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Pin holes in older Hygro leaves - is it CO2?

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Pikez, Aug 25, 2014.

  1. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    The numerous pin holes in older Hygro leaves do not appear to be going away. Older leaves shed a lot but plant is growing very well.

    I don't think it is potassium deficiency because I dose the following each week in to my 180-gal tank:

    - 6 tsp KNO3 = 17 ppm K
    - 3 tsp K2SO4 = 13 ppm K
    - 3 tsp Kh2PO4 = 7 ppm K
    4-5 tsp CSM+B
    Also add some Epsom and Fe Gluc.


    Dosing spread out over the week. Medium light. High (possibly spiky) CO2. Very low fish load. Eco-complete substrate. 50% weekly water changes. KH about 4 or 5. Good flow. Lots of pearling. Lots of cleaning, vacuuming, pruning and trimming. Problems with GDA, some GSA and traces of BGA. Plants growing fairly well. Staurogyne melting on/off (could be high temp per Tom) and Rotala wallachii looks scrawny. Ammania gracilis leaf tips twisted sometimes but still growing like weeds. Some stem melting with Rotala mac and Ludwigia Rubin.

    CO2 is ph-controlled. Without CO2, water is at 6.9 or 7. I get it down to 6.1 with CO2. Can't take pH lower. Fish are gasping at 6.0 and perish at 5.9. CO2 comes on a couple of hours before the light and is at 6.2 or so by the time all the lights are on. Photoperiod is about 7-8 hours.

    What's causing it? And the melting? One problem? Multiple causes?

    Sorry about the fuzzy pic.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    View attachment 5176
     
  2. Solcielo lawrencia

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    There's another thread about pH-controllers not measuring pH accurately so there was wild fluctuations with CO2 concentrations. However, it doesn't look like K deficiency as they are black. It may be micronutrient toxicity; you are adding a lot of CSM+B so either you have incredibly fast growth or possible toxicity.

    Also, with a kH=4-5, and a pH of 6.1, that's a helluva lot of CO2. It's highly possible that the 6.9-7.1 isn't fully degassed so taking a sample and shaking it out, then letting it sit for a couple of hours should give the actual pH measurement.

    Also, just how much Fe are you adding? Too much Fe can cause deficiencies in other essential micronutrients so it may not be a toxicity but actually an induced deficiency.
     
    #2 Solcielo lawrencia, Aug 27, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 27, 2014
  3. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    I add 1/8 tsp of Fe Gluconate a couple of times a week. Probably not needed.

    Yes, 4-5 tsp of CSM+B into a 180-gal tank is generous. But toxic? I'm operating under the assumption that 50% water changes once every 5-7 days and some natural oxidation is keeping traces from getting to toxic levels. Bad assumption?

    I use the pH controller to get from 6.9 quickly down to 6.1 before the lights come on. This takes 2-3 hours. CO2 comes on at 7 am. One weak light comes on at 9 am. All lights on from 11 to 7. Then an hour of dim light. pH is 6.1 by the time all lights are on and plants begin pearling almost instantly. I don't know if my pH probe is accurate. It doesn't matter because I've set the pH at a point just on the safe side of where the fish are not miserable or dying. SO yes, there is a lot of CO2 in there.

    Takeaway: reduce CSM+B and drop the Fe Gluc?
     
  4. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    I add 1/8 tsp of Fe Gluconate a couple of times a week. Probably not needed.

    Yes, 4-5 tsp of CSM+B into a 180-gal tank is generous. But toxic? I'm operating under the assumption that 50% water changes once every 5-7 days and some natural oxidation is keeping traces from getting to toxic levels. Bad assumption?

    I use the pH controller to get from 6.9 quickly down to 6.1 before the lights come on. This takes 2-3 hours. CO2 comes on at 7 am. One weak light comes on at 9 am. All lights on from 11 to 7. Then an hour of dim light. pH is 6.1 by the time all lights are on and plants begin pearling almost instantly. I don't know if my pH probe is accurate. It doesn't matter because I've set the pH at a point just on the safe side of where the fish are not miserable or dying. SO yes, there is a lot of CO2 in there.

    Takeaway: reduce CSM+B and drop the Fe Gluc?
     
