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Dead Shoot tips?

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by blackBRUSHalgae, May 31, 2007.

  1. blackBRUSHalgae

    blackBRUSHalgae Junior Poster

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    Hi all!

    My setup for my 100cm tank. I would say roughly 50G of water column and 6 months old.

    26~27 deg

    4x39W 3' T5HO for 6 months ( just changed to 2 x 150W 8000K HQI) 8 hours daily

    CO2 1~2bps 24/7

    1/2 tsp Potassium sulphate, 1/8 Potassium nitrate, pinch of phosphate, 3 caps of seachem trace and 1 capf seachem FE three times each week.

    40% water change every Sunday with only 1tsp seachem equilibrium added.

    Heavily and densely planted with Hemianthus micranthemoides, Elatine triandra, Rotala wallichii, Ludwigia brevipes, Riccia fluitans, Riccia sp. dwarf, Cryptocoryne wendtii, Rotala sp. green, Rotala indica, Hydrocotyle sibthorpioides, Bolbitis heudelotii, Eleocharis acicularis, and Microsorum pteropus narrow.

    20ish yamatos, 30 cherries, 5 otos, 3 saes, 30 galaxy rasbora, 30 green neon tetra and 4 marble hatchet. Feeding is micro pellets once a day.

    My tank is doing great! but there's one small problem. my Hemianthus micranthemoides, which occupies the bulk of my aquascape, is suffering from minor dead shoot tips. This plant is actually doing great with healthy stems and big green healthy leaves even the shoots, but somehow about maybe 10% of them with healthy tips will suddenly starts to melt away. I'm not quite sure what is the problem, but am I right to say that it is suffering from either trace or calcium deficiency? This is the only problem for my tank and it only appears on my Hemianthus micranthemoides. :confused:

    What do you guys think?
    Many thanks in advance.
     
  2. Professor Myers

    Professor Myers Guru Class Expert

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    Low Phosphate ?

    Test the phosphate level and see what it's averaging. Feeble or distorted new growth tends to come down to Po4. HTH. Prof M

    Was that an Imperial pinch or SAE ? ;)
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    HM is a weed, it sucks out a lot of NO3 and the genus does well/better in richer water column ferts. This is very true for Mic umbrosum and this species.

    If not NO3, then CO2.
    You are not adding much KNO3, about 1/2 what many may add for this tank size.
    You have a lot of light for this tank, 4x39w T5's.......that is a lot of light.

    So high CO2 and NO3 demands. Even with ADA As etc, you'll still need more KNO3.
    Many folks trying to run leaner systems often have this same trouble, especially if they slack off a little on the dosing routine, that's the risk you take with low steady concentration rates etc.

    Add more, it does no harm, also, switch to adding CO2 in the day only.
    You can add more with less fish stress and more for the plants.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  4. blackBRUSHalgae

    blackBRUSHalgae Junior Poster

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    It is somewhere in between imperial and SAE, so I guess it should be ImpeSAE? ;p

    Anyhow I could use more phosphate for sure, but I always thought phosphate deficiency always starts from the older leaves first?
     
  5. blackBRUSHalgae

    blackBRUSHalgae Junior Poster

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    Yeah HM is definitely a weed! But I love this delicate weed :)

    But isn't nitrate and phosphate deficiencies only surface on older leaves first?

    But anyhow I will try increasing both nitrate and phosphate and monitor the situation, and will update you guys.


    Many thanks!
     
  6. blackBRUSHalgae

    blackBRUSHalgae Junior Poster

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    The thing that I don't understand is why only my HM is showing this deficiency when the the rest of my flora in my tank is very healthy even though they are fast growers stem plants too?
     
  7. sw00n

    sw00n Junior Poster

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    Hey there,

    I've had exactly the same problem in my highlight (4 w/gallon T8 11 hours/day) 30 gallon tank about a month ago. All my plants were thriving, except HM and Mayaca. A small percentage of stems will either grow stunted or rot away. I eventually solved it by doubling the recommended nitrate and phosphate dosage, from 1/4tsp KNO3 and 1/8tsp KH2PO4, to 1/2tsp KNO3 and 1/4tsp KH2PO4. However, my fish didnt respond well to the change, so I've decided to drop the dosage back to the recommended levels, and reducing my photo period to about 9 hours/day.

