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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I have this plant (I can’t seem to find the name, but it’s definitely not camboba) and the leaves mid stem are turning an off brownish colour. It’s not algae and the stem above seems to nice and green, so I’m not too sure if I should trim the brown bits off or leave it? I tried to take some pictures, but the brown is not really coming out at prominent as in real life.
 

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Hey guys, I have this plant (I can’t seem to find the name, but it’s definitely not camboba) and the leaves mid stem are turning an off brownish colour. It’s not algae and the stem above seems to nice and green, so I’m not too sure if I should trim the brown bits off or leave it? I tried to take some pictures, but the brown is not really coming out at prominent as in real life.
That's a gorgeous plant but I'm not sure what it is. From what I've learned when plants start turning brown they might be stressed out. My anubias did that because I had the rhyzome buried completely. As soon as I pulled it up and just buried the roots it did just fine. So it might be how you have it planted in your tank. As for trimming it I would wait until you knew for sure what was going on but it definitely won't hurt the plant if you want to. Sorry I couldn't be much more help!
 

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I believe the plant is Limnophila sessiflora.

Please tell us your fertilizer dosing and your water parameters - GH, KH, pH, nitrates and PO4 would be most helpful. It's turning brown, and I believe I see some yellow, due to a deficiency. That, or those leaves became damaged and are dying.

You always want to trim unhealthy parts of the plant. Leaving it there to continue to degrade will add unwanted organics to your water. The leaves will not recover.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I believe the plant is Limnophila sessiflora.

Please tell us your fertilizer dosing and your water parameters - GH, KH, pH, nitrates and PO4 would be most helpful. It's turning brown, and I believe I see some yellow, due to a deficiency. That, or those leaves became damaged and are dying.

You always want to trim unhealthy parts of the plant. Leaving it there to continue to degrade will add unwanted organics to your water. The leaves will not recover.
OK so I tried to go purchase GH, KH, and PO4 testing kits from LFS and they have none at any near me, thus as soon as Amazon delivers them, I'll update my parameters.

My pH right now is 7.8 and nitrates are at 0. My current ferts are from the the plantguy and I'm doing 0.6ml of PPS micro and marco on alternating days (the tank is only 3.4), as well I have excel at 0.3ml daily.

I have cut off all the stems that have browning on them and noticed that the new shoots where fine, but all the leaves below where I've trimmed them previously are the ones going brown. All the other plants are doing fine, and the 3 amanos I have in there seems to ok.
 

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If nitrates are at 0, you need to bring that up to between 10ppm and 30ppm (15 to 20 is a good target). Nitrogen is a primary macro required for growth, and at 0 your plants are not going to grow much at all. If you are already dosing a macros mix that includes nitrogen, consider either increasing your dose a bit, or getting a seperate additional nitrogen source.
 

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Could also be Limnophila aquatica. You can tell them appart by the stem size and the density of leaves, with aquatica being the bigger of the two in high light / co2 tanks.

The darker leaves are usually due to algae. One way to tell is by pulling a leaf off, putting it into a solid color white container with water and looking closely from above under decent light. Another "test" is to rub your thumb over the leaf and see if it gets lighter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Could also be Limnophila aquatica. You can tell them appart by the stem size and the density of leaves, with aquatica being the bigger of the two in high light / co2 tanks.

The darker leaves are usually due to algae. One way to tell is by pulling a leaf off, putting it into a solid color white container with water and looking closely from above under decent light. Another "test" is to rub your thumb over the leaf and see if it gets lighter.
Def not algae, I cut all the stems with brown on them and looked and you cannot rub it off, the leaf plants are turning brown only in the mid part of the plant.

If nitrates are at 0, you need to bring that up to between 10ppm and 30ppm (15 to 20 is a good target). Nitrogen is a primary macro required for growth, and at 0 your plants are not going to grow much at all. If you are already dosing a macros mix that includes nitrogen, consider either increasing your dose a bit, or getting a seperate additional nitrogen source.
Ill double check my macros mix and try increasing the dosage. Thank you!
 

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If you're using the API Nitrate test, you need to beat the living S out of the #2 bottle. Bang it hard on a table, shake it vigorously for 30+ seconds, go nuts on that thing, then re-test. One of the reagents settles out and "crystallizes", so it really requires some effort to get it properly suspended in the solution. Then shake your test tube for 1 minute and wait 5 minutes for results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Why on alternating days?
How large is the aquarium?
Any water changes?
I read somewhere not to dose phosphates and iron on the same day. Maybe I not correct on that one?

