Rotala nutrient deficiency - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-10-2008, 10:08 AM Thread Starter
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Rotala nutrient deficiency

I have never been able to grow rotala with much success, and I've been trying for at least a year! Hopefully someone can help me figure out what deficiency is causing the dark spots which eventually turn into pinholes seen below in my rotala:

This is in the beginning stages (rotala indica):


There is the most extreme example at the moment (rotala green, or what's left of it):


I can grow every other plant I've tried with very good levels of success, but nothing I do ever works for rotala of which I have 3 species (indica, green, and 'narrow'). I can keep it 'alive,' but it is always sickly looking.

On a related note, I sometimes will get holes in other plants, most notably bronze wendtii.

So the slowly enlarging pinholes are the problem...

Now I believe that pinholes are usually indicative of a insufficient amount of Potassium (K), but postings from Tom Barr seems to indicate that dosing nitrates with KNO3 (which I am) should provide all the K needed -- and I'm dosing more K on top of that just to be sure.

Maybe its not a lack of nutrients, but a lack of light or CO2? You can see my dosing schedule below, but I'm really stumped on this.

Any advice greatly appreciated!

My tank parameters are:
29 gal, highly planted,
fluorite
65w light (coralife) 9hrs/day
Pressurized CO2 with Inline aqua medic reactor 1000 (drop checker indicates I'm at or around 30ppm)
No fish, healthy snail population though.
weekly, 50% water change

Dosing:
N: maintained @ 10-20ppm (via Potassium Nitrate), tested several times a week.
P: mantained @ 1-2ppm (Mono Potassium Phosphate), tested several times a week.
K: 1/16tsp M,W,F (Potassium Sulfate), ppm unknown.
Fe: 2.5ml 3xweek, ppm unknown
Seachem Flourish: 2.5ml 3xweek, ppm unknown
KH: 13.5
GH: 11

Last edited by The.Omega.Glory; 06-11-2008 at 03:47 AM. Reason: had K and P scientific names switched.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-10-2008, 12:34 PM
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Not sure how you are measuring your CO2 levels. Are you using the "chart" or a drop checker?

Hardness levels that high make it extremely difficult I believe to dissolve CO2. IMO that is your culprit. CO2 deficiency.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-10-2008, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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sorry about the repeated postings... did not realize that happened.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-10-2008, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The.Omega.Glory View Post
Now I believe that pinholes are usually indicative of a insufficient amount of Potassium (K), but postings from Tom Barr seems to indicate that dosing nitrates with KNO3 (which I am) should provide all the K needed -- and I'm dosing more K on top of that just to be sure.

Maybe its not a lack of nutrients, but a lack of light or CO2? You can see my dosing schedule below, but I'm really stumped on this.

Any advice greatly appreciated!

My tank parameters are:
29 gal, highly planted,
fluorite
65w light (coralife) 9hrs/day
Pressurized CO2 with Inline aqua medic reactor 1000 (drop checker indicates I'm at or around 30ppm)
No fish, healthy snail population though.
weekly, 50% water change

Dosing:
N: 10-20ppm (via Potassium Nitrate), tested several times a week.
P: 1-2ppm (Potassium Sulfate), tested several times a week.
K: 1/16tsp M,W,F (Mono Potassium Phosphate), ppm unknown.
Fe: 2.5ml 3xweek, ppm unknown
Seachem Flourish: 2.5ml 3xweek, ppm unknown
KH: 13.5
GH: 11
Tom will also tell you that chasing nutrients with test kits can also lead to poor growth.

I guessing you are familiar with EI dosing and Drop checkers? I have almost the exact setup as you (tank 29 gal, 55W PC 10hr/d, many stems and GH/KH) The stems put on 3"-4" weekly. I would suggest you try the EI method completely for 4-6 weeks and see what results are. You know what your tank is dong now, try this and see

Good luck

Chris
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-10-2008, 11:28 PM
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Quote:
Dosing:
N: 10-20ppm (via Potassium Nitrate), tested several times a week.
P: 1-2ppm (Potassium Sulfate), tested several times a week.
K: 1/16tsp M,W,F (Mono Potassium Phosphate), ppm unknown.

Fe: 2.5ml 3xweek, ppm unknown
Seachem Flourish: 2.5ml 3xweek, ppm unknown
KH: 13.5
GH: 11
Can you clarify your P (phosphorous) and K (Potassium) levels and dosing amounts? It looks like you have a severe K deficiency. KH2PO4 is dosed for phosphates and K2SO4 is dosed for potassium.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-11-2008, 01:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avalon View Post
Can you clarify your P (phosphorous) and K (Potassium) levels and dosing amounts? It looks like you have a severe K deficiency. KH2PO4 is dosed for phosphates and K2SO4 is dosed for potassium.
That is likely impossible since they have no fish and all the K+ coming in from KNO3 and KH2PO4 would mean and excess above the critical limitation of 4-5x at least based on the moles of N vs K+.