    So I would agree with Tom and try increasing your KNO3 levels.

    Hope this helps.

    Regards,
    Steve
     
  8. Professor Myers

    Professor Myers Guru Class Expert

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    In your own words you say that the HM makes up the bulk of your scape. Would you say it also exhibits the highest growth rate as well ?

    The draw back to high light sytems is that in extreme cases we may very well define the limiting factor often Co2, or nutrient deficiency.

    Plants are highly adaptive in contrast to other life forms and readily cope with their enviornment. what I mean to say is that just because they can does not neccessarily mean they should.

    Generally speaking, the perk of EI is that nutrient potential is unlimited... "Within Reason" ;)

    Excessive lighting commonly throws everything out of kilter. 2.5 - 2.75 wpg. is plenty of light. Growth is more commonly limited by insufficient Co2 and no amount of light can alleviate that. :p

    I would scale back the lighting first, observe and then perhaps readdress nutrient defficiency, but only one at a time to allow you to witness individual results.

    I often refer to highlight deficiencies as "Shooting Star" syndrome. "The candle that burns the brightest, Burns out the quickest" ! Generally by establishing it's first deficiency, but even the finest livestock requires sufficient rest, and prudent handling.

    My wife recently cut her lighting to half the original wattage, and doubled the growth rate in her tank. Gorgeous thick green growth too. Go Figger ? :cool:

    F.T.R. that tank is a 50g. W/ 4-36w CF @ 6700k on a split 10/5 hour cycle...So your original lighting looks pretty good to me.
     
  9. blackBRUSHalgae

    blackBRUSHalgae Junior Poster

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    Thanks guys for your pointers!

    My HM takes up about 30% of my tank, which is about the same amount as my Elatine triandra. My HM does shows healthly and lush growth, but its growth rate is nothing compares to my Elatine triandra, Rotala wallichii, Ludwigia brevipes, Riccia fluitans, Rotala sp. green and Rotala indica. In fact all the plants in my scape are exhibiting healthy growth with zero signs of any nutrient deficiency, except for a small percentage of my HM.

    Let me give a better explaination of the symptons on my HM. It happens only to a small percentage of my HM, and only on the top 2" of the plant . The leaves that are affected are actually well developed and not just the shoots at the tip. It seems that before it melts away, the color on the center tissue of the leaves are very light green in color. The stems on the top 2" of the plant are also affected as well.

    My old lighting setup is decent, but aparently not enough to supply light to the both ends of my tank, which results in very very slow growth to my plants in those places. And those plants happen to be high light requirement plants. In fact my new HQI setup is giving all my plants even healthier growth than before. Not only they are showing more vigour and lush, they are also becoming more compact. Where else they are more leggy under my old lighting setup. The only setup back is more heat coming from my chiller with more frequent kick-in.

    For now I'm doubling my phosphate in each dosage, and instead of dosing everything 3 times a week, I increased to 6 times a week.

    Will update you guys later. Many thanks again! :)
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I can tell you, you may have some species, such as the fast aggressive growers do well, while another species wanes.

    Generally I think it's CO2 related, it's the lion's share of the nutrients planmts compete with eachother for.


    Light is the other. From the sounds of it, you have lots of stem plants and likely need to prune often, shading causes leggy growth, not so much intensity of the light unless it's pretty low.

    But that will not cause stunting/melted tips either..............

    No excess nutrient application will either.
    However, too low most certainly will.

    As the tank changes through time, does the biomass with all these stems plants
    remain the same?


    No.


    So do you think the nutrient levels also stay the same?
    How about the uptake rates?

    Do you think 5 cats eats the same rate as 20 cats to maintain the same growth?

    No.
    Same here.

    I see this all the time in marine refugiums where the owner says they have great growth for several weeks, then as the biomass is now huge, the plants all melt.

    Basically it ran out of food and exceed the supply from the tank.

    Do you think that some plant species might have higher or lower demands for nutrients? CO2?

    Certainly.
    I've seen Myriophyllum beat up on Rotala when the CO2 was too low, light was high, nutrients where high.

