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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This just started happening maybe 2-3 weeks ago, almost every plant in my aquarium the tips of the leaves are curling down, you can see it on my java fern, red lilly and amazon sword. Does anyone know why this is happening?? am i lacking a certain nutrient, i have had them for a very long time and this never happened. also how quickly and large should my Java fern grow? I have seen some on this forum that have been very large 30-40 leaves in a bunch and 5-6 inches long. is this as big mine will get? i have had them for over a year and they have hardly grown but they have stayed green and it propagates from its leaves regularly, am i lacking nutrients? i have 120 watt compact fluorescents 11 hours per day. nitrites=0 nitrates=25-30ppm ammonia=0 PH=7.4ish alkalinity=150ppm and total hardness=120ppm I do 20% water change almost every week never longer than 2 weeks. Any info would be helpful
thanks,
chris
 

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http://www.csd.net/~cgadd/aqua/art_plant_nutrient.htm

There are a couple of resources around like this one on the internet... How accurate are they? I don't know...

Java fern propegating a lot but not getting very big could be a last chance survival tactic. Lots of java ferns do that when they are 'unhappy.' It could just be that it is growing very slowly, like java fern usually do. Typically, even in a low light tank, you should dose a bit of everything. Just to be on the safe side...
 

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Your Java Ferns look pretty decent. They like elevated nitrate levels.

The sword on the other hand is in bad shape. There are a couple of factors here. If you don't dose anything, they might suffer from potassium, phosphate, and trace element deficiencies. Potassium levels in tap water are often very low, and Swords and Lilies and such can show this with deteriorating leaves (holes in leaves symptom).

Another thing with root feeders like Swords and Lilies is that they like a somewhat enriched substrate. Looks like yours is just fairly coarse gravel, which doesn't have much nutrient binding capability. You can add some root tabs/fertilizer sticks, but there is a chance that they will seep out into the water column and give some algae a nice boost.

Adding small doses of potassium sulfate (KH2SO4) and a trace element mix like Flourish might turn things to the better. Not sure about phosphates, some tap waters do have good or too good levels, so that one would be worth to test before you decide to add any.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yea those leaves that you can see of the sword all died off about a week ago, this was a first two, but they are growing back and looking very nice. I guess i will have to start dosing nutrients. do you have any recommendations on where to get the potassium sulfate and trace elements, other than the pet store, or online. I have read that people just get big bags of the trace elements and potassium or something like that and they mix it themselves. is that method worth it or should i just stick to the pet store? haha
thanks,
chris
 

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Do some reading here on the forums before you start mixing stuff. :smile:

You can get potassium sulfate from various online sources, or potassium chloride at the grocery store, it's called No Salt Substitute or something like that.

A bottle of Seachem Flourish (Comprehensive Plant Supplement... they can't call it fertilizer) for micros/traces goes a long way. Really no need for a big bag unless you have several 100gal tanks.

Keep in mind that the problem is not necessarily that your plants miss a particular level of a nutrient, but they miss it altogether. So the old "more is better" approach often doesn't work when it comes to dosing nutrients.

And if your sword looks better now, maybe there isn't really much need for dosing anyway.
 
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