Nutrient Deficiency help - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-13-2019, 11:21 PM Thread Starter
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Nutrient Deficiency help

I moved a while back and am finally getting back into a dosing routing with the new tanks I've got set up. You can find pics of my tanks & fish @columbus_aquascaping on instagram (https://www.instagram.com/columbus_aquascaping/). Lately I've been fighting some algae issues and likely nutrient deficiencies. I'd like to start with one tank and keep things simple.

Here's the tank info:
Tank - 40B aquarium
lighting - 2x current satellite+'s
Substrate - BDBS
Filter - Oase bioplus thermo 200 (internal filter style)
Ehiem skimmer
pressurized CO2 with diffuser, bbs~5

50% WC weekly.

Tank Parameters:
GH 4
KH 2
pH 6 (pH drop 6.6 to 6.0)
NO3 10 ppm
PO4 ~2 ppm
NH3, NO2 0

Dosing: I am front loading macros and dosing micros the following day. These is the amounts I'm dosing per week:
Mg 6ppm
NO3 10 ppm
PO4 2 ppm
K 20 ppm
Fe 0.6 ppm (CSM-B)

Algae issues: GSA

Pictures of plants can be found here:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/vwHfvpixqp9BKH5D8


I previously had Mg issues, that were headed in the right direction, but during my move the grow out tanks got neglected. Working to get them back up and running again. Currently, the pictures look like Mg or Fe issues. I ordered some ferrous gluconate 12.46% that's on the way.

Let me know your thoughts, thanks!
@Seattle_Aquarist

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Last edited by Vinster8108; 11-13-2019 at 11:26 PM. Reason: Tagging the master ;)
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-14-2019, 05:51 AM
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Hi @Vinster8108,

Good to hear from you!

You could try dosing a little more Fe but I'm not sure that is the problem. What I am seeing is new leaves not emerging properly with deformed shapes and scalloped (wavy) leaf margins. I also see some of the leaves of the H. 'Sunset' with definite 'downward leaf hook'. With those symptoms coupled with the 4.0 dGH I am inclined to suspect calcium is lacking (with my 2.0 dGH tap water I see it often). Do you know how much of that 4.0 dGH is Ca and how much is Mg? If you know the dGH and the amount of Ca it is easy to compute the amount of Mg. I use a Salifert Calcium Test Kit to determine the Ca levels in my tanks. Why not try adding some Seachem Equilbrium, sufficient to increase the hardness from the current 4.0 dGH to 6.0 dGH and see if the symptoms subside over the next couple of weeks. Remember, what the new leaves as they emerge for improvement, any existing leaves will not improve and may actually continue to decline. If you can determine your amount of Ca then you can dose calcium sulfate if it is indicated by low levels. I try to maintain a 3.3:1 Ca:Mg ratio but it doesn't need to be exact.....just in the neighborhood. Hope this helps! -Roy

Quote:
I. Symptoms appearing first or most severely on new growth (root and shoot tips, new leaves)

A. Terminal bud usually dies. Symptoms on new growth.

2. Necrosis occurs at tip and margin of leaves causing a definite hook at leaf tip.
Calcium is essential for the growth of shoot and root tips (meristems). Growing point dies. Margins of young leaves are scalloped and abnormally green and, due to inhibition of cell wall formation, the leaf
tips may be "gelatinous" and stuck together inhibiting leaf unfolding. Stem structure is weak and peduncle collapse or shoot topple may occur. Roots are stunted. Downward curl of leaf tips (hooking) occurs near
terminal bud. ammonium or magnesium excess may induce a calcium deficiency in plants... calcium 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.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-14-2019, 01:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks @Seattle_Aquarist, I'll boost the Ca and see how it goes. I'll update in a few weeks!

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-14-2019, 03:32 PM
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Your degassed pH is 6.6. What keeps it so low, it should be 7.3 when dKH is 2. Another interesting thing is Mg. Plants cannot use 6 ppm a week, so you have about 10 ppm in the water. This is 2.3 dGH by Mg. Your remaining 1.7 dGH is only 12 ppm Ca, not enough. It needs about 30 ppm more. One more thing I would check is NO3 before next dose. The 10 ppm a week may not be enough. Hope that helps.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-20-2019, 03:15 AM Thread Starter
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I'll double check my CO2 this weekend. The kit sucks, so I'm gonna borrow a pH meter from my lab.
@Seattle_Aquarist I've been using GLA dry ferts for my dosing, so I ordered some of their GH booster. It looks to have a Ca:Mg ratio of 6.8:1. Do you think this will be an issue in the future? Right now it will add more Ca, which is what we've decided I should try. I'm stopping the additional Mg dosing and doing just the GH booster.

What's the reasoning behind the recommendation of 3.3:1, Ca:Mg?

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-20-2019, 03:43 AM
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Hi @Vinster8108,

Good question! Calcium and Magnesium have an antagonist (mineral interference) relationship; excessive calcium can inhibit the uptake of magnesium and conversely excessive magnesium can inhibit the uptake of calcium. I don't think that the ratio of 3.3 : 1 (Ca : Mg) is 'magical' and I doubt if the GLA Booster will cause any issues if water changes are done conscientiously. Just watch for symptoms of magnesium deficiency on leaves as they mature such as leaf cupping, interveinal chlorosis on older leaves, and premature loss of older leaves.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-20-2019, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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Actually, looking at NilocG's GH booster the % analysis is the same as GLA's - And NilocG claims to be a 1:3:3 MgSO4:CaSO4:K2SO4 ratio.
I couldn't figure out the chemistry/math. How is 9.64% Ca, 1.42% Mg and 22.3% K2O a 1:3:3 ratio?

GH Booster | NilocG Aquatics
https://greenleafaquariums.com/aquar...h-booster.html

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-20-2019, 03:52 PM
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Hi @Vinster8108,

The percentages are the amounts (either by weight or by volume) of the various chemicals (likely CaSO5, MgSO4, K2SO4) in the mix. They do not indicate the percentages of Ca, Mg, or K in the mix.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-20-2019, 05:45 PM Thread Starter
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@Seattle_Aquarist

Figured it out, I wasn't accounting for the water... MgSO4.7H2O and CaSO4.2H2O.

1:3:3, MgSO4.7H2O : CaSO4.2H2O : K2SO4, Calculated out to be 9.96% Ca, 1.39% Mg and 23.2% K2O. Pretty Close! So the GLA GH Booster is a 1:3:3 mix of MgSO4.7H2O : CaSO4.2H2O : K2SO4, like the NilocG.

Both give molar ratios of Mg:Ca:K of 1 : 4.3 : 8.5 (Also close to 1 : 3.3 per your recommendation)
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ferts, iron, magnesium, nutrient deficiency, plant deficiencies

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