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K deficiency with EI?

Discussion in 'Advanced Strategies and Fertilization' started by JoeBanks, Dec 3, 2006.

  1. JoeBanks

    JoeBanks Prolific Poster

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    I'm seeing signs of K deficiency in my tank. Several plants, including crypts, ludwigia, anubias, and HC have yellowing leaves with tiny holes.

    The tank is a 180G. I'm dosing 2 tsp KNO3 and 1 tsp KH2PO4 3 times weekly. My understanding is that I don't need to add supplemental K with these amounts. Should I be adding K? Or could this be a different problem?
     
  2. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    You cannot possibly have K+ deficiency dosing those amounts if you are adding those chemicals.

    If you mix the KH2PO4 and KNO3 then perhaps..........

    Add 1.5 teaspoons KNO3, 1/2 teaspoon of KH2PO4 3x a week.

    GH?
    Do add anything for this?
    MgSO4?

    CO2?

    Plant's specifically affected?

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  3. JoeBanks

    JoeBanks Prolific Poster

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    For GH, I dose 3T CaCl and 1T MgSO4 3x weekly. 100 ml Mastergrow on alternate days. CO2 is at 30-40ppm by the drop checker method.

    I'm attaching pictures of the affected plants. They're a little fuzzy, but may shed some light.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  4. JoeBanks

    JoeBanks Prolific Poster

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    What was the rest of this thought? Does mixing the two chemicals have an effect? I always dose them together. Is this a mistake?
     
  5. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Mixing them together after measuring out the dosage wouldn't have any effect. But, mislabeling the containers and dosing a tsp of KH2PO4 and 1/4 tsp of KNO3 would certainly have an effect. (The effect would be running out of nitrates.)
     
  6. JoeBanks

    JoeBanks Prolific Poster

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    Oh, I see. I'm scooping them directly out of Greg Watson's bags, so I assume they're correct.

    So do these pics show a K deficiency, or could something else be the problem?
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Joe,

    Wayyyyyyy too much CaCl2 and MgSO4!!
    That's not EI.

    I do not suggest that much.
    You likely have salt stress in the plants by doing this 3x a week.
    You add 3x 3 = 9 table spoons of CaCl2
    3 table spoons of MgSO4.

    Wow, that's a lot of salt. Holey moley.

    Add:
    Greg's GH booster, add 1 teaspoon 3x a week.

    If you use the CaCl2, add a mix of this and the MgSO4 at about 3:1 ratio, shake and stir well for a few minutes to mix good, then treat like the above.

    I noted not much algae, but the yellowing and holes are very likely due to the high salts.

    So it's not CO2.
    If you did not mix the KNO3 and KH2PO4 package labels etc up, then we can rule that out.

    Do some large water changes, dose the KNO3/KH2PO4/TMG back and what is your GH from the tap/RO etc?

    You likely just need another 1-2 degrees extra and most just need perhaps some MgSO4 here and there.

    Adding too much GH, while rare, can happen when you add these quantities.
    CaSO4 may be more safe at such higher dosing.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. JoeBanks

    JoeBanks Prolific Poster

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    I see my mistake. I was using the nutri-calc tool to figure out my dosing. I was looking at the CaCO3 dosing figures and using CaCl2 at those levels.

    As far as Mg, the nutri-calc tool recommends 5.5 tsp of MgSO4 3x weekly to target 10ppm Mg, which is even more than I'm adding.

    My tap GH is
     
  9. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    10ppm is an upper range for Mg, 2-5ppm is plenty.
    Naw, do not use CaCO3/CaCl2*2H2O as equivalents.

    I think this will clear uop the issue.
    See how nice it is to have a KH/pH checker?

    Rules out one thing pretty easily, but your symtoms where not suggestive of low CO2 either.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  10. defdac

    defdac Lifetime Members
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    If I mix my MgSO4 with my CaCl2 like that I get a white goey undissolvable precipitate.. (probably CaSO4?)
     
  11. JoeBanks

    JoeBanks Prolific Poster

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    I don't mix it in advance. I just drop it into the outflow of my filter so it spreads evenly in the tank. The tank looks like a snow globe for a few minutes. The fish don't seem to mind.
     
  12. JoeBanks

    JoeBanks Prolific Poster

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    I've got the my GH down to normal levels now, and have no more evidence of plant detirioration.

    Is it possible the the high GH has caused permanent damage to some of the plants? I have a very spindly bunch of R. macrandra that has never grown well. Maybe due to the high GH?

    Can plants recover from the salt stress? Or should I trash the weak plants and get new ones?
     
  13. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    A number of folks in the Sf bay area used higher GH's, namely because I have good success as well, to about 9-10 or so.
    They had deep red coloration in the R. macrandra.

    I think R macrandra and wallichii are both have high CO2 demand and do not compete well against other plants for CO2.

    I blast them with CO2 mist right neear the diffuser, give them light nutrients etc, they do well.

    KH is really the only suspect variable that has not been ruled out as a possible issue for poor growth.

    Still, whether you have 2 Gh or 10, should not matter much.
    It's when you ahve no Mg/Ca availble to the plants, when these become limiting that issues appear to arise near as anyone can tell.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  14. JoeBanks

    JoeBanks Prolific Poster

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    My GH before the water changed was around 20. It's down to 4 now.

    Interesting note is that the GDA on my glass stopped growing when the Gh got that high. Don't know if it was a coincidence. I'll see if it comes back now.

    My KH is 2. Is this enough?
     
  15. reiverix

    reiverix Lifetime Members
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    I had all sorts of stunting problems with dosing CaCl2 over a long period of time. I think CaSO4 is a lot more plant friendly, if you need to dose some extra Ca.
     
  16. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I've certainly noticed a correlation between lower KH/Gh and GDA, few hard water folks seem to have it.

    I did manage to keep it alive for about 2-3 weeks in Santa Barbara, the tap water there:

    KH 11
    GH 24

    Cl- was very high as well.

    It'll grow in harder water I think also, perhaps not as good though, hard to say without testing if it's a "method".... like most things folks speculate on.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
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