Diagnose my nutrient deficiencies! - Page 4 - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #46 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 04:09 PM Thread Starter
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KH being 9 is going to make it difficult growing most species of Lythracaea


Interesting, I hadnít heard that family needing soft water. Of course, I also should have done some research on Eriocaulaceae before buying some Syngonanthus lol! I figured if that family grow naturally in Florida I could grow it... I guess not with the submersed ones!
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post #47 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-11-2019, 07:07 PM
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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
Your utility is probably getting water from multiple sources in its service territory. And there can be significant differences in water chemistry from well to well. The numbers they gave you were probably average numbers from all their wells. You might be close to one of the wells that produces harder than average water. Can you provide a link to the entire water report. there might be something else helpful in it.

Was your home constructed recently? Many micro fertilizers have very low levels of copper and zinc due to these metals leaching off of the metal pipes the water flows through. However in newer construction plastic pipes are commonly used. And some utilities are now also using plastic pipes to deliver the water. At least one person did report better plant growth by adding zinc to his CSM+B micro fertilizer. The water report you got should have some information on lead and copper.


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My phosphate is always high now that Iím dosing EI. Typically from 2-10ppm, right now itís at 5.
I would try lowering this by adding less phosphate.
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post #48 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 01:55 AM Thread Starter
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Your utility is probably getting water from multiple sources in its service territory. And there can be significant differences in water chemistry from well to well. The numbers they gave you were probably average numbers from all their wells. You might be close to one of the wells that produces harder than average water. Can you provide a link to the entire water report. there might be something else helpful in it.



Was your home constructed recently? Many micro fertilizers have very low levels of copper and zinc due to these metals leaching off of the metal pipes the water flows through. However in newer construction plastic pipes are commonly used. And some utilities are now also using plastic pipes to deliver the water. At least one person did report better plant growth by adding zinc to his CSM+B micro fertilizer. The water report you got should have some information on lead and copper.









I would try lowering this by adding less phosphate.



The utilities company asked for my address and gave me a report from the nearest water treatment plant. Also, my home was built in 1923!

Is there a good phosphate ppm you think I should aim for?
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post #49 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 12:22 AM Thread Starter
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What do you guys think of these AR variegated leaves? Iíve seen this species look very healthy in tanks with similar hardness, itís been doing this ever since I got it, even through all the changes.
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post #50 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-25-2019, 04:12 AM
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The utilities company asked for my address and gave me a report from the nearest water treatment plant. Also, my home was built in 1923!

Is there a good phosphate ppm you think I should aim for?
Your water report shows what I consider to be a very good calcium magnesium ratio. About half is present as calcium magnesium carbonate. The rest is probably present as calcium magnesium chloride and sulfate salts. Overall there is nothing in the water reportt to complain about other than the hardness and PH.

So overall if your nitrate and poshphate levels are fine all your macro nutrients should be sufficient. I normally aim for 10ppm nitrate and 1 ppm phosphate my medium light low CO2 tank and adjust the dose as needed to prevent buildup. Unfortunately other than iron, the report basically doesn't provide anything about the micros.

If you home was built in 1923 it probably originally had lead pipes. But after 90 years someone may have had much of the plumbing replaced with copper. Only way to know would be a lead and copper water test and opening up a wall and looking at the pipes.

So overall I think you have a micro deficiency. Although I don't think it is iron. CSM+B has Fe EDTA as the iron source. it starts to break down when the PH reaches 6.5 and many not be available to your plants. At your tap water PH of 7.5 probably all of it will have broken down. Adding Fe Gluconate would probably help since it would provide a an additional source. Unfortunately gluconate is rapidly consumed by biologic activity in the the tank and has to be added frequently. Fe DTPA is a popular choice these days since it starts t break down at a PH of 7 but at a PH of 7.5 some should still be present. So long term DTPA is probably your best choice. For now keep using the gluconate.

As to your other micros low copper and zinc levels is a possibility since most fertilizers don't have much. Unfortunately there aren't any good zinc test kits. And most copper test kits are set up to only detect high levels of copper. Probably your best corse of action is to have a lab test done to determine what your micro levels are. Below is a link to one that you can mail in a sample. I haven't used it and it cost $50. but it does test for 32 elements in your water. It is advertised for saltwater tanks but the method used should work with any type of water.

https://www.amazon.com/Triton-Labs-I...y&sr=8-1-fkmr0

The only other options I see are to make a zinc copper fertilizer solution and and try that to see if it helps. But that also requires a decent scale that can accurately measure milligrams of a material. Overall this method could cost you as much or more than a lab test kit. Or to try and double your CSM+B dose to see if that helps.
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post #51 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-25-2019, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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Your water report shows what I consider to be a very good calcium magnesium ratio. About half is present as calcium magnesium carbonate. The rest is probably present as calcium magnesium chloride and sulfate salts. Overall there is nothing in the water reportt to complain about other than the hardness and PH.

