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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok so I've had two lotuses for about 8 months. When I just got them they grew like crazy and made huge leaves and sent out runners all over the place. For the past month they seem to be struggling. New growth is coming in shriveled and leaves are tiny (and a lot redder than the old leaves and some of the new leaves die :frown:). All of this started happening after my pearl gourrami starting taking a liking to the floating leaves and bit them all off.









My other plants seem to be doing well (java moss, java ferns, amazon sword, cambomba except for vals, which are taking a while to adjust to my water so they are shedding a bit.



Adding ferts (flourish comp.) and root tabs haven't done much. What can I do to fix them?





My specs are:
55g
2wpg HO T5's (upgraded this week from near as makes no difference no lighting at all)
DIY CO2 and excel (giving me around 15-20ppm)
Laterite Substrate
Water parameters: 5 dKH, 5 dGH, 7.2 PH
 

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What your Pearl Gourami is doing, without knowing it -lol- is trimming your Lotuses for you, and 'training' them to grow short & bushy. If Lotuses are left alone to shoot stems up to the surface, you'll continue to get that kind of growth. When you start trimming down each and every stem that moves up to the surface, eventually that 'trains' the lotus to remain small, and spread out. But give them a few weeks that way, and they will grow out and develop into nice plants. Be patient - unless you don't want them to grow them that way - then re-home the gourami and your problem should be solved.

I do that trimming with the Red & Tiger Lotuses, and here's what they look like after a few months:
http://s1105.photobucket.com/albums/h357/discuspaul/Sept2011
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I only got one leaf on my other plant that looks like yours lol...but it makes sense that it would get smaller after "trimming." It just seems weird that the new leaves are shriveled and pink rathet than red though. If you look at the ones on the front left they almost look dried out, for lack of a better phrase. I know its not co2 deficiency cuz this started before I got stronger lights. Could there be something else going on?
 

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No, I don't think so - except that perhaps they're not getting enough ferts, macro especially. You might consider adding a couple of root tab ferts in the substrate near the plant rootings. They do develop rather slowly, so you should give them some time to color up and develop properly. Dosing liquid Tetrafin Plant-Gro NPK in the water column could help too.
What's your lighting set-up, daily photo-period, and tank size?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I got 2 48" T5 54W running for 9 hours on 55 gallon tank. Maybe I should give it a week or two and see how they develop. I don't want to add more macros because I always get algae if I add more, apart from flourish comprehensive.
 

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Some of your photos did not link correctly. Please take pictures closer to the plant and of the sword plant in your tank as well.

I think this sounds like nitrogen deficiency.

If you want to read more about it and see some photos of N deficiency in a different species (still has the same symptoms in your plants) see the link below:
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/...ctures-symptoms-rotala-plants.html#post663077
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
It makes sense that a bulb would have periods of dormancy but Nitrogen def also makes sense. Since I have a lot more light now and CO2 I'll try and get hold of some macros and see if it adding all three (NPK) makes a difference.

I guess my biofilter converts Ammonia into Nitrogen but maybe there still isn't enough? Since RTL are feeding mostly through the roots, isn't extra N in the water pointless or do they absorb nutrients from the water as well?
 

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Since RTL are feeding mostly through the roots, isn't extra N in the water pointless or do they absorb nutrients from the water as well?
The roots are preferred, but I understand that they can feed from the water . . . to a limit. Lilies are heavy feeders and plenty root tabs are a MUST.
I've planted them in plastic containers with potting soil covered with sand, and . . . despite the root tabs, I have to re-pot them once in a while.
 

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Your filter bacteria cannot produce enough nitrates for your plants if you use CO2 and higher light. You will need to add some. Aquatic plants do not feed mainly through the roots, they use their entire surface area to absorb nutrients, terrestrial plants use their roots only, but aquatics do not. That is why most stem plants tend to have tiny root systems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ok thanks for the info. I've ordered all 3 macros so hopefully things will improve when I add them. Obviously Flourish just isn't cutting it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Temp is about 76 and current flow is fine. The plants in question are near filter intake so they get plenty of flow.
 
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