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Fertilizing Not Working, Deficiency Signs Keep Growing.

Discussion in 'Aquatic Plant Fertilization' started by yd2, Aug 13, 2020.

  1. yd2

    yd2 New Member

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    B"H

    Hello im a beginner in planted aquarium, and reached a roadblock with my hygrophila compacta.
    my aquarium is Low-Tech , the amount of water is about 25 liters. (8 gallon+-)
    I have all the micro and macro nutrients fertilizers.

    The Higro Compact keeps showing significant deficiency signs that growing worse with time.
    it has countless holes that connect until pieces float off it!
    new leafs remain small and twisted with many pin holes.

    I do have a TDS meter, and after yesterday's 30-50% WC, TDS was at 370 ppm.
    (Of which I'm assuming 100 ppm is Nitrate that showed up on the test strip)
    After I fertilized and gave it time to mix, i tested the aquarium water the ferts added only 5 pmm!

    so, im fertilizing according to manufacturer's weekly dose.
    Macro & micro in liquid form.. (potassium & iron from API's leaf Zone,
    Nitrogen & Phosphorus & Trace Elements comes from Flourish supplements.

    but hygro keeps getting worse.. even though the aquarium is full of ferts! (boath water & substrate)
    why is that happening, em i missing something?

    is it the low lighting, or water parameters (high GHd?)
    that prevents the adsorption of the ferts?
    How do you solve this issue?

    more information & pictures of the hygro & other's deficiencies are added bellow.
    your help & insight will be appreciated.

    thank you,
    Yaron.


     
  2. Pauld738

    Pauld738 Member

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    Ok I see a lot of issues here. Lol :)

    pH of 6.4 in 4 kh water without co2 means you have a lot of acid in the tank. Acid like dissolved organics or something else. If the test is inaccurate, and I suspect it is, that is one thing but if not something is way off. Your pH should be around 7.5 in the tank with that kh. I have a tank right now at 4 kh. Dirty as all get out and it fluctuates around that 7.5 mark.

    Testing tap water requires leaving it out for atleast 24 hrs, often times longer. If that was not done than you can just throw out that pH of 7.2 in your tap results. A kh of 17 would give you a pH of well over 8.

    Is that ppm or mg/l for nitrates? 75 is way, way too high for tap water let alone 100 for the tank. If that is ppm or mg/l you need to drop that to around the 20 ppm mark. Preferably lower in a low tech tank. I do realize that will be difficult but I think that is your real problem provided that 100 is in ppm or mg/l.

    I wouldn't worry about the Gh. That's probably not your issue. One thing to watch out for is that Stratum will stop pulling Kh from the water column. With your super hard water probably sooner rather than later.

    Lastly, in a low tech tank like this, I would back off the Ferts for a bit and see what happens. Atleast cut in half. Especially the water column ferts. With swords and Val's all they really need is root Ferts and the Hygro will do just fine with that as well. I've had a lot of success with Hygros without any water column Ferts of any kind. In non co2, non Excel tanks.

    Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
     
  3. yd2

    yd2 New Member

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    well i just did a 80%-90% water change but i'll wait a while until a test them.
    about the test kit, it's JBL easy test , on the sticker it say mg/l and below it ppm, tbh
    im not sure if that's the same or how to read it.
    (what's you take from photo of it attached below?)

    as of acid, could the nutrient layer under the stratum be the fault if it's exposed above the stratum (which happened)?
    and i did head several indian almond leaves in the tank, could that be the culprit to the acidic water?

    please educate me,
    do acidic water are unsuitable for plants, or the fact that they are acidic prohibits fetr's absorption?

    Thank You
    Yaron.

    [​IMG]


    edit: i just tested the water (2 hours after WC)
    and im sure in next days they will give different resoults,

    but for now it
    25 no3
    0 no2
    GHd >7 | in ppm > 125
    KHd 6 | 107 alkalinity ppm
    ph is 7
    TDS 240

    PS as of decaying plants im fast to remove them.
     
    #3 yd2, Aug 15, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2020
  4. Pauld738

    Pauld738 Member

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    Ah, you are using test strips. I didn't catch that first time around and that makes a little more sense. Here is my take on them...

    Test strips are good for giving you a general idea of changes in the different parameters that it tests but they are not good at telling you an exact number. That's not to say that they can't, at times, give you an accurate reading. They are just generally more in error than other test methods. And you can see this when you compare the latest test results you have given to the ones in your first post.

    Not saying that you should throw the test strips out but if you are serious about planted tanks I would suggest dedicated gh/kh and nitrate test kits(not api for nitrate). And yes in this situation ppm is the same as mg/l.

    As for my acidic comment. I actually don't think your ph has ever gotten that low. I was just trying to point out that the test results showed a discrepancy and that you should question the accuracy of the results. Be that ph, kh or both. Actually plants prefer a slightly acidic water environment. And I have never had almond leaves affect ph. Of course I only use 1 or 2 in my shrimp tank.

    Your full tank shot actually doesn't look that bad. My gut reaction is to stop fertilizing the water column as well as stop adding root sticks for awhile (yes, having the fertilizer layer exposed probably spiked several parameters, nitrate being one). It might be that you have way too much fertilizer going into the tank which can inhibit nutrient uptake. Is there a reason why you have both a fertilizer layer and Stratum layer for substrate? Walstad Method? Stratum is already pretty full of nutrients, especially at the 3 month stage. For a low tech tank with a nutrient rich substrate you shouldn't really have to add any water column ferts.

    Just watch the new growth and trim the old growth. Not all at once just every water change clip acouple leaves off. The swords should respond really well with that. If new growth is stunted or is yellow or you don't have any new growth then it's time to look at accurate nitrate and gh test results. Again this is for a low tech, non co2 setup.
     
  5. yd2

    yd2 New Member

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    the fertilizer layer under the Stratum layer was suggested by the shop.
    about a gh/kh and nitrate kit, which would you suggest? (assuming i can find them locally)
    yesterday i also did covered some of the underlayer with the stratum,
    hopefully that would help,

    and i will take your advice & lay off ferts for a while.

    thank you for the
    advice & insight.
    Yaron

    PS im considering adding two 6K 10W flood lights
    to the aquarium hood, to boost the T8 15w fixture.
     
    #5 yd2, Aug 16, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2020
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