Deficiency, CO2, or lighting issue - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-19-2015, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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Deficiency, CO2, or lighting issue

Just when I think I got it all figured out something else happens. I guess that's what makes this hobby fun huh? lol.

Here is my current issue. My tank grows, but some plants die back, stunt, curl, or don't grow great after a bit. I've tinkered with everything in the last few months, and each time see more positive changes. I think I'm real close now to nailing it.

Right now rotala colorata just isn't growing great. some grow slow, some stunt, and then a few look great and color up with nice long leaves.

Trident java fern, two huge portions I got from a member here in great condition. Did well for a month, then I started seeing browining and die back. New fronds are growing though.

AR mini. Old leaves algae ridden with GSA and curling. New growth now looks great. Some curling still, not as much.

Ludwigia Cuba. Some grow great fore a bit, color up, then grow less, stunt, or just smaller growth.

Tank specs: Two BML Dutch MC's running at 45% 7 hours with a 1 hour burst to 100%. Suspended 9 inches from water line and tank is 17 deep. Pressurized co2 maxed out, just slightly backed away from fish distress. It's a GLA regulator, no concerns there. Co2 is delivered in line with an atomic diffuser and a violet pipe is on the out flow. Koralia nano 240 is just below the pipe and blowing in the same direction to increase flow.

Recent changes: I moved the koralia to its current location to really create a nice smooth flow around the tank which can be seen when feeding flakes. Great flow now, this is something I lacked previously and I saw increased growth in a few days. This is good. Ferts, EI dosing is used. For some reason along the line I got out of dosing K2SO4 and relied on KNO3 for K. I'm wondering if what I describe and show below is a K issue? I do have leaves dropping (older) a lot. My skimmer grabs them all the time. I started dosing K2SO4 to bring K totals in line to EI. This should help. I switched to Miller's Microplex last week also. I suspect my tap water is lacking Mg and is all CA for GH. GH here is 6 and KH is 1. I started adding a tbsp of GH booster on water change day last week. This should get Mg in my water.

Can I expect to see my tank smooth out in the next few weeks from these changes? Do the photos below look like K deficiency or something else? All feedback is welcomed, thanks!




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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-20-2015, 07:28 PM
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Seems like your changes should help but you my want to increase the KH to 3. Plants will use KH so you do not want it to be the limitg factor. GH booster does not add KH.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-20-2015, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply. I've seen the contrary regarding kh though that 1 is completely fine and not till tinker with it.

Can you point me to source about plants using kh and needing more? I'd rather not mess with raising kh if I don't have to

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-20-2015, 07:46 PM
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Suggestions:
#1 Anytime you change allow time for that change to show before moving on.
#2 If no relief from curling due to last change next try Iron Chelate 10% DTPA @ 20%
of the weight of the amount of Trace you use. Add to/with trace for Micros.
Note: AR may be a separate issue. My observation so far is that it gets along much better when in a tank containing a high percent of fast(er) growing stemmed plants.
Seems to totally lack any of it's own immunity towards GSA on leaves and relies on
that provided by other faster growing plants in it's location.
KH helps regulate PH and 3 is the suggested amount.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-20-2015, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks again also Raymond! I do understand the kh is a buffer but I've seen time and time again people using low kh water and ever Tom Barr stating that low kh is fine.

What from kh are my plants looking for that they may be missing?

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-20-2015, 09:24 PM
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I'll go/w Tom Barr on this one.
Remembering it's mostly a for the fish issue.

The shortest distance between any two points is a straight line...in the opposite direction...
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-20-2015, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Raymond S. View Post
I'll go/w Tom Barr on this one.
Remembering it's mostly a for the fish issue.
Ah ok thanks. Yeah I thought the same but figured I'd ask on that since I clearly have questions. Hah. I'm currently thinking I made all the positive changes I needed but wanted to ask the forum for further clarity or confirmation I'll give it a few weeks with these changes to see what happens.

I went with miller's microplex because it has other micros that the csm+b did not have and I suspect my water needed. Same with adding 1tbsp of gh booster. Just to be sure I have the right ratio in my tank that is needed.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-20-2015, 09:42 PM
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What about just adding epsom salt?
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-20-2015, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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What about just adding epsom salt?
That's the thing. I don't know specifically if my water is lacking. My water report doesn't show these levels. So I'm grasping at straws. My plants do show MG deficiencies I believe though. The gh booster has MG in the correct ratio so I figured it's best to use that versus salt alone. I do have mg by itself though if needed.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-20-2015, 11:04 PM
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I just started dosing mg with my macros and after two weeks I already think it is improving things. I think the water here is high in calcium. I also just started adding a bit more iron and I think that is unbending a few leaves. I am going slow with that one to see what happens.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-20-2015, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BruceF View Post
I just started dosing mg with my macros and after two weeks I already think it is improving things. I think the water here is high in calcium. I also just started adding a bit more iron and I think that is unbending a few leaves. I am going slow with that one to see what happens.
Good info thanks! Sounds like your water is how I suspect mine is. I may take mine to a water testing place and just pay to be sure. I hate guessing.

How much iron are you dosing in total now? I increased to 1ppm total. Csm+b and miller's both give .5 so I add another .5 of straight iron to the dose now not sure if I mentioned that above. I'll give this a few weeks to make final judgement.

The rotala colorata I think I need to pull and top. The bottoms are all ratty old growth from the person I got them from. Could be holding it back since I can't imagine any other thing. GSA isn't growing on new star repens growth so that's a positive. Less GDA on the glass lately as well.

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-21-2015, 01:35 AM
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I don't know the dosing exactly. I mixed up a solution and started with a teaspoon of that solution in a 40g tank for the iron. Right now I add it once a week. It seems to be working a bit so next week I will add it twice a week. I just always move along like that, slowly. I have a number of small tanks so I can test things to see what happens. GDA amd GSA always just fade away in the first few months for me. I just watch the plants and if I see a problem I usually try and figure out what that plant needs to be happy. You know like phosphate for anubias or potassium for hydrophilas. Zapins' deficiency stuff is pretty good.

This morning I added my usual dose of macros and this afternoon the plants were pearling. I watch for things like that and try and focus on what I think is working. I never test anything. I just measure things if that makes sense.

I find the rotalas need lots of nutrients and light if I get the color I want I cut the tops and replant them and then the color becomes more constant. I think I was running very high levels of phosphate to get that color.

I don't know if any of that is helpful I have no idea about ppm. I function more in the teaspoons / gallon world.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-21-2015, 01:37 AM
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My curling was fixed by adjusting Calcium/Magnesium ratio. In my case I needed to add extra Magnesium.

Plants will consume carbon from carbonate (KH) when carbon dioxide concentration is low.

I suspect most of your issues were with flow. The fact that things can grow well, then not so well suggests instability. Lights/CO2/full EI dosing is stable. This leaves flow of nutrients around the tank and tap water changes. Since you have one type of plant that is both growing well and not so well, this rules out tap water changes, leaving flow.

Feel free to edit.
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