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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,
a few months ago I purchased a red tiger lotus from my local pet store. It didn’t look great, but it was unique so I figured it was worth a shot. Well, it took off, easily 10x the size now. It’s now a little smaller than a basketball and seemed to be doing well. It sent off about 4 runners to the surface and the pads developed well, bright red and pink.

Soon after that though, it started to develop a minor potassium deficiency, getting little pinholes in the leaves. I started dosing potassium every second day. The submerged leaves are doing fine now, the pinholes are pretty much gone, but the surface pads kept getting them. I don’t want to dose more potassium as I’m already going above the recommended doses and I’m not sure at what point it becomes toxic to the fish and shrimp.

Lately the pinholes have slowed down, but all the new surface pads seem to almost rot after only a few days? They go slightly blue on a spot on the leaf, and the next day that spot has gone yellow and started to melt. They are also no longer red, but turning a bright green. I thought it may have been too close to the light for them, so I removed the light bar from the lid and replaced it with glass. I raised the light bar up about 4 inches, but it hasn’t seemed to help. The pads are never directly under it, as it would shade the tank. The flow gently pushes them to the front of the tank where they aren’t catching too much light from the light bar, mostly get light from the sun from the window. I’ve lost track, but it currently has 6 surface pads. I had to prune 2 as they were in such bad shape, and I cut the rotting parts off 2 new ones in an attempt to save them. I’m hesitant to prune too many as I’ve read they will stop sending runners if they are trained back, both the fish and I enjoy the floating pads.

Also disappointing, the submerged leaves seem to have grown more dull the past few weeks. I’m not sure if it’s lacking something, or if the leaves are just older now and naturally aging to a more brown colour? there‘s some minor tears from the fish but other than that the leaves still feel healthy.

I know that these guys are heavy root feeders, and gave it a flourish root tab just as overkill, but nothing I do seems to help. I’m dosing fairly heavily now as I’m super invested in this plant and want it to succeed!

Fluval Flex 32.5 - running about 16 months now
Aquasky 750mm 21w 1450 lumen, and decent sunlight
pH 6.8 (for the fish)
slightly soft water. Haven’t tested for a bit.
80 Fahrenheit
biomedia and sponge only. No carbon.

fluval stratum (3-4 inches deep)
~10-15 ml flourish excel daily
5 ml flourish iron daily
5 ml fourish potassium every second day
5 ml flourish weekly
flourish root tab

5 gallon water change 1-2 times a week.
I don’t siphon from the gravel often as it’s heavily planted, but nitrite and nitrate never spike.
lots of trumpet snails and some Khulis to stir things up.

1029107

1029109

1029111


it’s killing me watching these beautiful pads melt :(
1029112
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Light schedule. Trying with lower green and brighter red to see if it helps with the colour loss.
pls correct me if this is wrong. Not sure what light he would like best.
1029116
 

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Are you removing the dying surface pads? I've had issues with red nymphea when I've had too many surface pads (more than 5). Have never figured out why. I'm not sure of others' experience with this, but that's mine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Are you removing the dying surface pads? I've had issues with red nymphea when I've had too many surface pads (more than 5). Have never figured out why. I'm not sure of others' experience with this, but that's mine.
Interesting. I’ve been taking out the ones that have been really bad and leaving the ones with only minor spots. Should I try clipping them at the first sign of melting? Or would that prevent further pads?

I’ll take out a few more that aren’t doing well and see if that makes a difference.
your help is much appreciated!
 

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Mine stopped putting out pads for a few months but retained a few that weren't damaged. I hope this helps you like it did me. I have absolutely 0 scientific reasoning, just a few experiences doing it. I wish you the best!!
 

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You need to keep the plant trim. Do you desire surface leaves? If not just cut them every time they get tall and the plant will learn. Those huge leaves on the surface likely suck a huge amount of nutrients out of your tank. Theyre like huge solar panels on the surface of the water and they need all the nutrients they can get to support the enormous amount of light they're getting. Plants like tiger lotus can be hard to keep up with because of their fast growth rate + huge leaves + high nutrient demand (once they start to become larger).
The huge (beautiful) leaves on top of your water are taking in all the light they need, making nutrients the likely limiting growth factor.


For taking care of your larger top leaves: Try to limit size and number if you can. I know its hard because of how gorgeous this plant is.
As for your lower leaves: Keep up with regular trimmings, this plant can produce many leaves in a short period of time.
You should consider switching to an all in one fertilizer like NilocG. I switched a few months ago and I have not looked back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You need to keep the plant trim. Do you desire surface leaves? If not just cut them every time they get tall and the plant will learn. Those huge leaves on the surface likely suck a huge amount of nutrients out of your tank. Theyre like huge solar panels on the surface of the water and they need all the nutrients they can get to support the enormous amount of light they're getting. Plants like tiger lotus can be hard to keep up with because of their fast growth rate + huge leaves + high nutrient demand (once they start to become larger).
The huge (beautiful) leaves on top of your water are taking in all the light they need, making nutrients the likely limiting growth factor.


