Whats my deficiency(s)? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-15-2014, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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Whats my deficiency(s)?

So it seems over the past month I've started seeing my plants not do as good in one of my tanks. The leaves have the trademark pinhole (potassium deficiency?), and stunted new growth (iron and or calcium deficiency?)

About the tank:
Tank: 29g
Filter: HOB and 501 canister
Light: Deep Blue T5 High Output (ONE 6,7k bulb, ONE 10k bulb)
Single T8 Fixture (ONE aqueon full spectrum bulb)
Marineland hidden LED white/blue (just added the other day)
Substrate: Eco-Complete (added root tabs 3 months ago and 2 weeks ago)

Here's a pic of the tank:


Going by this diagram it seems I'm missing almost half on the list:


Here's pic of the plants:





The tanks been up and running for 8 months and has done fine until a month or so ago. I started adding co2 around that time so I think that might be a start to the problem? I had been dosing excel, iron, potassium, phosphate, as well as aquavitro's envy. Here's a pic of that:


I started noticing small signs of deficiencies while dosing those products weekely. I recently switch to nilocg's DIY EI dosing which is as follows:

Concentrations(as per wets calculator):
Micro-
B- 0.09ppm
Cu 0.01ppm
Fe 0.50 ppm
Mg 0.11 ppm
Mn 0.14 ppm
Mo 0.0038 ppm
Zn 0.03 ppm
dGH 0.02

Macros:
N- 7.5ppm
P- 1.3ppm
K- 4.27ppm

I've been dosing with that for about 2 and half weeks now. Started out doing the recommended macro one day micro the next but had a huge algae bloom a few days in. Since I've been doing macro twice a week and micro twice a week and the algae has slowed but the plants are dying quicker than ever.

Has the new dosing not taken into effect yet? Is the addition of co2 making my plants require more nutrients that aren't there? Any and all help will be greatly appreciated, Thanks!

75G, 29G, 20L, 12L, 10G, 5 Nano's, 3 Betta bowls


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Last edited by NanoDave; 02-15-2014 at 06:17 PM. Reason: Specified bulbs better
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-15-2014, 06:00 PM
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I wouldn't quite put it in the "heavily plante" category but getting there. When you had Excel it was growing at the most 60% as fast so the amount of ferts was sufficient.
Are you getting those ppm from test or do they come from what a calculator says they should be at your doses ?
And before I go any further I can say your light is especially high. I have no idea how much PAR that hidden LED contributes but you went over the line when you added the T8 to that mix...before you even added the hidden.
That 10,000K bulb adds quite a bit and two 6700K bulbs at 18" would be in the 60
range of PAR alone. I get the part about having less shadows with wider spaced bulbs and all but that is why I have two fixtures of one bulb each/w T8 bulbs. I'm only
at 12" over my sub though. So at 18" you will get almost 80 PAR from the combo of one 6700K and one 10,000K bulb. That trouble has been brewing in there for some time but hadn't had the ferts to get anywhere till you added them.
Look on here at the recommended ppm of those nutrients where it talks about BBA and down towards the bottom it gives a good average amount of a balance of those ferts.
Look under "causes"
http://www.guitarfish.org/algae
When talking about ferts and people say a "heavily planted tank" they are talking about a tank where you can't at all see the back of it.
The level of lights you have often work well in that level of plants, but not in your level.
So it's decision making time for you.
Plants BTW will stop growing once they have no more ferts in any of the type they need. So if the KNO3 is short it will stop the growth as the plant can't grow without
it so it begins to scavenge from it's self to get what it needs er-go the holes and
after more deficiencies the leaves will begin to dissapear from the tips moving towards the stem. on the older leaves.
So oddly as it may sound you need more ferts and less light till you balance them
with the CO2. It's like a gas pedal but there is too small of a fuel line for the motor to get enough. Or you can just stop the CO2 till you work out the ferts better.
But either way you do need to cut that light down some till you have a lot more plants/plant growth in there.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-15-2014, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Ok I'll try shutting of the T8 and take the LED out. BTW I only have one 6,7k not two and one 10k. I guess I'll edit the first post to make it more clear. I'll try to up the dosing and hope the agae stays at bay. As for heavily planted it used to be twice as planted as that a month ago but I pulled half the plants out for trades and such and since they havent grown back as well.

75G, 29G, 20L, 12L, 10G, 5 Nano's, 3 Betta bowls


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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-15-2014, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NanoDave View Post
So it seems over the past month I've started seeing my plants not do as good in one of my tanks. The leaves have the trademark pinhole (potassium deficiency?), and stunted new growth (iron and or calcium deficiency?)
Dave, as a general rule plants tend to develop only one deficiency at a time. This is because when they run out of a particular nutrient they cannot continue growing. Since they aren't growing they cannot develop symptoms of another deficiency. So it is very likely that your plants are deficient in only one nutrient currently. Judging from the holes on the older growth on the hygros I'd say you are right about it being potassium. The twisted new growth is not usually associated with potassium deficiency though, but I think we should rule out potassium issues first since the holes are certainly potassium deficiency holes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NanoDave View Post
The tanks been up and running for 8 months and has done fine until a month or so ago. I started adding co2 around that time so I think that might be a start to the problem? I had been dosing excel, iron, potassium, phosphate, as well as
aquavitro's envy.
Adding CO2 is probably what caused the current plant problems you are seeing. Before you added CO2 the entire tank was limited by not having enough CO2 so the macro/micro nutrients your were dosing back then were not the limiting nutrients, they were adequate for your previous setup. This is because the plants could only grow as fast as CO2 was supplied. Then you made a good move by adding more CO2, now the plants are no longer limited by that and they are growing faster which has allowed them to use up all of the potassium in the tank. Potassium is now the limiting nutrient.

