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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Please excuse my bad spelling!

I don't use Co2, an so far I haven't done any fert dosing - the choices I have at the lfs are so confusing!
This tank is a 55, set up maybe 4 weeks. It's stocked with 6 black tetras = 1" in size, 11 cardinals less than 1" in size, and two blue rams I just added this week.
Lights are a twin bulb shoplight right on top of the versa glass - 6500 and 8000 tubes.
I'm in a rush now, gotta go, but here is a fast pic. I'll post more tonight!
Thanks,
~ Cin ~
 

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Time to get ferts.

I'm going to toss something out there but a little bit of MGS04 (Epsom) magnesium. Very little bit. 1-2 teaspoons worth mixed in water.

I'd also say, its time to dose some Potassium?

NPK would be a good standard.

-Gordon
 

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Nitrogen isn't a very mobile nutrient (I think I recall hearing that). A combination of phosphorus and potassium looks more like it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Trying to look up pics of nutrient deficiencies led me to think phosphorus at first - but I know absolutely nothing about dosing aquatic plants. I'm trying to learn what I can here, but it's all so much mumbo-jumbo to me, and I've been afraid I'll overdo and kill everything - fish too. I first thought the difference between macro & micro nutrients was in the molecule size! lol (at least I laugh at myself)
The local Petsmart has Seachem Flourish, and a brand I can't remember of macro or mirco nutrients, and a liquid Co2 supplement (can't remember that brand either). I don't have a test kit to tell me what nutrients are lacking in the water - do they make those?
In my info search I came upon a product that is supposed to be more complete. I'll come back & post the product name later. Maybe some of you will have heard of it. If you have any recommendations of what I should buy, please tell me. A test kit would be the logical start I suppose. Anyone know if Petsmart carries them?
Many thanks for being patient!
~ Cin ~

OK, it's called Yamato Green (and it's various combinations)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Gordon, when you say epsom, do you mean epsom salts? I do add a bit of aquarium salt when I top off or do a water change - but only 1/2 or less of the recommended dose on the API box.
I'm embarrassed to be so clueless, but I don't know what NPK is - I'll go look it up now...

Googled it...DUH! lol
 

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yep i agree with driftwood hunter, you need phosphorous and potassium to solve the burned leaf edges and the pinholes developing in the leaves. nitrogen deficiency looks similar but it start at the leaf tips ONLY and proceeds down the leaf and this happens ONLY on the bottom leaves first(oldest leaves) and continues up the plant until fixed.

i would get the following:
KH2PO4 <- Potassium/phosphorous
KNO3 <- Nitrogen/Potassium
CSM+B and/or millers microplex <- Traces
and MGSO4 for magnesium NOT MNSO4 which is manganese(epsom salt)
 

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Flourish is micro nutrients (plus some calcium?) If you're running CO2 you're going to want to buy some potassium nitrate, potassium dihydrogen phosphate (KH2PO4), and potassium sulfate as well as some micro nutrients. You can get them fairly inexpensively in dry form from various sellers here (Green Leaf Aquarium is one.) Petsmart doesn't sell them, at least in my neck of the woods.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm not adding any Co2 at all, and the small bottle of liquid Co2 they sell at Petsmart is something I keep meaning to look at. I've also thought about trying a DYI yeast Co2, but I need to learn more about the whole thing.
I do have osmocote gel caps I got as an RAOK, I thought I put one under that particular plant, but maybe not. Many of my plants, including the anubias, are starting to yellow very faintly. Since my substrate is MGOPS under a 50/50 mix of pea gravel & FloraMax, I thought things would be ok for a while.
I believe my lighting is on the low end of low (does that even make sense?lol) and I've thought about switching it out for a single T5HO fixture - not easy to find. It's been brought to my attention several times that two T5HOs would be too much light without pressurized Co2 - it's a difficult balancing act. (btw, my present lighting is a 48" twin bulb shoplight with T8s in it, a 6500 and a 8000, the fixture sits on the versa tops & under the wood canopy)
The one thing that keeps me from progressing with the tanks is how do you know what you need and in what quanities? So many of you here are certainly what I would call advanced aquarists - you seem to know just what you need, and how often to dose. Do you know what is lacking by judging how the plants look, or are there test kits that measure these elements in the water? (when you're dosing, it's straight into the water column, isn't it?)
I know there's a sticky here on dosing - I need to read it soon! lol
Lots of questions from me, I know! ; )
 

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Has anyone asked if this is emersed growth from the sword plant? Because what I am seeing is normal old emersed growth and that would explain the deficiency right away. Just trim off the emersed leaves as they usually rot away just like that.