So overall if your nitrate and poshphate levels are fine all your macro nutrients should be sufficient. I normally aim for 10ppm nitrate and 1 ppm phosphate my medium light low CO2 tank and adjust the dose as needed to prevent buildup. Unfortunately other than iron, the report basically doesn't provide anything about the micros.

If you home was built in 1923 it probably originally had lead pipes. But after 90 years someone may have had much of the plumbing replaced with copper. Only way to know would be a lead and copper water test and opening up a wall and looking at the pipes.

So overall I think you have a micro deficiency. Although I don't think it is iron. CSM+B has Fe EDTA as the iron source. it starts to break down when the PH reaches 6.5 and many not be available to your plants. At your tap water PH of 7.5 probably all of it will have broken down. Adding Fe Gluconate would probably help since it would provide a an additional source. Unfortunately gluconate is rapidly consumed by biologic activity in the the tank and has to be added frequently. Fe DTPA is a popular choice these days since it starts t break down at a PH of 7 but at a PH of 7.5 some should still be present. So long term DTPA is probably your best choice. For now keep using the gluconate.

As to your other micros low copper and zinc levels is a possibility since most fertilizers don't have much. Unfortunately there aren't any good zinc test kits. And most copper test kits are set up to only detect high levels of copper. Probably your best corse of action is to have a lab test done to determine what your micro levels are. Below is a link to one that you can mail in a sample. I haven't used it and it cost $50. but it does test for 32 elements in your water. It is advertised for saltwater tanks but the method used should work with any type of water.

https://www.amazon.com/Triton-Labs-I...y&sr=8-1-fkmr0

The only other options I see are to make a zinc copper fertilizer solution and and try that to see if it helps. But that also requires a decent scale that can accurately measure milligrams of a material. Overall this method could cost you as much or more than a lab test kit. Or to try and double your CSM+B dose to see if that helps.


The plan is to get DPTA iron soon, although I hate to have one more thing to dose.

Any idea what could cause the leaf to turn transparent starting from the tip? Old growth:
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post #52 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-25-2019, 10:20 PM
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Great reply! Youíve touched on a lot of topics Iíve been thinking about recently in relation to my algae issue.

When I added CO2 in the form of a diffuser, I did a good bit of research on placement and couldnít find good advice for HOBs in this long of a tank. I actually kept coming across that link you posted, and it made me start thinking about my flow pattern and itís whole effect on my tank. I decided on putting the diffuser on the right wall of the tank, where the bubbles would rise up to the top area where the filter outflow would push them back down. Of course the amazon sword has thanked me greatly for bubbling co2 directly under its leaves! Now its leaves grown huge and the bubbles have a maze to go through before getting to the top, which may not be ideal...

Either way, this week Iíve been testing pH every day at lights on and CO2 off. It seems Iíve stumbled onto the right balance here, itís always around 7.0, which would be about a 1.1 drop.

Now cleanliness... I always stock very light and feed light. When my tank had no CO2 (up until maybe 2 months ago) I never had any detectable nitrates. Shortly after I added CO2 I realized that, hey, maybe plants need nutrients. Maybe my algae problem all along had been no nutrients, possibly allowing algae to win the battle over plants. So I researched fertilizers and decided on EI since it was so popular, I figured I could get feedback pretty easily (here I am!). With CO2 and ferts, the clado growth has slowed a bit, but also Iím having algae problems Iíve never had before, mainly thread hair as staghorn. So far no BBA yet!

Back to cleanliness... Iím trying to improve plant health currently to reduce the amount of dead/unhealthy leaves in the aquarium. I might have to start doing some heavy pruning, removing dead bottoms and replanting healthy tops etc. And yes, I donít have very much fish waste floating around I need to clean up. However, as I mentioned in the first post this is a dirted tank. And when I first filled the tank up 2 years ago I missed the plate I was pouring onto, mixing up the dirt and the gravel cap. Long story short the tank has always had dirt floating around with any movement. Iíve re capped with gravel and/or eco-complete a couple times, but still if I move plants dirt gets everywhere. Not sure if dirt has a similar effect as fish waste algae wise but definitely makes the tank feel dirty.

I also havenít been up on my gravel vac game, especially since I got cherry shrimp breeding in there, I donít want to vacuum up and babies. Iíve thought about moving the shrimp to another tank and vacuuming just like the video you posted.
@Blacktetra is right on flow on that size and depth of tank. You will need your 2 HOB, one at each end of tank so 2 currents collide at front glass and sweep down and across central area of tank, then you will need 2 small circulation pumps mounted top center of back wall blowing down back glass in a slight V to complete this dual rotator current.