Anyways I got my testing kits and it is as follows;

Ammonia - .25
Nitrites - 0
Nitrates - somewhere between 0-5
GH - 120 ppm (I think? 6 drops in total)
KH - 30 ppm (again 3 drops in total)
PO4 - .25
Ph - 7.25

The tank itself is 3.4 gallons, I have a canister filter on it. Also dosing 1 ml of macro/micro, recently I added CO2 at 1 bubble every 4 seconds or so. Since then my brown hair algae is starting to bloom. It's not on all the plants yet, but its definitely creeping. I have absolutely no idea what to do. The only solution I can come up with is to move my light higher up.
 

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I read somewhere not to dose phosphates and iron on the same day. Maybe I not correct on that one?

Anyways I got my testing kits and it is as follows;

Ammonia - .25
Nitrites - 0
Nitrates - somewhere between 0-5
GH - 120 ppm (I think? 6 drops in total)
KH - 30 ppm (again 3 drops in total)
PO4 - .25
Ph - 7.25

The tank itself is 3.4 gallons, I have a canister filter on it. Also dosing 1 ml of macro/micro, recently I added CO2 at 1 bubble every 4 seconds or so. Since then my brown hair algae is starting to bloom. It's not on all the plants yet, but its definitely creeping. I have absolutely no idea what to do. The only solution I can come up with is to move my light higher up.
From what I've heard, phosphates are very active, and they will quickly associate with some forms of iron and precipitate out of solution. I know Iron Sulfate is one of those, but I don't know enough about chelated (EDTA, DTPA, etc.) to know how those are affected. I believe most all in one solutions use ferrous gluconate which does not have the same issues.

I think adding CO2 is causing higher uptake of nutrients which is causing deficiencies which then leads to algae growth. I know nitrogen can often be limited without introducing algae, but I'm thinking your phosphates are probably too low, and your micros might be on the low end as well.
@Edward created PPS Pro, so he can give better advice than anyone out there about that method ;)

EDIT: Almost forgot to mention, I'm tossing in another vote for Limnophila sessiliflora. Just note that is on there federal noxious weed list, and you aren't supposed to sell or give it to anyone.
 

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I have cut off all the stems that have browning on them and noticed that the new shoots where fine, but all the leaves below where I've trimmed them previously are the ones going brown. All the other plants are doing fine, and the 3 amanos I have in there seems to ok.
I think I'm missing something. If this is a deficiency why is the new growth good. Same with his pics. The middle of the plant is brown, the growth above it looks healthy. Why is the new growth healthy with a deficiency? Will a deficiency just affect the leaves when they get older?
 

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My pH right now is 7.8 and nitrates are at 0. My current ferts are from the the plantguy and I'm doing 0.6ml of PPS micro and marco on alternating days (the tank is only 3.4), as well I have excel at 0.3ml daily.
I read somewhere not to dose phosphates and iron on the same day. Maybe I not correct on that one?...The tank itself is 3.4 gallons, I have a canister filter on it. Also dosing 1ml of macro/micro, recently I added CO2 at 1 bubble every 4 seconds or so.
The ion interaction as precipitation at these concentrations is not an issue. Adding nutrients on alternating days under very high light causes problems. Plants like yours in so small aquarium suck up some nutrients in minutes while not having enough left for the next day. For this reason dosing quantity is not as important as dosing interval. This is why both solutions need to be dosed daily, preferably before lights go on.

The picture shows good new growth size but it is white because it is lacking nutrients. And when it happens it relocates nutrients up from older growth, the growth that later turns brown.

You didn’t mention water changes so assuming 50% weekly and daily dosing then these are the daily and maximum accumulation levels for 3.4 gallons:

0.6ml or 12 drops of solution #1 macros and #2 micros
Daily addition
1.85 ppm NO3
0.19 ppm PO4
2.46 ppm K
0.19 ppm Mg
0.19 ppm Fe

Maximum accumulation
25.8 ppm NO3
2.6 ppm PO4
34.4 ppm K
2.6 ppm Mg
2.6 ppm Fe


1ml or 20 drops of solution #1 macros and #2 micros
Daily addition
3.08 ppm NO3
0.31 ppm PO4
4.09 ppm K
0.31 ppm Mg
0.31 ppm Fe

Maximum accumulation
43.1 ppm NO3
4.3 ppm PO4
57.3 ppm K
4.3 ppm Mg
4.3 ppm Fe

I would dose the 0.6ml or 12 drops of solution #1 macros and #2 micros daily. Also you mentioned you recently added CO2 at 1 bubble every 4 seconds. That makes a huge change in the plant metabolism. So you need to have stable conditions for some time to balance it out. Later, you may have too much light energy. How many hours is it on?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
So you need to have stable conditions for some time to balance it out. Later, you may have too much light energy. How many hours is it on?
Does this mean that I should remove the CO2 for now until things settle? Once I added the CO2, I started dosing both ferts daily at 1ml and hair algae started creeping in on all the plants. I've been trying to scrub it off but there is always just a little bit more the next day. I did raise my light up higher hoping that would help. It is a micmol aqua mini pro set on a 24/7 cycle. It turns on at 7 am and gradually increases the intensity until mid day then dims back down and off at 8pm. The highest I have the light intensity is at 60% at noon.

