Deficiencies Galore? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-25-2018, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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My mystery plant (pretty sure it’s Ludwigia something it’s growing like mad) is showing some pretty sad looking new growth. It is putting on almost a half inch of growth a day, but the leaves are concerning. I did get this plant in a very poor state so I am not worried about old growth, but the new growth is curling and veins are very apparent. Older new growth is quite pale as well.

Current tank stats:
120g with 45g sump
5xT5HO (2 bulb viewing window for 11 hours - 7.5 hours of all 5 bulbs).
280 pounds of Eco
Pressurized CO2 - still a WIP but my drop checker is lime green-borderline yellow by the time all of the bulbs kick on

I am wondering if I have been miscalculating my EI dosing. I have used calculations for a 120g tank but maybe I need to add in the 30 or so gallons coming from the sump.
My reagents for my phosphate test are expired, but for calcium I am at 45ppm out of the tap, magnesium is at 28ppm out of the tap, and nitrates ATM are over 40ppm.

Current dosing:
1-1/2 tsp of KNO3
1/2 tsp of KHPO4
1 tsp of K2SO4
(3x per week)

Plantex 1/2 tsp alternating with above macros
I also add Seachem Aquavitro Iron after water changes at half the recommended volume and when I top off in the middle of the week.

My dosing is a bit modified as in the past, per my notes, I had a lot of potassium issues and I am wondering if this is related.

I am also wondering if despite the two bulbs meant to be a “viewing” light period, the plants are still growing during this period and eating up more nutrients then I expected. I have not experienced one ounce of algae yet in this tank-not even GSA on the glass, and I have no clean up crew except for one ancient nerite snail.

The tank is not that heavily planted atm. Only plant showing issues is the one above in the picture. My Monte Carlo is spreading quickly and none of the other stems, aside from recovering from a rough shipping period (aka melting) are showing issues.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Trying to do this iteration of this tank right.
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post #2 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-25-2018, 03:21 PM
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Following for interest but I think you’re onto something with the sump. I’d be willing to bet it would be a good idea to modify dosing for total water volume, not just main tank.


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post #3 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-25-2018, 03:57 PM
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Definitely need to include the sump actual water volume in the total water column volume.

Sumps are great but the extra water will cost you in ferts.

edit: Get a good pH meter to check your CO2 and lose the drop checker.

Planted S. Am. Waterbox 190 (141G dispaly w/sump & stand)
{new - in progress }

Last edited by Cichlid-140; 10-25-2018 at 04:00 PM. Reason: Addendum
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post #4 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-25-2018, 04:27 PM
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Hi @Little Soprano,

So you have any water parameter information please; please provide what you can.

pH =
dKH (in tank) =
dGH (in tank) =
nitrates (ppm of NO3) = opps spotted it 40 ppm

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post #5 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-25-2018, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cichlid-140 View Post
Definitely need to include the sump actual water volume in the total water column volume.

Sumps are great but the extra water will cost you in ferts.

edit: Get a good pH meter to check your CO2 and lose the drop checker.

Agreed @Little Soprano, you should include the total volume of water in your closed system for your fertilizer calculations. Will it make a huge difference - probably not. But, something that I learned early on - you want to use the "volume" of water in your tank, not necessarily the advertised tank size. As you stated, you have a few hundred pounds of Eco Complete in there. Yes it gets wet, but water does not flow thru it. I would suggest measuring the actual water volume within the tank and without the substrate. Then add in your actual sump water volume.


As I said earlier, it may not make a huge difference. I am guessing, based on your dimensions listed in your Build Thread and the fact that I also own a Marineland Tank, the interior of your tank should measure 47.25"L x 23.25"D x about 23" H. Of course, you probably won't fill it to the point of spill over so lets assume about 22"H of water without the Eco Complete. And lets assume 19"H with about 3" of Eco Complete.





Kinda crazy how little changes make a noticeable difference in overall tank volume. So, the above generated about 79 gallons of water in the tank + lets say 30 gallons in the sump. Now your total water volume is 110 gallons - not far off from the 120 gallons you were previously using.


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Last edited by Immortal1; 10-25-2018 at 05:03 PM. Reason: <?>
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post #6 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-25-2018, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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I have a Hanna PH pen on the way but here’s my stats via API haha

PH: 6.4 (tap is 7.8ish)
KH: 60 (6 drops)
GH 140 (7 drops)
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post #7 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-25-2018, 11:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Soprano View Post
I have a Hanna PH pen on the way but here’s my stats via API haha

PH: 6.4 (tap is 7.8ish)
KH: 60 (6 drops)
GH 140 (7 drops)
Hi @Little Soprano,

Thank you for the additional information.

What I see in the photos are new leaves with interveinal chlorosis (dark leaf veins with lighter areas between). Leaf margins are wavy or curling. One species is showing 'hooking' at the leaf tips. In addition the newest leaf is gelatinous and having trouble unfurling.