Soil and eco complete cap. Sorry eco complete is not a tight enough substrate to cap a soiled tank. Get you some black blast, properly clean/de-tar using iso alcohol and hot water. And then fork and work it into top 3/4Ē+ of eco, topping with mostly blast on very top surface. You basically need to cap your cap.

3rd I would start running a small bag of purigen in one of your HOB. This will remove organic nit and phos compounds and stop the slightly excess levels of both those I see in your readings. Should stop that slight algae problem dead in its tracks after a couple weeks.

The tightening of gravel bed and increase in circulation will keep waste from settling to far into gravel and keep it moving so filter pads will pick it up. Usually only vac you need to do is light surface skim or even just use a turkey baster to blow excess up, dust plants and let filter pads pick it up. Then change water and clean filter pads as usual.
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post #53 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 02:03 AM
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Sorry for your struggles Scooby2.

I think having an easier to clean cap might help with reducing your biological waste which can contribute to your algae, but don't give up! Post some photos for us and let us know how it's going across the whole tank.

Christian, husband, brother, friend, hobbyist.
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post #54 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 03:22 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry for your struggles Scooby2.



I think having an easier to clean cap might help with reducing your biological waste which can contribute to your algae, but don't give up! Post some photos for us and let us know how it's going across the whole tank.

I canít believe you guys are still trying to help me haha!

Which problems do you want me to take pictures of, clado, Spirogyra, or plant health? Letís not get started with some recent livestock issues...

Yeah Iíve had some struggles with this hobby but Iím not giving up yet. Iím still staying pretty positive, all in all the tank looks alright from a distance lol.

Fts:

Iíve got a tiger lotus that is loving life obviously, gonna get rid of it soon cause itís shading everything out and interrupting flow, but it does have these green spots that develop into holes:

Iím still getting the brown spots on some lower leaf stem plants, donít know if this is necrosis or a type of algae:

Either the magnesium or the iron has helped the buce stop having chlorosis in the new growth, but there are some holes developing in the older leaves:

Limnophila belem has older leaves turning brown/translucent starting from the tips, also ďcuppedĒ leaves that fall off easily which Iím getting in my AR variegated to a more extreme degree:

Pogostemon helferi lower leaves still melting:


I have been busy the past week, and thus lazy about dosing, which somewhat coincides with a lot of these issues getting worse this weekend. So my best guess is a lot of it is stemming from micro deficiencies like was mentioned earlier. I might up micros, and/or add DPTA iron in addition to gluconate and CSM+B. I would like to reduce the number of solutions I dose if possible though...

Clado and Spirogyra are present pretty much in small amounts everywhere. I pull up big clumps of Clado and I twirl Spirogyra with a toothbrush when I can, but that never completely gets rid of it, not to mention I hate trying to get it out of mosses and barely-rooted carpets... I double dose excel when I remember/am motivated to, but it barely does anything unless I syringe the entire double dose onto one clump over the course of a few days.

So yeah Iíve got a couple issues, but Iím working on them and learning. I figure if I get through this Iíll just be that much better of an aquarist. Not to mention a few species are doing well, like Limnophila aromatica, L. repens, and L. arcuata. Even the Rotala ďEnieĒ has been doing much better!
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post #55 of 55 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 02:26 PM
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So yeah I’ve got a couple issues, but I’m working on them and learning. I figure if I get through this I’ll just be that much better of an aquarist. Not to mention a few species are doing well, like Limnophila aromatica, L. repens, and L. arcuata. Even the Rotala “Enie” has been doing much better!

That's the spirit! Keep soldiering on, learning from your mistakes, learning to read what your plants are telling you, and in time you'll be able to look at your plants and know what they need.

Right now I'm also having some struggles, particularly because I've killed some of my fish by accident, it's been hard to not just give up on fish entirely (at least my plants are pretty healthy.) But if we give up when we make mistakes we'll never improve.

Moving to your difficulties... I'm a bit inexperienced with micro deficiencies, and what I see looks more like it might be related to potassium, calcium or magnesium maybe. I know you've increased magnesium, so that is less likely, and Calcium isn't likely unless you have pretty soft water from your tap, or haven't been doing water changes. I'd like to be more help, and can make some suggestions, but I'm sure there are others on here with more experience that could pipe up.

Christian, husband, brother, friend, hobbyist.

Last edited by Blacktetra; 05-29-2019 at 02:33 PM. Reason: changes
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