    Adding more CO2 solved the Rotala issue pretty quick.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  11. blackBRUSHalgae

    blackBRUSHalgae Junior Poster

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    Thanks Tom for your explanation. Ahhh... such general knowledge yet easily overlooked! For now I will try the increased dosage and observe, if it still persists, I will adjust my CO2 next. Many thanks again!
     
  12. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Cain't see the woods cuz I is lookin at the tree. Whad Ima gonna tell my pa after I done hit it with the horse?

    Yes, the general big pictuire questiions are the most forgotten in this hobby it seems, CO2, light.

    You look on most threads about algae, plant issues etc, they all, about 95% go after micro, perhaps picomanagement of nutrients.

    Some are compenant aquarists too and miss out that other folks have a lot of variation in their CO2/light, even if the w/gal are the same.

    Just give it some thought.
    I have had issues that floated back and forth in several tanks for years that turned out to be slightly lower than optimal CO2.

    The nutrients had remained the same as was the light, I measured them.

    The only thing I was unsure about was the CO2, so I upped it and viola, the issues went away.

    However, this is where I differ from most hobbyists, I went back and confirmed it by adjusting the CO2 rate back where it once was.

    The same symptoms came back, however, it took about 1-3 weeks. Too long for many aquarists to spot the cause/effect. I did this 4 times before making the conclusion.

    Most associate cause effect in less than a week, typically the few days after/before the issue flared and seldom if rarely isolate it and then try to induce it against the well run tank.

    This is why I am so onerous and confident, as well as right many times about cures and issues folks have.

    Many experts have sneaking suspicions but are not confident due to not going back several times for the inducement/confirmation. They can fiddle generally to get the desired effect, but test little.
    It works mind you, but it not the best way to get there for most.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  13. Professor Myers

    Professor Myers Guru Class Expert

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    FTR when dealing with nutrient deficits the progression goes from Co2 to Macros then Micros.

    Occam's Razor says the major elements become the most likely culprits. So Co2, nitrate, and phosphate in that order Tom already hit the 2 high spots phosphate is definitely secondary. Mixed blotching on the leaves, and melting are more indicative of nitrate. Phosphate is usually indicated in distorted/deformed unbalanced growth.

    Do you use a drop checker to verify the Co2 ? Most all of the calculated tables come up short due to inconsistencies in tap water, and individual chemistry in substrates etc...

    Some simply judge by the plants themselves. Say for instance when leaves start melting. ;) Then again If you dial back the lighting, and use standard EI dosages you're already there. HTH. Prof M
     
  14. blackBRUSHalgae

    blackBRUSHalgae Junior Poster

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    Hi Guys, thanks for your inputs again! I do have a drop checker, which is yellow before lights on and orange during lights on, and my KH is around 3~4deg. My CO2 has been always on 24/7 at roughly about 2bps.
     
  15. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    You aren't using bromothymol blue pH reagent, which is never orange, and which should be blue at night and green during the day, with CO2 on. Using a different reagent is ok, but you need to pick the KH for the reference water so the color at 30 ppm of CO2 will be easily recognizable.
     
  16. blackBRUSHalgae

    blackBRUSHalgae Junior Poster

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    For my reagent, yellow is the extreme side for high CO2 while blue is the other extreme end.
     
  17. Professor Myers

    Professor Myers Guru Class Expert

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    Just to be clear on this, as it has been discussed several times here in the past "Bromothymol Blue" as Vaughn called out is Common (Low Range) PH Reagent such as NutraFin Test pH Low Range Refill Reagent
    NutraFin Test pH Low Range Refill Reagent at Big Al's Online

    Using a reference sample DKH 4 water and 3 to 5 drops of reagent your drop checker should show Green when Co2 is applied, and Blue when Co2 is shut off.

    The drop checker should appear to be a forest green appx. 30* ranging to yellow at appx . 40* Co2

    Your high range Reagent will work of course but the range becomes kind'a non-specific. The Bromothymol Blue allows you to trim the margin of error more specifically to within +/- .05* at that point you can simply judge by eye the condition of the fish, and plants to dial it in for your specific chemistry. HTH. Prof M
     
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