  5. Solcielo lawrencia

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    It really doesn't look like K-deficiency because it's usually accompanied by chlorosis around the holes. I don't see any chlorosis at all; just dark spots.

    Just how much growth occurs? With those amounts of fertz, I'd expect that you'd have to trim every week.

    I'd stop dosing the Fe gluconate to see if that helps.
     
  6. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    There is a lot of growth, at least with the Hygro. I have to trim regularly. But old leaves shed all of a sudden and lots of them have holes. I think I see a little yellow around the holes of leaves from a couple of days ago. I've stopped the Fe Gluc for a week. Two 50% water chances since. Some plants like Blyxa are growing like crazy but others like Rot wallichii and macrandra are looking somewhat pathetic. The Mini milfoil I got from Tom all melted in 5 days - they came in looking perfect. The biggest problem besides some plants not thriving is the GDA. Some BGA around gravel line and some GSA.

    kdpnj5.jpg

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    There is a lot of growth, at least with the Hygro. I have to trim regularly. But old leaves shed all of a sudden and lots of them have holes. I think I see a little yellow around the holes of leaves from a couple of days ago.

    I've stopped the Fe Gluc for a week. Two 50% water chances since. Some plants like Blyxa, Sag, Limno aromatica, are growing like crazy but others like Rot wallichii and macrandra are looking somewhat pathetic. The Mini milfoil I got from Tom all melted in 5 days - they came in looking perfect. So something is definitely wrong. The biggest problem besides some plants not thriving is the crazy, out of control GDA. Some BGA around gravel line and some GSA.

    kdpnj5.jpg

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Solcielo lawrencia

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    With the better picture and the description of the symptoms, I'm nearly 100% certain it's a potassium deficiency. Increase K and the holes on the older leaves should stop.
     
  9. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    Adding more K

    Thanks.

    My new dosing routine is:

    Day 1: 50% water change + 3 tsp KNO3, 2 tsp K2SO4, 1 tsp KH2PO4, 2 tbsp Epsom, 1 tsp CSM+B. (This is up from just 1 tsp of K2SO4 and 2 tsp KNO3)
    Day 2: nothing
    Day 3: same as Day 1
    Day 4: nothing
    Day 5: 50% water change and routine starts over

    Tank is 180 US gal.

    I've also removed a lot of plants. Lot less biomass to compete for what ever is the limiting factor. Lots and lots of pruning, cleaning and trimming. Increased CO2 to lower pH by another 0.1. Fish are slightly uncomfortable but the pearling is like a jacuzzi. Decreased photoperiod by 30 mins or so.

    I know I'm changing a few things at once and won't know which tweak made the difference, but if I tweak just one parameter, I will be 90 years old before I get a tank worth looking at. I'm hoping with your combined expertise that I will get it right by the time i'm 85. :D

    I'll post an update tank shot soon.


     
  10. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Why are you dosing macros and micros together?
     
  11. Solcielo lawrencia

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    It's CSM+B so the metals are chelated with EDTA which binds well enough preventing immediate precipitation. How long the chelator works, I have no idea.
     
  12. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    Fablau - ummm…because I don't know any better. :) I've read about people separating their micros and macros. I don't have a problem doing this at all, but I've searched the archives here and I've been unable to find a good explanation about why one should separate the macros and micros.

    I hope this is my problem, because this is easy to fix.

    I've read lots of advice from Tom and others here and I've never seen segregating micros and macros as a key corrective point. Regardless, I'm due for a water change this evening and I'll separate macros and micros for a few weeks and see if I notice anything.

    I've reduced plant biomass by about 30%. Trimmed, cleaned, scrubbed, vacuumed, cleaned filters, increased frets, increased CO2 a tiny bit and doing 50% water changes every 5 days. I also went thru 20 lbs of CO2 in 5 weeks…so I'm not being stingy with CO2 IMO.

    Still, I was totally bummed that I had to once again give up on Rotala wallichii and yank out the pathetic bare stems. My third attempt with this plant in 2 years. A buddy of mine down the road is growing it spectacularly with super hard water, less CO2 + Walstad soil substrate.


