Trying to figure out if I have deficiency - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 04:46 AM Thread Starter
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Trying to figure out if I have deficiency

Recently my tank has been decimated with BGA and I'm still trying to figure out the root cause of it. So one of the causes could be an imbalance in my fertilizing.

It's a 20 gallon with 2x 24 watt T5-HO 6500k lights and has 1 inch of dirt capped with sand and is 3 and half years old or so.

It was quite heavily planted (overgrown) but algae took care of that! I dose with APi leaf zone and Flourish comp based on what the bottle says and also have red sea DIY Co2 running and dose with api co2 booster/excel. And used to (just haven't been able to find them for some reason) add the flourish root tabs next to the plants that needed it (crypts, swords).

I've used this setup for quite a while and all the plants grew fine and fast. The Rotala took over the tank, the dwarf sag carpeted, and my anubias barteri grew up and out of the water. And throughout that time I never had an algae attack or anything bad happen.

Though, my crypts would and do sometimes get a few holes in there leaves or their edges are sorta eaten away like a caterpillars been chewing at it, and my dwarf sag does sometimes like to do massive die offs where the leaves turn translucent and spread forming a small circle of death. But it always recovers.

As of now the crypts are showing holes in their leaves, the dwarf sag is dying off, and even some leaves on my anubias are getting a hole or two in them and I have BGA. So something must be off.

Any ideas as to what I might need to add or is missing?

I thought I had a good balance but something has to be missing. I was thinking maybe NO3, since that's what causes BGA, but the plants don't seem to show any signs of that...
I was also thinking potassium, but I'm pretty sure that's covered by the Api leaf zone. And I know that before If I missed a few weeks of dosing the APi leaf zone, my rotala would get holes in their leaves, and yet the ones that remain have none.

Here are some crappy pics. Showing the hole in my anubias (a new leaf has since grown straight through it) and the holes and weird edges of my crypts, and also in the same pic you can kinda see the dwarf sag dying off.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 05:25 AM
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Hi @Ka Splat,

It is likely that any nutrients that were in the soil are fully depleted. Recently I broke down a tank that was up for over five (5) years.....sometimes starting over is easier than trying to resurrect one that needs to be redone. What you may try is replacing the lamps in your fixture if the bulbs are a year old or older. Fluorescent lamps lose substantial intensity after a year, sometimes 40% or more even though we cannot detect the change visually I have measured it with a PAR meter. Also sometimes the spectrum shifts as well. If the lamps are old try changing them and see if it makes a difference. If not, you have new lamps for your new aquascape. Hope this helps!
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 06:53 AM
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I would also check no3 and the circulation.

Crypts and Anubius are also heavy root feeders - try root tabs in addition to water fertilization.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-11-2018, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies!

I thought anubias were more water column feeders than root feeders? None the less I will start with the root tabs again.

I just replaced both lights after Christmas. As they were around a year or so old.

I'd be game for breaking down the tank and restarting with a new base of dirt and everything, as I do plan to majorly "renovate" the tank when I get back in May. Yet, I feel like it would just be too difficult to remove/move around my anubias barteri as most of its roots are 6 inches long above the soil and go straight into the substrate, while only a bit of it is attached to the driftwood, and some roots have stuck on to a rock. Which means that its whole support system is based off of the roots holding it into the soil, and i'd hate to have it snap or collapse when trying to take it out or put it back in.
I also have no where to put my fish for the time being. I know when I first decided to add dirt, the tank already had fish in it and I still redid everything and put them back in with no casualties, but lots of water changes! I think they were in a bucket for about 5-6 hours. I don't want to kill my rasboras! They've been with me for 3 years!

I'll think about it, but I feel like that just a bit too much of a risk.... And if the root tabs would suffice I think it'd be just better to go with those. Though I am going to be doing a lot of replanting regardless and it would make it a lot easier.... Hmmmm...

I have an aqua clear 20 running at full blast into the tank and also the red sea turbo adds a slight current to the bottom of the tank. Though there is a 'dead' zone behind this piece of drift wood, but I don't think I can do much about it, unless I remove it. I was thinking of adding an air stone behind there.

I'll check the NO3

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