Moving into EI, Rotala getting bad... - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-23-2014, 03:21 AM Thread Starter
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Moving into EI, Rotala getting bad...

Hello here,
About 1 month ago I moved into EI from a very lean regime. My plants used to grow pretty well, but not "really" well... So I tried EI fertilization, and despite most of my plants improved growth, some plants such Alternanthera and Rotala got worse. My Ambulia instead, had already some issues probably with the substrate, and so far it hasn't changed much, it has a very slow growth compared to how much it used to growth a few months ago... Anyway, Alternanthera lost most of the leaves, and now is putting out new leaves (smaller!), and so hopefully it is just adapting to the new environment.

What instead really puzzles me is my Rotala Rotoundifolia. It used to grow pretty well (not very well though), then I moved into EI to improve my overall plant health, and instead my Rotala turned dark, stunted growth at the tips as well as twisted growth. Also, some leaves turned a little translucent. At first I thought was a lack of micros, so I increased them without any difference... After 1 week I realized that I was probably dosing too low KNo3 because I was relying on the color chart of my No3 test kit, whereas with a reference solution I found out that I needed more No3... so I increased that to reach a level of at least 30-40ppm a day to overrule any possible Nitrogen deficiency. All other nutrients are slightly in excess, I have also increased my Co2 to have a PH drop of about 1.2 which should give me 30-40ppm of Co2 (drop checker is,lime green, almost yellow)' but after 3 weeks my Rotala has not improved, it is stuck, here are some pictures of it:







Note the tips of the last picture: they just don't grow! Even if I cut the stem at the top, the re-growth is stunted!


Some info about my setup:

- 75gl tank

- Wet/dry filter sump 2000l/h via Eheim compact 2000

- Co2 injection via am1000 with return to sump via independent Eheim 1000 pump

- PH drops from about 7.4 to 6.2 during Co2 peak. Co2 starts 2 hours before lights are on and turns off 1 hour before lights are off

- Lights: 4 x 40w T8 tubes, 8 hours a day.

- GH 16, KH 7

- EI dosing according to what suggested on http://rota.la for a 60gl tank since I have medium light. I alternate macros and micros every day.

- Water change: since I moved into EI, I begun changing water 50% once a week, but in the last 2 weeks I have increased that to change 50% twice a week to see if that improved the Rotala. No luck so far...

Did I forget anything?

I am eager to know your thoughts on this.

Thank you in advance!
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-23-2014, 03:36 AM
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Originally Posted by fablau
To let you better understand my situation, I am dosing a sort of light EI method (1/3 of a real EI) alternating macro and micro each day, with a 50% water change every 2 weeks. 75gl tank with 8 hours light a day, 160w, pressurized Co2, 4 bubbles per second.
1) Are you still dosing 1/3rd of EI or are you dosing the full EI dose?

2) Do you still have root tabs under the plants?

3) Can you take two more photos for us? I'd like to see the Alternantheria with the damaged old leaves and see one of the stunted new stems. And for the second picture I'd like to see a close up of the old rotala leaves.

Progressively smaller leaves/stunting/twisting is usually a nitrogen deficiency, especially if the old growth is dying.

4) If no old growth is dying then the Ca:Mg ratio may be incorrect causing a mild toxicity which stunts new growth. Can you test your water calcium?
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-23-2014, 11:31 AM
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The Plant Whisperer speaks. :-)

Could you go into the Ca:Mg ratio part a bit? I'd assumed that, as long as you didn't bottom out on either, the ratio wasn't a big deal. My water is similar to the OP's in terms of GH/KH and it's not easy to find a fw CA or Mg test kit.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-24-2014, 02:58 AM
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The Plant Whisperer speaks. :-)

Could you go into the Ca:Mg ratio part a bit? I'd assumed that, as long as you didn't bottom out on either, the ratio wasn't a big deal. My water is similar to the OP's in terms of GH/KH and it's not easy to find a fw CA or Mg test kit.
Elos makes both a Calcium and Magnesium test kit.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-24-2014, 03:21 AM
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The Plant Whisperer speaks. :-)
Haha, that is really funny. I might change my signature to that :P

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Originally Posted by Jack Gilvey View Post
Could you go into the Ca:Mg ratio part a bit? I'd assumed that, as long as you didn't bottom out on either, the ratio wasn't a big deal. My water is similar to the OP's in terms of GH/KH and it's not easy to find a fw CA or Mg test kit.
I'll try write up a full post by Saturday. I'll be traveling quite some distance tomorrow to see family and will be unavailable for a little while. I'd like to write a detailed post with some interesting articles for further reading. The issue of Ca:Mg ratio has an interesting history.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-24-2014, 03:49 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zapins View Post
1) Are you still dosing 1/3rd of EI or are you dosing the full EI dose?
I have dosed 2/3 of EI for 2 weeks,mane then tried full EI for 1 week without improvement, so I reverted back to 2/3 EI because with full EI No3 was up to 40ppm and Po4 was over 4.0ppm (I have used reference solutions, not the color charts, eh in usuale vive much more reliable results. But I am concerned that my Po4 test could outdated, so I have ordered a new one to be sure I will get right results)

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2) Do you still have root tabs under the plants?
Yes.


