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Can't Work Out What Is Wrong - Poor Plant Growth

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by papa_c, Mar 17, 2018.

  1. papa_c

    papa_c Junior Poster
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    So I have been struggling for over a year and I'm just about at whit' s end with my plant growth, similar experience to edelry.junior . Looking at many of the EI tanks in the journals such as Pikez "Rotala Kill" In general stunted growth everywhere and what are considered as easy/aquatic weeds just do nothing. There must be something that I am doing wrong, but from all my reading I am meeting all light, fert and CO2 but something is wrong. So I'm open to suggestions, help and guidance on what to change to get it right.

    Tank Hardware.

    Tank 220 l / 54 US GAL. size 100cm x 40cm x 55cm

    Filters 2 x 1200lph

    lights 2 x 39w T5HO (4xT5 unit but only running 2 tubes)

    Pressurised CO2 through DIY reactor

    Tropica soil

    Maple rock and wood for decor

    System timing

    CO2 on at 14.00 off at 22.30

    lights on at 16.30 off at 23.00

    Ferts

    Full E I started at standard levels but had massive plant loss. Now currently running at about 2 x standard.

    DIY solution mixed with 1l RO water dosing 90cl per dose
    upload_2018-3-17_13-9-14.png

    Dosing macro's every Sunday Tuesday and Thursday

    Micro's Monday Wednesday and Friday

    Rest day Saturday

    CO2 profile

    Continuous reading every 30 mins. Read at substrate level at the back left behind rocks so in theory should be the point with least circulation. Over 1 point drop at lights on. I feel I have good circulation throughout the tank as plants as gently swaying all over the tank.

    upload_2018-3-17_13-11-39.png


    Water Chemistry

    Water hardness rock hard 19GH 12KH majority is calcium.

    Weekly water change of 75%

    Tank Images

    "warts and all" before maintenance today.

    Full

    upload_2018-3-17_13-24-2.png


    L. repens

    upload_2018-3-17_13-15-21.png

    L. palustris

    upload_2018-3-17_13-16-22.png

    Pin holes and stunted growth points me toward Potassium deficiency but I am at 2x EI level, I read about Fert ratio's is this the problem? however starting at standard EI levels I had the same issue.

    So where am i going wrong? What should I change to at least grow "easy" plants!
     
  2. Phishless

    Phishless Lifetime Member
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    Have you considered dropping GH & KH in half, do you have RO unit?
    If more ferts have not worked have you tried less?

    A struggling tank can be more work at times than one that is running well.
    Rotting plant matter and such is not so good.
    Maybe a few times a week use an airline hose syphon to clean up algae and such.

    Upside CO2 looks good, photoperiod does not seem too long.
    Any idea or estimate on PAR from the 2 tubes?

    If this were my tank I would greatly reduce ferts and slowly begin to soften the water.
    Maybe over a 4-6 weeks period cut the hardness in half.
    Small water changes throughout week for a slower reduction.
     
  3. burr740

    burr740 Micros Spiller
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    Should really switch to dtpa Fe, your PH is too high for edta to remain bound to Fe. Edta is best in the upper 6.s and below. Dtpa holds it's bond much higher

    Also agree with PhishlessInMaryland, try dosing less. Especially P, no tank on earth needs 25 ppm per week! High P levels can diminish the availability of certain other micros and Fe. Try something like 30 NO3, 3-5 P, 30 something K - per week.

    Micros are probably fine but I'd replace the extra edta Fe with dtpa
     
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  4. papa_c

    papa_c Junior Poster
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    Guys appreciate your comments,

    @Phishless - i was using 75% RO cut with 25% tap was costing a small fortune on the water meter, didn't seem to get any better growth, went back to 100% tap as my local aquascaping shop (3 miles away on the same water) uses 100% tap with amazing results. I'm willing to give it another try. Just took a quick measure of the PAR using a Seneye meter so not going to be totally accurate but gives an idea.

    water surface left 130 / mid 160 / right 130

    mid water left 100 / mid 125 / right 90

    substrate left 40 / mid 80 / right 50

    Anything to be concerned with here? a little low at substrate but shouldn't be causing an issue.

    @burr740 - I'm stupid, just checked my FE box and it is DPTA 7% not EDTA so this is OK. I'll re mix the macro's to the above, do a massive water change, say 80% and start using the leaner macro mix. Will the substrate be holding an excess of nutrients which will then be released to the water column?

