnt improve, do a little more Thrive. If that doesnt help, or the problem gets worse, try 1x week Thrive.

2x week Thrive should be plenty for this tank, and many folks have better success with AR using less water column nutrients. And since you already have a few O+ balls in there, might be worth a shot.


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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-03-2017, 04:48 AM
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Quote:
Ferts: 1 pump of thrive 2x a week, a few Osmocote+ balls around the base of the AR and Bacopa, double dose excel most days

Flora: H. Diformis, JV Needle, JV Wendelov, C. Helferi, S. Subulata, Bacopa caroliniana, A. nana petite, mini christmas moss
Fauna: nerite (1), Ember Tetra (9), RCS (4 adult ~30 juvenile)

Average parameters:
pH: 7.2
ammonia: 0
nitrite: 0
nitrate: < 20
GH: ~60 mg/l
KH: ~80 mg/l
Thrive is missing the vital plant nutrients Calcium, sulfur, and chlorine. Osmocote Has sulfur but still doesn't have calcium and chlorine. Osmocote also has ammonia salts in it. These deficiencies might be causing your problems but I cannot be sure. your GH is quite low. Your water may not have enough in it to compensate for what the fertilizer is missing. Excel,when dosed incorrectly, can damage and or kill plants and animals.

this is a a water quality report for your cityhttps://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&ved=0ahUK Ewjd2ebrytPWAhXngFQKHV1nANoQFgg6MAI&url=https%3A%2 F%2Fwww.raleighnc.gov%2Fcontent%2FPubUtilAdmin%2FD ocuments%2FWaterQualityReports%2FAnnualFinishedWat erQualityReport.pdf&usg=AOvVaw0vsVE3vrho5aXMa4Tbki 9U

Reading through it I see:
Calcium 6ppm
Magnesium 2ppm
Chloride 15ppm
Sulfate 46ppm

Assuming this is correct your chloride and sulfate levels should be sufficient for you plants. You calcium levels are very low.

I would recommend using a GH booster to boost your GH by 2 degrees. That would prevent Calcium and magnesium deficiencies. I would also recommend not using the Osmocote and I would not exceed the recommended Excel dosage. In fact my preference is to not use it at all. I would consider increasing the aeration of your water instead of using Excel. Continue to use Thrive.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-04-2017, 07:01 PM
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Looking at how your light is centered on the tank, I notice that the AR is in one of the dimmer parts of your scape. I know it's aquascape sacrilege to put red in the center, but it might fair better in a brighter area.
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