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Originally Posted by Zapins View Post
3) Can you take two more photos for us? I'd like to see the Alternantheria with the damaged old leaves and see one of the stunted new stems. And for the second picture I'd like to see a close up of the old rotala leaves.
Yes, here is the Alternanthera before the my last trimming (with damaged leaves):



And here it is now with just the small leaves, a little stunted... Or maybe I have to wait t see some more growth, but they are growing very slowly if so:





About your requested picture of the "old rotala leaves", do you mean you want to see how it was before I moved into EI? Please, confirm me that then I will try to find a picture of them.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Zapins View Post
Progressively smaller leaves/stunting/twisting is usually a nitrogen deficiency, especially if the old growth is dying.
Yes, in fact that's what I thought at first because I have been lean with No3 the first week because I thought to have enough No3, but since then, I have given enough to have always between 20 to 30 ppm of No3, so for the past 3 weeks plants should have had plenty of No3, but I noticed almost no recovery from the Rotala.


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Originally Posted by Zapins View Post
4) If no old growth is dying then the Ca:Mg ratio may be incorrect causing a mild toxicity which stunts new growth. Can you test your water calcium?
I have GH 16-17, so I should have plenty of Ca and probably Mg, but of course I could be lower in Mg, even though I doubt with my high GH, but that's why after water change I also add about 1/2 tsp of Mg since I moved into EI. I don't have a Ca test, but I can definitively order one. So, do you think that my Mg could be low despite I add additional 1/2 tsp of it with hard water at GH 16? Unless you think I have too much Mg compared to Ca, or vice versa?

Please note though, that these problems appeared when moving into EI, and my ca/Mg ratio was the same before.

Thanks!
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-24-2014, 04:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zapins View Post
The issue of Ca:Mg ratio has an interesting history.
Being that nearly 100% of it is incorrect.

I've played around and easily falsified the claims going back to 2001 when a few folks thought endogenous signalling is the same as external fertilizer. I've had Mg up to 50 ppm for a couple of years.
Ca was lower, so that's 1:1 and I've had extremely low Ca and low Mg, same plants, same results. I've also had high Ca and very low Mg.

This is pretty much the possible tap water ranges possible that aquarist will encounter. If you move to different places over the years and keep planted tanks with the tap water, you learn these things rather than making an conclusion ...........then running around seeing if you can find facts to support it.

It's rare that ever works, and no one is going to convinced me using that approach, whereas a falsification, they can.

This merry go round of newbies and folks who have issues then happen upon some correlation is never ending.

Here's my A. reineckii from YESTERDAY



It's not the dosing of EI.
Ca:Mg ratio does not matter.

Here's the plants are 1:1 or less:






Given that EI suggest GH booster, it's not likely to be an issue.
Furthermore, the OP is from Laugna Nigel, CA

Tap water report is easily located on google:
Ca++ is 51 ppm, and the Mg is 21ppm there's no way this is an issue.
The last tank above has similar ppm's.

Repeating falsified information over and over about a method does not make your claim logically possible. Dosing is JUST one part of growing plants and somewhat minor in most cases. There are many possible reasons for issues that are independent of dosing.




Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-24-2014, 04:48 AM
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Originally Posted by fablau View Post

Yes, here is the Alternanthera before the my last trimming (with damaged leaves):



And here it is now with just the small leaves, a little stunted... Or maybe I have to wait t see some more growth, but they are growing very slowly if so:






have GH 16-17, so I should have plenty of Ca and probably Mg, but of course I could be lower in Mg, even though I doubt with my high GH, but that's why after water change I also add about 1/2 tsp of Mg since I moved into EI. I don't have a Ca test, but I can definitively order one. So, do you think that my Mg could be low despite I add additional 1/2 tsp of it with hard water at GH 16? Unless you think I have too much Mg compared to Ca, or vice versa?
Read the water report.
Not possible.

A. reineckii is a stunter if you have poor CO2. Perhaps the higher KH's......contribute...........perhaps not. I cannot say there.

