Potassium deficiency? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-16-2008, 01:02 AM Thread Starter
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Potassium deficiency?

My 20H heavily planted tank has been set up for several months and is doing very well. I have a Red Tiger Lotus (Nymphaea lotus "Zenkeri") that has been doing fairly well but recently, small grey/brown holes develop in the older leaves. The holes eventually grow and spread throughout the entire leaf, which eventually disintegrates.
I believe this to be a potassium def, but I dose 4ml of Flourish Potassium three times a week, along with a rich substrate, including Espoma Greensand (slow-release Potassium) and Fertilome potting soil as a base layer. I also have a DIY co2 system and regularly dose the rest of the Flourish line and keep up on my water changes (40% weekly). The lighting is about 2.4wpg and has a nearly perfect spectrum. I can't really figure out what is wrong with the Lotus. Please help!
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-16-2008, 02:20 AM
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If you are dosing potassium then you aren't
deficient in potassium.

When you say entire Flourish line do you mean
NPK and Trace? if so then you have a C02 problem
which is usually the problem.

Add Excel to your regime or another bottle of
DIY yeast.

You do know that DIY gas is not real consistant
so this is more than likely your problem.

Craig

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-16-2008, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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This is my fertilizer list...
DIY co2 system - about 12 hours a day, disconnected at night.
Flourish Excel - 3ml daily
Flourish Potassium - 4ml 3x a week
Flourish Iron - 1ml 2x a week
Flourish supplement - 1.5ml 2x a week
Flourish Nitrogen - 1ml 2x a week
Flourish fert tabs at base of Lotus

I thought originally that co2 was the problem but since i've started using the DIY system, all the plants are growing much faster and thicker. The Lotus is included, but the older leaves just seem to disintegrate after a while. Plus the DIY system gives me about 1-2 bubbles a second.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-16-2008, 06:09 PM
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OKay, now we are getting somewhere, you need
to add phosphorus/phosphate, then you will see
even better results.

Craig

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-16-2008, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
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Thought that might be it, thanks. I was kind of afraid to add phosphorus too much because it is usually a factor in an algae bloom
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-16-2008, 06:59 PM
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That is bad information, whomever you heard
that from is ignorant of facts.

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-16-2008, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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It's just that high phosphorus levels usually cause an algae bloom. I've read of several people who've started dosing phosphorus and then had a massive algae explosion in their tank, including a friend of mine.

Now that i think about it, my plants are growing so fast they would probably out-compete algae for any nutrients anyway. Plus there's the whole "allelopathy" theory that could limit algae growth too.

Anyway, I'll start dosing phosphorus and see what happens. Thanks
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-16-2008, 09:26 PM
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This Seachem fert calculator may help you.

The FertFriend calculator may help as well.

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-17-2008, 08:20 AM
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According to Chuck at http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_nutrient.htm
Pinholes appearing on old leaves and then spreading, he believes to be potassium deficiency.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-17-2008, 11:25 AM
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So, you are saying that according to chuck even
though he is dosing potassium 3x a week and no
phosphate he should dose more potassium!?

He didn't say he had a pinhole problem
but that the leaves would disintegrate.

4ml of potassium is not a lot I would agree,
but before I simply ignored the fact that
no phosphate is being dosed to dose more
potassium, I would not write it off as chuck said.

Craig

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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-17-2008, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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I am going to start dosing phosphorus regularly, but all the signs seem to point to potassium deficiency.

The leaves would develop one or two small holes, then the holes would grow and spread until the leaf would just disintegrate.

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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-17-2008, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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Maybe i could start dosing 5ml of K, or should i dose K daily instead of 3x a week?

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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-17-2008, 06:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legomaniac89 View Post
It's just that high phosphorus levels usually cause an algae bloom. I've read of several people who've started dosing phosphorus and then had a massive algae explosion in their tank, including a friend of mine.

Now that i think about it, my plants are growing so fast they would probably out-compete algae for any nutrients anyway. Plus there's the whole "allelopathy" theory that could limit algae growth too.

Anyway, I'll start dosing phosphorus and see what happens. Thanks
Well, then where my algae when I add 3-5 ppm per week?



Been this way for nearly 15 years............still think high PO4 causes algae or might it just be something else that you or friends, or those you are talking to overlooked?

I know I'm adding pure bioavailable PO4 in the form of KH2PO4 into the water column.

How can it induce algae as claimed unless I also get it?
Tap water is not a factor, after 15 years, perhaps 60 reps(different tanks), I think you can figure out that the notion high PO4 = algae CANNOT possibly be correct.

Note: I'm not suggesting what causes algae here, that's an entire other question, I'm just saying there is no way that high or excess PO4 induces algae in a planted tank.

Where did you hear this from?
This idea is about 10-15 years old now.

Dosing 3x a week vs daily is not going to make any differences with K+.
The effective range is about 5-10ppm to 100ppm.
Plants are not going to use more than 2-3 ppm in 2-3 days at most.

Most use KNO3 and KH2PO4, the amount of K+ in these relative to N and PO4 are plenty, about 4x the demand relative to N.

So basically you do not need to add extra K+ on top dosing these two. you can if you want, but it will not solve the issue

Many folks mistake K+ for CO2 related issues or sometimes Mg.

Say if you are K+ limited, adding more will induce stunting or algae, then it's likely a CO2 issue, not excess K+........but folks get mixed easily and make assumptions.



Regards,
Tom Barr



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Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-17-2008, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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I stand corrected. And the book I like to read (Ecology of the Planted Aquarium, Diana Walstad) is about 8 years old, so that explains that idea too. She mentions excess phosphorus not used by plants could trigger algae growth, but not always. Plus, on smaller aquarium sites, you hear algae horror stories about people who add phosphorus and get an explosion of green water. Obviously they did something wrong or way overdosed.

Anyway, I am still looking for a definite answer about my Lotus.

BTW, nice plants Tom.

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-17-2008, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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Also, anyone have any experience with getting a Nymphaea species to flower? My friend said he started adding Nitrogen and Molybdenum (Flourish Trace) and his flowered, but this could just be coincidence.

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