    Patience is a virtue and don't want to make other changes before seeing if this has helped, what would be your advice on how long i until i can see any improvement?

    On a separate note, after water change I get great pearling and visible streams of O2 being released. Next day I see nothing what could be causing this?
     
  5. Kyalgae

    Kyalgae Lifetime Members
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    Your tap water has CO2, the CO2 won’t last forever, so next day it’s gone, or at a much lower level than before. Looking at your CO2 graph you get a drop, but it isn’t stable, it should stay at a certain level all day. Usually hair algae shows up when your CO2 is low, and light is high in relation. Your tank has an interesting layout, most plants are mid level? A majority of the plants are getting around and over 100 par, so your co2 needs to be correct at that level. Giving that you only see pearling on water change days I suspect co2.

    If nothing else works, as an experiment go down to a single bulb for two weeks, and see what happens.
     
  6. burr740

    burr740 Micros Spiller
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    Maybe, I wouldnt worry about it, it'll balance out again after a couple of weeks

    If the change is positive things should start to perk up within the first week. If you're used to observing the plants you can probably tell right away if they are happier or not

    Along with the big water change you mentioned, while you're at it give everything a good pruning. Pinch off all those dead or damaged leaves, any that's covered in algae. Manually remove whatever algae you can and it'd be a good time to clean the filter(s)

    Water changes saturate the tank with O2, that's why you see more visible pearling afterwards.

    Pearling isnt necessarily an indicator of plant happiness, but if you're seeing zero pearling on other days it might be a sign you could use more flow or surface agitation. Having good O2 levels is good for the entire system, plants included
     
  7. papa_c

    papa_c Junior Poster
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    Big water change, good vacuum of the substrate yesterday, removed as much of the algae as possible, trimmed all dead leaves from S. Repens.

    Should I trim the L. Palustris if so at what level should i cut it?

    The plan will be to do twice weekly water changes to keep removing and try and keep on top of algae growth.
     
    burr740 and Greggz like this.
  8. burr740

    burr740 Micros Spiller
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    Assuming it's been planted long enough to establish some roots, yeah I'd mow the L palustris down to to 4"-5" stumps and let new growth come in.

    Most of those tops are history and it's gonna be starting itself over with side shoots anyway. Mowing it down now will aid in the process
     
  9. papa_c

    papa_c Junior Poster
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    So, 50% water change tonight, pulled out more of the brown stringy algae, filters cleaned, will give it a week and update on what the result are.

    Macro mix was changed on Sunday to the following weaker mix:

    ferts.PNG

    Just for fun I have a small 30cm cube, injecting a little CO2, occasionally I throw in some ferts which has steady growth and almost no algae. Some of the better L. Palustris tops have been put in there to see what happens, no science or method involved just for comparison to this tank.
     
  10. Atb333atb

    Atb333atb Junior Poster

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    What is the water circuit in the tank? It looks like the front and middle ground is doing decent but the main issues are in the back of the tank....
    Is there any posibility that the fresh water dosent get to that side of the tank?
     
  11. papa_c

    papa_c Junior Poster
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    Water circuit is via spray bars across the back full width of the tank. Plants gently moving including L. Palustris.

    Getting a little new growth but not strong, will be removing all leaves show holes to allow the plant to focus on new growth.

    Maintenance night tonight in the continual fight against algae in the picture.

    Will also carry out severe prune on other plants. a113682e2aed3ce75c72d3ac090ba8e4.jpg

    Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk
     
  12. Kyalgae

    Kyalgae Lifetime Members
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    I would do a forum search for “hair algae”, light and CO2 are often brought up.
     
  13. yusuf saraç

    yusuf saraç New Member

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    I'm having almost the same problem. Yelloving and pin holes on the leaves. And my GH , KH levels are also very high. I'm trying to decrease kh gh levels. Following this issue and I'll write here if something good comes up.
     
  14. Briceboke

    Briceboke Member

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    HinI had these problems and the 3 things that got me better are:
    Addition of Mg (epsom epsom salt) I have very hard water mostly from Calcium,
    Change my Co2 provider to a reactor
    Add some white vinegar at water change to lower Ph.
    Now I am happy with my tank, I am dosing Ei with less phosphate than I should.

    20180412_214124.jpg
     
    Greggz likes this.
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