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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

The java ferns in my 24 gallon are developing what appears to be some sort of fert deficiency. Some older leaves have turned brown and have holes over the entire leaf. Also, when the newer leaves "roll out" (as ferns do), part of the leaf seems to be an "opaque" green. That opaque part may or may not begin to disintegrate after a few days.

I also have some crypts in my tank, not sure what type. Nonetheless, some of the older leaves are exhibiting similar symptoms as the java ferns. But although they have holes on them, they are not "skeletal" as the ferns.

I'm curious as to whether or not this is an example of fert deficiency. I was wondering if you could help me out. Here's my tank info:

TANK
- 24 Gallon Nanocube
- 72 watts 6500 K

FERTS/CO2
- Never tested for any parameter :(
- CO2, 120 BPM
- Dosing "Brighty K", 1 squirt/5 ml every other day
- No other fert dosing (I should note here that I've very little algae in this tank. This is the first time I've ever been able to acheive this level of "cleanliness". I'm very hesitant of dosing any ferts, for fear of offsetting whatever balance I've been able to grasp here)

WATER CHANGE
- Never made a water change. Tank has been up for 5 months now.

FAUNA
- About 30 endlers of various sizes
- 4 kuhli loaches
- TONS of snails

FLORA
- Java moss
- Java ferns
- Crypts
- Several unID'd plants

That's my tank in nutshell. Any ideas on whether or not the holes and dying leaves are a result of fert deficiency? If so, what fert in particular?

Thanks!
 

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Typical signs of Nitrate deficiency under high light. Java ferns take up their nutrients through leaves, so if there are no nutrients in the water, they will die sooner or later. Sooner under higher light levels.

If you don't want to dose nutrients, you could remove them, and add some fertilizer sticks/tabs to the Crypts which will help those to better health.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Wasser!

I'll probably start dosing little by little. I should have mentioned that the Java moss has grown about 1,000 times since I added it to the tank 5 months ago. Before, it was just a few strands on the wood I added. Might be they're sucking up all the nutrients?

also, would you consider 72 watts over a 24 gallon tank "high light"? I always figure that high is between 5-7 watts/gallon. Lastly, would you recommend the ADA line of ferts? I'm right next to Aquaforest Aquarium in San Francisco, and the ADA line of goods has started to grow on me :biggrin: .

Thanks again!
 

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It's a common thing to see that you add small plants to a new tank, they grow well until they reach a certain mass, then slow down or stop completely as they are using up all available nutrients.

As for the light level, if your fixture has PC bulbs and good reflectors, I'd say it would be in the higher range. 5-7 W/gal is a bit overkill, unless you are talking about nanos.

Not sure about the ADA line... keep in mind that plants don't care what kind of bottle the food comes from.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I gotcha, thanks again Wasser! BTW, do you think water changes would help as well? I'll admit that I am lazy and would rather not do them, but I've read in several posts that water changes will help add trace elements as well as NPK.
 

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That's true... some ppl don't have to add certain fertilizers because they are part of their tap water. Often that is N or P or traces... if you get a water report from your provider it might give you some ideas.

On the other hand, most tap waters don't contain enough nutrients to not having to dose at all. Specifically for those higher light tanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Oh one last thing. In terms of algae growth, isn't there normally some sort of catalyst that causes them to take off running? For instance, if a tank is high light with CO2, but Nitrogen is deficient, will that lead to an algal outbreak? How about Phosphorous or Potassium?

Thanks!
 
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