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Macrandra defiency, maybe calcium?

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by s0ulcommited, Jul 11, 2009.

  1. s0ulcommited

    s0ulcommited Junior Poster

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I had rotala butterfly and macrandra growing great, beautifully red for the first week or two then BAM super weird green tips and everything is growing either curled or downwards. I have rotala sp green, HC, HM, hairgrass, and Rotala indica growing great .. it's just the red plants.. It looks like calcium deficiency to me..

    Tank- 55 Gallons
    Lighting - 4x54w T5 for 8 hours a day
    CO2 - Pressurized 4bps, glass diffuser. I'm sure I get enough co2 cuz the plants pearl like mad in an hour or two
    Fertilizer - ADA substrate, NO3 and PO4 Seachem- 15 MLs each twice a week, TMG 15 ML, 3x week, 6 drops ECA a week.. 20ML Brighty K..
     
  2. JDowns

    JDowns Lifetime Charter Member
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    First a few things.

    Do you reconstitute GH during water change? Straight tap / RO?

    You have alot of light. Half that light and you can grow anything you want.

    What are you basing Ca deficiency on?
     
  3. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Like most of the general dogma: anyone that has stunted tip growth: Ca.

    Looks like CO2 and time to me, I have these plants and it's NEVER been Ca once.
    CO2, light?

    Pretty much every time.

    Same for a dozen other plants.
    They grow okay for a bit and then stunt, mostly by translocating carbon etc, and then the tips eventually run out.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  4. JDowns

    JDowns Lifetime Charter Member
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    These deficiency tables, charts, diagrams, whatever really need to come with BOLD disclaimers that they are blatently ignoring Carbon. By doing so they achieve nothing but confusing folks and ultimatly not helping them. Its these same folks putting out these myths that end up chasing K excess, K depletion, Boron, whatever. Everything but recognizing Carbon. It really is frustrating why folks persist.

    Every specimen I got of Macandra Butterfly eventually turned into Macandra Green.
     
  5. s0ulcommited

    s0ulcommited Junior Poster

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    hmm

    You think it's carbon when EVERYTHING in the tank is pearling like crazy? I find that hard to believe, but I'll take your word for it and slowly creep the co2 up. I'll reduce the photoperiod to maybe 7, 6 hours too, see what happens. Thanks for replies!
     
  6. Philosophos

    Philosophos Lifetime Charter Member
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    Pearling is a good sign, but it isn't 100% confirmation. Pearling happens because of O2 levels in the water, combined with the production level of your plants; maximum saturation happens, bubbles form.

    With regards to pearling, CO2 is no different than any other nutrient necessary for good metabolism. You may have tons of O2 in the water and middling Co2 because it's being gassed off.

    Your lighting is very high, and it will push your plants to grow quickly to the point of deficiency, with metabolism fast enough to keep synth up for pearling.

    -Philosophos
     
  7. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I grow this plant in the shaded regions, it's not really a high light plant.
    Yes, every other plant can be pearlign and ling and appear healthy whereas one will not.

    Ask your self this: do you honestly think that all aquatic plants have the same differential ability to take up CO2? SAme ability to adapt to a wide range of light?

    Surface area to volume ratios, KH, physiology, Carbon concetrating abilities, storage, light adaptation, heck, there's more to it than just nutrients, but.........with time, new grow on the side shoots should appear if the CO2 is good, and the light reasonable.

    Still, plants do compete with eachother for light and CO2 more than any other nutrient in an aquarium. Sometmes when the N or P is low, perhaps.

    Still, I've yet to see one verified Ca++ defiecency for an aquatic plant grow submersed. Plenty of speculation, but there's a lot more to CO2 than the oversimplification we all are sometimes guilty of.

    Still, plant species to plant species will have different abilities.
    Some are much more resilent and competive than others.
    Milfoils, some other species of stem plants are REALLY AGRESSIVE.
    Others are more sensitive.
    Some take adaption time and then regrow side shoots.

    This plant is the later two, it will grow a bit then stunt. After which, if the CO2/light good, it will regrow side shoots and then thereafter there should not be any issues.

    R macrandra green does ths, as does the normal red, and the narrow leaf etc.

    Many assume all red plants need more light, this was never true.

    So there's a few things you can look at. You will not find much if any correlation for Ca.

    We can and do routinely add GH booster which is 1/4 CaSO4 and have no issues and have effectively ruled out Ca as a posible issue, whereas CO2 and these other questions are much more difficult to rule out, and thus more likely to be the issue than say B or Ca, or excess K+ and other hokey ideas that have long been shown to be false with these same sensitive plants.

