Need help/advice with possible nutrient deficiencies? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-09-2015, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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Question Need help/advice with possible nutrient deficiencies?

Hi! I'm looking for some pointers on my plants and what deficiencies may be causing my problems.

Tank specs:
- 5 gallon for betta, established for several months
- Heated to 80F
- Sponge filter
- 7.7 pH
- 0/0/~10 water params
- kH...I used a color strip and it read about 60? 80? I have "semi hard" water
- Light is Finnex Stingray 16" (just added this new like 5 days ago, previous light was semi-ambient combined with crappy tank stock light)
- Daily .5mL of Excel, twice/week .4mL Flourish, and I was doing Potassium twice/week but stopped as an experiment
- Anubias, java fern, banana plant, and very recently hygrophila
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My plants all seem to be unhappy. I have several issues with them:

- Java fern, several months old, is starting to turn brown at the tip and slowly die towards the base. Is this nitrogen deficiency? My nitrate is always at about 10ppm though. The fern has grown 2 new leaves, but they are stunted and much smaller than the original leaves. The new leaves also seem to be wavy? wrinkled? curved? They just aren't totally flat.
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- Anubias, most are 1 year+, some are several months old. The leave seem to be turning yellow from the outside in, but the veins are slightly greener, which made me think magnesium deficiency? But I dose Flourish twice per week. The anubias also put out new leaves, but again, they are stunted and never grow to the large size of the original leaves.
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- All the plants just seem kinda more yellow than they should. Not tragically so, but enough to notice. So far I don't have a ton of die-off. My anubias, the year old ones, are just now dropping the oldest leaves. The java fern has lost 2 for the 2 it grew. The banana plant has grown 4 new leaves but drops an older one for each new one. The hygrophila is brand new so I'm not used to it yet. Any new leaves that grow on any plant start out kinda pale, but come up to the same color as the rest of the leaves.
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Sorry for the wall of text! But I'm concerned all my plants are headed for disaster! What am I lacking here - iron, magnesium, calcium, more Excel (I'm scared to overdo this one), nitrogen?

Is my light too bright? My tank is ~ 8.5" high, plus the 1" or so of the light legs. I found some PAR values for it at this depth and it seems to be on the high end of low, or the low end of medium light.

Greatly appreciate any advice!

5g low-tech, planted betta tank; 25g tank that I care for because my coworker is an idiot!
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-09-2015, 06:20 PM
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Flourish is a Micro type supplement, if I recall, what are you doing for your NPK/Macro type stuff, I only see potassium in your list.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-09-2015, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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I have nitrogen and potassium on hand. I discontinued use of the nitrogen because my nitrate is always at ~10, since they are mostly slow growing plants. Do I need to have a higher nitrogen level then?

I was also dosing potassium, but as I said, stopped as an experiment. They seem to be continuing on the same way with or without potassium, though. I also initially ruled out potassium because it is a mobile nutrient and my plants are all the same yellowish level, not just the older leaves. But it is possible that I misinterpreted that. Think I should go back to dosing K as well?

Phosphate is probably not the issue as my plants are yellow, not at all the tell-tale dark green/purpley color.

I think I'm having trouble determining if my issue is iron, magnesium, possibly potassium as you said, and calcium (for the curly new leaves)...or a combination

5g low-tech, planted betta tank; 25g tank that I care for because my coworker is an idiot!
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