Healthy plants? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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Healthy plants?

New at the planted game and really Feel it. I've read a lot and find lots of hints at information but sometimes it just misses me on the basics. One is part of an article here on this site.
"Growth rate is normally slow in a new tank but plant health is easily determined. "

Duh! It is most likely obvious to the experienced but how does one judge plant health? In the yard, I feel competent when looking at plants but the water plants are a totally new look to me. Can somebody give me some pointers on what a plant needing more light/ less light or more nutrients versus different might look like? Since many of the "rules" are a judgement call or estimate, I'm pretty sure some of mine are going to need something different than I provide. I would like to try to recognise what is wrong before it becomes deadly. Thanks for any info.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by PlantedRich View Post
New at the planted game and really Feel it. I've read a lot and find lots of hints at information but sometimes it just misses me on the basics. ...
This is why I recommend that people new to planted tanks go out and get a couple of books on the subject. Then read and understand them. The books provide an overall background to the hobby. Once you have some idea what's going on, understanding the other stuff will be comparatively easy.

This is the sort of thing where the internet just is not good at. Yes, the information is all there, but it's all over the place, and often you'll find things written that are very advanced, and if you start reading them get completely lost in a few paragraphs.

Two books I recommend are -
Ecology of the Planted Aquarium by Diana Walstad
Encyclopedia of Aquarium Plants by Peter Hiscock
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-22-2010, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks but no thanks. I must have asked the wrong question so I'll ask somewhere else.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-22-2010, 07:53 PM
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there are a few lists out there like this one, and they all have a few points in contention, but if you want to check it out it might give you what you're looking for.

http://www.aquaria.info/index.php?na...&theme=Printer


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-22-2010, 09:35 PM
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The diagnostic list Jargonchipmunk linked to is pretty complete, and I've had it saved on my computer for a while.

But in practice, the three most common symptoms and causes in my experience are:

1) Plants growing excessively tall with sparse foliage. Caused by too little light.
2) Leaves coming in yellow and never achieving proper green coloration. Caused by too little iron.
3) Older, lower leaves on broad leaf plants developing pinholes, which get larger over time. Caused by too little potassium.

Plants rarely in my experience show signs of excess light/nutrients. However, other things do. Excess light will cause algae. Excess CO2 will cause fish to gasp at the surface.

And other nutrient deficiencies may not show specific symptoms, but instead weaken plants or slow their growth; leading to algae accumulating on or parasitizing them. Some specific algae prefer conditions of deficiency even if they don't grow on plants.

This is a very broad topic, but this is the most relevant info I can give you in brief to get you started. Hopefully it will help. Let us know if you need more details in a particular area.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-23-2010, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Dark Cobra. While it may not seem like a lot of info, itis a good place to start. Often knowing what to look for is where I need to start. Thanks much.

Thanks to you also, jargonchipmunk. I've not checked the site yet but will do it in a bit. I've been gardening long enough to know there are no sure fire certain methods but it does help to have a few signs along the way.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-23-2010, 08:40 PM
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Also, twisted leaves in a lot of plants is a sign of insufficient CO2.
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