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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm having some issues since I removed the training wheels and stepped into the realm of "high tech". First most of the leaves on my stem plants tend to curl and look somewhat deformed. Second, the other day I noticed my ar mini has deformed leaves as well.

Tank has pressurized co2 and I'm dosing using the ei method.
 

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Have you tested to verify your dosing is sufficient? Was the tank growing fine and then one day they start looking like this? Was it started as low tech (if so, for how long) and then converted? Can you tell us exactly what you're dosing. What is the bioload? What is the gallonage?

Additional details will help us troubleshoot with you.

Kemnt
 

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At this point, it could be deficiencies or toxicities.
Most often deficiencies would be of the macros-
Please post NO3, GH and any other test you have (Phosphates would be good) at the beginning of the week (a few hours after a water change- let the water get thoroughly blended, but before dosing anything) and at the end of the week, right before a water change.
Toxicities are usually micros. These are minerals that plants need very little of, and fish food supplies quite a lot of. Except for iron. Please post any tests you have that might help (probably just iron- I do not even know if there are hobby level tests for the others. Maybe copper?) and TDS. (Also at the beginning and the end of the week)

Here is how I would start trying to figure this out.
What ferts are you already adding from other sources?

Tap water with high GH supplies Ca and Mg and perhaps other minerals. Low GH (under 3 German degrees of hardness, especially if it drops through the week) hints that perhaps you are seeing Ca or Mg deficiency.

Are you adding minerals from other sources? Buffers, pH adjusters, dechlor with 'electrolytes' or anything else? Read the label to see what you are adding. Test TDS before and after adding some of whatever you are adding.

If you were not dosing at all, do you know what your NO3 would be? This would tell you how much fertilizer you are getting from fish food. Fish food is a reasonable source of N, P and most traces. It is low in K, Ca, Mg, Fe. If there is a moderate or higher stocking level in the tank, meaning you are feeding the livestock quite a bit, then you are adding ferts in this way. Not as much as a high tech tank needs, but some.
If NO3 is ...
Very low or 0, then the plants are taking all the fertilizer the fish food has, and probably want more. Full EI is good.
Moderate, then the plants are using most, but not all the ferts from fish food. I would first supplement with K, Fe and make sure the GH is good (This is a test for Ca and Mg). Might not need full EI, and it might lead to toxicities of traces if the plants do not need this high level. Supplementing just the minerals missing in fish food could make the plants grow even faster, and then they would demand more of all the nutrients.
High Then the plants are not even using all the fish food fertilizer, so I would just supplement K, Fe and make sure the GH is OK. Do not need full EI.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Have you tested to verify your dosing is sufficient? Was the tank growing fine and then one day they start looking like this? Was it started as low tech (if so, for how long) and then converted? Can you tell us exactly what you're dosing. What is the bioload? What is the gallonage?

Additional details will help us troubleshoot with you.

Kemnt
I don't have any test kits to verify my dosing. I'm dosing per the EI schedule for 20-40G tanks(tank is a 40B).

The ar mini has been growing great until this week when I noticed this new growth, it's really been one of the best growing plants in the tank. This is a new set up and was not converted from low tech.

Bioload:
- 13 cpd
- 15 green neons
- 5 orange laser cory
- 10 ember tetra
- 3 hillstream loaches
- pair of apistogramma trifaciata

Tank may be overstocked but from what I understand most of the fish I have would be considered low bioload fish.

At this point, it could be deficiencies or toxicities.
Most often deficiencies would be of the macros-
Please post NO3, GH and any other test you have (Phosphates would be good) at the beginning of the week (a few hours after a water change- let the water get thoroughly blended, but before dosing anything) and at the end of the week, right before a water change.
Toxicities are usually micros. These are minerals that plants need very little of, and fish food supplies quite a lot of. Except for iron. Please post any tests you have that might help (probably just iron- I do not even know if there are hobby level tests for the others. Maybe copper?) and TDS. (Also at the beginning and the end of the week)

Here is how I would start trying to figure this out.
What ferts are you already adding from other sources?

Tap water with high GH supplies Ca and Mg and perhaps other minerals. Low GH (under 3 German degrees of hardness, especially if it drops through the week) hints that perhaps you are seeing Ca or Mg deficiency.

Are you adding minerals from other sources? Buffers, pH adjusters, dechlor with 'electrolytes' or anything else? Read the label to see what you are adding. Test TDS before and after adding some of whatever you are adding.

If you were not dosing at all, do you know what your NO3 would be? This would tell you how much fertilizer you are getting from fish food. Fish food is a reasonable source of N, P and most traces. It is low in K, Ca, Mg, Fe. If there is a moderate or higher stocking level in the tank, meaning you are feeding the livestock quite a bit, then you are adding ferts in this way. Not as much as a high tech tank needs, but some.
If NO3 is ...
Very low or 0, then the plants are taking all the fertilizer the fish food has, and probably want more. Full EI is good.
Moderate, then the plants are using most, but not all the ferts from fish food. I would first supplement with K, Fe and make sure the GH is good (This is a test for Ca and Mg). Might not need full EI, and it might lead to toxicities of traces if the plants do not need this high level. Supplementing just the minerals missing in fish food could make the plants grow even faster, and then they would demand more of all the nutrients.
High Then the plants are not even using all the fish food fertilizer, so I would just supplement K, Fe and make sure the GH is OK. Do not need full EI.
Well my water change is tomorrow so I'll give you some end of week test now.

GH - 4
KH - 4
PH - 7.6 and around 6.6 with co2 when lights are on
Phosphate - seems high, if I hold the test tube against the card it looks to be 10ppm(I'll post a pic below)
I don't have a test kit for TDS.

Other than the ferts I add nothing else to the tank.

Ferts added are:
KNO3 - 1/4 tsp 3 x week
KH2PO4 - 1/16 tsp 3 x week
CSM+B - 1/16 tsp 3 x week
Earlier in the week I noticed some small holes in some of the plant leaves so I did add some K2SO4, but this was after I noticed the curling and deformed leaves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Update: Today I performed my 50% WC as I do every Sunday. I tested phosphate levels 6 hours after I did the water change and they are still high. With that in mind I tested the tap water and found phosphate was pretty much nonexistent. Could this be an issue of phosphate building up within the awqurium? If so, why is it not being consumed by the plants?

Picture below is of phosphate test, tap water is on the right and aquarium left.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
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Tested NO3 yesterday and is was around 30-40ppm. Phosphates tested around 6ppm. Was looking over the tank yesterday and noticed the DHG was yellowing and there is yellowing of the veins of my s repens. Don't know if this has anything to do with what happens to the ar mini or not, but looks to be a deficiency. Hopefully some of this info will help.

Another thing I need is to have someone verify my dosing schedule and levels. I was looking through some calculators yesterday and they showed a higher dosing amount for KNO3 and micros for my size tank.
Also I've been having my rest day and water change day as one. Am I striping the water column by doing this? Should the water change and first day of dosing be on the same day?
 
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