Alternanthera reineckii mini twisted growth - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-26-2020, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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Alternanthera reineckii mini twisted growth

Hi everyone, first post here! I’ve been in fish keeping since I was a kid, but started dwelling into planted tanks (with soil and better lighting) for only a couple of years. I started a nano planted tank 5 weeks ago. It’s still cycling and everything seems to be going well apart my alternanthera mini that is growing well, but shows twisted growth in its leaves. My flora consists of easy to moderate demanding plants. I have monte carlo in the front, crypto tropica and pink flamingo, anubias nana, bucephalandra red and godzilla, purple amazon sword and myriophillum mattogrossense.

I was hoping someone could shed some light into the alternanthera twisted growth.

The tank it’s a fluval flex 15g, I have ADA Amazonia 2 as soil, it has stock lights + a nicrew classic led and now I also added 2 rgb led strips to the front. The lights are on for 6h and I am injecting CO2 starting 1 hour before lights are on and turning it off 1hour before they are off. While the lights are on the drop checker is green.
I have being adding tropica specialized nutrition 5ml per week and as of now doing WC of 50% every week.
My pH started at 6.6, but after adding CO2 it’s between 6.0 and 6.4 when drop checker is green.
Ammonia is 0
Nitrite is 0 (in the beginning of the week it was between 1 and 2ppm)
Nitrate is 5ppm
After reading a little in the forum I thought it could be calcium deficiency. I checked the calcium levels and it was 10ppm. I added CaCl that I had for my saltwater tank, increasing it to 40ppm 3 days ago, but I’m not sure that this is it. Did a gH test and the tank it’s 5, my tap water which I use for WC is around the same, 5 or 6dgH. I have some green dust algae growing now, but this growth problem started before this.
I appreciate any input!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-26-2020, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-30-2020, 08:31 PM
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My AR mini depends on good, consistent levels of NPK. For reference, I'm adding something like 15 ppm N, 5-10 ppm P, and a pile of K every week.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-30-2020, 11:25 PM
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I agree with @Leaky Filter. You may need to boost your fertilization a bit. I think you are dosing according to the Tropica label, but unless otherwise specified, most dosage recs are for low tech tanks.

I bet the calcium addition will help - although if your Ca was that low I would consider Mg as well. Do you have a GH test kit? If you do you can estimate the Mg in the water as GH is mainly Ca + Mg. Normally you want something close to a 3:1 Ca:Mg ratio.

Also, I think you could probably do with more CO2 in your tank. A 0.2 pt drop in pH is not much, to hit 30 ppm of CO2 you would look for a full pt drop in pH given water KH between 1 - 10. Dennis Wong has a good article on optimizing CO2 here: You might get some good pointers here.

Good luck!
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-04-2020, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you both!

I have increased my ferts regimen as you have suggested (basically doubled the amount I was adding of the Tropica specialized nutrition - 10ml per week now).
I have tested my GH (Sera test kit) and it is at 5dGH right now. Although I use tap water I am considering using very little amounts of seachem equilibrium to raise it to 7dGH when I water change. Is that advisable?

I have also increased my CO2 to achieve the 30ppm in the drop checker.
I will keep observing the AR mini for two more weeks to see if anything changes.

In the mean time if anyone has any other comments I am all ears!

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-04-2020, 11:03 PM
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Upping the ferts can't hurt, but if you have new Amazonia Im doubtful your low on N&P. I've used Amazonia on at least a dozen tanks and the only thing I dose in the first 6 months is K and micros. Everything else is in the soil. So it could be the K and the co2 as others have mentioned was the problem. Also you need to keep the tank uber clean if using good light. AR is a magnet for algae and I some developing. Manage your lights by not running a long photo period and limiting peak lighting to just a few hours.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 08-05-2020, 08:41 AM
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A quick run of the Rotala butterfly calculator shows that 40 ppm of Ca should get you to about 5.7 dGH - so it seems like you won’t have appreciable Mg in your water. I think swapping out the CaCl with Equilibrium on future water changes is a great idea as it has about 4:1 Ca:Mg. And is a good source of K like @Asteroid mentioned too.
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Last edited by P.Isley; 08-05-2020 at 08:43 AM. Reason: .
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