So here's the deal. I use EI dosing, have good CO2, good light, and all my plants (including my lotus) have been pearling daily. That said in the last week or two the coloring on my lotus has been fading, and now two leaves are showing some serious issues.
Prior to this happening there were no changes. I recently realized my NO3 and Phosphate levels were high and took a half a week break from dosing ferts to bring them back down to a proper level. Macros would normally resume on Wednesday.
The leaves are very oddly colored overall. At one point it was a pretty solid hue or a greenish red, and now it just looks faded and weak. There hasn't been much in the way of clearly yellow spots as I've seen in some pictures.
Think I just got my answer in another thread, potentially related to my Nerite snails.
Okay, I'm backing off blaming my nerite's for a bit, because now more plants seem affected, and I have some algae (some BBA, unsure of rest) and so I must have SOME sort of nutrient imbalance. Most of my plants pearl, and some pearl from top to bottom, it's almost ridiculous. CO2 drop checker reads well, and if I turn it up much more the fish start heading to the surface.
I have a pH around 8, and while I don't know my exact gH and kH, they are both HIGH/HARD. My phosphates are reading over 5.0ppm, and nitrates over 40ppm.
The lighting is 2 Diamond plate fixtures on 8 hours a day, a few inches above the tank. The plants all grow, some of them a ton.
I really can't figure it out, what's going wrong?
Along with the pictures below, I can say my Hydrocoytle has some leaves black around the outside, and my ludwigia red is basically one type of algae or general not looking good on old growth, while new growth looks great. And my other 3 Aromatica stems don't look nearly as bad as the one pictured.
I did my 80% water change Tuesday night, and Wednesday stayed away from dosing macros. Phosphates are getting under control but Nitrates are too high still. I also suspect my Nitrates test kit might give bad results. In any case, will Nitrates get high enough that they'll damage plants but still be at an okay level for fish?
what kind of lights are you using and how are you diffusing the co2? you dont have enough plant to uptake enough nutrients in your tank, most of your plants are slow growing and some of them are fast growing stems, i suggest cutting the dosing in half or less and see how the plant respond to that.
Pressurized CO2, and two diamond plate T8 fixtures a few inches above tank. Soon it will by BML 6300k dutch normal output series. I will do another 80% water change tonight (to cut down on Nitrates more) and going forward try reducing my dosage even further. Another thread gave me the idea that I will likely cut out KNO3 completely and use only K2SO4 for awhile.
Also might cut my lights on time from 8 down to 6 or 7.
If you are dosing EI, run your fert dosage calculations here: http://rota.la/
It should tell you how much of ferts you are dosing, regardless what the test kits are telling you. In a high tech, high light tank, it is really hard to get more ferts that what you are dosing. 5ppm of phosphate isn't high. In fact, I need my phosphate level just under 10ppm to keep my GSA in check. You should keep your N around 20ppm. Don't really need to dose K. Don't go too heavy with micros since you can actually overdose it. Keep your iron level around .5ppm.
Thanks Tetra, I've used calculators, and find myself preferring Fertilator as it allows me to see combinations all at once. I don't have an Iron test kit, so that's one thing that's really hard for me to judge. I'd gladly get an Iron test kit if only there was a reasonably priced one that had anything close to universally accepted good results.
N is my biggest concern, and it's why I will be doing a water change tonight and at least temporarily keeping KNO3 from my dosing. I will continue to dose Phosphate (which I can gladly test for). Since I'm cutting back on other things I will also cut back on micros some as you suggested. Though again, I only do .25 tsp every other day, so I hope I can't possibly be overdosing that too much.
Thanks for your feedback everyone, hopefully things turn around going forward.
Today was my regular water change. So in the last 8 or so days I've done 80%, 80%, and 50% water changes, along with a thorough cleaning of both filters today. Phosphates currently read around 2.0ppm (finally) and Nitrates are around 20ppm (finally).
Still, things don't look great. I've cut lights back to 7 hours, but every day new leaves or new plants seem to show signs of algae. Tomorrow I'm going to do a light dosing of K2SO4 and KH2PO4, and half dose of micros going forward. If this doesn't turn around soon I'm just going to have no clue what to try going forward.
Rush3737- I somehow missed this post for the last 2 weeks.
This is almost certainly potassium deficiency. It looks a little weird in lotus plants due to the huge holes it makes rather than the pinholes we are used to seeing. Just double check that the holes are forming on older lotus leaves (looks like they are to me but I don't have the plant in front of me to double check!).
Adding K2SO4 is a very good idea and will likely stop further plant degradation.
Do you think you can get some close up photos of each of the affected plants in your tank? I'd love to be able to add more photos to the DeficiencyFinder (without lighting glare on the water surface). Photos of old leaves in particular would be helpful, and new leaves if there is stunting with them.
Here is an entry I just recently added to the Deficiency Finder that you should read:
Thanks Zapins, I actually took some pictures to update before I read your post, but when I get back from Boston on Thursday I can look to take some specifically for your needs. For now, here is what I have (on Java Fern, the black tears/spots were already present when it arrived):
If it is indeed Potassium then my plants must LOVE Potassium. Either that or the O+ tabs I use are really heavy in Nitrate. The reason I say this is prior to all these problems my main fert (by normal EI) was KNO3. Calculators seems to show this, along with other ferts putting about the same amounts of K and NO3 into the water. Well my Nitrates have been sky high, while K was at a loss.
As for the Tiger Lotus, I believe the problems were in mainly old leaves, as it seemed the ones at the top were most affected.
Yep, looks like potassium deficiency. The Rotala holes are typical of potassium deficiency. As a side note, even though the ferns had the holes from before you got them, they are pretty bad indicator plants in general. The old leaves always seem to look ratty which makes them look deficient even when they are not.
As for the high K usage, I know what you mean. It is odd but it seems some tanks require more potassium than any other nutrient. My 90g tank consistently uses more potassium than nitrogen. I've even had my water professionally analyzed to be sure it is a lack of potassium. I think certain plant species just take up more potassium than others. My tank is mainly java fern/anubias and rotalas, so perhaps one or all of these plants have a very high potassium uptake requirement?
I haven't had too much time at home since my trip, but sadly the tank doesn't seem to be turning around. Plants that I had removed the leaves from that algae was on have had algae come on new leaves. The Tiger Lotus doesn't seem to be doing much better, and frankly my head just wants to explode. I know these things don't fix in a few days, but it would be great to not just feel that everything is constantly getting worse.
Question: During the day I have sunlight bleeding into the room. I've worked to close up as much as I can, but would it be worth it to run CO2 during all hours that there is even a little light in the room? Or would that just make it worse as the minimal light might not be enough for plants to grow anyway?
Also, starting yesterday I think I will be dosing excel regularly along with my CO2 going forward. Just figure that can't hurt.
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