Diagnose my nutrient deficiencies! - Page 3 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #31 of 52 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 04:34 PM
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It's always so much more complicated than we imagined!

I want shrimp! They'll help break things down!
Now I can't clean without risking sucking up the babies... now what?

I want corydoras! They'll kick up some of the grime on the floor of the tank so my filter can suck it out.
Now my plant leaves constantly have bits of dust on them and my water column isn't 100% crystal clear because the corys keep kicking things up!

I'm honestly wondering if I'd be happier with a tank that had nothing more than a fancy betta, but I'm sure I'd find issues with that too. There's always challenges, we live and learn (hopefully).

Sounds like you are heading in a good direction, keep us posted as things change. Clado takes time to beat. Even when you have everything set up ideally and you clean regularly, it can takes many weeks to see it go. Even then, many pro level tanks get clado, they just kill it when they can, and shrimp and snails will help remove what dies from spot dosing excel/gluteraldehyde/hydrogen peroxide.
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post #32 of 52 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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It's always so much more complicated than we imagined!



I want shrimp! They'll help break things down!

Now I can't clean without risking sucking up the babies... now what?



I want corydoras! They'll kick up some of the grime on the floor of the tank so my filter can suck it out.

Now my plant leaves constantly have bits of dust on them and my water column isn't 100% crystal clear because the corys keep kicking things up!



I'm honestly wondering if I'd be happier with a tank that had nothing more than a fancy betta, but I'm sure I'd find issues with that too. There's always challenges, we live and learn (hopefully).



Sounds like you are heading in a good direction, keep us posted as things change. Clado takes time to beat. Even when you have everything set up ideally and you clean regularly, it can takes many weeks to see it go. Even then, many pro level tanks get clado, they just kill it when they can, and shrimp and snails will help remove what dies from spot dosing excel/gluteraldehyde/hydrogen peroxide.


Lol, I love how I got Co2 to help with the algae issue and make growing plants easier. Now Iím working harder than I ever have! I love it though haha. I am working on a gravel vac system that will be safe for everything except the smallest shrimp fry...

I do think I figured out my nutrient issue. After a couple weeks of added Mg, I started getting stunted and pale new growth, in addition to ďLeaves yellowing from the tip then become transparentĒ which I read was an iron deficiency. If thatís true then my Limnophilas have been screaming for iron! I did some research on the different types of iron and ended up getting a ferric gluconate solution. After dosing 2ml of a 10,000mg/L solution once, I noticed much faster growth and better color, although it did make my water cloudy which I attribute to high phosphates. Iím gonna try to continue dosing 2ml every time I dose micros.
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post #33 of 52 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 02:06 AM
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I have a green element duo (can’t find the link for it rn they discontinued it) that I had on it when the tank was low tech. I’m pretty sure it had more PAR than the fspec due to having a lot higher wattage, I think I found one par reading from someone but it was hard to find. It was a reef light I think so the spectrum was off and I hated the look (10000k, at least when I switched to the fspec I realized I hated the look lol), and due to the elevated par with no CO2 I think this is what started my algae issues initially.

Edit: I found the par reading, turn out I started a thread about it lol: https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/1...topics/1288737

I’m might add that light back on until I can get another fspec. I figure since decreasing light and adding a bunch of CO2 didn’t help the algae issue, it probably wasn’t an imbalance of those two causing it. My best guess now for the Clado and thread algae is tank cleanliness/flow. Maybe poor plant health is exasperating it.

Anyway what do you guys think of this new growth on my Rotala enie:


Could this also be nutrient related? There are some growing next to it that look fine:
Hi @scooby2,

I apologize for my delayed response, I have been working (with a small army of other local club members) setting up, volunteering, and tearing down the Aquatic Gardeners Association 2019 International Convention here in Seattle.

No, I do not like the new growth on the Rotala enie in the top picture, and it could be CO2 related however can you please provide current water parameters; specifically pH, dKH, dGH, nitrates (ppm of NO3)?

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post #34 of 52 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 03:35 AM
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So my tap water is very hard, last time I checked pH it was 8.3. My degassed tank water is 8.1. I haven’t done a hardness test on the tap water
PH doesn't tell you that you have hard water. It is entirely possible that your water is actually very soft. PH is a measure of the ratio of acids and bases. In comparison General Hardness (GH) is a measure of the amount of calcium and magnesium in the water. The two measure totally different things.

Water utilities are required by law to take steps to minimize corrosion of water pipes. One way to do that it to add something to the water (sodium hydroxide for example) to increase the PH. But since the chemical added to increase PH doesn't add Calcium or magnesium the GH reading will remain unchanged.

you originally stated you KH is 10 and your GH is 20. Are these your measurements? IF so then yes you do have hard water. However if those numbers are from somewhere or someone else you should test your water to confirm you GH and KH. Also if you are using tap water to fill your aquarium you should determine the GH and KH of your tap. If you are doing proper water changes the GH and KH of your tap and tank should be about the same.
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post #35 of 52 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
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Hi @scooby2,

I apologize for my delayed response, I have been working (with a small army of other local club members) setting up, volunteering, and tearing down the Aquatic Gardeners Association 2019 International Convention here in Seattle.

No, I do not like the new growth on the Rotala enie in the top picture, and it could be CO2 related however can you please provide current water parameters; specifically pH, dKH, dGH, nitrates (ppm of NO3)?


And now I apologize for my late response, Iíve been too busy this week to take water params. I wish I had as cool of an excuse as you!

pH of degassed water: 8.1
pH during lights on: 6.8ish
KH: 9
GH: 18
Nitrates: 40ppm

All of these are taken with color metric test kits, so be ware of accuracy...