Normally I would suspect an iron deficiency causing the interveinal chlorosis but I don't think so in your case. I suspect that the problem is a lack of magnesium which typically shows up first on older leaves but if the magnesium level is so low their isn't sufficient in the older leaves that the plant can 'steal' it can can show up on newer leaves. The wavy / curling leaf margins are also a symptom of a magnesium issue as are the leaf margins curling up or down.

Quote:
II. Symptoms do not appear first or most severely on youngest leaves: Effect general on whole plant or localized on older, lower leaves.

C. 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 stems have a tendency to curve upward. Stems are weak, subject to fungus infection, usually leaves drop prematurely; plant may die.
The 'hooking downward' of the leaf tips and the gelatinous appearance of the new leaf are symptoms of a calcium deficiency.

Quote:
I. Symptoms appearing first or most severely on new growth (root and shoot tips, new leaves)

A. Terminal bud usually dies. Symptoms on new growth.

2. Necrosis occurs at tip and margin of leaves causing a definite hook at leaf tip.

Calcium is essential for the growth of shoot and root tips (meristems). Growing point dies. Margins of young leaves are scalloped and abnormally green and, due to inhibition of cell wall formation, the leaf tips may be "gelatinous" and stuck together inhibiting leaf unfolding. Stem structure is weak and peduncle collapse or stem topple may occur. Roots are stunted. Downward curl of leaf tips (hooking) occurs near terminal bud. ammonium or magnesium excess may induce a calcium deficiency in plants... calcium deficiency

Differentiating between calcium and boron deficiency symptoms: When calcium is deficient, there is a characteristic hooking of the youngest leaf tips. However, when boron is deficient, the breakdown occurs at the bases of the youngest leaves. Death of the terminal growing points is the final result in both cases.
Fortunately these issues are easy to address and remedy. Purchase a bottle of Seachem Equilibrium which contains calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and manganese. If the treatment is effective order some 'generic' GH Booster by nilocg.com, greenleafaquariums.com, or aquariumfertilizer.com all of which are similar to Equilibrium but less expensive.

Do an initial dose of one (1) teaspoon per 10 gallons (or one (1) tablespoon per 30 gallons). Thereafter when you do your weekly water change dose one (1) teaspoon per 10 gallons of new water added to the tank (or one (1) tablespoon per 30 gallons of new water added to the tank). This should increase the hardness of your tank by about 2.0 dGH and add sufficient magnesium and calcium to cause a noticeable improvement or eliminate the deficiency symptoms. Sometimes it takes more that the dose I suggested but lets do this for two weeks.

Now watch the new leaves as they emerge for the next two weeks; do not watch the existing leaves....they will not change. What you should see is the new leaves look healthier, do not have the gelatinous leaf tips, the hooking of the leaf tips should diminish, and the rate of stem growth may increase. Hopefully the magnesium will also improve the interveinal chlorosis and curling leaf margins we see.

Keep us posted as things progress! Pics are always appreciated! -Roy
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post #8 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-26-2018, 04:54 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the detailed reponse! I will pick up some Equilibrium this weekend and update with pictures in two or so weeks. I always had a little bit of this previously but have never seen it this drastic before.
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post #9 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-26-2018, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Soprano View Post
… for calcium I am at 45ppm out of the tap, magnesium is at 28ppm out of the tap ...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
I suspect that the problem is a lack of magnesium which typically shows up first on older leaves but if the magnesium level is so low their isn't sufficient in the older leaves that the plant can 'steal' it can can show up on newer leaves. The wavy / curling leaf margins are also a symptom of a magnesium issue as are the leaf margins curling up or down.

The 'hooking downward' of the leaf tips and the gelatinous appearance of the new leaf are symptoms of a calcium deficiency.

Hopefully the magnesium will also improve the interveinal chlorosis and curling leaf margins we see.
Roy
Can you please explain how 45 ppm Ca and 28 ppm Mg is not enough to grow aquatic plants?
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post #10 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-26-2018, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Roy
Can you please explain how 45 ppm Ca and 28 ppm Mg is not enough to grow aquatic plants?
Granted that’s from my water report from the township - and I am under a mile away from the plant so I believe it - but I am surprised about the deficiency yet my plants every time show the textbook deficiency symptoms. My corals do fine, ironically though.

But I could also be messing with the balance with my super long light window. Despite me thinking the plants wouldn’t use it as a growth period, my plant growth in this tank, in just one week - even with very old bulbs - has been absolutely insane.

I got my PH pen in today, and now that CO2 is really cranking, one hour after my viewing lights kick on I have a 1.0 pH drop and I imagine by the time all the bulbs kick on it’s much higher. (Glad to see my API testing was very close - but I work in a lab for a living so I am glad my testing was accurate haha).

