Issues with Ludwigia repens 'super red' - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-08-2019, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
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Issues with Ludwigia repens 'super red'

I'm a bit miffed and can't figure out why this keeps happening only to this one plant. This always happens the day or two after water change, so here's my routine and I'm open to trying anything at this point...

I change roughly 70% of my water weekly. I maintain 6 dGH by adding exactly the same amount of CaSO4 and MgSO4 each week, and I add 24 ppm NO3, 6 ppm P, and 35 ppm K (15 ppm from macro, 20 ppm from K2SO4) directly to the water change water.

I do water changes in the evening each week and then add micros the next morning. It's very possible the mg scale used to make custom micros was off, but here are my weekly targets:

Macro bottle: 24 NO3, 15 K, 6 P
Micro bottle: .6 Fe, .2 Mn, .18 B, .2 Zn, .006 Mo, .008 Cu, .002 Ni
Water change: 14.3 Ca, 3.3 Mg, 20 K

I feel like it's a B deficiency, but a double dose of micros the first day did not make a difference last time I tried. What's really odd is the healthy leaves in the picture were from my vacation where the weekly targets above were spread out over a little over 2 weeks... So less than half of what I usually do - 1/4 dose every 3 days :-/

Any thoughts? I'm getting close to mixing up new micros with a new mg scale, so if it's that something wasn't measured right, I'll know in two weeks :p
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-08-2019, 10:09 AM
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This is gonna sound crazy: Raise Mg up to about 7 per dose and cut K down closer to NO3 levels.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-08-2019, 01:42 PM
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I saw an immediate response in my L. super red mini to bumping Mg way up.

"No Ice? Just Freeze Some Water"


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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-09-2019, 02:28 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by burr740 View Post
This is gonna sound crazy: Raise Mg up to about 7 per dose and cut K down closer to NO3 levels.
Thanks Joe! Going to give this a try. I'll update the thread in a week or so

Edit: I should note that those values are what I'm adding to tap, and the numbers are based on Rotala Butterfly. My tap comes out around 55 TDS, but I can't get an accurate report on Ca or Mg content.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-23-2019, 05:02 AM Thread Starter
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TL;DR - High tech tanks run out of Mg faster than I realized. Also, if you have an Mg scale, use that to measure ferts instead of spoons...

Ok, so I was incredibly Mg deficient as @burr740 suspected. I'll give a little bit more background to describe how I got here so others might be able to diagnose in the future.

I went on vacation for a little over two weeks with no water changes, and I only dose Can and Mg at water changes. We got back, I did a single water change, and then had to take another two weeks before being able to do another water change. In this tank, I run a 1.2-1.4 pH drop with somewhere around 100 PAR at peak, and I now believe I've always been boarderline Mg deficient but without the obvious symptoms like intervienal chlorosis. The long time between adding Mg finally showed as an issue...

The night I posted this, I added 2.6 ppm of Mg, and then added 2.6 ppm more the next morning. I did see some improvements in other plants, but not the Rotala - neat.

Fast forward to my next water change, and I decided to use my Mg scale to get a more accurate measurement because I've never given it a thought since I finally got one to do custom micros... Surprise! My dosing was not even close to what I thought. Those measurement spoons and the measurements listed on Rotala Butterfly don't line up with my Mg scale... So, I followed Joe's advice on extra Mg and measured everything carefully, and I can't even explain the difference in the tank.

I haven't had roots this long on floaters in a long time. Other plants are getting more color, Buce are putting out way more leaves, and the pearling, OMG the pearling! The Rotala still hates me, but it is recovering slowly, and I expect a nice turnaround this next week.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-23-2019, 05:25 AM
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Glad you figured it out and learned from the experience. Love your buce.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-23-2019, 05:30 AM
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Excellent. Im glad to see an update on this, been wondering...

Now for the finishing touch, eliminate that extra K and just have whats in KNO3 and P. Sounds scary right? You'll be surprised and the Rotalas will thank you

Thats what all my tanks are getting now, just whats in KNO3 at 25 ppm NO3 per week. Have one test tank getting the same 25 NO3 but only 9 K per week. Its doing best of all if you can believe that. Im still coming to terms with it myself!
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-23-2019, 06:03 AM
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My ludwigia super red looks exactly the same as your first picture. Between this thread, a separate thread on staurogyne repens, and one other thread, I think I can safely say that I'm exhibiting the exact same magnesium deficiency. This forum is great.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-23-2019, 06:28 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burr740 View Post
Now for the finishing touch, eliminate that extra K and just have whats in KNO3 and P.
I forgot to mention that I did reduce how much K2SO4 I was dosing (which wasn't even close to what I thought I was dosing anyway...). I think my numbers are pretty similar to yours:

24 NO3, 15 K, 6 P and now doing 10 K from K2SO4 at water changes. I'll experiment more with reducing K once things have settled in more. Want to get some things back to more healthy before adding more variables

Thanks to you and Quag for giving me the shove I needed to up Mg!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CMcNam View Post
My ludwigia super red looks exactly the same as your first picture. Between this thread, a separate thread on staurogyne repens, and one other thread, I think I can safely say that I'm exhibiting the exact same magnesium deficiency. This forum is great.
It seriously is. So amazing we can post up pictures and bounce ideas off one another. Also love how many share their hard earned knowledge freely here. So much great collaboration

Last edited by Darkblade48; 01-28-2019 at 03:00 AM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-25-2019, 10:48 AM
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Why did you suggest a reduction in dosing K? If OP is dosing at EI levels does it really matter? @burr740
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-25-2019, 01:53 PM
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Why did you suggest a reduction in dosing K? If OP is dosing at EI levels does it really matter? @burr740
High levels of certain nutrients can compete with other nutrients for availability. So, with higher K you will need higher Ca, higher Mg concentrations to allow proper uptake.

By reducing K, you essentially reduce the amount of Mg required for the same growth.

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-25-2019, 04:58 PM
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Great to see that worked. I've been having problems like that for a long time and I haven't been able to figure it out. I'm going to try following your same approach and see what happens. I'm going to measure using my scale too. I've always used the spoons for macros because I'm lazy.

And the tank looks great! Good to see some of those plants I sent survived.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-25-2019, 09:19 PM
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Why did you suggest a reduction in dosing K? If OP is dosing at EI levels does it really matter? @burr740
I suggested lowering K because myself and a few others recently have seen high K levels cause similar issues, and for whatever reason lowering K fixes them.

Not sure I get the question about EI. But you know, the vast majority of the world doesnt use EI. And folks in a lot of other countries grow these sensitive species much better than we do.

EI is best for someone just starting out so they dont have to think too much about ferts. Beyond that it can leave much to be desired
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Last edited by burr740; 01-25-2019 at 09:29 PM. Reason: .
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-02-2019, 05:27 AM Thread Starter
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I think one last update on this is called for. Most of my other plants had a really quick response and gained some color I hadn't noticed they had lost. Not sure if it was just so gradual or due to being gone for so long.

Anyway, the Rotala have finally recovered. I think this picture speaks for itself
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