Hereís a pic of it currently, hasnít gotten much better. Found a post on Barr report with similar issue in Rotala wallichi, consensus said it was a CO2 issue and to trim the weak growth and up CO2. Seems like every issue over there stems from not enough CO2 though.
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post #36 of 52 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 12:56 AM Thread Starter
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PH doesn't tell you that you have hard water. It is entirely possible that your water is actually very soft. PH is a measure of the ratio of acids and bases. In comparison General Hardness (GH) is a measure of the amount of calcium and magnesium in the water. The two measure totally different things.

Water utilities are required by law to take steps to minimize corrosion of water pipes. One way to do that it to add something to the water (sodium hydroxide for example) to increase the PH. But since the chemical added to increase PH doesn't add Calcium or magnesium the GH reading will remain unchanged.

you originally stated you KH is 10 and your GH is 20. Are these your measurements? IF so then yes you do have hard water. However if those numbers are from somewhere or someone else you should test your water to confirm you GH and KH. Also if you are using tap water to fill your aquarium you should determine the GH and KH of your tap. If you are doing proper water changes the GH and KH of your tap and tank should be about the same.


I tested the tap water And tank water side by side today, both the same readings. And while I realize that what I typed made it seem like the only reason I thought my tap was hard was because of pH, the real reason I know itís hard is because I live in Florida, and all tap water in my area comes from the aquifer.

I actually contacted my utilities company for a recent water quality report (I was interested in potassium and iron). They sent me one showing a pH of 7.5 and much softer than expected. Iíve never gotten a reading on any tap water in my state lower than 8, and although I only recently got a KH and GH test kit, the Calcium and Magnesium levels at least looked much lower than expected for this area. They must test on ďgoodĒ days
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post #37 of 52 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 02:54 AM
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Hi @scooby2,

Do you happen to also check your phosphate (PO4) levels? The reason I ask is in the last few months I have moved my PO4 from about 0.5 ppm to 2.0 ppm and my plants have been doing much better. According to Mulder's Chart excessive calcium (which is likely with [email protected]) can effect the uptake of phosphorus.

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post #38 of 52 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 02:55 AM Thread Starter
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Hi @scooby2,



Do you happen to also check your phosphate (PO4) levels? The reason I ask is in the last few months I have moved my PO4 from about 0.5 ppm to 2.0 ppm and my plants have been doing much better. According to Mulder's Chart excessive calcium (which is likely with [email protected]) can effect the uptake of phosphorus.


My phosphate is always high now that Iím dosing EI. Typically from 2-10ppm, right now itís at 5.
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post #39 of 52 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 02:43 PM
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Hi @scooby2,

If it is just the Rotala enie that is having difficulties this could be an explanation, it is a species that does better in softer water; 0 - 7.0 dGH according to Aquasabi. Many of the species we grow have evolved and adapted over millenniums live in certain habitats. Soft water species cannot always adapt to harder water conditions just as some harder water species cannot adapt to softer water.

In my tanks if a species does not do well I move on and try a different species. I maintain my tanks for conditions that the fish prefer, the plants have to be able to grow in those conditions or I try another species.
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post #40 of 52 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 03:40 PM
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Hereís a pic of it currently, hasnít gotten much better. Found a post on Barr report with similar issue in Rotala wallichi, consensus said it was a CO2 issue and to trim the weak growth and up CO2. Seems like every issue over there stems from not enough CO2 though.
Very astute, but you will notice you often don't see a posted successful change from following that advice.
Blaming CO2 which noone can measure accurately is an easy way to maintain Barr's EI dosing as being one size fits all and foolproof.
Many people know better. You have pretty hard water not all species will be happy in those conditions.
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post #41 of 52 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 03:46 PM
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Very astute, but you will notice you often don't see a posted successful change from following that advice.
Blaming CO2 which noone can measure accurately is an easy way to maintain Barr's EI dosing as being one size fits all and foolproof.
Many people know better. You have pretty hard water not all species will be happy in those conditions.
Still bashing. The stuff you say about EI isn't even remotely accurate. Barr has contributed much to the hobby, what have you done?


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post #42 of 52 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 10:20 PM
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Rotala wallichi, consensus said it was a CO2 issue and to trim the weak growth and up CO2. Seems like every issue over there stems from not enough CO2 though.
Rotala wallichii does grow also without CO2 injection when other conditions are met.
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post #43 of 52 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 10:31 PM
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Well there's growth and there's GROWTH. BTW it's not only the Barr Report. ADA, Tropica, APC and most places state Wallichi needs a good,steady supply of co2.


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post #44 of 52 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 03:28 AM
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KH being 9 is going to make it difficult growing most species of Lythracaea
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post #45 of 52 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 02:46 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
Hi @scooby2,



If it is just the Rotala enie that is having difficulties this could be an explanation, it is a species that does better in softer water; 0 - 7.0 dGH according to Aquasabi. Many of the species we grow have evolved and adapted over millenniums live in certain habitats. Soft water species cannot always adapt to harder water conditions just as some harder water species cannot adapt to softer water.



In my tanks if a species does not do well I move on and try a different species. I maintain my tanks for conditions that the fish prefer, the plants have to be able to grow in those conditions or I try another species.


Fair enough. I guess Iíll have to do some more trial and error. For now Iím gonna just try to keep CO2 high and iron high. Iím still getting some pale new growth every now and then. Iím thinking Iíll have to dose some DPTA iron in addition to CSM + B and Ferrous gluconate.
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