    I cannot say what it is 100% of the time, only that which might be likely.
    I can say what is NOT, however.

    Then you can focus on the other issues that are more likely to bear fruit.

    CO2 is always on the table.
    If you can change the placement, the current, the light intensity, spread etc, play with more/less water changes, cean filters more often, add Amano shrimp etc you
    will find much better control over most things.

    Nutrients are perhaps one of the few areas we can simply add non limiting amounts and know there's no chance of a limitation. So that is often why many that use such approaches can conifidently say that a nutrient is not the reason.

    It does not imply or say what causes the observation the aquarist suggestsees in their tank, only what it is not.

    I've seen the plant do the same thing over the same time frame and know I had good non limiting Ca++.

    Later, it did better as the CO2 was tweaked, reduced lighting etc, and just a little patience for it to regrow.

    This is not all CO2 is it?

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  8. s0ulcommited

    s0ulcommited Junior Poster

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    Thanks tom, that all makes very much sense. I've readjusted the photoperiod, i'm going to try using only two of the four T5's but with a slightly longer photoperiod, I think maybe everything else in the tank is competing more aggressively for the co2, so hopefully less light will provide more co2 in the water. I'm going to try a number of things, I just hate waiting weeks to see results haha. thanks for replies again! Alot of help indeed..
     
  9. s0ulcommited

    s0ulcommited Junior Poster

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    fixed one problem, now another!!

    ERRR Ok hahaha Soooooo I fixed the problem by cutting down the light by half. I now use 2 T5's instead of 4, run for 8 hours. Since then, i've also switched to EI dosing, following
    1/2 kno3, 1/8 po4 3x a week, 10 ML's TMG 3x a week and dosing ECA 6 drops a week with GH booster at the water change.

    The plant growth rates surged when I cut back the light. The macrandra narrow grew great for a week or two, but now EVERYTHING is growing like those pictures, and I'm pretty certain this is co2 issue again. I feel like the growth rates sucked up all the co2 out of the water, leaving starved rotalas. I've slowly creeped the co2 up but then some of the fish started gasping for air at the top..

    Have I just maxed out on stem plants or something?

    Rotala Singapore, Rotala sp. Green and even a few rotala rotul. are growing a bit stunted, while everything else seems fine.

    Do the plants just need to readjust to the new lighting?

    Should I trim and wait?

    I was thinking of ways to better the co2 distribution in the water, I was thinking of investing in a ADA 40mm glass.. but I'm taking my time and looking at everything. Right now I have a a cheapo ebay glass diffuser running into a aquaclear powerhead right now.. I thought that would be enough. But I guess not.

    Venturing into hi-tech sucks. HAHA. just kidding much obliged everyone..
     
  10. VaughnH

    VaughnH Lifetime Charter Member
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    Tom once showed me the wide variations in CO2 concentration in one of his tanks, using his super expensive CO2 sensor. That was an eye opener! You just have to have great water circulation to have any chance at all to get CO2 to all of the plants in a tank. That means all of the leaves in the tank need to be moving in the water flow at all times. And, that can be very difficult to achieve, especially when the plants do a lot of growing. The heavy plant growth is very effective at blocking the flow of water in the tank. This can explain why some people get great results, after getting the CO2 just right, but then two weeks later problems start up again. The plants just created too much plant mass for the water to be able to flow well, plus that added plant mass needs even more CO2 to maintain it. All of this is a great argument for doing regular weekly pruning to keep the plant mass as near constant as you can.
     
  11. krissy

    krissy Guru Class Expert

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    WOW. I know this is an old thread but this just shows me how important FLOW is..... Every single plant i grow grows great except Macrandra Variegated. They will all of a sudden stunt...


    My new task is getting all of my plants to move... HAHA... Easier said than done.
     
  12. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    Great buried thread. Post #10 by VaughnH is worth reading several times over.


    This is critical. I think flow is only part of the equation in getting even CO2 distribution. The other part is keeping one or two species from becoming dominant and therefore blocking flow and sucking up disproportionate amounts of CO2 and light. This is not a problem for lucky Iwagumi folks…but if you have a Dutch style tank with high light, it is a severe problem. I have to be on the tank constantly to make sure that plants don't overgrow and cut off flow or become CO2 hogs. Gotta keep things trimmed, short and pruned.


    I'm going to be gone for 3 weeks this summer. Tank will be under maintenance dude's care. He will do everything according to my instructions, including water change. The only thing he won't attempt is scaping or pruning. Yet, when I come back, there will be algae everywhere. Some plants will have stunted. Why? Not keeping plants in check. First thing I have to do is massive and brutal trim. Will take about a month after that for things to go back to normal.
     
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