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Is there a nutrient deficiency?

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Neil Frank, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. Neil Frank

    Neil Frank Lifetime Charter Member
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    This is the most popular TBR form, so i thought i would post this here.

    Look at picture 42 in this Slideshow of my 120g. This "dwarf rubin" struggled for 12 months until i gave it targetted dosing with a Jobes stick. Four months later, it still does not like right to me.

    Do the older leaves of the "dwarf rubin" look like they are showing a nutrient deficiency? For the past 6-weeks (prior to pic 42) i upped the dosing of this 120gallon tank ...so it has now been getting weekly KNO3 and KH2PO4 of 3.5tsp and 1.5t. (previously 1/2 as much), following 50% water change. The tank was first set up Nov 2008. The plant was added that month.

    The week before the pic 42, i started daily dosing, dividing weekly total by 7. I also have been adding 1/12t of 10% FeDPTA and 15ml TMG per day. Hardness is realitively low. I add 1t hydrated CaSO4 and 1/3t Epsom weekly. There are more details on APC, but i know "some" people no longer visit that site. :) For those clandestine viewers, you can look at Details on APC. For others, you can get a good history from the PhotoBucket slide show.
     
    #1 Neil Frank, Mar 10, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2010
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Look's like the plant is having some transparent leaves form........not good, generally, a CO2 issue.
    This genus will translocate resources from older leaves and add them to the new growth.

    Sediment is rich, water coilumn is rich, there might be some shading, good light helps, spread particularly.

    I add about the same ppm's to my own 120 Gal, I have some Ech uruguayensis plantlets in another simialr tank, they grow very well/fast.
    The swords in some other tanks did so so and got those classic transparent leaves, or borowing at the tips of the older leaves when CO2 was lower/too much light.

    Hard to tell from the picture.
    Try placing the current and CO2 outflow on the plant, it will take a month or two for it settle down.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. Biollante

    Biollante Lifetime Charter Member
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    Now For The Crappy Answers

    Hi Neil,

    Obviously you have gotten the best answer first, now let’s go for the crappy one.

    Yes the older leaves of the "dwarf rubin" look as if they are showing nutrient deficiency.

    A couple of things in addition to the CO2/circulation issue.

    Nutrient Type Alert :cool:

    I would add 10 times as much gypsum; actually, I would add 10 teaspoons of Calcium chloride dihydrate or 4 teaspoons of the anhydrous per week.

    I would add 10 times the Epsom Salt.

    I would at least double the 10% FeDPTA.

    Nice tank by the way. :cool:

    Biollante
     
  4. Neil Frank

    Neil Frank Lifetime Charter Member
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    Thanks for the answers. Lets use this post as a learning opportunity. CO2 and light are good ideas. I should try them one at a time. BTW, the "dwarf rubin" is actualy Echinodorus "Rubin Narrow Leaf" WP993 as listed in Oriental Aquarium's handbook. I am not sure what is its expected height.

    CO2. Redirecting the CO2 is not easy. I didnt mention here that it is delivered as a mist using needle wheel (it may have been noticeable in several of the pictures). Clearly, the levels would be highest near the filter return, and perhaps the mist is not reaching this plant which is quite far from the inlets. I have some Glutaraldehyde on hand, so what about supplementing Carbon with that?

    Lighting. Now that i have upped the nutrient levels, i probably could afford to also increase lighting. Lighting on that plant is likely inadequate. First, there is the depth, but second is the shadow of the protusion of the wood, and the overhanging plants. I think lighting is also limiting the parva. The Tek Light uses two T5s for 11 hours and all 4 for only 7 hours.

    GH. I will have to think about changing GH. Clearly it is low, and may be a limiting factor for the single Echinodorus in this tank. I can probably afford to increase Ca and Mg levels some. For a long time i was only depending on water changes. My tap water has 10 ppm Ca. When i tested for GH, Ca and Mg recently i found 40ppm Ca and Mg=20ppm hardness. I have since upped gypsum dosing to increase the Ca:Mg ratio.

    Mobile Nutrient Deficiency. Outer leaf deficiencies are caused by mobile nutrients. We ruled out NPK, Mg, but according to this Deficiency Table, other mobile nutrients include Zn and Mo. The symptom for Zn deficiency jumps out: "Yellowish areas between nerves, Starting at leaf tip and edges." Here is a picture of Zinc deficiency . Keep in mind that i had been using TMG at half strength.... for the past month increased to 50ml per week, and more recently supplemented with FeDPTA. I have more recently switched to CSM+B and also added another Jobes Stick for localized fertilization. I am not sure if these ferts are high or low in Zn.

    KH. What about carbonate hardness. the tap water is soft, KH of 1-2. Amazonia is supposed to make it softer, but the substrate is now almost 1 1/2 years old. Still, Echindorous are carbonate users, and with low CO3=, the plant can't take advantage of another carbon source.

    I am now wondering about Zinc and possibly CO3= issues. I remember that i had problems in another Amazonia tank with a red horemanni. It took that plant a year to recover, and it is still short compared to how large it was in other substrates in the past. However, it doesnt show the inter-vein yellowing. See Horemanni issues.
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    C parva really likes high light, more than any other crypt.
    It flowered and did very well when it had a couple of hours of direct sunlight.

    The wood blocking the light seems to be part of the issue, maybe more than CO2.
    GH/KH you can rule out. While a HCO3 user, this plant will never take the bicarb unless there is not enough CO2........so it's still a CO2 issue.
    Zn, Mo?
    Forget it.

    You realize WHERE those tables are from?
    They do not include CO2, the most common limiting issue.

