stunted plants - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-08-2006, 11:25 PM Thread Starter
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stunted plants

I have been having problems growing most stem plants. The new growth is either very small, twisted, or stunted. It even shows up on easy plants like wisteria, ludwigia repens, and rotala rotundifolia. It shows up worse on limnophila aromatica.
Here is my setup:

20gallon long
40watts of NO flourescent lighting
pressurized co2, i have a 3-way manifold on my regulator and one line goes into a mini vortex reactor, and the other line is attached to a chopstick which is fed into the intake of a powerhead for some mist effect.
kh - 3
gh - 6, tap water gh = 3

dosing routine:
Estimative Index
tues - 50% water change, 1/4tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp epsom salts, 1/4tsp kno3, 1/16tsp kh2po4, 1/16tsp k2so4
wed - 6ml csm+b
thur - same as tues
fri - same as wed
sat - same as tues
sat - same as wed
sun - nothing

I'm pretty sure my co2 and ferts are at good levels, so I'm thinking that maybe my GH is messed up. I've been adding 1/2tsp of MgSo4 after water changes for several weeks already with some good results, but my plants still stunt. I just got my water quality report today and found out I have 14ppm Ca, and 4ppm Mg. My test kit gives me a GH of 3. Do you think these levels are too low? Maybe my plants are suffering from Calcium deficiency? Should I start adding some CaCl2?

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-09-2006, 02:20 AM
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Yeah, I would add CaCl2. Shoot for a value between 20 and 30 ppm (your Ca values are a bit low). Couldn't hurt to see if it makes a difference.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-09-2006, 01:15 PM
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I would say everthing is fine regarding your water parameters and dosing...but light is your limiting factor...2 wpg...interesting that you're getting stunted growth rather than stretchy--reach for the light--growth.

It does appear that the B. moneri in the picture appears healthy and is simply sending out side shoots.

Add a touch of calcium and see what happens over the next FEW weeks (results are never instant ). I've used Kent's liquid calcium in the reef section well...expensive, but saves you the pain of having dust all over the place from using calcium carbonate. I can send you a small vial of the stuff since I don't use it anymore if you want some (the stuff is pretty concentrated). All you'll need is a few drops. Drop me a pm and I can snail mail you some.

By the ways, to encourage healthy growth, prune off any algae infected leaves...looks like you have fuzz.

And, lastly, welcome to the planted tank!!!

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-09-2006, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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thanks guys, today is my water change day so I will add 1tsp of Cacl2, which will bring my Ca levels to 21ppm. I will do this once a week and see what happens.

Georgiadawgger - I'm also surprised that I'm getting stunted growth problems with just 2 wpg. I used to overdrive my 2 20 watt tubes but thought I would see less plant problems if I lowered my lighting intesity.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-17-2006, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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Its been a week so far since i added CaCl2 and i've noticed some improvement on the new growth. I'm still not completely satisfied though since there are still some leaf curling on the new growth of plants like wisteria that is pictured here on the very left.

The new growth on this limnophila aromatica stem is also growing twisted. But overall, the tank has been looking better. I'll give it another week or two for things to furthur improve.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-20-2009, 06:43 AM
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Any news, after all this time, was it calcium and a magnesium deficiency perhaps??

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