holes in my leaves - The Planted Tank Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-07-2014, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Portland OR
Posts: 26
holes in my leaves

I've been struggling with holes in my leaves for a while. Here are some details about my tank:

My tank is 100 gal, but filled only to 90 gal, with NO3 at 10 ppm, PO4 at 1-2 ppm (2 ppm today). I keep my CO2 near 30 ppm using an indicator and I've got 180 watts of light (T5 lighting 4x39 watt and 1x24 watt, one bulb is out and ordered.)

I measure my NO3 and PO4 every few days and do a 30% H2O change once a week. I add 1/4 t of Plantex CSM+B every other day. This is on the low side, but I've been fighting blue/green algae. I ended up using Erythromycin to kill it off.

I've read all about EI and I'm wondering, why don't I need to add KNO3 and KHPO4 to keep my NO3 and PO4 in line (as they are)? Do I over feed or maybe not have enough plants?

To summarize...

1. What can I do about my holy (sic) plants?
2. Do I need more plants/less food?

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	2014-09-07 13.54.11.jpg
Views:	60
Size:	39.0 KB
ID:	367682  

puntific is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-07-2014, 11:55 PM
Plant Whisperer
Zapins's Avatar
PTrader: (28/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ
Posts: 2,540
This is a wonderful example of pleco fish damage.

Just remove the plecos from the tank and the plants will no longer develop holes. Unfortunately the already damaged leaves cannot repair themselves.

Do you think you could take a few more photos of the plant from close up or slightly different angles? I'd love to be able to add these photos to the deficiency database since the pleco damage photos I have on there are not very clear (I'll give you credit for the photos of course!): www.DeficiencyFinder.com
Zapins is offline  
post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-08-2014, 02:37 AM
Planted Tank Guru
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Contra Costa CA
Posts: 11,721
Fish food is usually high in N, P and traces, low in K, Fe and Ca.

Water with a GH of at least 3 degrees usually has enough Ca.
CSM+B has Fe, though some people feel it is not enough and add a little more.
There might be some K (potassium) deficiency, but I agree with zapins: Plecos rasp the leaves, eating the algae and microorganisms off the surface, and can do some damage to the leaves. Smaller Loricariads like Otos do not usually do so much damage, but Common Plecos can get large and can rasp pretty hard.

I think I would be dosing some K, such as K2SO4, just to be sure there is potassium. If the problem stops happening, then you know that lack of potassium was at least somewhat to blame.

Feed the Plecos more vegetables- fresh or cooked. Just no so mushy they fall apart in the tank.
Diana is offline  
post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-10-2014, 09:58 PM
Planted Tank Guru
PlantedRich's Avatar
PTrader: (2/100%)
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 12,208
No expert here as my plants often struggle but then they are also not my main priority. Fish first, plants as decorations for the fish, makes me deal with some fish who are not the best for planted tanks. Some of them are Bristlenose and common plecos. Not large yet but coming. With that said, I can vouch for them being hard on leaves.
If you have a bit of experiment in mind, try putting a bit of zucchini in the tank. Don't boil, blanch, or try to prepare it but just rubber band a slice of it to a small rock and drop it in. Given a bit of time the zuke center will likely totally disappear and the rind may look a lot like your leaves!
As I understand it, they carry tiny little chainsaws which they bring out at night while you can't catch them. They take those around to things like plants and wood and work on them. Sometimes I find bits of wood they saw off!
But while working on the zuke, they may leave your plants alone.
PlantedRich is online now  
post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-10-2014, 10:02 PM
Plant Whisperer
Zapins's Avatar
PTrader: (28/100%)
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ
Posts: 2,540
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
Feed the Plecos more vegetables- fresh or cooked. Just no so mushy they fall apart in the tank.
Originally Posted by PlantedRich View Post
But while working on the zuke, they may leave your plants alone.
Worth a try, though I think once they develop the habit of rasping on leaves they don't stop with or without food. I think its more of a nervous habit than feeding behavior, but try it out first before you decide whether its plants or plecos who get to stay.

I suppose the good news is you can keep delicate plants since plecos cannot sit on delicate plant leaves and so they leave them alone. You might just need to steer clear of broad leafed plants if you want the plecos.
Zapins is offline  
post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-10-2014, 11:15 PM
Planted Tank Enthusiast
JoeRoun's Avatar
PTrader: (0/0%)
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Surprise, AZ
Posts: 634
Red face An Unworthy Opinion to Add

At the risk of angering everyone… I apologize in advance.

If there are speaking of Hypostomus plecostomus, kind of Plecos, or Common Pleco; getting them to stop eating plants they have started on.

More iron! Particularly for Echinodorus spp., seriously more iron. It is amazing how most of the problem plant eaters will stay away.

In addition to Diana and PlantedRich’s suggestions, make sure the Pleco has areas (at least an area) to burrow into, this helps with the security issue. Feed them at night, if you can give them a twilight and then complete darkness.

Just my unworthy advice…Based on experience and experimentation.

JoeRoun is offline  


Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Planted Tank Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome