Lines and poor quality old leaves - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
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Lines and poor quality old leaves

I am having the same issue as Jeffww. I started my own thread since posting in his someone told me to start my own thread. the problem i am having is basically the same he is having, my stem plants mainly Rotala's the old growth gets lines going across the width of the leaves and the older leaves eventually turn brownish and look like crap. A little info on my setup.

Mr Aqua 48 Gallon
ADA soil (which is now over 3 years old)
2 Freshwater AI Prime lights - photo period 7 hours
Sun Sun 704B - ( I have a ton of Purigen in it which Im not sure can have an affect on the ferts or anything)
CO2 injection via 80mm precision atomizer (roughly 3bps) - on 2 hours before lights off an hour before lights
Ferts: I was using Nilocg DIY Liquid EI ferts for a while and could never figure out a good balance, if i dosed the recommended amount and did a 50% water change on the 7th day by the end of the week the tank would smell sour and after a few weeks the plants would just melt and all the leaves would fall off and float. If i dosed it lean some plants would do ok and other would fail pretty quickly. I decided to try and switch to Thrive+ and see if there is a difference. I am also Using the Roottabs from them, as well as Seachem Iron after water changes. I currently now do 2 40% or so water changes a week.


The only test kits i have are for GH and KH. I use straight tap water.
I keep the GH in the tank at 8 and the KH is around 2-3.
I do have a large bio load with the fish, but i feel the 2 water changes a week and such a large filter handle it pretty well.

Any help or advice would be appreciated. Yes some plants need to be trimmed and they all need to be organized better, but Im more worried about getting them healthy at this point in time. Im not the best photographer with a cell phone but if not visible in my photos Jeffww has good ones that look to be the same problem im having.
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post #2 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 05:48 AM
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The water in the San Francisco are can be surface water or a blend of RO, well and surface water. CA and MG levels are typically quite low even if you have the hardest water (blended water.You might want to look online for your water quality report to confirm this. Even though your GH is 8 it is still possible for you to be low on calcium or magnesium or both.

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i am having is basically the same he is having, my stem plants mainly Rotala's the old growth gets lines going across the width of the leaves and the older leaves eventually turn brownish and look like crap.
That could mean a magneisium deficiency. However all the fertilizers you list have some magnesium but no calcium. Also looking at your photos I don't see any specific deficiency symptoms. So I cannot be sure what your problem is. You might want to try a GH booster to increase your GH by 2 degrees to see it that helps. A good one to try would be each Equilibrium or the nilocg GH booster. Also what is your tank PH?
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post #3 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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I just started using Nilocg Gh booster about a month ago, with what looks like even healthier new growth but the same thing happens. Ph I'm not sure, I dont have anything to test it.

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post #4 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-19-2019, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Surf View Post
Even though your GH is 8 it is still possible for you to be low on calcium or magnesium or both.
Could you please elaborate?
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post #5 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-20-2019, 02:34 AM
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The "lines" are damage from Otos. The other plant issues are likely related to +Fe, +Pi, -Zn. Excess Ca can induce -B. So if adding more Ca and source/tap water does not have sufficient B, induced -B will occur.

Last edited by Solcielo lawrencia; 02-20-2019 at 02:52 AM. Reason: Edit
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post #6 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-20-2019, 03:36 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Solcielo lawrencia View Post
The "lines" are damage from Otos. The other plant issues are likely related to +Fe, +Pi, -Zn. Excess Ca can induce -B. So if adding more Ca and source/tap water does not have sufficient B, induced -B will occur.
So I've heard the oto or other fish damage remark before, I'm just not too convinced that is the problem as I've seen plenty of tanks in person that have them and dont have the issue I have. As for the I guess individual compounds, I'm not too sure. I've just switched to thrive+ which is an all in one and does contain B. The GH from my tap is usually around 6, so I dont feel I am having to add an excess amount of booster to bring it to 8 after each water change. Do you have any suggestions on what I can try?

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post #7 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-20-2019, 09:14 AM
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The leaves bend bc they are structurally weak likely due to nutritional disorders. That's why it occurs in some tanks and not in others.

