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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am noticing browning of my java fern older leaves and they are trying to propagate on the leaf tips. I read on another forum that it could be due to N deficiency. I have lowered my nitrates in my tank lately from about 40ppm to 15ppm. My specs are below.

Should I be dosing dry ferts? I have been told that if I dose dry ferts with that light and no co2 my alage will get worse. And I all ready have bba problems.

Thanks!

75 gallon
1.7wpg (4x t-8 32 watt)
0 ammonia
0 nitrite
15 nitrate
kh 5
no co2
excel everyday
flourish bi-weekly
flourish trace bi-weekly
 

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You mentioned older leaves. Somehow folks have this misconception that leaves will just live forever.

Purely speculation on my part and FWIW, without a picture it's hard to tell what's going on. Older leaves will become brown and appear to be dying off, which is indeed what may be happening and at the same time they will be producing plantlets. Do you see teeny tiny little plantlets attached to the edges of the leaf? If so, it is purely natural that an older leaf dies producing plantlets to propagate itself.

I have java's of assorted varieties in a full EI fertz tank with pressurized Co2 and there are plants with older leaves that are brown and dying off.

I find that Java's are really undemanding and not being a person who is into testing and measuring I don't see a problem with your set-up. You're already adding liquid fertz. I don't think this is your problem or that you have a problem at all.

You may want to set-up a DIY Co2.
 

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Never forget that a nitrate test with an uncalibrated test kit gives little more than a guess on the nitrate level. You could have near zero nitrates. Also, if the potassium and phosphorous levels are also near zero it will be very hard for the plants to grow at all. The best defense against algae is lots of healthy, growing plants. I think I would get some KNO3 and KH2PO4, and dose them lightly once a week, to start. That won't cause algae problems, and may greatly improve the plant growth. (Look at the writeup on Estimative Index dosing, and use about 1/4 of the dosages recommended.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks both of you! I guess my main problem is the bba. I'm going to try and get pressurized co2 for christmas. But until then is there anything I can do besides overdosing excel?

Here are some pics to help with suggestions maybe...

Thanks!

 

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It looks like in addition to the BBA you also have some brown diatoms.

Yep, they do look like they need some ferts. Since your substrate is basically inert you will need to provide nutrients in the water column. Didn't think the situation was that bad till I saw the pics.

Planted tanks take a while to become established and up and running, so to speak. If you don't get the pressurized Co2 look into a DIY system, with your low lights it should be OK.

This 20g long tank is high light, EI fert and pressurized Co2 with two Java's, needle leaf on left and trident in the middle.

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
OK Thanks! So should I do as hoppy said and go with "KNO3 and KH2PO4, and dose them lightly once a week, to start." or something else since it is worse than you thought?

Thanks!
 

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I will defer to Hoppy for your answer.

Since I don't keep track of my own numbers I wouldn't know what to tell you.
 
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