As for water changes I do a 50% every Saturday and usually a smaller one mid week just to clean up some shrimp poooo.

I attached what the tank looks like currently.

I really appreciate all the help
 

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Does this mean that I should remove the CO2 for now until things settle? Once I added the CO2, I started dosing both ferts daily at 1ml and hair algae started creeping in on all the plants. I've been trying to scrub it off but there is always just a little bit more the next day. I did raise my light up higher hoping that would help. It is a micmol aqua mini pro set on a 24/7 cycle. It turns on at 7 am and gradually increases the intensity until mid day then dims back down and off at 8pm. The highest I have the light intensity is at 60% at noon.

As for water changes I do a 50% every Saturday and usually a smaller one mid week just to clean up some shrimp poooo.

I attached what the tank looks like currently.

I really appreciate all the help
How are you running your CO2? Plants have the largest uptake of carbon during the first few hours of lighting, so we want to make sure CO2 is on long enough before lights that it reaches the target (30ppm for you?).

Also, how is your oxygenation? Are you trying to reduce surface agitation to keep CO2 in?
 

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I think I'm missing something. If this is a deficiency why is the new growth good. Same with his pics. The middle of the plant is brown, the growth above it looks healthy. Why is the new growth healthy with a deficiency? Will a deficiency just affect the leaves when they get older?
Kubla, sorry I didn't see this until later. Yes, some deficiencies can actually affect the oldest leaves first, but not usually in the middle. I'm not saying this is a current deficiency, but we are trying to adjust targets to compensate for adding CO2.

An example of this would be potassium deficiency. Potassium is a mobile nutrient, so the plant will pull it from the lower leaves if necessary causing chlorosis, pinholes, and necrotic tissue. My S. repens are the best indicator in my tanks as they seem to need a bit more K than other plants (at least in my experience).
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have a GLA regulator and a little nano glass diffuser. I've been turning it on at around 6 am when I wake up and turning it off about an hour before the lights go off. My CO2 drop checker is still in the mail so I can't exactly say I'm in the green zone, thats the main reason i went with a bubble every 4 seconds. I have also played with my outflow pipe , leaving it full under water to just have slight water movement on top and half way out of the water for more agitation. Overall the plants are rooting well, but the green one behind the red front row seems to be not so hot. Some of the leaves are green, some are sort of brownish green with very ridged edges.

I feel like a I am failing miserably here.

Bump: Side note, here are all the plants that are in there

Back row
-Cabomba furcata
-Limnophila sessiliflora

Mid
-Cryptocoryne wendtii 'Green'

Front
-Alternanthera reineckii 'Mini'
 

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Ammonia - 0.25
This shouldn’t be there, where is it coming from? What kind of substrate is in?
Does this mean that I should remove the CO2 for now until things settle? Once I added the CO2, I started dosing both ferts daily at 1ml and hair algae started creeping in on all the plants.
The CO2 should be on, plants need it. I keep CO2 on 24/7 because plants use fertilizers also at night. If your substrate is not changing water column pH or KH then your 3 dKH and 7.25 pH indicate ~5 ppm CO2 which may not be enough to support the light. I would increase the CO2 rate to get 6.9 – 6.6 pH which is 10 – 25 ppm CO2. Algae loves CO2 just like plants do so it will respond by growing more, but once plants adjust to the new conditions then algae will not be so happy. Early stages and transformations are the most difficult times.

If you want to dose 1ml macros daily then I would change the micros to 0.5ml or 10 drops a day to 0.15 ppm Fe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
This shouldn’t be there, where is it coming from? What kind of substrate is in?
The CO2 should be on, plants need it. I keep CO2 on 24/7 because plants use fertilizers also at night. If your substrate is not changing water column pH or KH then your 3 dKH and 7.25 pH indicate ~5 ppm CO2 which may not be enough to support the light. I would increase the CO2 rate to get 6.9 – 6.6 pH which is 10 – 25 ppm CO2. Algae loves CO2 just like plants do so it will respond by growing more, but once plants adjust to the new conditions then algae will not be so happy. Early stages and transformations are the most difficult times.

If you want to dose 1ml macros daily then I would change the micros to 0.5ml or 10 drops a day to 0.15 ppm Fe.
I just tested my tap water and the ammonia is at .5 and tank water compared looks like 0. The substrate is Tropica aqua soil, and at this time I am dosing .6 ml of both macro/micro daily. I also bumped the CO2 up to 1 bubble every 2s. Ill try and leave it here for a few days try to calm the algae and see what happens.
 
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