Ludwigia Repens Deficiency and Plant ID - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 06:01 AM Thread Starter
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Question Ludwigia Repens Deficiency and Plant ID

I've got some Ludwigia repens that has been growing great for the last month or so, until over about the last week I noticed some of the stems are showing signs of deficiency including holes in older leaves and some of the new shoots dying. Most of the stems are still fine, but I have lost a good bit of density due to a few of the stems shedding older leaves and showing the deficiency symptoms.


Dosing CO2 at ~30ppm, and dosing CSM+B, PO4, and K2SO4 at standard EI levels (0.4ppm Fe, 7.5ppm K, 1.3 ppm PO4). I am not dosing nitrates except for a standard EI dose after a water change as I have measured it at a steady 10ppm throughout the week without dosing.


In the attached pics, the new shoot in front of the small vertical branch is dying off with the stem turning brown after the last node. You can also kind of see the leaves on that node melting away. The rest of the stem before that node seems fine, although any other shoots off it also seem to be doing poorly. The stems below it in the foreground are doing fine.


Additionally, can anyone identify the plant in the last pic? I thought it was a type of alternanthera, but I'm not so sure. It seems to be growing fine but continuously sheds the lowest pair of leaves.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 06:20 AM
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Hi @YTP,

As a fellow Washington state resident I may be able to help. Do you happen to know any of your water parameters? Our water in Western Washington can be very, very soft unless you are on well water, or your municipality uses well water.

pH =

dKH =

dGH =

nitrates (ppm of NO3) - 10 ppm

BTW, the 'Mystery Plant' looks to Ludwigia glandulosa.

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Last edited by Seattle_Aquarist; 11-22-2019 at 04:09 PM. Reason: sp
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 07:02 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Roy,

I think we actually had a similar discussion last time I was having an issue!

My pH is 7.7 from the tap, ~7.5 in the tank with aquasoil, ~6.3-6.4 at peak CO2.

dkH is 5.5 from the tap, ~3 in the tank

dGH is 8 from the tap, ~5 in the tank.

I am on well water which according to the water report has ~15ppm CA and ~5ppm Mg.

The rest of the plants seem to be mostly fine.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-22-2019, 04:24 PM
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Hi @YTP,

Because plants have all evolved to thrive in different ecosystems their nutrient requirements can vary greatly. A nutrient level that is sufficient for one plant may not be sufficient for another species.

Well water nutrients can vary substantially over the course of a year. During 'dry' times mineral concentrations are typically highest and during our 'wet' season nutrient levels can drop substantially due to dilution. I just re-read your previous thread for the 10 gallon.....are you using Phosguard on this 29 gallon tank?

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-23-2019, 01:47 AM Thread Starter
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No Phosguard on this tank. Purigen and some carbon from initial setup, which is probably mostly dead at this point and will be removed next time I clean the filter.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-23-2019, 02:23 AM
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Hi @YTP,

I've downloaded all three photos, enlarged them 400%, and stared at them several times. At first I thought it might be a lack of nitrates, 10 ppm is on the light side, however nitrogen is a mobile nutrient and is usually transferred from older leaves to new leaves if their isn't sufficient available in the substrate or water column - in that case the new leaves should remain green and the older leaves become yellow (chlorosis). If it were my tank I think I would start with additional magnesium. Why? The older leaves on the Ludwigia glandulosa have lost color, show some signs of 'cupping' and it appears that they are falling from the stem prematurely.

Since it is the older leaves that seem to be most effected it is likely the issue one of the mobile nutrients. Mobile nutrients are nutrients that plants can move from one area of the plant (i.e. older leaves) to areas of new growth if there isn't enough of the nutrient available in the water column or substrate. Common mobile nutrients are: nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, chloride, and a couple of other micro-nutrients.

Based upon the symptoms I see, and without information on the dGH and calcium ppm, I would suspect the issue is caused by insufficient available magnesium (Mg). This can be caused either by insufficient magnesium in the water/substrate or another nutrient effecting the uptake of magnesium (typically too much calcium). Let's start by adding some additional magnesium to your dosing schedule. If it doesn't resolve the issue we will measure the dGH and ppm of calcium (Ca) and calculate the ppm of magnesium (Mg) in the water.

