Holes in my Alternanthera reineckii leaves - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 51 (permalink) Old 02-12-2004, 02:54 AM Thread Starter
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I have been steadily getting holes in the leaves of my Alternanthera reineckii. I have increased my potassium dosage from just one teaspoon at water change to one teaspoon at water change and another teaspoon midweek. I am still getting holes.

Do I need to dose more potassium, or are the plants just starting to get old? I remember reading that at time Alternanthera reineckii just kind of quits growing. Could this be the case?

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post #2 of 51 (permalink) Old 02-12-2004, 10:43 AM
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I don't know, but the same thing is happening to mine. So far K+ is not helping, my next try will be to add some Epsom salts. My water is very soft.

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post #3 of 51 (permalink) Old 02-12-2004, 11:59 AM
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Have you checked your fert levels? What form of K are you dosing?

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post #4 of 51 (permalink) Old 02-12-2004, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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Fertilizer levels seem OK. I keep nitrates around 5ppm. I have found it really makes my red plants "pop". Phosphates are between .5 and 1ppm. I have to add almost daily.

I add potassium via K2SO4.


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post #5 of 51 (permalink) Old 02-12-2004, 11:09 PM
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That seems like an awful lot of K to me. Are you dosing magnesium and calcium too? How about the micros, Fe and such? That really seems like a lot of K to me, did I say that yet?

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post #6 of 51 (permalink) Old 02-13-2004, 01:50 AM Thread Starter
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I am not dosing calcium or magnesium specifically.

I dose micros via Seachems Flourish. About 8ml per week. I dose Flourish Iron twice weekly. About 6ml per dose, once at water change and once midweek.

I started dosing the extra K about a week and a half ago to try and combat the holes. Otherwise I was dosing 1 teaspoon at water change.

Mike

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post #7 of 51 (permalink) Old 02-13-2004, 02:39 AM Thread Starter
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SCMurphy,

I have just read the potassium thread over at AB, and spoke with Jay Luto about K and Ca in relation to E. stellata at an LFS on Sunday. I am beginning to see why you are bringing up my K levels.

I was dosing 1/4 teaspoon of K2SO4 at water change, and was finishing off a big bottle of Seachem Nitrogen. I slowly began to increase my K dosage to 1/2 teaspoon and then one teaspoon, and switched from the Seachem nitrogen product to dosing KNO3 in solution. I believe I increased my K through the increased dosage of K2SO4 and through the switch to dosing KNO3 in solution. Now that I think about it, the holes started to appear in the last month or so, which would correlate with the increased K dosage.

However, would too much K cause this problem???

Mike

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post #8 of 51 (permalink) Old 02-13-2004, 03:05 AM
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I suppose it's possible if excessive K competes with other nutrients such as iron or manganese. Just curious, but are these holes occurring on old growth or new growth? Are they pinpoint or elongated? Do you know how much K in ppm you're adding on a weekly basis?
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post #9 of 51 (permalink) Old 02-13-2004, 01:24 PM
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Excess K blocks the uptake of Calcium and Magnesium by plants. The deficiency of either (if I remember) is small crinkly runty leaves. I am starting to think that the combination of the two being blocked results in the holes in the leaves you are describing. GulfCoastAquarian (Sam) was dosing huge quantities of K in his tank and seeing the same symptoms, I actually had to reread your post to see if it was a different post or not. Sechem Flourish has K in it too, doesn't it? I think that the B. method has people dosing around 3 to 4 times too much K. I'm still waiting for Sam to say whether his tank has turned around or not. I do know that Nesea sp. shows early signs of excess K availability and that includes holes in the leaves.

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post #10 of 51 (permalink) Old 02-13-2004, 06:17 PM
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It's going to be hard to say whether or not the cessation of K helped in my tank. The CO2 ran out and now that it is back online, the plants are getting holes in their leaves worse than ever. This is confusing! I feel your pain, Mike!

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post #11 of 51 (permalink) Old 02-14-2004, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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There is a definite correlation between K dosage and the holes in the leaves. As I increased the K dosage, the holes appeared. Simple as that. The K2SO4 dose increase, the introduction of N through KNO3 and the Flourish, have all increased my K levels.

I think I am going to do the next three water changes, and not dose K. I will dose the Flourish and the KNO3. On the fourth water change, I will go back to the 1/4 teaspoon of K2SO4, as I had been doing. I will talk to Jay, and possibly dose a little Ca and see what happens.

This is not devastating, just annoying. Alternanthera reineckii is not a rare or expensive plant. If I have to replace it, I can do it without a problem. I would just like to find out what is causing the problem so I can help other people with the K / Ca answer.

Mike

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post #12 of 51 (permalink) Old 02-14-2004, 12:24 AM
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Hey Momotaro
just out of curiosity but how would you go about dosing Ca? Im not sure but I have a similar problem. My plants arent showing signs of holes in their leaves but new leaf growth is crinkled and my stargrass had black creases in it which suggest a potassium deficiency. The thing is though that I dose 10ppm of K three times a week. Im thinking that maybe my Ca levels are not at the 4:1 ratio that they should be which is why Im getting these deficiencies.
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post #13 of 51 (permalink) Old 02-14-2004, 12:39 AM Thread Starter
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Ptahkeem

Jay showed me a product in the LFS. I am not sure of the name.

I am going to sit tight on the Ca addition right now. I am going to stop the K for a few weeks and see what transpires. I mean things were OK up to the K dosing. I am hoping they will go back to "normal" as I reduce the dosage again.

Mike

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post #14 of 51 (permalink) Old 02-14-2004, 02:59 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Just curious, but are these holes occurring on old growth or new growth
2la,
The holes are on newer growth. The new shoots are fine for a period. As the leaves grow, the holes pinpoint, and then expand. The holes look almost as if the plant was being munched on. The holes leave the central vein in the leaf intact for a while, but that too disappears.

Do you have any idea 2la?

Mike

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post #15 of 51 (permalink) Old 02-14-2004, 04:24 AM
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Interveinal chlorosis is almost pathognomonic for manganese deficiency. Excessive iron can also do this by blocking manganese uptake. Reduce the K+ would be my advice.
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