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Heterana Zosterifolia and pogostemon helferi problem, EI, minimum algea

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by ArnieArnie, Feb 9, 2011.

  1. ArnieArnie

    ArnieArnie Prolific Poster

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    Hi everybody,

    since a few years I started again with this beautiful hobby. My 13 (50 L) gallon tank is in my office at work. In the beginning the pogostemon helferi grew great, nice big leafs etc. Than came a bad period with lost of algea, trial and error. I think I have it all pretty balanced now with the EI. Almost no algae except for the occasional GSA. But I am still not satisfied yet because my Heterana Zosterifolia has black pinholes in the tip of the older leafs (shrimps will tare it apart) and the growth of the pogostemon helferi is not really coming back some how??? Small leafs, holes (burned edge) in older leafs, stunted growth. Others plants like my HC, crypt's and val are fine and growing well. Crypt is creating even bigger leafs.

    Specs:

    14 gallon low light tank (15 watt)
    internal filter (with home made spray-bar out of a 15 ml centrifuge tube)
    24/7 DIY CO2 with diffuser (change every 3 weeks)
    Once every 2 weeks ~30% WC
    Sand with nutrient substrate below
    Minimal fish load (9 tertra's) and lots of shrimp.

    Dosing:
    KNO3 20 ppm 1x week
    KH2PO4 2-3 ppm 1x week
    Micro (easy life profito) dosing according to bottle (5 ml on 14 gallon) 1x week
    EasyCarbo (alt. C source) when changing DIY CO2 bottle

    (I don't have any tests, just dose by looking at the plants)


    My tank is pretty full of plants with lots of moss. I wonder if 20 ppm is enough? Also sand is maybe not the best choice because there is not enough debris between substrate for bacteria. I made sure that there is enough circulation.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. HolyAngel

    HolyAngel Junior Poster

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    Hmm.. The 20ppm kno3 looks good.. The pinholing is definitely a deficiency still tho, I'd try dosing kh2po4 twice a week instead of once, and same with the micros. See if that clears it up for ya ^^
     
  3. ArnieArnie

    ArnieArnie Prolific Poster

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    Thanks, I was thinking of doubling the micro to 2x a week yes. perhaps also the PO4
     
  4. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Definately a lack of consistent and enough ppm's of CO2, a problem with DIY. Maybe some K+ deficiency (pinholes)

    regards,
    dutchy
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    CO2, CO2 and CO2.

    Both of these plants and what you describe are CO2 related.
    Stargrass is a very fast growing weedy plant with good CO2.
    Downoi is a nice plant and easy to care for if the CO2 is good.

    Here's high EI ferts and and plenty of it:

    [​IMG]

    Note, this does not state that CO2 is your issue, it does however state that nutrients are NOT the issue.
    There's a big difference.

    I'd clean the filter good, see about the current in the tank, do 2x a week water changes and note the plant responses after the water change(24-48 hours).
    If you do the water changes in the early morning when the lights come on and the plants pearl a lot more than normal, then it's likely a CO2 issue.

    Now plants will pearl more than normal after a large water change anyway, but you should see good growth all week long, not just water change day only.
    If not, this is a simple way to suspect CO2.

    DIY CO2 is notoriously problematic.
    Get a gas tank and reg.

    Well worth it.
     
  6. ArnieArnie

    ArnieArnie Prolific Poster

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    Unfortunately there is no money for a proper CO2 kit. Saving for a bigger tank at my house :p. So I will have to do with the things I have. I considered shortage of K as well. But K comes with PO4, NO3 and there is also some in the micro solution, plenty you would think for a low light tank.

    Besides the CO2 would you recommend continuing the way it is (doubling the micro to 2x a week)?
     
  7. darkoon

    darkoon Prolific Poster

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    you can supplement with Excel.


     
  8. ArnieArnie

    ArnieArnie Prolific Poster

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    Hey Tom,

    sorry didnt see your remark as I was writing my own already. But Ill give it a try to do those WC 2x a week and rule out any nutrient shortage. The only thing is that the tank is in the office, so morning WC is a bit difficult when everybody is working :rolleyes:

    Some of my HC do actualy perl in the afternoon, I noticed that I got more pearling after dosing and water change (every week). I know DIY CO2 is not the best though and thats why I also at excel (as you call it) to (I think) help with the CO2 differences.

    Maybe I can find a nice second hand CO2 system. There are CO2 connections in the lab but than Ill have to make a damn long line to the office :p
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Change the DIY brew more often.
    Add more etc.
     
  10. lightyear

    lightyear Prolific Poster

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    helferi requires alot of light. how did it grew at your tank beautifully at low light?
     
  11. ArnieArnie

    ArnieArnie Prolific Poster

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    It did just fine, same for my HC. Its more a myth that they "need" high lights, it will grow faster yes.

    Why It did grow perfectly in the beginning of the setup??? Probably because I did more water changes (1x a week), it had a fresh nutrient soil and I was not using CO2? But I can clearly see others plants benefitting from my bio-CO2, so I havent decided yet what to do with it.
     
  12. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Magic and sorcery???

    I think the problem is the assumption: it "requires high light"

    I do not know, the mmol is about 35.
    A client grew some a bit pale at 20mmol.
    I do not consider it a high light plant.

    Such cases falsify the assumption that it is a high light plant.
    All it takes is someone who's able to grow it fine and sell a fair amoutn as well........to falsify such myths.
    Or magic.........
     
  13. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Nutients perhaps(not enough, but this is easy to correct, simply add more)
    CO2........now what was different regarding plant biomass and general growth in the start, vs now?

    I bet you have a lot more plant biomass today.
    Do you think more plants = more CO2?

    You'd be correct if you said yes.

    More water changes never hurt(maybe non CO2, but not CO2).
     
  14. lightyear

    lightyear Prolific Poster

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    i got stomach ache laughing at this response. yeah, he seems to be a sorcerrer and alchemist. way to go....
     
  15. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller Lifetime Charter Member
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    TB's approach to these things reminded me of something I heard a long time ago: You cannot prove a theory by example but you *can* disprove a theory by example. To expand a bit: it takes exhaustive testing and controls with a well designed set of experiments to prove a theory. It takes but one example to poke a hole in it.

    Same applies to software engineering and a lot of other disciplines: you can't easily prove a complicated piece of software or system is correct but it only takes one failure to prove it ain't!

    Jim
     
  16. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Albert Einstein famously stated that all his theories and life's work could be disproven and falsified by one experiment.

    If you plan on finding cause, one must obviously rule out all the alternative causes correct?
    Some might be very unlikely, so most skip those, but some are very likely or unforeseen.
    Still, we cannot test EVERY alternative, so there will always be some degree of uncertainty.
    The same is true in many fields, we can not ever find the ultimate truth, but we can get a little bit closer.
    By ruling out alternatives, we come a bit closer and narrow the potential cause choices down.
    This is how testing is really done, not simply measuring some correlative relationship.
    Correlation might be instructive under some circumstances or show a lack of a relationship.
    Some seem to think that I am discounting that, I'm not, I'm just stating that it does not imply cause.

    Nothing more.

    We have cases in which there is correlation in some folk's aquariums that suggest there might be a relationship.correlation, all it takes is another tank where that is the not the case to falsify the hypothesis.
    This is the point where aquarist bicker and argue on line. Since the one knows and the other feels upstaged. In person, these same two people could see each other's aquariums and would quickly agree and move on.


    This is the inherent problem of the web discussions, not the actual evidence itself.
     
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