When to know if you are over-thinking fertilization - Page 6 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #76 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 06:18 PM
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Back to overthinking ferts...

Six of my tanks are basically the same set up as far as substrate, filters, type of light and par, CO2 levels and general flow rates. And they all get the same fert routine.

I have many of the same species in 2-3 different tanks. There's always a case or two where a plant simply wont do well in a particular tank or a particular spot.

Two most recent examples, in one tank Limno belem drops lower leaves and grows small and colorless. In two other tanks it grows big and beautiful like its supposed to. Same ferts.

There's another spot where Gratiola wont budge a lick. It just sits there for weeks at a time slowly getting algae on the lower leaves. In two other tanks it grows fine.

Same ferts. Same basic everything.

If I only had one tank I'd be chasing a fert problem. It'd be a logical assumption to make. But since they're all getting the same thing, and the plants are doing fine in other tanks - it cant be the ferts. Gotta be something else....

I used to dismiss what Dennis said about sometimes a plant just doesnt like a particular spot. To me that always sounded like just a handy explanation for when we have no idea what the problem is.

But its absolutely true. Sometimes a plant just doesnt like a particular spot and it has nothing to do with ferts


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post #77 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 06:36 PM
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Plant - Plant - Allelopathy ??
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post #78 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 06:44 PM
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What do you think the odds are if I tell someone their plant has bad feng shui and they should move it to another tank/location or up their husbandry game, that they just look at me like I'm an a-hole.

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post #79 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 07:39 PM
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If I've noticed anything in the share your dosing thread, its that Greggz and others are reducing K and Fe.
I simply have to question Tom Barr and his contention that K levels don't matter. 100ppm? 50ppm? 30ppm? 20ppm?
I can only to speak to my reasoning for lowering K. In the past, I was raising the KH of my RO water to about 4 dKH. Using K2CO3 that meant a lot of K....50+ ppm. I tried many times to lower NO3 & PO4, as I just thought it should work. It never did.

So my theory is that maybe my high K values led to a need for higher NO3 & PO4 (Mulders Chart). So I decided to start lowering K and everything else at the same time. Things were going along well.

Then I was having a discussion with Joe, and he mentioned that he had been speaking with Vin Kutty about a guy from Germany who keeps all his tanks with K lower than Mg with great success. So I said what the heck, I've gone this far, might as well jump further down the Rabbit hole.

So then I started slowly lowering my KH and total K even further. KH now is just about 1 or so, and I am using MgNO3 instead of KNO3. So I REALLY lowered my K. At the same time I began lowering everything else in proportion, including micros. I figured the worst thing that could happen was going back to my old dosing scheme, which I was all in all I was pretty happy with.

So far it has worked out very well. Biggest difference is nuisance algae like GDA on the glass is totally gone. I'm still paying very close attention to see if any deficiencies pop up, like what happened to Joe.

You want to see something funny? I keep meticulous records of everything (which in itself would be a great topic for discussion). I posted this in my journal but I'll do it again here. This is my dosing over time. You can see my tank has been one long experiment.......and still is.

Also shows that the system can withstand some pretty wide swings in dosing yet somehow manage to do OK.

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post #80 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 10:36 PM
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But its absolutely true. Sometimes a plant just doesnt like a particular spot and it has nothing to do with ferts
Ahhhhh ...but WHY doesn't the plant like that particular spot?
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post #81 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 11:13 PM
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Ahhhhh ...but WHY doesn't the plant like that particular spot?
As mentioned by @Quagulator could be allelopathy (don't know if anything concrete on that for aquatic plants), shading, flow
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post #82 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 11:38 PM
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Ahhhhh ...but WHY doesn't the plant like that particular spot?
Could be light. PAR can vary quite a bit from side to side/front to back. Especially with LED.

Could be flow. A calm dead spot vs a high flow area.

Could be shading/crowding vs a wide open spot.

Could be what's in the substrate in that spot, vacuumed and clean vs detritus accumulation.

Could be some plants just enjoy driving you nuts, and they know how to do it!


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post #83 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 11:41 PM
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I vote for the last one Gregg. They have been watching me for years and know exactly what buttons to push to drive me nuts!


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post #84 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 11:46 PM
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On the serious side I think the most likely issue is the shading. I think what the plant "sees" as shading is more extreme than what we might see.
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post #85 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 12:06 AM
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Im fairly confident in my ability to recognize if a plant is being shaded or not, and to make a reasonable gauge of how much flow there is, or if something is too crowded.

Of course I could have an overinflated opinion of my abilities. Wouldnt be the first time, just ask my last girlfriend...

Something in the substrate? Could be.

I like bad Feng Shui more than anything. Until a more reasonable explanation comes along Im going with that.


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post #86 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 12:11 AM
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As mentioned by @Quagulator could be allelopathy (don't know if anything concrete on that for aquatic plants), shading, flow
Like many of us, I've tried to find substantial support to believe in allelopathy, in our hobby, before and can't even find verification that it even exists as a killer of algae. The concept is real, though. For the terrestrial plant world, look up the product "Tenacity' for use in lawns. It is surprisingly effective and is based entirely on allelopathy.

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Could be light. PAR can vary quite a bit from side to side/front to back. Especially with LED.

Could be flow. A calm dead spot vs a high flow area.

Could be shading/crowding vs a wide open spot.

Could be what's in the substrate in that spot, vacuumed and clean vs detritus accumulation.

Could be some plants just enjoy driving you nuts, and they know how to do it!
Yup ..and that's what drives us nuts! We won't let go until we explore every possibility - at least twice!
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post #87 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 12:21 AM
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Sticky this? Amazing discussions inside this thread.
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post #88 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 12:22 AM
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Phtyoid melancholy

I think I'll start a band with that name
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92% of all statistics are made up on the spot.
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post #89 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 02:02 AM
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Could be light. PAR can vary quite a bit from side to side/front to back. Especially with LED.

Could be flow. A calm dead spot vs a high flow area.

Could be shading/crowding vs a wide open spot.

Could be what's in the substrate in that spot, vacuumed and clean vs detritus accumulation.

Could be some plants just enjoy driving you nuts, and they know how to do it!
I could write a novel about many species and only a few would include a short sentence.

IMHO the heavy hitter would be shading and over crowding.

Being way more lax than many here I tend to let things go and see what happens.
I post the success stories and the failures, but I am quick to recover if need be!
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Growing is not that difficult.
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post #90 of 129 (permalink) Old 04-05-2019, 02:16 AM
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On the serious side I think the most likely issue is the shading. I think what the plant "sees" as shading is more extreme than what we might see.
Oh yea. Definitely. My par readings with some "shade" was easily 40 off.
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