Nutrient Deficiency? Lots of images - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-11-2015, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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Nutrient Deficiency? Lots of images

I set up my first Walstad tank 3 months ago. And my plants are not doing so hot, but I'm not sure what's wrong. The majority of them have some problem or another though, only the Cabomba, Anubias, and Elodea are completely intact and growing well.

Here are some pictures of what's afflicting my plants.
The crypt leaves have holes and look a little damaged, though there is a ton of new growth from when I first got it, it's tripled in size.


Holes in my AR minis and regular AR. My snails are starting to hang around these too. There's been growth, but slow and I do believe they've lost some of their red color.


A little tricky to see, but that sword (I think it's a sword, I don't remember) is very sad, has no new growth and died back a lot. The tips of the leaves look rough, yellowish, and holed. Also in this picture are my vals. The original plant melted, but the runners survived, but have no vertical growth (the original plant was quite tall, so it's not a species mix up).


The leaves under the wisteria (another sword, the name escapes me) have holes, and you can see some decay at the tip of the lower leaf. I have two of these plants, and they've grown massive since the original planting. They're just now slowing down and getting holes.


This plant started doing really well after a rough patch, and now it has all those tiny holes in it, which none of the other plants have, the others are larger.


The holes are seen in the leaves of this plant as well. There has been little new growth and a lot of die back from the original planting.


And this is all that's left of my S. Repens. The older leaves got holes, rot, and eventually melted completely or fell off. And I know the problem is specific to this tank as they're making a comeback in my 5gal, low tech tank.

And there are a variety of other plants that simply do not survive in my tank. Rotala colorata isn't doing well (though I think it's settling in) blyxa japonica refuses to live, rotala bonsai is dying, along with a few others.

I'm not sure what my tank parameters are (last I checked Nitrate was at 10ppm), but temp is 79 F, I have 3 pearl gourami, 1 rupperlip pleco, a variety of snails. Like I said, this is a Walstad tank, so I dose nothing, but my water is very, very hard. Could this be a calcium or magnesium overdose?

I have a DIY LED light, 14 3watt, cool white bulbs. I haven't been able to make the second light yet, so it's just one that I swap between the sides of my 50gal tank every few days.

So... what am I doing wrong? Is this a light or nutrient problem? How do I fix it?

Last edited by FuzzyMuffin; 09-22-2015 at 05:46 PM. Reason: Pictures were broken
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-18-2015, 01:35 PM
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can't see the pic
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-18-2015, 02:37 PM
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where da pics?


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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-18-2015, 03:01 PM
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Yeah, the pics aren't showing up.
Thread is a week old though, wasn't sure if the pics showed at first, but then were deleted.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-22-2015, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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The pictures should be working now, sorry about that.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 03:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FuzzyMuffin View Post
I have a DIY LED light, 14 3watt, cool white bulbs. I haven't been able to make the second light yet, so it's just one that I swap between the sides of my 50gal tank every few days.
Do you know the spectral output of your LEDs? How strong are they in the area of 425nm and 650nm areas? Some of the commercial units have blue and red LEDs in addition to white.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 04:04 PM
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Looks like you have a TON of decaying organic matter on your substrate. I would clean that up. Could be part of your problem here...


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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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Looks like you have a TON of decaying organic matter on your substrate. I would clean that up. Could be part of your problem here...
That's actually just some dirty that sneaked through the sand cap. I hadn't ordered extra sand, so that's why it's there, it escapes even after I clean up. I just ordered some more a few days ago and will be making the cap thicker in the problem areas.

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Do you know the spectral output of your LEDs? How strong are they in the area of 425nm and 650nm areas? Some of the commercial units have blue and red LEDs in addition to white.

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According to where I ordered them from the spectral output is anywhere from "420-660". The color temperature is 7,000k though, if that helps at all.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 05:10 PM
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My Amazons too

My amazons are just like that too and don't know why
Mine could be fish or nutrients but I doubt nutrients as I have fresh substrate and fertilizer.
See my post on "What's eating my amazons" from today.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 05:47 PM
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give more info. Nitrates levels, time of the lighting, co2 yes no, ph, dosing, what kind of light etc.
at glance, looks like deficiency on many fronts. the dirt on the surface does not look good neither, as klibs mentioned.

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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give more info. Nitrates levels, time of the lighting, co2 yes no, ph, dosing, what kind of light etc.
at glance, looks like deficiency on many fronts. the dirt on the surface does not look good neither, as klibs mentioned.
I gave most of that info in my original post. Nitrate is at 10ppm, no CO2, I don't dose (it's a walstad tank), with diy LED lighting. There is more info on the lighting at the bottom of my original post.