I’ll be very curious to see the difference with the addition of the calcium and magnesium, how the plants do. Today I am even starting to see dimpling on leaves so they are following all the signs of deficiencies that Roy quoted. It’s a good time to experiment too since the only fish in my tank are the Damsel equivalent of FW fish.
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post #11 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-26-2018, 04:18 PM
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Roy
Can you please explain how 45 ppm Ca and 28 ppm Mg is not enough to grow aquatic plants?
Hi @Edward,

A good question, I chose not to use the tap water ppms that were provided but instead looked at the "in tank" dKH and dGH numbers the OP provided in a subsequent post.
Quote:
KH: 60 (6 drops)
GH 140 (7 drops)
dKH @6 drops = 107.1 ppm CaCO3 (all calcium)
dGH @ 7 drops = 116.7 ppm (CaCO3 equivalent) (Per API their GH Test Kit only measures Ca and Mg)

Estimated Mg = 116.7 - 107.1 = 9.6 ppm

The stems are showing the classic symptoms of Mg and Ca deficiency. The two likely scenarios are 1) a lack of the nutrients causing the symptoms to the plants or 2) the nutrients are available but another nutrient is preventing the uptake of the Mg and Ca. For me I have found it to be easier to first attempt adding additional amounts of the suspected lacking nutrient rather than attempting to guess what nutrient (or nutrients) may be preventing the uptake.

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post #12 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-26-2018, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Soprano View Post
… here’s my stats via API

KH: 60 (6 drops)
GH 140 (7 drops)
What is the 60 and 140?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Soprano View Post
… for calcium I am at 45ppm out of the tap, magnesium is at 28ppm out of the tap ...
45 ppm Ca = 6.3 dGH (Ca)
28 ppm Mg = 6.4 dGH (Mg)
Total GH = 12.7 dGH

How can you have tap 12.7 dGH and aquarium 7 dGH? Can you test both with the same kit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
dKH @6 drops = 107.1 ppm CaCO3 (all calcium)
dGH @ 7 drops = 116.7 ppm (CaCO3 equivalent) (Per API their GH Test Kit only measures Ca and Mg)

Estimated Mg = 116.7 - 107.1 = 9.6 ppm
Why do you multiply dKH by 17.86 and dGH by 16.67, shouldn’t be both the same 17.86?

Second question is your “Estimated Mg = 116.7 - 107.1 = 9.6 ppm”. This is unusual in two ways. Subtracting ppm as CaCO3 does not give ppm Mg because 17.86 ppm Mg as CaCO3 = 4.356 ppm Mg

Third are two water examples. In both subtracting of KH as CaCO3 from GH as CaCO3 does not give correct results. Why do it?

This example gives 39.2 instead of 21.78 ppm Mg.
1 dKH NaHCO3 = 17.86 ppm as CaCO3 (Ca)
5 dGH CaSO4 = 89.3 ppm as CaCO3 = 35.72 ppm Ca
5 dGH MgSO4 = 89.3 ppm as CaCO3 = 21.78 ppm Mg
10 dGH total = 178.6 ppm as CaCO3
Mg = 89.3 + 89.3 – 17.86 = 160.74 ppm = 39.2 ppm Mg = 9 dGH

This example gives 0 instead of 21.78 ppm Mg.
10 dKH NaHCO3 = 178.6 ppm as CaCO3
5 dGH CaSO4 = 89.3 ppm as CaCO3 = 35.72 ppm Ca
5 dGH MgSO4 = 89.3 ppm as CaCO3 = 21.78 ppm Mg
10 dGH total = 178.6 ppm as CaCO3
Mg = 89.3 + 89.3 – 178.6 = 0 ppm = 0 ppm Mg = 0 dGH


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post #13 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-26-2018, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
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The test kit I use states to multiply the number of drops by those numbers.

And the difference can be a multitude of things. The eco could even be absorbing it.
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post #14 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-28-2018, 02:31 AM Thread Starter
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My LFS didn’t have any equilibrium left but they hadn’t Seachem’s Aquavitro “Mineralize” which is supposed to raise GH. It said it was calcium and magnesium. Figured this one was worth a try. Dosed per the bottle for 120 gallons today during my water change.
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post #15 of 51 (permalink) Old 10-30-2018, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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So I lost one of my small platinum angels and as a rule, my LFS requires you bring in a sample of your water to test in order to honor their guarantee. Everything was fine, but one number really shocked me. While I was at 300 for GH, my KH read 0. Flat 0. I was curious enough, he tested with a titration kit (they used a strip to test for the guarantee), and lo and behold it changed after one drop. Granted I did a LOT of water changes since I added the Mineralize, but I am downright shocked it was that low. Will be upping my game with raising my KH as well. No wonder my poor plants are showing such strong deficiencies.
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