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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all,

I need help IDing a likely deficiency in addition to constant spot/diatom and green dust algae. I am getting ready for a water change today. 50% about every 1.5 weeks

Tank: 30 tall
Lights: 1x Current Satellite planted plus pro and 1x Current Satellite planted plus both at max settings for 5.5 hours a day
Co2 pressurized to turn on an hour before lights on, and turn off hour before lights off
Dosing: NilocG thrive three times a week with root tabs every month.
Substrate: BDBS

Specs:
pH=6.8
Ammonia=0ppm
Nitrites=0ppm
Nitrates=10-20ppm
KH = >10 dgh
GH = >10 dgh

So the GH and KH are high and the nitrates are were i would expect them to be for not doing a water change in the last 2 weeks (had a busy week), but this has been going on for 6 months. What concerns me the most is the lack of growth and the curling of my crypt leaves. For the GH/KH, i suspect there may be something here, but i am in need of help on describing why.

Photos here
https://imgur.com/a/5rmykJf
 

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snails are your friend
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If I had to guess, low CO2 and low PO4. The bigger issue might be that those leaves are caked in green spot algae so the plants can't photosynthesize properly.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Drop checker is good. So its not the Co2. I have considered the Low PO4. But i was also wondering if there is another missing also.
 

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snails are your friend
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Green spot also grows best in low CO2/low PO4 environments, so perhaps it was on the low side at one time? Either way, I'd do a phosphate test and eliminate it as a possibility. One reason I like dry ferts is you can mix your own strengths of macros you may want more or less of.
 

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Hi all,

I need help IDing a likely deficiency in addition to constant spot/diatom and green dust algae. I am getting ready for a water change today. 50% about every 1.5 weeks

Tank: 30 tall
Lights: 1x Current Satellite planted plus pro and 1x Current Satellite planted plus both at max settings for 5.5 hours a day
Co2 pressurized to turn on an hour before lights on, and turn off hour before lights off
Dosing: NilocG thrive three times a week with root tabs every month.
Substrate: BDBS

Specs:
pH=6.8
Ammonia=0ppm
Nitrites=0ppm
Nitrates=10-20ppm
KH = >10 dgh
GH = >10 fgh

So the GH and KH are high and the nitrates are were i would expect them to be for not doing a water change in the last 2 weeks (had a busy week), but this has been going on for 6 months. What concerns me the most is the lack of growth and the curling of my crypt leaves. For the GH/KH, i suspect there may be something here, but i am in need of help on describing why.

Photos hhere
https://imgur.com/a/5rmykJf
Searching around a little bit, curling of the leaves for crypts turn up two different results. One is calcium levels aren't adequate, however with your GH I find it hard to believe, anything could be possible though. Second it's a reaction to changing fert levels in the tank.

As for the algae. This is anecdotal as I'm going through the same situation and have been researching/trying to draw correlation. I have two aquariums, one is high tech with the works, the other is low tech. The low tech aquarium has no GDA or algae anywhere, but my high tech aquarium has GDA pretty bad despite scraping it off daily and running UV sterilizers every day for 12 hours.
After trying to emulate the low tech aquarium as best I could, basically just running Co2 as the only difference the algae wasn't affected and actually got worse.

So I started looking at the stock. The high tech is a 55 gallon with 4 pencilfish and 8 very small lemon tetra's, and the low tech is a 29 gallon with the same stock + 2 old and very large diamond tetra's I feed the 29 gallon more than the 55 gallon and there's more fish in a smaller space.

This is where the anecdotal part comes in, I think that because of there being more fish waste in the 29 gallon it's getting more phosphates along with the low light. Everything is relatively equal between the two tanks for EI dosage, just no CO2, and lower light intensity on the low tech aquarium.

At the moment I'm increasing the PO4 dosage in my 55 gallon to see if there are any noticeable differences.

Edit:
I just realized something that's similar between our tanks based on your provided photos.
According to this nutrient resource a deficiency in phosphates can cause leaf blades to grow at a decreased size.

You can see this happening in the picture you provided of the rotala, you have some stems that look to have relatively good new growth, and others that are tiny in comparison. The same thing happens in my aquarium where the group of rotala rotundifolia has different sized leaves among the stems.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Green spot also grows best in low CO2/low PO4 environments, so perhaps it was on the low side at one time? Either way, I'd do a phosphate test and eliminate it as a possibility. One reason I like dry ferts is you can mix your own strengths of macros you may want more or less of.
Phosphate test is ordered, so we will see if thats the issue. I also understand your point from the other post regarding the issues with the plant being able to photosynthesize. I took a better look at the crypts this morning (i have at least 10 in the tank). And even the leaves without algae are curling over.
 