Ca:B is very important. 1000:1 will likely induce observable -B. What is the Ca:B of your water?

I don't recommend all-in-one fertilizers since it doesn't account for an individual's water parameters. I don't recommend Thrive line of fertz.
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post #8 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-20-2019, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Solcielo lawrencia View Post
Ca:B is very important. 1000:1 will likely induce observable -B.
This would suggest that when CSM+B is dosed at 0.1 ppm Fe a day, Ca should be lower than 18.6 ppm, which is 2.6 dGH. Is this your idea?

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post #9 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-20-2019, 06:10 PM
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This would suggest that when CSM+B is dosed at 0.1 ppm Fe a day, Ca should be lower than 18.6 ppm, which is 2.6 dGH. Is this your idea?
I'm not sure I understand what you mean about Fe and Ca. That's an excessive amount of daily Fe chelate regardless.

CSM does not contain boron. The boron is added by the seller, not the manufacturer of the fert. As a result, the actual B amount varies widely. Sellers also don't indicate what form of boron they add: boric acid, borax, or other. None of the fertilizer calculators correctly indicates the amount of B added by sellers bc it assumes only one fixed percentage. Green Leaf Aquariums stated it's significantly lower than what's in the calculators but they never answered my email about exactly how much they add. NilocG also stated he adds much less.

If your source water usually contains undetectable levels of B (e.g. SF Bay Area Hetch Hetchy, New York snowmelt) then increasing GH will actually exacerbate plant problems as a result of excess Ca and insufficient B.
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post #10 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-20-2019, 08:05 PM
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That's an excessive amount of daily Fe chelate regardless.
What would be more suitable ppm of daily Fe addition under high light and CO2 when 0.1 ppm is excessive?

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post #11 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-20-2019, 09:43 PM
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Hi @Spiffyfish (aka Chris),

So we don't know the pH of the tank nor the nitrate level (ppm of NO3). If you could provide a pH and nitrate level of the tank it may help us more accurately assess the problem.

That said, I downloaded a couple of your pictures, did a major enlargement, and this is what I saw:



It's difficult to tell in the small photo above but what I see is chlorosis of the new leaves but not necessarily interveinal chlorosis. Necrosis seems to be happening to the newest leaves starting at the base of the leaf. The terminal bud of the stem also seems to be dieing / dead. Is my description accurate or does it look different to you 'in real life'?

Since the issues seem to be with the new leaves it is likely an immobile nutrient. The immobile nutrients are: calcium, sulfur, boron, copper, iron, manganese, and zinc. I do not see the characteristic "leaf tip hooking downward" nor "gelatinous" new leaf growth so I don't believe it is calcium. I don't see interveinal chlorosis of the new leaves so I don't believe it is iron. It doesn't look like sulfur where almost all the leaves of the stem would be yellow nor does it look like manganese. Based upon the apparent necrosis of the stem base I would first suspect boron as the lacking nutrient.
I. Symptoms appearing first or most severely on new growth (root and shoot tips, new leaves, buds)
A. Terminal bud usually dies. Symptoms on new growth.
1. Basal part of young leaves and internal tissues of organs may become necrotic.
One of the earliest symptoms is failure of the root tips to elongate normally. Terminal shoot meristems also die giving rise to a witch’s broom. Young leaves become very thick, leathery, and chlorotic; in some species young leaves may be crinkled because of necrotic spots on leaf edge during development. Young leaves of terminal buds become light green then necrotic and stem finally dies back at terminal bud. Rust colored cracks and corking occur on young stems and petioles. ... boron 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.
If you look closely at the leaf in the picture you can see the 'browning' (corking) occurring starting at the base and progressing toward the tip of the leaf.

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Last edited by Seattle_Aquarist; 02-20-2019 at 10:02 PM. Reason: ..
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post #12 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-20-2019, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
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Hi @Spiffyfish (aka Chris),

So we don't know the pH of the tank nor the nitrate level (ppm of NO3). If you could provide a pH and nitrate level of the tank it may help us more accurately assess the problem.