Lighting is around 10-12hrs and my pH is 8.2, kH and gH both at - from what I understand - 400ppm (25 drops to change color), which is why I'm concerned there may be too much calcium and magnesium in the water.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 06:07 PM
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with DIY LED lighting one thing that can wrong is the light spectrum. 3wt tells me nothing, but maybe you can find some technical info and convert that to PARs?
10-12 hours is way too long. Cut to about 8 hours. Put it on timer, and make it consistent on/off same time everyday. 10ppm nitrage is also on low side, but with no CO2 that should be ok.

that said, what gives a concern is 25 drops, i.e. 25dKH. That sounds like a looooot to me. you may need to find some ways to get it down to reasonable levels, like 4-6 or around.

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 06:16 PM
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" I haven't been able to make the second light yet, so it's just one that I swap between the sides of my 50gal tank every few days."
So this is a 50g tank that only has light on one end at a time for a few days then none on that end for about that same number of days? Sort of like moving a 24" fixture from one end of a 4' tank to the other? But this is a 36" tank?
Heavy clouds can hide the sun from plants outside for a few days on occasion. But they get far better than 50% good light days in a year. Rotala Rotundafolia grows fairly easily
in less light than the other Rotala. But lots of the other Rotala demand better light.
Ram snails usually will only eat damaged leaf parts, but also on Crypt and perhaps other plants they occasionally will eat a strip out of a new, yet to uncurl leaf.
Your first picture shows just that type of damage. You have some examples of Potassium def and low light symptoms on the sword(s) which BTW I don't think is a very good type of plant for a Walstad tank unless over a year old.
I'd start by putting a brooder lamp on the opposite end from the DIY light and swap them B&F if you like. 23W [email protected] 10.5" brooder lamp.
Then I would use one dose only of EI ferts per week till that light/tank establishes it's self. At least that would be my approach to it.

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 06:39 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by alphabeta View Post
with DIY LED lighting one thing that can wrong is the light spectrum. 3wt tells me nothing, but maybe you can find some technical info and convert that to PARs?
10-12 hours is way too long. Cut to about 8 hours. Put it on timer, and make it consistent on/off same time everyday. 10ppm nitrage is also on low side, but with no CO2 that should be ok.

that said, what gives a concern is 25 drops, i.e. 25dKH. That sounds like a looooot to me. you may need to find some ways to get it down to reasonable levels, like 4-6 or around.
From what I understand, PAR and light spectrum aren't the same thing? Light spectrum is the color of light (7,000k and 420-660nm are what mine are) and PAR is the amount of light that's usable to plants... I think. I don't think I'll find a way to measure the PAR, but I'll see what I can find online.

As far as my hard water goes, the only way to lower it would be to mix it with the water that goes through the softener (aka has a lot of salt added) which I do not know how the plants would react to that. It wouldn't change the pH or kH, but a 50/50 mix would bring the gH down to 13. Driftwood and peat don't help soften my water, I've tried. Would it be worth it to mix it with the softener water?

And would you mind telling me the purpose of shortening the hours to 8? I thought that was mostly to avoid algae, but I have no algae problems.

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Originally Posted by Raymond S. View Post
" I haven't been able to make the second light yet, so it's just one that I swap between the sides of my 50gal tank every few days."
So this is a 50g tank that only has light on one end at a time for a few days then none on that end for about that same number of days? Sort of like moving a 24" fixture from one end of a 4' tank to the other? But this is a 36" tank?
You have some examples of Potassium def and low light symptoms on the sword(s) which BTW I don't think is a very good type of plant for a Walstad tank unless over a year old.
I'd start by putting a brooder lamp on the opposite end from the DIY light and swap them B&F if you like. 23W [email protected] 10.5" brooder lamp.
Then I would use one dose only of EI ferts per week till that light/tank establishes it's self. At least that would be my approach to it.
Thank you for your help, it's nice to have exact reasons for the symptoms. The tank is 48", and I know the swapping method I'm doing right now is not anywhere near ideal, but my father hasn't been willing to help me build the second light, despite having all the parts for several months now. I don't have room (or money, really) to add a lamp or anything, and I have no ferts to add as it wasn't suppose to be necessary so soon. I didn't know that the swords were a bad idea (though the swords by the wisteria absolutely loved it), but live and learn I guess. :P
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-23-2015, 06:53 PM
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PAR goes together - the output/power of the light and its spectrum: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photos...tive_radiation
having the light that long, with no CO2 and no additional nutrients, and no algae, may also indicate that the light is a low-light, and not enough for the plants to survive.
Find the technical specifications of the LEDs, maybe somebody already used the same brand to build lights .... Just the Watts mean little in terms of how suitable is that light for a planted tank, that's all what I was trying to say.

The dKH=25. I assume diluting it with RO water will do the job. I will leave this question for other folks, with more experience with such type of water.

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