ARG! Calcium Deficiency OR K Overdose? (56K warning) - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-01-2004, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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I've attached a couple of pics of one of my Ammania stems that seems to be suffering from what could be a couple of possibilities. According to Chuck's site, deformed/curled leaves could be a sign of calcium deficiency. However, after following some of the threads on here and on other forums, I wonder if this is perhaps the infamous K vs Ca uptake situation? Its amazing how quickly the plant became afflicted. Looking at the picture you can see how the plant went from healthly leaves to growing crinkled leaves almost instantly. Any input would be appreciated.


On a side note, I'm wondering if someone can identify the two stems in the ammania4.jpg that are directly behind the Ammania gracilis? I'm not sure whether these are Nesea or A. senegalensis. I have not been able to find many good pics of senegalensis, hence the confusion.

Thanks,

Jeremiah
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-01-2004, 04:29 PM
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The difference is that this is new growth and the other problems we were discussing were more on the old growth. I can't comment for certain on what it could be because I need some water parameters first, and your substrate composition second, and fertilizer/ CO2 dosing schedule and technique (which, when, and how much) third. That looks a lot like the tip die off that occurs in E. stellata.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-01-2004, 04:38 PM
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I have no idea what causes it, but I have been going through the same problems. My older tank was dosed K from KNO3 plus K2SO4. I have a new tank with the same problem. That tank only has K from KNO3. In the new tank, I also have some stems in a shaded area. Those leaves are growing perfectly healthy, where stems 10" away directlyunder the light will grow like that.

not completely convinced it is K. I think Ca and Mg might be an issue. I'm going to have to get a Ca test kit and then I can hopefully figure this stuff out.


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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-01-2004, 04:52 PM
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Hey Gomer,

I get the same thing with my nesea pedicilatta (which looks exactly like ammania gracilis). I read in aquarium magazine that curling leaves at the tips are a result of calcium defficiency. I am not sure however. My plants continue to grow eventhough some of the tips look like that.

I let my plant grow to the surface and when it reaches there, it produces a lot of sideshoots. However, all of those sideshoots, even the ones at the base are relatively shaded and don't curl like the other ones. I think it is typical of that plant when it lacks calcium.

I'm not 100% sure of it though. Let me know what you find out when you test for Ca.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-01-2004, 04:55 PM
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That's why I want to know all that stuff I asked for, it doesn't look like what we were discussing with the other guys.

Sean

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-01-2004, 04:59 PM
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On that note, can anyone recommend a cheap and reasonably accurate calcium test in the range appropriate here?


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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-01-2004, 05:02 PM
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Cheap? A GH test and guestimate between 50 and 100 % is Ca.

I don't know off hand of a Ca test for freshwater, I wonder if the marine tests for Ca work.

Sean

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-01-2004, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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SCMurphy: My apologies, here come the tank parameters.

pH Maintained around 6.9 - 7.0 using pH controller and pressurized CO2.
KH about 7 dKH
GH about 8 dGH
Substrate: Gravel over laterite with Seachem root tabs inserted here and there.
Ferts: I have never dosed KNO3 in this tank, as it has had high Nitrate levels due to broken down Chloramine from the tap. (I have since been slowly lowering the Nitrates with reconstituted RO water changes. These water changes have also been slowing bringing down my GH to the level it is now, as it used to be nearly around 20dGH)
Potassium, I have been dosing using K2SO4 whenever I start noticing pinholes in the older leaves.
Phosphate, I dose every once and a while as needed. Although admittedly the tank may have experienced some periods with no PO4.
Micros: Plantex CSM+B from time to time, whenever the plants seem to need it.

Gomer: This tank has only been dosed K2SO4, never KNO3, so I don't know if it'd be a K problem or not. Even then, I haven't dosed K2S04 all that often. My water used to be hard as rock, but now not so much anymore due to RO. I suppose Ca could be a problem... Thus far I've been assuming that with the GH I have there should be plenty of Ca, but I suppose it's possible that it could be mostly comprised of Mg. Perhaps a Ca test kit wouldn't be a bad idea. Let me know if you discover anything.

