Plant deficiency? Help needed

Discussion in 'Plant Problems' started by Laure, Jan 29, 2010.

  1. Laure
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    Laure Algae harvester

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    Hi

    I have a tank with 2WPG for 9hours and 3WPG for 5 hours. I use T5 tubes, so the WPG rule may not really apply. I also have stable pressurized CO2. I dose modified EI. On most of the slower growing stem plants the older leaves turn brown and die off. I noticed yesterday also some of the new growth are starting to develop brown leaf edges. Fast growing plants are not affected at all. Any ideas?

    Regards
    Lauré
     
  2. Algae wizard
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    Algae wizard Valued Contributor

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    Hi there

    Please post a pic of the plants,it could be a few things
     
  3. Slagter
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    Slagter Aquascaper

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    Are the stems getting soft and squishy where the leaves die off?

    I had that... Potassium deficiency.
     
  4. Laure
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    Laure Algae harvester

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    I first thought K to be the possible problem, but that will most likely only manifest if the light is too high driving up the growth speed. I am dosing KNO3 5ppm daily and KH2PO4 2ppm daily, along with Bellstedt fertilizer which also contains a generous amount of K. I don't think I have such high light and I doubt K is the problem. But it could be...

    Maybe CO2? Shaded stems look better than the ones getting full light. But this only goes for the slower growers like Aromatica and Tonina, while H. Micranthemoides and H. Difformis are growing like weeds with no issues. Shaded Crypts are also fine.

    So maybe too much light and not enough CO2? Or perhaps still not enough K? What about N? I think the levels are fine. I measure between 10 and 15 ppm in the mornings before light comes on consistently and I add 5ppm daily. If I add more, I get GSA which indicates N:p excess along with low CO2.
     
  5. Slagter
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    Slagter Aquascaper

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    I think it is a combination of low K levels and Low CO2 levels... I had a massive meltdown due to that. Granted, it was while I was away for 10 days, but still...

    It sounds like something is limiting your plant uptake of nutrients. Could be 1 of 3 things: Light, CO2 and ferts. I recon possibly CO2. I have MH's in my tank, so light is not the issue. Ferts and CO2 could be the only other things.
     
  6. Laure
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    Laure Algae harvester

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    Yes with MH you will drive uptake rates quite high, but I only have T5's so growth rates won't be a problem for me I should be able to get away with much less dosing and CO2 than you.
     
  7. tyronegenade
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    tyronegenade Specialist

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    See http://www.apsa.co.za/board/http://www. ... ic.php?t=4

    P.S. Oops... thanks Laurie.
     
  8. Laure
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    Laure Algae harvester

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    Emm...you linking back to this thread?
     
  9. Dirk B
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    Dirk B Aquascaper

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    Hi Lauré,

    I assume that you are using my plant hardening mix and that you are using it at the recommended strength? I know that your GH was not 0 for which reason you were considering to use less of the plant hardening mix. In my "old' formulation the plant hardening mix contained both hardening substances (Ca and Mg) but it also contains K at optimal dose. If you have therefore perhaps reduced the amount of hardening mix, then you could potentially have a K shortage.

    In the "new" formulation of my ferts, I have separated my plant hardening mix into a GH+ mix and a K+ mix so that you can use these separately. Thus if you do have some hardness in your tapwater, you can use less of the GH+ but you can still dose the full amount of K+ whereby your K levels will be what they should be.

    Let us know if this is perhaps the case, because this would explain things.

    Kind regards,

    Dirk
     
  10. Laure
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    Laure Algae harvester

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    Hi Prof Dirk and others

    I have reduced the plant hardening mix to about 60% and if I then measure, I get around 4 to 5 dGh. But I also started dosing KNO3 at the same time I made this adjustment. I dose KNO3 to add about 5ppm of NO3 daily, based on these online fertilizer calculators on forums such as this one. I assumed the K I dosed as part of the KNO3 could substitute for the lack of K I dose in the plant hardening mix. Perhaps I am wrong here? How much K is in KNO3? I also dose KH2PO4 daily in the amount where I add 2ppm of PO4. So there is additional K in that also.

    Regards
    Lauré
     
  11. Dirk B
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    Dirk B Aquascaper

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    Hi Lauré,

    No the amounts of K that are in the KNO3 are not enough by far and the amount of K in the KH2PO4 is even less. Your nitrate and phosphate addition pushes the plants to using more K as well, so you are clearly running into K shortages. You will benefit from my new ferts and perhaps you should be using the new fertilizer combination. We can therefore continue this discussion by PM.

