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For example, I've read H. Zosterfolia are a good nutrient indicator plant. If the leaves turn yellow, it signals low nitrate. What are some others?
 

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Red root floater & duckweed will stop growing if nitrate is extremely low. Also Erio type 2 will begin to melt with low nitrates.
 

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Riccia is good for CO2, pearls about 2-5 hours in if the CO2 is good with decent light.

Mic umbrosum is excellent for NO3, drops much below 10ppm , it does poorly.
These are the main two plants, P stellata grows much slower and not well with poor NO3.

CO2 is the biggest nutrient to watch.
You cannot say much about anything else if the carbon supply for all the other nutrients is messed up at the same time. Some folks seem to ignore this actively/with full knowledge.

Some algae are also good indicators of really wrong parameters, more focus on plants is best for indicators.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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I started a new mineralized tank and I have ludwigia repens. It explode at first but the older leaves are starting to melt. Do you know what lack of nutrients is causing that?

NO3 < 5ppm
That's the only nutrient I measured.
 

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I find that Ambulia is a good indicator for iron/trace deficiencies. My dosing container that feeds the peristaltic pumps sometimes empties out and I can usually spot it when Ambulias leaves are smaller, with a yellowish tint.

I had issues with Ludwigia too. They grow for a couple of years and then decided to disappear. Not sure which nutrient or condition caused it.
 

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Water lettuce, I've found it will show low N and possibly K very, very quickly.
 

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P. stellatus and L cuba for me. If I get gnarly twisted leaves there's a CO2 issue. The level is too low or circulation is off and it's not making it to the plants.
 

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To Timwag: did the leaves then start falling off the plant, one by one? That picture looks a lot like my compact corymbosa leaves did.

Turned out that the deficiency in my tank was carbon (the level and the circulation). I fixed it, but not soon enough to save the plant (which is one of my faves).
 

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I use dwarf sag "very common" to monitor nitrates or high nutrients in general. A small amount hidden in a corner to observe is all that's required. If it starts to grow the tank has higher levels of nutrients like ei dosing, If it stays the same or declines then the system is lean on nutrients. This is with flourite substrate, good quality light and c02 injection. glosso also works well for c02 level observation, if it grows well then c02 is good, if it stops or melts down then c02 is on the low side for this plant anyway and could cause problems with other plants soon.
As for fish, most become irritated and chase each other around at high nitrate levels. In general this level is very high and if it's reached over a long period of time it can be extremely high before most fish show much irritation.
md
 

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I use dwarf sag "very common" to monitor nitrates or high nutrients in general. A small amount hidden in a corner to observe is all that's required. If it starts to grow the tank has higher levels of nutrients like ei dosing, If it stays the same or declines then the system is lean on nutrients. This is with flourite substrate, good quality light and c02 injection. glosso also works well for c02 level observation, if it grows well then c02 is good, if it stops or melts down then c02 is on the low side for this plant anyway and could cause problems with other plants soon.
As for fish, most become irritated and chase each other around at high nitrate levels. In general this level is very high and if it's reached over a long period of time it can be extremely high before most fish show much irritation.
md
How high do nitrates have to be before it will irritate fish? I ask because I gave up on nitrate test kits along time ago because they are so inaccurate. I use the fertilator on APC to guesstimate kno3 dosage. I have good plant growth and it's been a long time since I've had irritated fish. But still, I would wish to find away to verify not having to much build up over time. I dose about 13 ppm kno3 over three days in between 20 % water change every
4th day. To bad nitrate meters don't work in fresh water. I would gladly pay $250.00 for a reliable meter. :icon_mad:
 
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