    [​IMG]
     
  13. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Nice tank indeed! It deserves to have great growth :)

    From what I read around, Micros with PO4 could react in such a way that PO4 could precipitate and become unusable by plants, or make your water appear cloudy... But that's just what I read. I never tried it. I dose with the EI, and, by protocol, I dose macros and micros on alternate days. I think some truth lies there though... Try and let us know if that makes any difference.
     
  14. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    Now that you mention it, I occasionally see cloudiness after dosing macros and micros together. Not always, but sometimes. I didn't know why. I always have a couple spots of green spot algae but it's not out of control. This could be why. Phosphate shouldn't be a problem now - I'm dosing on separate days and have also doubled the dose to 2 tsp every other day. Tank is generally doing better, but not all plants are thriving.

    Some plants are doing well (Blyxa japonica and auberti, Ludwigia Cuba, Hygrophila, Limnophila aromatica/hippuroides, Cyperus helferi, Ludwigia Red, Nymphaea, Sagittaria subulata).

    The following are doing so-so or poorly (Ammania, Staurogyne, Hydrothrix, Rotala mac, Alternanthera Mini, Rotala Nanjensan, Marsilea)

    Not sure if that tells you anything...

    - - - Updated - - -

    Now that you mention it, I occasionally see cloudiness after dosing macros and micros together. Not always, but sometimes. I didn't know why. I always have a couple spots of green spot algae but it's not out of control. This could be why. Phosphate shouldn't be a problem now - I'm dosing on separate days and have also doubled the dose to 2 tsp every other day. Tank is generally doing better, but not all plants are thriving.

    Some plants are doing well (Blyxa japonica and auberti, Ludwigia Cuba, Hygrophila, Limnophila aromatica/hippuroides, Cyperus helferi, Ludwigia Red, Nymphaea, Sagittaria subulata).

    The following are doing so-so or poorly (Ammania, Staurogyne, Hydrothrix, Rotala mac, Alternanthera Mini, Rotala Nanjensan, Marsilea)

    Not sure if that tells you anything...
     
  15. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Pikes, are your plants back to shape? Just curious if the new fert schedule worked ok for you.
     
  16. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    Overall, the tank is doing much better. Hygro leaves are much better. But you know how us plant geeks are - always tweaking and never satisfied with status quo. :) I'll try to post a pic soon. But there have definitely been many good (and some bad) changes after I started megadosing ferts.

    New fert + water change routine for the 180-gal became:
    Day 1 AM: 3 tsp KNO3, 2 tsp K2SO4, 2 tsp KH2PO4, 3 tablespoons MgSO4, 6 tsp CaSO4
    Day 1 PM: 1 tsp CSM+B

    Day 2: 2 tsp CSM+B, half tsp Fe DTPA

    Day 3 AM: 3 tsp KNO3, 2 tsp K2SO4, 2 tsp KH2PO4, 3 tablespoons MgSO4, 6 tsp CaSO4
    Day 3 PM: 1 tsp CSM+B

    Day 4: 2 tsp CSM+B
    End of Day 4: water change

    Repeat.

    Fishes: completely removed. They were miserable from morning till night with my heavy CO2 dosing. Tank has been completely fish-less. After CO2 was tweaked and tweaked and tweaked, CO2/pH levels have been an ideal, flat, plateau shape through out the photo period and for an hour before and after. Very stable CO2 for the last couple of months.

    There was so much CO2 that when I wanted to remove the fish from the tank, I just reached in and gently cupped them in my hands. They were dazed and gassed.

    Algae: GDA is GONE! For the first time in 2 years. GSP is virtually gone. BGA is almost gone. BBA still growing on Cyperus helferi.

    Marked improvements in:
    Alternanthera reineckii (dramatic improvement)
    Ludwigia glandulosa (came to life and kicking ass!)
    Stauro repens (not melting)
    Crypt spiralis (broad, solid new ribbons)
    Pogostemon stellata Octopus (stems not melting)
    Ludwigia Red (stems not melting)
    Hygro corymbosa (far fewer pin holes but it is no longer 'Giant' Hygro. It was originally a 4" Compacta, then it became 20" 'un-compacta' and now is starting to get dense, bushy and act like a Compacta again. Very weird!)
    Hydrothrix gardneri (awesome new growth)

    Plants not doing well:
    Ammania gracilis (seriously twisted new leaves. Looks its ugliest)
    Rotala Colorata (most stems were growing well but many tips stunted)
    Rotala macrandra (many stems tips became stunted)

    I think we can rule out any fert deficiency with my dosage routine. CO2 stability and levels not an issue. So WTF is the problem with the Ammania and Rotala?