    Kind regards,

    Dirk
     
  12. wearsbunnyslippers
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    wearsbunnyslippers Administrator Staff Member

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  13. tyronegenade
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    tyronegenade Specialist

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    And what was Tom's Cl- concentration in that tank?

    Unless there is enough Cl- in the water by which the plant can balance its electrical charge K+ will leak out into the water. Plants need a minimum level of Cl- in the water which they can import so as to hold K+ in the plant cell and retain turgor. The only thing Tom's post proves is that you don't need extra K when you grow plants in his water.

    Cape Town water is very mineral deficient. So deficient in minerals that I can grow Disa with tap water. People elsewhere in the world have to buy distilled water for their Disa.

    I have previously been adding buckets of KNO3 to my tank to correct a perceive K deficiency. A brief conversation about fertilization with Dirk and I realized how stupid I was in neglecting to add Cl-. I added a tea spoon of NaCl and within a day the plants were pearling and looking much better.

    If you have a tank full of fish which is able to generate surplus NO3- then you will have enough Cl- in the water as there is a lot of it in the fish food. There is more than enough K+ as well.
     
  14. Laure
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    Laure Algae harvester

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    If I understand correctly, I can probably add some salt as a test to see if this resolves my issue? I have low fish load. Only 8 x 9-month old angels in a 300l tank. How much should I add and I assume you are referring to proper aquarium salt?
     
  15. wearsbunnyslippers
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    wearsbunnyslippers Administrator Staff Member

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    i would not add any NaCl to my setups ever. plants are not very tolerant of salinity at all.

    @tyrone - why can you not add KCl instead of NaCl?

    with salt in the water do to osmosis you could end up with plasmolysis which could lead to cytorrhysis

    unless the plants are halophytes like mangrove trees etc. or can tolerate brackish water like java ferns, then i would stay away from salt altogether...
     
  16. Dirk B
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    Dirk B Aquascaper

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    Hi Tyrone,

    I would also not add NaCl, but then again, I think you added it only in a small amount as you wanted to augment the Cl- and did not want to add even more K.

    I would not advise the addition of K2SO4 to tanks because of all the sulphate. This ion is just simply absent in biological systems and then brings the next set of problems. There are repeated incorrect assumptions that are made by Tom Barr as he does not have the scientific background it appears. Lauré has also found this on a number of a occasions. These are the problems of the internet which lacks scientific peer review and I fear that it is very difficult for the amateur to try to decide what you do.

    Kind regards,

    Dirk
     
  17. Laure
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    Laure Algae harvester

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    OK, time for me to get the new range of Dirk's Drops...
     
  18. tyronegenade
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    tyronegenade Specialist

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    Yes, Prof. I only added 1 tea spoon and the effect was quite impressive. Almost immediately the Hygrophila began to set out new growth with healthy colourful leaves. This was a week after the hair algae holocaust. While the plants were already looking better after the eradication of the hair algae they only really showed signs of good growth once the Cl- was added. I added some KCl on Friday as the plant growth was again beginning to slow. I'm hesitant about adding more NaCl for the very reasons Raymond points out.

    I am getting a lot of green spot algae so my nutrient levels are still out of balance (i.e. too much N and P available). I don't really want to be adding much more K either so another solution will need to be found to the Cl- shortage. I am feeding more food in the hope of supplementing that way.

    My problems are very much nutrient uptake rather than nutrient supply. Its water change time...

    Prof, is there any Cl- in your fertilizers?
     
  19. Algae wizard
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    Algae wizard Valued Contributor

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    Remember salt also has a few other additives to make it flow nicely.
    So you will be getting other chemicals that you do not want.
    potassium iodide, sodium iodide,sodium iodate,
    sodium silicoaluminate or magnesium carbonate.
     
  20. Silikube
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    So, guys, what do we use then to add Cl in a safe enough way not to adversely affect the plants?

    I noticed that flourish has got a bit of Cl in it. Would this suffice? Are you guys adding this on a regular basis?

    I have had this recurring "Issue" with semi-transparent leaves, and after reading up a bit on deficiencies, most sites do not list Cl as a deficency, but I did find this slice of info, taken from here:

    http://www.finostrom.com.gr/images/aqua ... rs/map.htm

    "Chlorine deficiency are chlorosis and wilting of the young leaves. The chlorosis occurs on smooth flat depressions in the interveinal area of the leaf blade. In more advanced cases there often appears a characteristic bronzing on the upper side of the mature leaves."

    We don't hear much about actually adding any Cl to the water, I am rather interested in more information on this regarding our local water types, specifically Cape Town water.
     

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