I want you to continue everything as you have been. Lighting, photoperiod, water changes, and nutrient dosing. The only difference is when you do your weekly water changes you are going to add some magnesium to your tank. Go to your local drug store and pick up some Epsom Salt (magnesium sulfate/MgSO4*7H2O). Get the cheapest stuff on the shelf with no perfumes or additives. Typically about $1.50 per pound, get one pound to start with. When you do your next water change for an initial dose add 3/8 teaspoon of Epsom Salt per 10 gallons of water in your tank. This will add 5 ppm of magnesium to your tank. Then when your do your 50% weekly water changes add 3/8 teaspoon of Epsom Salt per 10 gallons of new water added to the tank. Do this for four (4) weeks.

During the next 4 weeks watch the new leaves as they emerge; do not watch existing leaves they will not change and may continue to decline in health. Do the new leaves look healthier? Greener? Possibly larger? Is growth a little faster? Now, as those new leaves mature do they maintain a healthy color, and the leaf margins do not "cup" or 'scallop' as badly? If so you are on the right path.

Post to this thread as things progress so we can make adjustments as needed? Questions, just ask! -Roy

Quote:
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, plants are brittle and stems have a tendency to curve upward. Stems are weak, subject to fungus infection, usually leaves drop prematurely.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-24-2019, 12:14 AM Thread Starter
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I'll try adding some more Mg and see if it has any effect. I have data from three city wells, and Mg in all three ranges between about 5-11ppm, with Ca between 13-16ppm. Hardness (CaCO3) is reported as 54-83 mg/lL. I don't really have much reason to doubt those numbers since they are from the lab reports.

I also have an API calcium test kit (came with the reef master kit), which turns blue after the first drop which indicates <20ppm Ca, consistent with the city well data. This kit is a high range kit though since it is designed for reefs. I just retested dGH and dKH, dGH is 5.5, dKH is 3.5, 6 days after a water change.

Tomorrow is water change day and then I head out of town for 5 days, so I'm hoping I don't come home to a mess.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-24-2019, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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Did the water change today, got some more pics of the ludwigia, crypts, and buce, which have a few leaves that also show symptoms. I believe the ludwigia leaves with the holes in them might be the last of the original emersed growth, so not sure how useful that would be. The crypt leaves with pinholes and deterioration are the older leaves, new ones come in normally. The buce is also the older leaves that begin to show deterioration.


I thought some of these looked like potassium deficiency, but I dose it regularly so not sure why that would be the case. I am slightly suspicious that it could be nitrogen since that is the only thing I don't dose regularly, but I have 2 nitrate test kits and both show in the range of ~10-20 ppm, which looks pretty much identical on the color chart.



I added the extra Mg today, so we'll see how that goes.



Any damage to the rotala in the pics can be ignored as it is caused by Otos.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 11-24-2019, 10:09 PM
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Hi @YTP,

Based on these new pictures I am still thinking the most likely issue is magnesium related.

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-26-2020, 03:24 AM Thread Starter
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Been a while since I posted this thread, but it seems like the problem was a nitrogen deficiency. Shortly after I started dosing nitrogen the problem disappeared and growth has been great. The new frustration I'm having is that I cannot really get this plant or my needle leaf ludwigia to turn red. I purchased it as "ludwigia rubin" at Aquarium Plants Factory, and the images show it has the potential to turn a deep red typical of many ludwigias. However, mine is almost all a light green, which begins to transition to a green/gold color with pink undersides as it gets closer to the light, similar to my rotala.

My A. reineckii and the lugwigia glandulosa I asked about earlier are both deep red, and even the undersides of my crypt wendtii green are turning red, but, but these other two ludwigias seem pretty stubborn. I'm still on the 6 hour photoperiod, with a 2 hour burst of near max on the Fluval 3.0, and about 65-75% for the remaining 4 hours. CO2 seems fine and I have to trim quite a bit every week due to how quickly everything is growing.

The only other issue I'm having is that my monte carlo is growing very slowly. Its been almost 3 months and it is not even close to creating a full carpet.

I'm leaning toward the lack of red and the slow growth of monte carlo being due to not enough light, but everything I read seems to indicate that light is usually the least important factor, and I would think a Fluval 3.0 should be plenty. Do i perhaps need to increase the photperiod duration? I thought intensity would have a greater impact than duration.
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