Cryptocoryne Deficiencies? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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Cryptocoryne Deficiencies?

Hi all, I've been having some difficulty with my 10 gallon aquarium and possible nutrient deficiencies. The tank is low-tech, dirted (50/50 potting soil and SafeTSorb, capped with sand) and has been set up since the beginning of August. Everything was growing well up until mid-November. I had been dosing 1mL ThriveS 1x/week, until I started noticing signs of a K+ deficiency, so began dosing ThriveS 2x/week and extra potassium (seachem). Also had a lot of brown algae, so put some craft mesh over the lid to filter out some of the light, which helped.

Over the last month or so, my crypts have just been slowly melting, even leaves without clear signs of K+ deficiency. Primarily older leaves - they turn yellow and then the whole leaf falls away fairly rapidly. New growth looks...okay, sometimes a little pale (iron?). But lately I've been noticing that even these grow for a bit and then melt apart. I'm just not really sure where the issue is and how to go about fiddling with things in order to make it better, so wanted to get other people's thoughts on the matter. I've been thinking of adding more fast-growing stem plants, since the tank is pretty sparse now, and maybe some extra iron...?

Thank you for your input!

Light is a 20" finnex stingray, on 8 hours/day with a 4 hour break in between.
External filter (Eheim 2213)


Parameters
Nitrate: 20ppm
Phosphate: .5ppm - 1ppm
GH: 10, KH: 5, pH: 7.4(ish), TDS: 550

* Can I guess that calcium and magnesium levels are OK through looking at the GH/KH?

Ferts
2mL ThriveS 2x/week
1.75mL Seachem Flourish Potassium 3x/week
4-5 Osmocote+ root tabs that I replace every three months or so

Flora / Fauna
A bunch of crypts, blyxa, ambulia, dwarf water lily, java moss, hydrocotyle, a few sprigs of rotala
10 chili rasbora, 10-15 cherry shrimp, and some malaysian trumpet snails





Tank currently (back in December for reference)
















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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 05:18 PM
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Hi @viverridae,

One question, is it the newer leaves or older leaves that seem to be affected?

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
Hi @viverridae,

One question, is it the newer leaves or older leaves that seem to be affected?

It's mostly the older leaves, but I've noticed the same thing happening to a few of the newer leaves as well.


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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-11-2019, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by viverridae View Post
It's mostly the older leaves, but I've noticed the same thing happening to a few of the newer leaves as well.
Hi @viverridae,

It appears to be a magnesium related issue, especially with the curled (rolled) leaf margins. You have a hardness of dGH=10 however it is very likely that most of that is calcium. Magnesium is necessary for photosynthesis, which creates chlorophyll that gives plants their green color. Notice the chlorosis (yellowing) of the leaves of the plants? What I don't see it the interveinal chlorosis of the older leaves that typically is found with a lack of magnesium but I do see the curled leaf margins and necrosis (dead tissue). The only nutrient that you are dosing that has magnesium is the Thrive S, and although it may contain sufficient magnesium the extra potassium you are dosing may be inhibiting the uptake.

Quote:
II. Symptoms do not appear first or most severely on youngest leaves: Effect general on whole plant or localized on older, lower leaves.

C. Interveinal chlorosis. Interveinal chlorosis first appears on oldest leaves.

1. Older leaves chlorotic, usually necrotic in late stages. Chlorosis along leaf margins extending between veins produces a "Christmas tree" pattern. Veins normal green. Leaf margins may curl downward or upward with puckering effect. Necrosis may suddenly occur between veins. Potassium or calcium excess can inhibit uptake of magnesium...magnesium deficiency

When the external magnesium supply is deficient, interveinal chlorosis of the older leaves is the first symptom because as the magnesium of the chlorophyll is remobilized, the mesophyll cells next to the vascular bundles retain chlorophyll for longer periods than do the parenchyma cells between them. Leaves lose green color at tips and between veins followed by chlorosis or development of brilliant colors, starting with lower leaves and proceeding upwards. The chlorosis/brilliant colors (unmasking of other leaf pigments due to the lack of chlorophyll) may start at the leaf margins or tips and progress inward interveinally producing a "Christmas" tree pattern. Leaves are abnormally thin, stems are brittle and have a tendency to curve upward. Stems are weak, subject to fungus infection, usually leaves drop prematurely.
Here is what I would suggest:

1) Discontinue dosing of the Seachem Potassium; continue dosing your other nutrients as you have been.

2) Go to your local drug store or grocery store and pick up some Epsom Salt (aka magnesium sulfate / MgSO4*7H2O). Get the cheapest stuff on the shelf without additives, scents, or perfumes. It should cost no more than $2 per pound.

3) After your next weekly water change add 1/2 teaspoon of magnesium sulfate per 10 gallons (in your case 1/2 teaspoon). Thereafter, when you do your weekly water change, add 1/2 teaspoon of magnesium sulfate per 10 gallons of new water added.

Now the hard part.............waiting. For the next two weeks watch the new leaves as they emerge (on all you plants) do they look greener and healthier? They may also be larger, and the growth rate may increase. Do not watch the existing leaves, they will not improve and may continue to decline and die (the damage has been done). As these new leaves mature they should stay green, healthy, and 'flat' without the curled margins or necrosis we see in the pictures you provided.

Please post as things progress so we can see how things are going; hope this helps! -Roy
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 12:37 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Roy,

Thank you so much for the info and your help! I will try out your suggestions and report back

If all else fails, at least my cherry shrimp have finally (!) decided to start breeding, hahaha

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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-12-2019, 10:05 PM
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Hi Roy, quick question for you pertaining to #3 in the above post. If I am only changing 2 gallons in a 10 gallon tank do I still add 1/2 teaspoon Epsom Salts to the tank ? Im a bit confused on that.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-13-2019, 09:07 PM
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Hi @RCB,

If you are only removing and adding two (2) gallons of water then you would add 2/10 X 1/2 teaspoon or 1/10th of a teaspoon of Epsom Salt. "1/2 teaspoon per 10 gallons of new water added."
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-14-2019, 02:27 PM
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Greetings Roy, appreciate you straightening out the math on the Epsom salts dose.
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