Trouble ID-ing a deficiency - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-02-2005, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
 
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Trouble ID-ing a deficiency

I've been dosing my ~15 gallon paludarium as follows:

2.5 mL flourish phosphate EVERY DAY (increase of about 0.208 ppm)
2 mL flourish nitrogen EVERY DAY (increase of about 2.67 ppm)
2.5 mL flourish potassium EVERY DAY (increase of about 2.5 ppm + more from phosphate + nitrogen sources)
2.5 mL flourish trace EVERY DAY
.5 mL flourish iron EVERY DAY (note: I switched to a brand new bottle yesterday because I feared the other, which was a year old, was garbage)

CO2 is around 12-15ppm (I need a better reactor to push it higher)
Light is 3+ wpg (65W PC over 20 gallon tank) -- note that this is a paludarium with a low water level, so the wpg may actually be a bit higher
I placed a few flourish root tabs under my emersed-growth plants a little less than a month ago.

12 hours after the last dosing, I measured the following:
kH 4-5
gH 9-10
pH 7.0
N 5 ppm (lower than I expected--it's usually closer to 10 ppm after 12 hours)

Symptoms:
  • Green hygro growing in yellow with green veins (new growth)
  • Red Ludwigia (emersed) growing a little pale with crinkled/cupped leaves (new growth)
  • M. quadrifolia growing in very yellow (new growth)
  • HC growing in a little yellow (new and old growth)
Algae:
  • Some red algae on my substrate
  • Some string-like algae growing along the water line
  • Some fluffy green hair algae growing along the water line (in the moss)
    (none of these are that bad--the worst is on the substrate where no plants are growing)

So...is it iron, potassium, calcium, or what? I'll probably increase my NPK dosing a little since my N was a bit low today. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

^iMp^
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-02-2005, 08:08 PM
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Could be lack of NO3, is your testkit accurate?

Try dosing Flourish instead of Flourish Trace.


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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-03-2005, 01:36 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest
Could be lack of NO3, is your testkit accurate?

Try dosing Flourish instead of Flourish Trace.
I've tested the kit and it's fine. Levels are usually around 10 ppm, so I'm not sure why it was considerably lower today. Besides, the problem appears on new growth. Doesn't nitrate deficiency generally affect older leaves?

I'll get Flourish instead of trace next time I run out of trace.

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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-03-2005, 02:13 AM
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IME Nitrate deficiency affects new growth.

Your symptoms sounded a little like NO3 deficiency, but even if levels are down to 5 ppm it shouldn't be showing, as long as they are not zero for extended periods.

See if the Flourish will make a difference. Flourish Trace helps Seachems cashflow more than your plants.


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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-03-2005, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wasserpest
Flourish Trace helps Seachems cashflow more than your plants.
I could kick myself right now...

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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-03-2005, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSmJ
I could kick myself right now...
Eh...it's not too bad. It's just a bit watered down. I bought trace a while back because the LFS was out of Flourish. I don't regret buying it, but I'd definitely pick up Flourish over Flourish Trace if given the option.

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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-12-2005, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
 
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I'm still having trouble. I upped my NPK dosing (gradually) and got nothing but algae. I trimmed/transplanted some red ludwigia and it turned very, very pale the next day and its leaves were crinkled. Is there any way that this could be related to substrate "health"? The transplanted ludwigia did not have roots.

Also, some m. quadrifolia (old growth) turned from green to yellow-green...and now it seems to be on the mend.

I'll have a P test kit in a few days...I'll have more info then.

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-13-2005, 05:57 PM
 
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If your NPK is up to snuff then I would look else where.

Is your Gh out of the tap that high or do you adjust it? The reason why I'm asking is, it could be a Magnesium deficiency which generally shows up in old growth though. or it could be iron deficiiency which wil show up in new growth.

Are these plants above or below the water line? What kind of substrate are you using?
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-13-2005, 07:03 PM
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Let us know what the P test kit readings are. That should help. I'd look at the macros before moving on.

Even when you're dosing enough, it might not correct the problem, since it could be out of balance.

Eric


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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-13-2005, 07:13 PM
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^iMp^

Have you considered dry dose or PMDD? I found dry trace at $10/lb local.... NPK solids are also stupid cheap.

Could you please post a picture of the problem?

Moved to Tucson.
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-13-2005, 02:30 AM Thread Starter
 
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Ok. Sorry to let this thread die, but I got a bit busy when school started. I also finally got my act together and ordered some dry ferts and new test kits.

Tested tonight (about 24 hours since last dosing):

kH 4-5
gH 9-10
pH 6.7 (recently calibrated, using new reactor)
NO3 15 ppm
PO4 0.5-1 ppm

I've kept up the same dosing regimen (described in the initial post) since I first posted the problem. The problem persists.

More symptoms:

Emersed growth green hygro leaves (older growth) shriveled and turned brown.
HC is yellow in color but growing fairly fast.

So...any suggestions? I'm stumped.

^iMp^

PS: I turned down my CO2 a touch.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-16-2005, 02:37 AM Thread Starter
 
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I'll try to post a few pictures, I guess. Still no improvement...

And to answer a few old questions:

Some of the plants are above the water line (the deficiency is more noticable above the water line). However, some plants are showing deficiency well below the water line.

Using ecocomplete substrate...and I don't clean the substrate (very mulmy).

There is one very large emersed growth plant (growing up out of the tank, constantly blooming). The rest of the plants are pretty much submersed.

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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-19-2005, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
 
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Ok...took some shots of the problem(s). Sorry about the quality of some of the pictures -- I haven't cleaned my glass in a while. Also, I can't quite figure out how to set the exposure time...

Tested again:
N 10-20 ppm (can anyone tell me how to read the color off the AP test kits? - I hold it at one angle and it looks like 10 ppm, I hold it at another and it looks more like 20 ppm!)
P 1 ppm
kH 5
pH 6.8

Anyway, the plants seem to be improving except for the HC and the M. Quadrifolia. I alos hacked down the large emersed growth plant just to see what would happen...

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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-19-2005, 08:48 PM
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You're situation will not get any better till you do a few thing's
1) Go to gregwatson.com and get you some grocery's all that floursih junk will not work for this, that;s for mom and pop dosing..lol and growing algae.
2)clean you're tank man, vacuum the sub clean as much of that crap out you can, prune the plant's clean the filter etc.
3) did I mention going to gregwatson.com?
4) fix the reactor, stop playing around with the algae, get serious or don't
5) Go to gregwatson.com and get some grocery's.

Then we can get you going for real!!

Thanks

Craig

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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 02-19-2005, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WfxXx
You're situation will not get any better till you do a few thing's
1) Go to gregwatson.com and get you some grocery's all that floursih junk will not work for this, that;s for mom and pop dosing..lol and growing algae.
Already did (see a few posts up). I got the basics (for NPK) but still need the CMS+B. I've been dosing my own stock solutions for the past week for NPK (.25ppm P/day, 3ppm N/day, ~4-5ppm K/day).


Quote:
Originally Posted by WfxXx
2)clean you're tank man, vacuum the sub clean as much of that crap out you can, prune the plant's clean the filter etc.
Really? I mean...how will this help? It's really hard for me to clean the substrate because of the HC and hairgrass. The filter floss isn't a problem -- I'll clean it today, if you think it'll help.


Quote:
Originally Posted by WfxXx
4) fix the reactor, stop playing around with the algae, get serious or don't
All fixed as of a month or so ago. With pH 6.8 and kH 5, the tank has about 23 ppm CO2...right? The pH monitor is recently calibrated and the test kit is new.

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