For taking care of your larger top leaves: Try to limit size and number if you can. I know its hard because of how gorgeous this plant is.
As for your lower leaves: Keep up with regular trimmings, this plant can produce many leaves in a short period of time.
You should consider switching to an all in one fertilizer like NilocG. I switched a few months ago and I have not looked back.
thanks for all the info! Yes, I’m hoping to keep some surface leaves as the gouramis love them. I did trim another 2 pads out and I think I‘ll try to keep a max of 4 and just keep trimming the ugliest one as they grow. I can see another runner starting to come up now, so it’s obviously happy enough to still produce them.

I knew they were nutrient suckers, but I thought my dosing along with nutrient rich substrate and an overstocked tank would be enough to satisfy it. I’ve never had a plant quite so demanding haha

NilocG? I’ve never seen it in stores around here, but if it’s as good as you say I may have to make an online order and give it a shot. An all in one supplement would be great, lol.

If it’s nutrients it’s lacking, would there be any benefit to adding a second root tab and bumping up the flourish doses until I can get my hands on that Niloc stuff?
 

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Looks pretty normal. A fast grower like TL must shed lily pads left and right and replace with new ones. I'm new to them..but have kept other Water lilies and like most everybody says,if you allow it to send pads- the plant might just stop making the wonderful red submerged leaves. They also have rest periods..based on their internal clock or even by sunlight from a window that the plant senses even if it's just indirect light. I'm seeing seasonal things because mine is near a window. Like it's the exact same time as last year for my Amazon Sword to flower and send out runners.
Again with seeing so many vids of TL on youtube...letting it go into full pad mode was not what the owners wanted. They lost all the red growth and had only stems and pads. Pruning keeps them into submerged growth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Looks pretty normal. A fast grower like TL must shed lily pads left and right and replace with new ones. I'm new to them..but have kept other Water lilies and like most everybody says,if you allow it to send pads- the plant might just stop making the wonderful red submerged leaves. They also have rest periods..based on their internal clock or even by sunlight from a window that the plant senses even if it's just indirect light. I'm seeing seasonal things because mine is near a window. Like it's the exact same time as last year for my Amazon Sword to flower and send out runners.
Again with seeing so many vids of TL on youtube...letting it go into full pad mode was not what the owners wanted. They lost all the red growth and had only stems and pads. Pruning keeps them into submerged growth.
really? Allowing surface pads would cause the loss of vibrancy?
not doubting you at all, but do you have a link to somewhere I can learn more about that? the guides I’ve read so far don’t mention anything about colour loss, only that they may shade other plants.
The gouramis liked the coverage the surface pads provide, but if it’s going to cost me the “red” part of the Red Tiger Lotus, they’ll have to go.
 

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No,not the loss of color of the underwater foliage,just the loss of all the underwater foliage as it reverts to typical pond lily growth. They all can do that..even the common "Banana plant" N.aquatica, seems hell bent on growing surface leaves and stop with the big underwater leaves.
So,what I was saying is the red leaves on Tiger Lotus are the goal...letting it send up pads to the surface will give you a no color T.L.
Find the YT vid of Luca Bretz and his Lotus in his 240 gallon ( glass- that later cracked!) aquarium. It became nothing but pads blocking light to his other plants. Out he took it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
No,not the loss of color of the underwater foliage,just the loss of all the underwater foliage as it reverts to typical pond lily growth. They all can do that..even the common "Banana plant" N.aquatica, seems hell bent on growing surface leaves and stop with the big underwater leaves.
So,what I was saying is the red leaves on Tiger Lotus are the goal...letting it send up pads to the surface will give you a no color T.L.
Find the YT vid of Luca Bretz and his Lotus in his 240 gallon ( glass- that later cracked!) aquarium. It became nothing but pads blocking light to his other plants. Out he took it!
Oooh, I understand now! Forgive me
I can see how they would be an issue now. Even currently it’s sending another 2 to the surface. I’ll take out all the old ones, and see how it does with just the 2. There is some new sub-surface leaves growing out from the middle as well, I’ll trim some of the older, browner looking ones and hopefully the new ones will grow in nicer. If that doesn’t help I won’t let it have any surface pads at all.

It also gave me a little daughter plant a few weeks ago which is still bright. I’ll make sure that one doesn’t get a chance to send off any surface pads and hopefully preserve the colour.

seriously, thank you for all the tips. I’ve never done any lotus species before so this is all new to me, haha
I’ll check out that video tonight! thank you!
 
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