    I suspect I may have been ODing on traces. And may be Ca/Mg.

    Next tweak plan is to back off on CSM+B, Ca/Mg and K2SO4.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Overall, the tank is doing much better. Hygro leaves are much better. But you know how us plant geeks are - always tweaking and never satisfied with status quo. :) I'll try to post a pic soon. But there have definitely been many good (and some bad) changes after I started megadosing ferts.

    New fert + water change routine for the 180-gal became:
    Day 1 AM: 3 tsp KNO3, 2 tsp K2SO4, 2 tsp KH2PO4, 3 tablespoons MgSO4, 6 tsp CaSO4
    Day 1 PM: 1 tsp CSM+B

    Day 2: 2 tsp CSM+B, half tsp Fe DTPA

    Day 3 AM: 3 tsp KNO3, 2 tsp K2SO4, 2 tsp KH2PO4, 3 tablespoons MgSO4, 6 tsp CaSO4
    Day 3 PM: 1 tsp CSM+B

    Day 4: 2 tsp CSM+B
    End of Day 4: water change

    Repeat.

    Fishes: completely removed. They were miserable from morning till night with my heavy CO2 dosing. Tank has been completely fish-less. After CO2 was tweaked and tweaked and tweaked, CO2/pH levels have been an ideal, flat, plateau shape through out the photo period and for an hour before and after. Very stable CO2 for the last couple of months.

    There was so much CO2 that when I wanted to remove the fish from the tank, I just reached in and gently cupped them in my hands. They were dazed and gassed.

    Algae: GDA is GONE! For the first time in 2 years. GSP is virtually gone. BGA is almost gone. BBA still growing on Cyperus helferi.

    Marked improvements in:
    Alternanthera reineckii (dramatic improvement)
    Ludwigia glandulosa (came to life and kicking ass!)
    Stauro repens (not melting)
    Crypt spiralis (broad, solid new ribbons)
    Pogostemon stellata Octopus (stems not melting)
    Ludwigia Red (stems not melting)
    Hygro corymbosa (far fewer pin holes but it is no longer 'Giant' Hygro. It was originally a 4" Compacta, then it became 20" 'un-compacta' and now is starting to get dense, bushy and act like a Compacta again. Very weird!)
    Hydrothrix gardneri (awesome new growth)

    Plants not doing well:
    Ammania gracilis (seriously twisted new leaves. Looks its ugliest)
    Rotala Colorata (most stems were growing well but many tips stunted)
    Rotala macrandra (many stems tips became stunted)

    I think we can rule out any fert deficiency with my dosage routine. CO2 stability and levels not an issue. So WTF is the problem with the Ammania and Rotala?

    I suspect I may have been ODing on traces. And may be Ca/Mg.

    Next tweak plan is to back off on CSM+B, Ca/Mg and K2SO4.
     
  17. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Glad to know tanks is doing better, and you are right to say we are never happy and keep experimenting all the time... That's how should be!

    I see you dose Mg and Ca: do you use RO water?

    And without any doubts you dose a lot.
     
  18. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    Fablau - here is a cell phone pic from this morning. I use 50:50 RO and tap to get KH down to about 4-5. Hope the pic is viewable.

    [​IMG]

    - - - Updated - - -

    Fablau - here is a cell phone pic from this morning. I use 50:50 RO and tap to get KH down to about 4-5. Hope the pic is viewable.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Wonderful tank, thank you for posting a picture. I am wondering how much light you are giving to your plants... Wattage or Par and for how long?
     
  20. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    Hi Fablau - I have two 6-foot BuildMyLED Dutch on from 11 AM to 5 PM. And four Marineland 36" LEDs that provide dim light from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM. The Marineland LED are total piece of sh*t. Love the BML lights. I'm thinking of cutting back the high intensity duration from 6 hours to 5. Foreground does not get enough light, hence the pathetic look up front. I may get another BML strip to light up the foreground and toss the Marineland over one my fish-only tanks.
     
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