Essential nutrients: Cobalt and Nickel, not in CSM+B - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-10-2014, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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Essential nutrients: Cobalt and Nickel, not in CSM+B

Since these two minerals have been established as essential for plant health, where can these metals be found and in what concentrations are they necessary? CSM+B does not include these two, however, Seachem Trace does (along with other elements.)

I figure that for nickel, I can toss in 5 cents. But what about cobalt? Do I fertilize with pistachios buried under the substrate?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-11-2014, 08:04 PM
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Cobalt is not an essential plant nutrient. This means that if there is a total absence of cobalt in the environment plants will grow and reproduce healthily. Some species can use it for optional purposes, so it is classified as a beneficial nutrient, but again, it is not an essential nutrient.

Nickel is an essential nutrient, but before you try adding it read this:

From: http://deficiencyfinder.com/?page_id=414

Quote:
Nickel is mobile within plants and so symptoms appear in old growth first. Nickel deficiencies look similar to nitrogen deficiency. Old leaves undergo necrosis starting at the tips and traveling back towards the stem. New leaves may also show some twisting and slight wrinkling along the tip and edges.

Out of all essential nutrients nickel is needed in the smallest amounts, plants can take up nickel at concentrations as low as 4.4 ppb (parts per billion). It was not until the 1970s that powerful enough analytic techniques were developed to detect nickel’s vital role. That said, nickel deficiencies are virtually unseen outside the lab and when seen tend to happen at above pH 6.7.

Nickel deficiency may be induced in plants when toxic levels of Cu, or Zn are dosed in the tank (and to a lesser degree when toxic levels of Ca, Mg, Mn, Fe are dosed).

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-12-2014, 06:58 AM Thread Starter
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I read once that someone using Flourish trace had better results than CSM+B. It wasn't a huge difference but a difference nonetheless.

How do we know that the species we keep don't require cobalt or the other micros like vanadium?
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-12-2014, 07:07 AM
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Because no plant species absolutely requires these elements. That is what makes them non-essential.

Plants often grow better for one person than another and the causes are many. There is no way to conclude with any degree of confidence that their plants grow better because they use flourish trace.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-12-2014, 07:14 AM Thread Starter
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But even non-essential nutrients can be beneficial. So perhaps the question would be, what non-essential nutrients improve plant health?
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-12-2014, 07:31 AM
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-12-2014, 02:14 PM
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I think the issue is more complex than that.
While the plants themselves may be composed of those elements, the question might be:
How do those elements get into the plants? Is there something we can do to make this process more efficient from the plants' point of view?

This is a complex answer.
The simplest part: The elements must be present.

Add complexity:
Plants cannot take in all forms of all the different elements. Some elements bind to others in a way that takes too much plant energy to break that bond, so the element is said to be locked up. Unavailable to the plant. Simplest example is when we dose macros (including phosphates) and micros (containing iron) separately to avoid the insoluble precipitate.
When elements are not present in the right ratios there can be problems, such as one fertilizer being present in such excess that the plant cannot pick up some other mineral, even if it is present.

So: elements need to be present in the right forms and in the right ratios.

We can keep on adding complexities if you want.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-12-2014, 04:38 PM
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Let's simplify a bit.

For the ultra-trace elements where the beneficial amounts are almost immeasurably small (under 0.1 ppb), consider that you are likely to introduce these elements through your water supply and/or fish food.

Unless you are using laboratory grade distilled water and carefully formulated foods, I don't think you will find benefit from fertilizing cobalt or vanadium.

Looking at the paper linked below, cobalt hasn't been proven beneficial to plants, only to the nitrogen fixing bacteria on legume roots. AFAIK, there's no nitrogen fixing going on in your planted tank. The idea that vanadium is beneficial to any plant is also unproven, although some experiments suggest there is benefit. In the study linked below, the optimal amount was 0.05 pounds, or 22 grams, per acre. On a 2-4 square foot aquarium that's 0.1-0.2 mg.

Also bear in mind, the paper is being promoted by a fertilizer mfg. They have motive to dig long and hard to find studies demonstrating benefit in hopes of selling more product. ie: keep in mind the source here is biased, and even this paper doesn't show a whole lot of conclusive benefit.

http://fritind.com/pdf/CHLORIDE,%20M...DIUM_nutri.PDF


It may be possible, but given that these nutrients are really hard to create deficiencies in lab environments, I doubt you will create one by accident in a planted tank.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-12-2014, 07:55 PM
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Nickel is more essential under certain conditions. If you are dosing Urea, nickel is required by the plant to make use of it.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-13-2014, 03:56 AM
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After 20 some odd years growing most every species, I used TMG for awhile, then Seachem then CMS. I could never tell any difference between them except the Fe Gluconate in Flourish did not do as well as the DTPA in TMG, so I add DTPA Fe to CMS. No difference.

Well, there's a difference, but it's in your wallet.

Like all ferts, why pay for water.........with a tiny bit of fertilizer in it?
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Regards,
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