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Hi @msawdey,

Do the new cryptocoryne leaves emerge 'flat' and stay that way for a while and the leaf margins start to curl down (or up on some species) as the leaves mature? Cryptocorynes are slow growers anyway, how about the other species in the tank do they seem to grow slowly as well? Lastly are you on 'city water' or a well?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi @msawdey,

Do the new cryptocoryne leaves emerge 'flat' and stay that way for a while and the leaf margins start to curl down (or up on some species) as the leaves mature? Cryptocorynes are slow growers anyway, how about the other species in the tank do they seem to grow slowly as well? Lastly are you on 'city water' or a well?
New leaves are emerging flat and then curling. Other species are also growing slow, including the large amount of rotala i have in the tank. We are in city water.
I tested the tank water again this morning and the tap water after doing a 50% wc on Friday

TAP
pH: 7.0
KH: 2 dgh
GH: 4 dgh
Nitrates:0ppm
Nitrites: 0ppm
Ammonia: 0ppm
Phosphates: 1.0

TANK
pH: 6.6-6.8
KH: 4 dgh
GH: 8 dgh
Nitrates:5-10ppm
Nitrites: 0ppm
Ammonia: 0ppm
Phosphates: >3.0
CO2: drop checker is light green (lights turn on at 830am, CO2 at 730am)
 

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Hi @msawdey,

Hmm, something is increasing your hardness, both dKH and dGH. What type stones are in your tank? What is your substrate?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi @msawdey,

Hmm, something is increasing your hardness, both dKH and dGH. What type stones are in your tank? What is your substrate?
The stones were from a local garden store and the substrate is 100% BDBS. It cant be the BDBS, so it has to be the stone.

They have been in the tank for about 8 months. I thoroughly cleaned and tested them with vinegar and didnt find any issues. Could it be that these stones, in addition to increasing the KH/GH are also leeching something else? I haven't seen negative effects on the fish, but i did lose 4 nerites within a week of putting them in.
 

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Hi @msawdey,

The curled under leaf margins that can start to occur shortly after a leaf matures is typically due to insufficient magnesium. This can be caused by either not enough magnesium being dosed or too much of another nutrient effecting the uptake of magnesium by the plant. In the case of magnesium either too much calcium or too much potassium are the common culprits that can inhibit the uptake. Since it is much easier to add magnesium and see if the deficiency improves rather than trying to remove possible excess calcium of potassium that is typically the first thing to try.

How to add magnesium. Pick up some Epsom Salt (MgSO4*7H2O) from you local drug store. The the cheapest Epsom Salt on the shelf with no additives, scents, or perfumes.

1) Do an initial dose of 1/2 teaspoon of Epsom salt per 10 gallons of water in your aquarium. This will add 6.6 ppm of magnesium to your tank and increase the hardness by about 1.5 dGH.

2) Thereafter, when you do your weekly water change add 1/2 teaspoon of Epsom salt per 10 gallons of new water added.

Now watch your new leaves as they emerge. If the problem is magnesium related then as the new leaves mature over the next couple of months there should be a reduction in the curling of leaf margins. Since magnesium is necessary for good photosynthesis which is what gives the plant the energy to grow, you may also notice your plant growth rates increase and the leaves look more green and vibrant. Watch only the new leaves that are formed after you start adding the additional magnesium; the existing leaves will change very little or may actually continue to decline.

Hope this helps! -Roy
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Hi @msawdey,

The curled under leaf margins that can start to occur shortly after a leaf matures is typically due to insufficient magnesium. This can be caused by either not enough magnesium being dosed or too much of another nutrient effecting the uptake of magnesium by the plant. In the case of magnesium either too much calcium or too much potassium are the common culprits that can inhibit the uptake. Since it is much easier to add magnesium and see if the deficiency improves rather than trying to remove possible excess calcium of potassium that is typically the first thing to try.

How to add magnesium. Pick up some Epsom Salt (MgSO4*7H2O) from you local drug store. The the cheapest Epsom Salt on the shelf with no additives, scents, or perfumes.

1) Do an initial dose of 1/2 teaspoon of Epsom salt per 10 gallons of water in your aquarium. This will add 6.6 ppm of magnesium to your tank and increase the hardness by about 1.5 dGH.

2) Thereafter, when you do your weekly water change add 1/2 teaspoon of Epsom salt per 10 gallons of new water added.

Now watch your new leaves as they emerge. If the problem is magnesium related then as the new leaves mature over the next couple of months there should be a reduction in the curling of leaf margins. Since magnesium is necessary for good photosynthesis which is what gives the plant the energy to grow, you may also notice your plant growth rates increase and the leaves look more green and vibrant. Watch only the new leaves that are formed after you start adding the additional magnesium; the existing leaves will change very little or may actually continue to decline.

Hope this helps! -Roy
Thanks for this Roy!!! greatly appreciate all of the advice. I think in addition to your recommendation, i may also remove the rock. I have never been all that happy with it and i am hoping it'll also have an impact. Will update in the future.
 
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