I can say in my tanks, it's doing very very well, but takes some time and patience to establish, it's not a good indicator except over the long term and with CO2. In reference tanks, it does exceedingly well with EI.
I'm at well over 400 varieties and types of aquatic plants that do extremely well. My sales threads alone illustrate that fact.

Since few newbies or others even have a reference tank as a control, they cannot rule out much, all they have is hopefully correlation. Hence serious myths all over the place.

I've seen A reieneckii like yours many times in other folk's tanks, here in the Bay area and all across the country. I did very well with it a long time ago in a lower light tank, also when I shaded it some. When I took it into the light a few times, it looked like yours

I focused on CO2 and light. The ferts, tap etc, never really mattered much.
Rotalas are very easy to grow with good CO2.

I think you would do well to do water changes, dose and trim the ugly leaves off those plants. They offer nothing to the plant when they get like that.
The CO2 seems okay now. Trim the Rotala also. New side shoots should come out, if the tank is left with little biomass, you might add more plants.

Then phase those out as the desired plants fill back in. Nice new plants will grow right away.




Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-24-2014, 05:20 AM Thread Starter
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Wow plantbrain, your plants look fantastic! How do you do that?!!

So, basically, are you saying that what I just need is to give my plants time to,adapt to the new environment (more nutrients)? Trim the bad parts and wait for the new, better growth to come out?
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-24-2014, 06:54 AM
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The Rotala indica I had when I used plain gravel as a sub was doing well. Now that I have more light and Flourite sub, the
Rotala Magenta that I replaced the indica/w are doing just like your looks, worse even. New sprouts start and then stop
growing. The leaves turn darker over the entire plant and slowly deteriorate. I have a thread started in here about
iron over dose which I suspect MAY be the cause of it. I like some algae to be in my tanks and to that end I got caught
up in "improving" the amount of light available to the plants a bit too much. Got rid of some really good growing Rotala
indica which had finally gotten pink tops just before I switched substrates and changed from two T8 bulbs to two T5 bulbs.
Not in a financing position to do this in reverse so the T5 is there to stay at least for a while more. Planned to cut it, and still
do, with Giant Duckweed which is already there but in very small percent right now. Just need to let more grow.
But I will closely watch this thread as your Rotala looks better than mine and there may be a connection.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-24-2014, 11:54 AM
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Wow plantbrain, your plants look fantastic! How do you do that?!!

So, basically, are you saying that what I just need is to give my plants time to,adapt to the new environment (more nutrients)? Trim the bad parts and wait for the new, better growth to come out?
Yep that Tom can grow some plants.

Jeff
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-24-2014, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Raymond S. View Post
The Rotala indica I had when I used plain gravel as a sub was doing well. Now that I have more light and Flourite sub, the
Rotala Magenta that I replaced the indica/w are doing just like your looks, worse even. New sprouts start and then stop
growing. The leaves turn darker over the entire plant and slowly deteriorate. I have a thread started in here about
iron over dose which I suspect MAY be the cause of it. I like some algae to be in my tanks and to that end I got caught
up in "improving" the amount of light available to the plants a bit too much. Got rid of some really good growing Rotala
indica which had finally gotten pink tops just before I switched substrates and changed from two T8 bulbs to two T5 bulbs.
Not in a financing position to do this in reverse so the T5 is there to stay at least for a while more. Planned to cut it, and still
do, with Giant Duckweed which is already there but in very small percent right now. Just need to let more grow.
But I will closely watch this thread as your Rotala looks better than mine and there may be a connection.
Ray, how long is passed since your changed lights? How your Rotala is doing now? Trying to understand if they actually need a "timeframe" to adapt to new conditions, whether it is light changing, co2 or ferts.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-24-2014, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Yep that Tom can grow some plants.

Jeff
Jeff, is it you? This is Fabrizio! I didn't realize that "plantbrain" is Tom! Sorry Tom, I should have understood from you incredible pictures! They actually reminded of your planted tanks

I will keep trimming the bad parts and changing water twice a week for a while until I see better grow from these plants. My tank is filled enough with other plants, all growing very well now, with the only exception of Rotala, Alernanthera and Ambulias. These plants probably need just more time than the others (Vallisnerias, Swords, Microswords, Anubias, Marsilea Minuta, Mosses, Higrophilas and a couple more are doing very well.)

I will give an additional update in 3-4 date. Thanks!
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-24-2014, 10:18 PM
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Elos makes both a Calcium and Magnesium test kit.
I'd looked at their Ca test but it only seems to be for saltwater.

For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.
-Carl Sagan
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-25-2014, 12:31 AM
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I'd looked at their Ca test but it only seems to be for saltwater.
As far as I can see this one can be used for both salt and fresh.

http://www.marinedepot.com/Elos_Aqua...FITKCA-vi.html

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