That said, I downloaded a couple of your pictures, did a major enlargement, and this is what I saw:



It's difficult to tell in the small photo above but what I see is chlorosis of the new leaves but not necessarily interveinal chlorosis. Necrosis seems to be happening to the newest leaves starting at the base of the leaf. The terminal bud of the stem also seems to be dieing / dead. Is my description accurate or does it look different to you 'in real life'?

Since the issues seem to be with the new leaves it is likely an immobile nutrient. The immobile nutrients are: calcium, sulfur, boron, copper, iron, manganese, and zinc. I do not see the characteristic "leaf tip hooking downward" nor "gelatinous" new leaf growth so I don't believe it is calcium. I don't see interveinal chlorosis of the new leaves so I don't believe it is iron. It doesn't look like sulfur where almost all the leaves of the stem would be yellow nor does it look like manganese. Based upon the apparent necrosis of the stem base I would first suspect boron as the lacking nutrient.
I. Symptoms appearing first or most severely on new growth (root and shoot tips, new leaves, buds)
A. Terminal bud usually dies. Symptoms on new growth.
1. Basal part of young leaves and internal tissues of organs may become necrotic.
One of the earliest symptoms is failure of the root tips to elongate normally. Terminal shoot meristems also die giving rise to a witch’s broom. Young leaves become very thick, leathery, and chlorotic; in some species young leaves may be crinkled because of necrotic spots on leaf edge during development. Young leaves of terminal buds become light green then necrotic and stem finally dies back at terminal bud. Rust colored cracks and corking occur on young stems and petioles. ... boron 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.
If you look closely at the leaf in the picture you can see the 'browning' (corking) occurring starting at the base and progressing toward the tip of the leaf.
I am not too advanced in the fertilizer and plant diagnosis aspect of this hobby, hence why I am posting here for help. Looking at newer and younger leaves growth closest to the stems is actually healthier than the outer half. I know my pictures were not the greatest, I have an older phone. When my better half gets home I will try and get some better pictures with her phone. The best I can explain it before adding better pictures, from looking closer at it. The browning or translucent dead portion seems for the most part to only occur after the closest horizontal line closest to the stem if that makes any sense. Some of the older growth tips are pointed downward but not as much or as bad on new growth. Would me cutting a stem and taking a picture of it be better?

Chris

Last edited by Spiffyfish; 02-20-2019 at 10:34 PM. Reason: Edit
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post #13 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-20-2019, 11:12 PM
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Hi @Spiffyfish (aka Chris),

Let's see if we can get a closer shot to one of the stems that looks like the one in my picture; a picture of a stem in the tank is usually better than a cut stem.

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post #14 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 04:15 AM Thread Starter
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These pictures should be a lot better. If you need more I can get them. As for the ph and nitrates, I do not have a test kit for but could probably run out to a pet store tomorrow and pick up an api one.
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Last edited by Spiffyfish; 02-21-2019 at 04:46 AM. Reason: Edit
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post #15 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 03:53 PM
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Hi @Spiffyfish (aka Chris),


Thank you for the much improved pictures, I think they provide a much clearer picture of what is happening. Below is one of your pictures above that I downloaded, enlarged, cropped, and enhanced to see details better.





You can see that I added some numbered arrows to the picture above.


#1 Here we see poorly formed leaves at the terminal bud looking undersized and deformed. (likely calcium issue)



#2 The leaf tips of the Ludwigia show the classic "downward leaf tip hooking" also characteristic of insufficient calcium


#3 Shows interveinal chlorosis (dark leaf veins with lighter interveinal material) likely related to iron (either insufficient or 'wrong type' of iron)


#4 Shows just one of many leaf margins that have rolled (curled) under (depending upon species sometime will roll upward) indicating a magnesium issue.


Here is what I would do. Pick up a pH test kit and a nitrate test kit. Also pick up a bottle of Seachem Equilibrium. The pH test kit will help us determine if the iron issue is caused by insufficient iron or if a different type of iron needs to be dosed. The nitrate test kit will determine if there is sufficient nitrogen available to the plants for good growth. Since you are dosing both root tabs (do you have ThiveTabs or ThiveCaps?) and Thrive+ there is the possibility of excessive nitrogen. When you have picked up the three items, and done your pH and nitrate tests post again to this thread and we will discuss how to proceed.

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