They have excess K+ at 4-5x.
However, adding some K2SO4 would not hurt either.........
Excess K+ does no harm.

It looks like weak light with poor CO2.
It might be location in the tank also, try moving it to the CO2 output and give it good current/light. That+ adding a bit more nutrients should rule out most things.



Regards,
Tom Barr




Regards,
Tom Barr
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-11-2008, 01:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plantbrain View Post
That is likely impossible since they have no fish and all the K+ coming in from KNO3 and KH2PO4 would mean and excess above the critical limitation of 4-5x at least based on the moles of N vs K+.

They have excess K+ at 4-5x.
However, adding some K2SO4 would not hurt either.........
Excess K+ does no harm.

It looks like weak light with poor CO2.
It might be location in the tank also, try moving it to the CO2 output and give it good current/light. That+ adding a bit more nutrients should rule out most things.



Regards,
Tom Barr

How can you tell? 10-20ppm KNO3...what does this mean? Is this the average level maintained or the amount dosed? You mention a K deficiency cannot be possible, yet you suggest adding more? Why? You also have missed the bolded text in the quote. Just trying to clarify what you're saying here...
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-11-2008, 03:45 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmccreedy View Post
Not sure how you are measuring your CO2 levels. Are you using the "chart" or a drop checker?

Hardness levels that high make it extremely difficult I believe to dissolve CO2. IMO that is your culprit. CO2 deficiency.
Yes, I am using a drop checker with (homemade) 4 degree KH solution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mooner View Post
Tom will also tell you that chasing nutrients with test kits can also lead to poor growth.

I guessing you are familiar with EI dosing and Drop checkers? I have almost the exact setup as you (tank 29 gal, 55W PC 10hr/d, many stems and GH/KH) The stems put on 3"-4" weekly. I would suggest you try the EI method completely for 4-6 weeks and see what results are. You know what your tank is dong now, try this and see

Good luck
I fully agree that test kits are considered 'inaccurate', but I think they are one more useful tool to get me in the proverbial ballpark. I treat them with a healthy bit of suspicion when judging the results. Besides I only test for N and P.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avalon View Post
Can you clarify your P (phosphorous) and K (Potassium) levels and dosing amounts? It looks like you have a severe K deficiency. KH2PO4 is dosed for phosphates and K2SO4 is dosed for potassium.
Yes, you did find a typo on my part regarding KH2PO4 & K2SO4 -- I had them switched, and I will go back an edit my original post for the correction. Here is the correct version:

P: 1-2ppm (Mono Potassium Phosphate)
K: 1/16tsp M,W,F (Potassium Sulfate)

For N and P, I dose (M,W,F) with a 250ml solution I mixed and not dry dosing, so it made more sense to give you the range rather than the amount in ml which has no meaning to you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by plantbrain View Post
That is likely impossible since they have no fish and all the K+ coming in from KNO3 and KH2PO4 would mean and excess above the critical limitation of 4-5x at least based on the moles of N vs K+.

They have excess K+ at 4-5x.
However, adding some K2SO4 would not hurt either.........
Excess K+ does no harm.

It looks like weak light with poor CO2.
It might be location in the tank also, try moving it to the CO2 output and give it good current/light. That+ adding a bit more nutrients should rule out most things.

Regards,
Tom Barr
So you think combination of weak light and poor CO2? I tend to agree. I've posted a picture of my tank everyone can get a feel for the layout. The lily pipe is on the right side along with the drop checker. Notice how the growth on the left side is really weak, while the right side is rather robust. The first picture in my original post came from the rotala on the rightside. The second picture in my original post came from the far leftside.

My canister is an Eheim 2213, kinda weak for a 20gal maybe, but the right side has the least current but has the best growth (but it is closer to the outflow)

So is it a fair statement to say that holes in leaves as the only symptom of a deficiency cannot be attributed to a single cause? Meaning, it could be low CO2, low light, or low nutrients? All are fair game?

I did want to quickly mention that I've never had issues with algae, save for the occasional green spot algae on the glass. So these are the steps I think I will take:
1) Since I have no fish, I can test upping the CO2 without fear.
2) I think starting EI dosing would be a good idea as well.
3) Judging by other posts I've read over the year, 1x65W should be decent for a 29gal; in face Mooner states that he is using 55W and get 2" of growth in his stem plants. So, I'm keeping the light the same for now.

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-11-2008, 04:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mooner View Post
I have almost the exact setup as you (tank 29 gal, 55W PC 10hr/d, many stems and GH/KH) The stems put on 3"-4" weekly. I would suggest you try the EI method completely for 4-6 weeks and see what results are.
Here is a picture of one of my 30 gallons.



Very close to your setup. Pressurized CO2 and EI method. BTW your tank looks great!!

Chris
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