Plant Deficiency (Ludwigia + Rotala) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-03-2020, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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Plant Deficiency (Ludwigia + Rotala)

Hello guys, long time lurker here. Been trying to diagnose what is happening to my plants, and never really found the right answer online (and on Reddit).

I have a 5gal planted tank for about 5 months now, params are 0,0,20 (20-40 nitrate tbh the colors are similar). I am dosing Tropica Spec, Premium, alternate days, 1.5ml each. Also dose about 0.7ml Excel daily. On Saturdays I don't dose, and on Sundays I do a 40% water change. Lighting is a Chihiros RGBA+ which is pretty decent. Filter is a Shiruba XB303 which powers through 360 Liters/hour. Tank is stocked with a betta, 5 amanos, 2 SAE and 2 otos. They seem to have too much algae to eat tbh.

From the beginning I had 6 stalks of Rotala H'ra, which grew into a forest right now. I am pleased with the vegetation but I think the leaves aren't doing so well. I couldn't find out what is wrong, some say manganese, some say calcium, while others say iron. About 5-6 weeks ago, I dumped some Ludwigia Palustaris in as well, to see how it will fare. And it turns out the leaves have a similar symptom.

I've also included a semi full tank shot, with my monte carlo carpet and mayaca fluvatilis, some bacopa (new) and some pennywort (new). Overall I think the grow is ok, just the bad coloration on my leaves. Any advice from the experts here?
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-03-2020, 03:22 PM
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Too much nitrate (10 or lower is
recomended) that could be decaying your leafs.

Its a small tank so things will happen faster, if its any kind of nutrient/mineral deficiency you should have fast results when dosing supplements. (Seachem Flourish is the one i use and no apparently deficiency in my plants)

Also, what about the substrate? Is it the right one for root feeders plants like ludwigia and carpeting plants? U might have to use rootabs to get that extra nutrients they need.

If you have a carbon activated media in your filtration system, that will catch all things you are doisng in and wont let the plants get it.

Good luck







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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-03-2020, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry I meant to say 10-20ppm, its usually on the darker orange side but not to the red side yet (API test kit).

As for soil, I'm using Tropica Aquasoil, it's only been 5 months, do you think the soil has run out of nutrients given the thickness of the carpet?

Also, I do not have activated carbon in my filter. It came in the filter media rack but I removed it. In its place, I have Purigen instead.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-03-2020, 04:45 PM
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The substrate ammount can eventually become a concern, some brands last longer than other. You have to check the ammount of nutrients absorbers with the ammount of nutrients provided. Just like any other alive thing, with more and stronger living things more food will be necessary to maintain it.

Also, check for the water hardness as always.

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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-03-2020, 06:10 PM
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Hi @veliscorin,

I see Tropica Premium Nutrition and Tropica Specialized Nutrition but not "Tropica Spec, Premium".....which one are you dosing?

-Roy

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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-04-2020, 01:39 AM Thread Starter
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Hi there, I am using both, I cut short the names. Sorry for the confusion, I use both the Micro and Macro versions i.e. the orange and the green liquids.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle_Aquarist View Post
Hi @veliscorin,

I see Tropica Premium Nutrition and Tropica Specialized Nutrition but not "Tropica Spec, Premium".....which one are you dosing?

-Roy
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-04-2020, 04:36 AM
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Hi @veliscorin,

So the Tropica Specialized contains nitrogen, phosphor (phosphate) and micro-nutrients and the Tropica Premium contains iron, manganese, and micro-nutrients. Between the two it appears neither is providing the macro-nutrient potassium (K) nor the secondary nutrient magnesium (Mg) which is not to be confused with manganese (Mn).

Looking at your pictures the new leaves seem to emerge looking good but as they mature they curl and holes of necrosis form. The fact that the older leaves are most effected indicates the issue is likely related to one of the mobile nutrients. The mobile nutrients are: all three of the macro-nutrients (N, P, K), the secondary nutrient magnesium (Mg), and the micro-nutrients chloride, molybdenum, and nickel.

Based upon the holes of necrosis I suspect the missing nutrient is potassium (K). Insufficient potassium will cause holes in the leaves. It is also possible that you need additional magnesium (Mg) which will result in curling of the leaf margins and premature loss of leaves. I would strongly suggest changing over to TNC Complete which has all three of the macro-nutrients as well as the secondary nutrient magnesium and trace elements. Once you change over your existing leaves will not change and may continue to decline. However any new leaves that form after changing fertilizers should not show the signs of deficiency as they mature. Hope this helps! -Roy
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-04-2020, 05:26 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Roy, thank you so much for your detailed explanation. Pretty new here so pls bear with me.

I understand the need for NPK and all, I'm just no good with dosing strategies. And I see on my bottles that there in indeed potassium and magnesium. Do you mean that there is insufficient amounts in Tropicas ferts based on your experience? Or do you mean it had none.

