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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As title says, I think I have some nutrient deficiency problem. First some specs: my tank gets 108W of T5HO for 10 hours a day (tank is 75g) CO2 is steady, drop checker shows light green color after 2-3 hours from when the lights turns on.. I use mineralized topsoil, so I didn't dose anything but a little bit of potassium once a week recently. Everything grows fine and look nice except two things-
1. Rotala sp green and rotala indica- it formed a great, healthy bush, but I wanted to shorten it and create a nice shape to it, so I trimmed it aggressively:) Now it hardly grows new leaves and they, as well as few old ones, turn transparent here and there.
2. Dwarf hairgrass was growing very rapidly, but now it grows much slower.

I have a very soft water from the tap, so maybe it's calcium deficiency? I did some research and someone said that when there's not enough calcium, new leaves grow twisted and deformed. While I didn't notice this with rotalas, alternanthera reineckii, which I kept before, used to do that with new leaves.

Is it calcium? If yes, what can I do (escept adding crushed coral to the filter)? Or is it something else?

Thanks for any help.
 

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Correct, crushed coral added to the filter would form calcium bicarbonate and raise your pH, but it's a poor source of calcium for plants. Try using GH booster or Equilibrium as a source of Ca, Mg and potassium. It really doesn't sound like a calcium deficiency to me or you would also see damage and die off of growing points and yellowish leaf edges, but adding Gh booster wouldn't do any harm. If the leaf is turning yellowish or even reddish it could be a nitrogen deficiency. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liebig's_law_of_the_minimum
 

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have you tested your water column for N or P? i dont think that the water column will get enough fertilization from the soil. you should prob still consider dosing n-p-k and trace for your water.
i wouldnt add crushed coral to your filter as you cant control the carbonates that enter your tank. and definately dont do it if you have a ph controller or you will experience the co2/crushed coral death spiral.

do you have a lot of water circulation?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The thing is that everything else grows as usual, nice and healthy, except that sp. green. I didn't want to add crushed coral for thesame reason as you mentioned. And yes, the tank is filtered by eheims 2028 and 2217 so I have plenty of flow available.
 

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Hi Smoq,
With CO2 and good light you might want to go the EI route. At least look into adding GH booster and some CSM+B. Just curious, what is the pH? Oh, nitrate and phosphate, if you test for those.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all replies.

Hi Smoq,
With CO2 and good light you might want to go the EI route. At least look into adding GH booster and some CSM+B. Just curious, what is the pH? Oh, nitrate and phosphate, if you test for those.
I went the mineralized topsoil way to avoid dosing and I hate EI, even that I tried it once for a couple of weeks. I simply forgot to dose:) But MTS is great, everything grows fine except this rotala, and that's after a heavy trimming I did. Ph is around 6.0 and I didn't test for nitrate and phosphate, maybe I should. What's the best place to buy gh booster?
 

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Because carbon is the primary material that plant tissue is built from, CO2 is the main nutrient that plants need. Generally when people report this type of problem it is a low CO2 problem. You can't just go by the drop checker color. That gets you somewhat near the desired concentration of CO2, but you still have to make sure that the water circulates well and freely in the tank, and slowly increase the bubble rate a little bit each day, carefully watching to make sure the fish are not becoming stressed by it, until you get good pearling within a couple of hours after the lights come on. Then, as the plant mass increases, the water circulation will be affected, and the consumption of CO2 by the plants will go up, so you will have to keep up with your pruning to avoid overcrowding the tank with plants, and keep adjusting the CO2 to keep up with the increased demand.

Just guessing here, but I suspect the total plant mass in your tank increased enough that the less competitive plants are short changed on CO2. Maybe seeing a photo of the tank would help answer that.
 
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