    They are from ag crops studies.
    I've seen them and done them.

    Both you and I have grown massive weedy Swords over the long time we have been in this hobby.
    CMS should be rather high in Zn, you are a long way away from limitations there.

    I'd use 9 hours total of light, say 2 for 9 hours, maybe 3-4 hours all of them.
    On water change day, run them all for 9 hours.

    ADA AS also has plenty of trace metals even perhaps 10 years later.
    The only nutrient it lacks over time: NH4/NO3, NH4 declines a great deal, so more fish food or KNO3 is needed after 18 months or less perhaps.

    See about the light and direct it where it needs to go for the scape.
    I'd do this 1st.

    I'd not worry about KH/Zn or Ca.
    As long as you add some, you are fine.

    You can add Excel, but I just add that if I suspect I have CO2 issue, then address the CO2 till I'm happy with that and then stop using Excel.
    That's 60mls per day on a 120 gal, that will not be cheap.

    Anyway, I'd work on this from the list above.
    If not that, then an alternative will need to be looked at, considered.
    Nutrients/KH/GH etc are fairly easy, light is as well once set.
    CO2 is one I always end up having doubts, issues with being certain.
    But we all do.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. Neil Frank

    Neil Frank Lifetime Charter Member
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    regarding light and carbon -- why would that only affect the older leaves? :confused:

    with 2.5% Glut that would be 36ml. I have most of a gallon doing nothing. It wont be hard to do this for a couple weeks to see what happens. How long before the plant responds. The plant only seems to retain 2-3 nice leaves. I could also tweak the bubble count. The pH is currently around 6.8 and my other tanks are 6.6 (measured in sump, and with a probe that hasnt been calibrated in 6mos. :). But from a relative standpoint, certainly less CO2 than the other tanks.

    The table was originally published by Niels Jacobsen, but that doesnt say they weren't from Ag. :)
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Swords, like many species, will use older leaves as storage organs, like a bank, to relocate nutrients to the new leaves that are getting better light, and have less algae and other epiphytes.
    Very common in aquatic species.

    Well, they have never done one for aquatic plants, so........these are very general and not to be trusted. Unless the source is listed, does not matter who posted it.
    Most are all ag studies, you can do mall hydroponic studies emergently easily with a set of aquatic plant species.........but, this does not address CO2, only the nutrients under emergent conditions.
    I've never seen any studies that addressed CO2, nutrient deficiencies etc under water.

    CO2 deficiency is common by twisted or stunted progressively smaller tip growth.
    In swords, holes, older leaves going pale, transparent, brown etc.
    This sometimes occurs when N is low also.

    If you have extra Excel around, then no big issue, I'd not expect dramatic results, say compared to the CO2 adjustment.
    I'd work on that (CO2) and the light.

    Regards,
    tom barr
     
  8. Neil Frank

    Neil Frank Lifetime Charter Member
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    conversations like this are good for several reasons. First, it is a reminder that something has been past due. The 18mo Giesemann middays on the 120g were starting to look dim to me lately , .... in fact the ends on the 48" bulbs are black... so i just ordered replacements. If the bulb degrades in blue, green and red spectrum equally, i can check the stats on my flashless photos.... to see if there has been change in f stop and/or shutterspeed i have been using. If interesting, i will post.

    I might as well tweak the CO2 and add Glut. It wont hurt.

    I am still confused about why the plant is translocating nutrients to the new leaves if there is not a N,P,K,Mg nutrient shortage. Is the plant less capable of nutrient uptake (or does it require more work) when CO2 or light are insufficient?
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Plants use Carbon storage and reserves, when they run out, they cannabilize their older leaves.
    So low CO2, leads to fewer leaves........

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  10. Neil Frank

    Neil Frank Lifetime Charter Member
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    Excel dosing question:

    thanks... did not know that!

    Regarding excel dosing, the SEACHEM label says 5ml/10g (2ppm Glut) after water change and 1ml otherwise. The latter is 0.4ppm GL

    Tom and others- are you suggesting 5ml /10g or 60ml per 120gal every day? NO wonder that would be expensive. That is the dose i thought folks used to control algae and not on a daily basis.

    Thanks!
     
  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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  12. Neil Frank

    Neil Frank Lifetime Charter Member
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    I think folks who use it at 2x strength are normally using it at half the stength that you mention, NO? So that brings it to a max of 2ppm.



    For aquarists, i think the biggest dangers are sniffing Excel directly out of the bottle (as it is poured) or getting it on your skin. I am always very careful to do neither. I also am sure to rinse the cup and that i use for dosing. Because of known toxicity, i did not want to purchase Glut concentrate higher than 2.5%. I hear people saying that Glut smells like green apples. I think that is because of the extender, but i will leave it up to others to tell me what it smells like.

    Once it is diluted in the tank, i dont think there is any real danger. In the medical field where it is used for sterilization-- 1-2% solutions -- there is ample opportunity for vapors to form in the ambient air. In the tank, the concentrations are 2ppm (1/1000th of a 2% solution), and what evaporates is very minor. Anyway, most any stuff that is toxic is not bad in very low concentations.
    "The solution to pollution is dilution."
     
  13. csmith

    csmith Guest

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    Only because I did it..

    I dosed 5 mL daily in my 10 gallon for 2-3 months and never saw bad things happen. All shrimp seemed fine and even bred like crazy. I stopped because it was getting too expensive, instead opting for DIY Co2. I never saw anything horrible happening, though. I'm not saying nothing bad was happened, as obviously I can't see inside of the animals, but I didn't notice anything.
     
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