What you have to do is readjust your macro/micro fertilizer doses to accommodate the faster growth you are now getting from adding the CO2.

Do not reduce lighting or limit the plants, while that method may also work by reducing the plants' growth rate, that is not the direction to go in if you want to maintain a high tech planted tank!


Quote:
Originally Posted by NanoDave View Post
I recently switch to nilocg's DIY EI dosing which is as follows:

Concentrations(as per wets calculator):
Micro-
B- 0.09ppm
Cu 0.01ppm
Fe 0.50 ppm
Mg 0.11 ppm
Mn 0.14 ppm
Mo 0.0038 ppm
Zn 0.03 ppm
dGH 0.02

Macros:
N- 7.5ppm
P- 1.3ppm
K- 4.27ppm
Looking at this list you are doing fine on the Micros, and the phosphate. But 7.5 ppm nitrate and 4.27 ppm potassium are very low. Usually people add a total of 15-20 ppm NO3, and 30+ ppm K each week. With such low amounts of N and K, good lighting and CO2 in your tank your plants can easily use up the nutrients and start showing deficiencies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NanoDave View Post
I've been dosing with that for about 2 and half weeks now. Started out doing the recommended macro one day micro the next but had a huge algae bloom a few days in. Since I've been doing macro twice a week and micro twice a week and the algae has slowed but the plants are dying quicker than ever.
The best way to stop algae is to ensure the plants are growing healthily. For whatever reason rapidly growing healthy plants seem to suppress algae growth with very few exceptions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NanoDave View Post
Has the new dosing not taken into effect yet? Is the addition of co2 making my plants require more nutrients that aren't there? Any and all help will be greatly appreciated, Thanks!
Dosing is likely too low, yes CO2 is driving their metabolism faster and they need more nutrients.

Also, be aware that any damaged leaves you see will not repair themselves. You will know the new fertilizer amounts are working when the new plant leaves keep growing out healthily.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-15-2014, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
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Zapins, thank you for taking the time to help me and answer in such depth. I'll probably add some potassium to the pre mixed stuff as I feel that I've seen that pinhole problem for some time now and not just this tank but certainly not as bad as this tank. Thanks again for the help.

75G, 29G, 20L, 12L, 10G, 5 Nano's, 3 Betta bowls


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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-15-2014, 08:03 PM
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No problem, be sure to post updates in a week or two so we know how you are doing.

Also, potassium is quite safe at high levels so don't worry about adding too much (within reason ).
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-15-2014, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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Good to know, found a bottle half filled under one of my tanks so did a double dose of it. See how it goes. Thanks again

75G, 29G, 20L, 12L, 10G, 5 Nano's, 3 Betta bowls


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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-16-2014, 04:22 PM
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FWIW, your tank is heavily planted. Having that doesn't always mean there is little vertical space left.

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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-23-2014, 08:40 AM
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Dave did the plants start putting out healthy leaves after the potassium addition?

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-23-2014, 04:23 PM
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Learning a lot with this thread, following along!

Hope it is improving for you!
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-30-2014, 12:19 AM
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very detailed writeup thank you! show us some pics with updates! one day I wish to use this knowledge to fix my problems!
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-30-2014, 01:30 AM
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I'd love to see updated photos as well.

dbot- you should start your own thread with plant problems. I can help you fix plant problems. If you want to learn more you can have a look through www.deficiencyfinder.com for descriptions and photos of deficiencies in aquatic plants.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-30-2014, 04:55 PM
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75 gal, 4'x2 bulb T5HO (1 6700k 1 50/50 centered) 1 4'x2 bulb T8 (1 6500k 1 grow-lux) on each side of the T5.

after about 8-9 months into the tank being setup, stunted new growth.
the start of BBA, the plants stoped pearling (not that thats a strong indication of growth....but) and most of the deficiencys i seen in your photos.

i tryed all of this, more CO2, less CO2, longer photo period, shorter photo period, more circulation, more ferts, less ferts..........no luck
BBA got worse, plants looking shabby more so.

now i'm not saying this is your problem, just that it was mine.

doing my weekly sunday WC, before the rest of the house was "up"
the timer for the T5 kicked on when the hood was up.
(blinding me lol)

then the light went on over my head (pun intended).
all my light tubes are over 10 months old by now!

changed them all out, for new of the same that week.
then went back to doing what i was after first setting the tank up.

one month later, BBA almost all disappeared (none now), plants pearling again and growing out like they should! and all seems balanced once more.

so......just saying

"The tanks been up and running for 8 months and has done fine until a month or so ago".


your lights may be at the end of their useful effect, and need to be changed.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-30-2014, 07:11 PM
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Did anyone notice that Wet's calculator output doubled doubled for things like KNO3 and KH2PO4? It's possible that NanoDave is actually dosing half the amount than indicated by the calculator.
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