-Jeremiah
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-01-2004, 05:07 PM
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Check out this thread, I've been trying to problem solve the same problem with my plants.
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...opic.php?t=546
So far I've noticed that my tap water chemistry changed a lot in the last couple of weeks, so you might want to recheck those. I also started adding chloramine remover which might have been a problem in my case.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-01-2004, 05:34 PM
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It doesn't sound like the problem would be K in your tank blocking the Ca or Mg uptake. Did you add the epsom salts to the Plantex solution?

Want to be off the wall? Do a small water change if your tap water is still in the 20° GH range. Just 10 % not a full 50 %. For that small amount don't add a water conditioner.

Sean

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-01-2004, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IUnknown
Check out this thread, I've been trying to problem solve the same problem with my plants.
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/f...opic.php?t=546
So far I've noticed that my tap water chemistry changed a lot in the last couple of weeks, so you might want to recheck those. I also started adding chloramine remover which might have been a problem in my case.
Hey IUnknown,

I checked out that thread. It's very interesting. I'm wondering if I only see signs of this after I dose potassium in my water. My water is extremely soft with a KH and dGH of around 3.

Would not using prime during a water change have a positive affect on the plants? I'm tempted to go out and buy some calcium pills, but I want to see if I can remedy the problem another way first. My N. Pedicilatta has also been getting some black spots eating at the leaves in the middle section of the stem. These leaves are receiving substantial light as well.
However, my A. Reinckii doesn't seem to be showing any types of curling leaves.

Anyway...there are some great ideas going around here and on the thread that IUnknown added.

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-01-2004, 07:42 PM
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I have a kH and gH of 3. In the past I had terrible stunting in my nesaea pedicellata and Eusteralis which I had attributed to a possible K overdose. I cut out the K+ dosing from my schedule and after a month and a half plants were still stunting, sometimes as much as twice a week. As it turned out my gH test was faulty and was giving me high readings. I bought a new kit and it read 3 degrees or ~ 50ppm which is considered extremely soft water. I figured the tank may have been using the hardness up resulting in a Ca deficiency. I started dosing to get my gH to 8+ and since then I have not seen any stunting at all. The Nesaea and Eusteralis are growing great. Perhaps you can try getting your gH up and see if it helps out.

CRS: That looks like N. Pedicellata behind you Ammania, though I'm not an expert.

Regards,
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-01-2004, 07:59 PM
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I have a similar problem with my swords but I'm thinking that I may be running out of NO3 during the week. New growth grows out twisted and full of holes. It was only the compacta swords but now appears in the melon sword also. I am dosing daily and for roughly double the weekly rate as I had been.

My tapwater runs GH 8 or 9 and so I don't think that is it for my tank.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-01-2004, 08:15 PM
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Are you root feeding your swords?

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-02-2004, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Overfloater
Are you root feeding your swords?
yes, I made pellets with the PlantGuild kit last time and on a whim I added K2SO4 and osmocoat, might have been a mistake, the situation worsened after that I think. I've never really know if it was a K underdose or a K overdose. So, I added a last pellet under on of the swords but not the rest, it is still warped and a sword that was not getting a pellet this time is warped also, maybe it has roots in that direction, I dont' know.

I started adding iron drops daily for awhile and that seemed to help, then it didn't. Now I am dosing daily instead of weekly and at twice the dose I was using, uh, so instead of adding 5ppm once a week, I'm adding 2ppm a day. And I've increased the traces and Phosphates at the same rate, the swords grow so fast i can just watch the next leaf as it shows up to see if it is flat and whole. The next leaf looks good so far. I'm wondering if the stem plants which grow at about an inch a day are simply robbing the water column of nutrients, especially with the weekly routine. i know tht Tom says to dose weekly for higher light tanks, I hadn't been, maybe that is all that is wrong.

Of course, this menas that I cannot get any photos for the AB contest, the swords look like hell, and you can see the stems where I've removed so many leaves. Well, I take terrible photos anyhow.
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