Where I'm at, I don't recall seeing TNC brands. Mostly tropica, seachem and ADA, or local/chinese unknown brands. It's good that I bought small bottles and I'm halfway through, if it were really the case of missing potassium, changing ferts is going to be my best bet.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-04-2020, 03:27 PM
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Hi @veliscorin,

I believe that Tropica also states that the 6 ml per 50 liter dosing is the starting point for dosing and that "However, we recommended that this is set in accordance with plant requirements.". Here is the amount of nutrients you are dosing assuming 4 gallons of water volume in you 5 gallon tank (I find that I lose about 20% of water volume in my tanks due to substrate displacement).





Adding the two together gives us the total amount of nutrients added per week (rounded to two decimal points):

N = 1.33 ppm
P = 0.10 ppm
K = 1.81 ppm
Fe = 0.14 ppm
Mg = 0.78 ppm

If you are dosing 1.33 ppm of Nitrogen, and doing 40% water changes, the nitrogen from the fertilizer should top out about 3.3 ppm. Any additional nitrogen is coming from fish waste (assuming your API Test Kit is accurate). However, the approximately 6.7 ppm of nitrogen above 3.3 ppm is not from potassium nitrate (which is what the nitrogen in the fertilizer is derived from) so no additional potassium is being added. Your user information does not indicate where you live, TNC is typically found in Europe. However, if the Seachem line of products is available and you can get Seachem Flourish Potassium (preferred) or Seachem Equilibrium both contain potassium. How much to dose? Depends upon what product you can find. Hope this helps! -Roy

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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-05-2020, 04:13 AM Thread Starter
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Hi @Seattle_Aquarist,

Thank you so much once again for taking the time to respond. These numbers are killing me

As for the dosing of 1.33ppm Nitrogen, I think you might have got it wrong. I dose 1.5ml each day, alternating between Premium and Specialized, and based on your calculation, should it not be at 3.99ppm at the end of the week (right before my 40% wc)?

How do you manage to derive that the soil will top it off to about 3.3ppm after 40% water changes? This is the part that I am rather confused.

Cheers
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-05-2020, 04:26 AM
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Hi @veliscorin,

I apologize, I read it that you were dosing the two Tropica ferts just once a week. So it is 3 times a week? The website Rotalabutterfly.com has several nutrient dosing calculators. It's not the soils that causes the 'top off' of a nutrient at a particular level. Nutrient level concentrations increase up to a point where the amount of nutrients removed during the water changes equals the amount dosed. It is also one of the calculators on the website. -Roy

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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-06-2020, 03:36 AM Thread Starter
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Hi @Seattle_Aquarist,

Yes it is 3 times a week. Noted on the rotalabutterfly calculators, they are very useful!

In the meantime, let me get my dosing correct, top it off with more K and monitor them.

Btw, do you know what the ideal amounts of each NPK are as a baseline? I seem to find many contradictory values online so I never truly understood how much to dose.
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-06-2020, 03:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veliscorin View Post
Hi @Seattle_Aquarist,



Yes it is 3 times a week. Noted on the rotalabutterfly calculators, they are very useful!



In the meantime, let me get my dosing correct, top it off with more K and monitor them.



Btw, do you know what the ideal amounts of each NPK are as a baseline? I seem to find many contradictory values online so I never truly understood how much to dose.
Depends on your plants requirements. Try studying the biology of each species of living thing in your tank...even the algae!!

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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-06-2020, 04:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veliscorin View Post
Hi @Seattle_Aquarist,

Yes it is 3 times a week. Noted on the rotalabutterfly calculators, they are very useful!

In the meantime, let me get my dosing correct, top it off with more K and monitor them.

Btw, do you know what the ideal amounts of each NPK are as a baseline? I seem to find many contradictory values online so I never truly understood how much to dose.
Hi @veliscorin,

I agree with the above comment. From what I have seen having planted tanks for 12+ years is each plant species has it's own optimum conditions.

I first of all try to optimize the conditions for my fish, then I try to find plants that thrive in those conditions. I am moving away from just dosing nutrients into the water column and looking more at nutrient dosing through the substrate. I seem to be seeing less issues with algae and still maintain good growth. Don't misunderstand, I am not moving away from water column dosing - just doing it much more sparingly to augment nutrients through the substrate.

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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-18-2020, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
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Hi @Seattle_Aquarist,

I've ripped apart all the rotalas and planted exactly 11 healthy shoots. Monitoring its growth right now.

I've also got a good fert called APT Zero (available here in Singapore), and it doesn't contain N or P. I've tested my N over the week and since using APT Zero, my N is at 5-10ppm which I believe is good. P is at 0.5ppm (dose directly via Seachem Phosphorus), tested using Salifert PO4 Freshwater Test Kit.

I think the green spots are getting better. There's still a lot on my walls, and some growing here and there. Can't tell if those are new spots or not but I'm monitoring right now.

Another problem arose - my Hygrophila Corybomsa is dropping off all its algae infested leaves. New leaves appearing but twisted. So it seems like a new problem lol! This is such a mind boggling hobby!
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