This doesn't mean you don't need nutrients, however.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I bought the sword plant form my lfs - not Petsmart, I only have the two to choose from. My lfs gets plants in every few weeks, but they don't know what many of them are. They didn't know what this one was, I was guessing some kind of sword (noob to plants). I'll peek & see if I have a pic that shows the whole plant, then you can see how it's formed...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
pics...

here's a full tank shot - it's all I have with the sword (?) in the pic. Sorry it's a crappy pic.
It's just left of center, surrounded by the anubias.
Here's another plant that they didn't know what it was, (far right in the tank shot) I think it's an anubia because it has a rhizome, but it's huge. It has brown dying tips on some leaves, I bought it like that. They didn't know what it was, so they didn't know which price to charge me, and to play it safe they charged me the highest price. Said they had to, since they couldn't id it and didn't want to take a loss... lol I hate going there, I think I'll stop now that I can find plants here...
 

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Much of the time, these plants are grown emersed and it's quite normal to see what you are experiencing. If your newer leaves look like that, you have a problem that is some sort of deficiency. Just looking at the leaves in the first picture, they appear to be emersed given the thickness of the cuticle. Cut them off as new leaves form. I've been know to cut all the emersed leaves and just plant the crown.

The other plant appears to be Anubias gigantea, but I could be completely wrong as I've only owned two anubias and got bored with the slow growth and traded them away.

This is your dirt tank, right? I suspect you'll be pleased in a few more weeks once it transforms to submersed.
 

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And Sara comes through.

The leaves that are looking bad on your sword were grown out of water and when plants like tat are put underwater the leaves may last for a while but eventually they will do as yours are, withering away to nothing. They will be replaced by new leaves which are more suited for aquatic life.

From what i have read about your setup you really don't need co2 and please don't buy ANY liquid co2 additives unless its Seachem Excel and your purchasing it to kill algae (another topic).

In a low light setup as yours is normally Macro (NPK) and Micro (Fe) are not necessary. It usually wont hurt but your plants just don't use the nutrients fast enough and the water that you are providing during WC's normally has enough nutrients to keep the plants going.
 

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I really wouldn't put aquarium salt in, most plants and fish don't benefit from salt.
Plants don't like salt (sodium chloride) which is what aquarium salt is, just without the anti caking agents and iodine. However, nearly all of your ferts are salts and benefit the plants quite nicely if dosed in the correct amounts. Sodium Chloride pulls the moisture out of a plant and damages the cells to the point of death even in small doses. A common way to kill weeds is with rock salt (unprocessed table salt) dissolved in water and applied to weeds. If the the amount applied is ample it will prevent weeds from growing there due to the salt staying in the soil. Remember, salts do not leave the water column with evaporation, only with the removal of liquid. So, if you are topping off between water changes, and adding salt at that point your salt concentration will increase. As well as the dissolved minerals in the water from the tap thus increasing the hardness of your water. As far as fish go, typically only catfish seem sensitive to salt in the water. Most Tropical fish do better with salt in the water as it helps with bacteria control and oxygen exchange in the gills. There are recommended treatments of increasing temperature and the salinity in a tank with sick fish to kill off bad bacteria. Lower organisms like fungus and bacteria do well at a set temperature and salinity. Increasing the temp by just 4 degrees and adding 1 Tbsp of aquarium salt per gallon to an unplanted tank can work miracles. So, a blanket statement of fish and plants don't do well with salt is not so true. Nearly all plants do poor with salt, at least fresh water types.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Treetom, I will stop adding salt to the water - I added a small amount when setting the tank up, and a small amount at one point when I added the cardinals. They were extremely small (a lilttle over a 1/4") and very stressed. The addition of the salt eased their gasping and poor swimming almost instantly. I didn't realize it was so hard on plants, though. Fortunately in the 55 I've only added approx. two tablespoons and I've had one 20% water change since then.
Bsmith, I am so confused about the practice of added dosing. At what point is my substrate (MGOCPS) depleted? The 40 doesn't even have the MGOCPS - just pea gravel & FloraMax.
Are you saying that by having such low light, my plants aren't needing to take up added nutrients and Co2 - but if I were to increase my intensty of light, then nutrients would need to increase to keep a balance? (this is how I understand all the various things I've read since joining TPT. These are my first planted tanks). Otherwise the nutrients (all of them?) should be made available by the fish waste, decomposing uneaten food, etc. What if my water is treated city water that I also treat with a water conditioner prior to adding it to the tank? Everytime I test the water, the ammonias & nitrites are 0 and the nitrates are so close to 0 I can hardly see a reading. I was actually wondering if nitrates can be too low?
Could the yellowing around the edges of the leaves - not the sword, which I realize now was grown emersed - but my pennywort, even some anubias - be lack of light? Who knows, perhaps even the salt in the water is having that effect.
I will post more pics tonight when I get home from work to show you what is going on with the plants in general.
Thanks everybody!
~ Cin ~
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I used the Miracle Grow Organic Potting Soil in part because of the peat in it. I also assumed it provides some measure of nutrients, as opposed to using only gravel. When I ask "when is it depleted" I mean when do the benefits of adding it (the MGOPS) to the tank become exhausted. I didn't think the fish & plants would support each other alone - I thought from the get-go that I would have to start feeding the plants at some point. I didn't think that even with low light demands, that plants would be fine without supplements.
 
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