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Stunted L. "Guinea"

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by Wet, Sep 27, 2006.

  1. Wet

    Wet Lifetime Members
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    What deficiency is this? GH / Ca:Mg thing?
    [​IMG]
    I dose ~3ppm NO3 and ~0.75ppm PO4 daily.
    .1ppm Fe from CSM+B+Extra Fe daily.
    >20ppm K from KCl weekly.
    50% water changes.

    6.2-6.4pH and ~4dKH for >40ppm CO2. I have increased this but am using DIY so must wait. I do not use mist in this setup but L. guinea is close to the CO2 reactor. I have placed trimmings into another tank with mist and can post update.

    Thank you.
     
  2. turbomkt

    turbomkt Lifetime Charter Member
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    Joe,
    Have you thought of upping KNO3 to 5.25-6ppm? It seems as though you've got plenty of CO2, so I was wondering if you were limiting the NO3 too much. Go for a 7:1 or 8:1?
     
  3. PeterGwee

    PeterGwee Lifetime Charter Member
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    CO2 seems to be the likely candidate since its DIY CO2 (The readings need to be taken over a course of a day or two to really show any issues. Even if the readings are good, the plant growth is telling you something else. Notice the smaller new growth? Classic sign of low CO2). The other thing is you are running macros way too lean as turbomkt mentioned.

    Regards
    Peter Gwee
     
  4. Wet

    Wet Lifetime Members
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    I do suspect macros and am considering switching back to every other day dosing with excess. My goal with the current dosing was to maintain lower N for color from my other plants, and this is working without stunted growth or small leaves with other species. My numbers above for macros and traces are the input, not target/measurement, and is roughly half of my leanest successful dosing under EI.

    I will make your suggested changes and observe. I will start with ~10-12ppm NO3 and ~1.5-2ppm PO4 every other day while continuing to adjust CO2.

    However, I am surprised I see this in L. Guinea but not other species. I suspected Ca:Mg because many proponents of a ratio point towards stunted new growth, and many have grown L. Guinea. This is my first time growing this plant.

    Thank you.
     
  5. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    It's not a hard plant to grow.
    Your KH is fine, so is the GH, Gh is easy tio rule out, just add some and wait and see.

    I do not know how many folks point the finger at GH, yet, when they add GH booster, they exhibit the same issues:)

    Stunting tips are generally CO2 or NO3 being too low IME.

    This plant and the others will look better with good KNO3 dosing and good GH's.

    Color etc as well.
    The higher GH/PO4 does help with color as well, not just the lower NO3.

    You can run NO3 lower, but you need less light to make it easier and noty bottom out and stunt.

    So that and the CO2 are working against you as well as high light.



    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  6. Wet

    Wet Lifetime Members
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    Thank you.
     
  7. reiverix

    reiverix Lifetime Members
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    Keeping light, Co2, temperature, KH and GH constant, I notice stunted tips on my guinea if I neglect to dose macros for a few days. If I get back on dosing routine, they begin growing very quickly. Missing a dose has a noticeable effect but they spring back very well.

    My GH is 6 and my KH is 5, reconstituted RO water. 3 x 13w over 2.5g. Aquasoil. Dunno the Co2 levels but I'm blasting pressurized Co2 from a nano diffuser with a 40 gph water pump and the HC pearls well so I know the Co2 is up there.
     
  8. aquabillpers

    aquabillpers Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi,

    Why not just test to determine the amount of NO3 and PO4 that is actually in the water column?

    The results would be close enough to confirm or eliminate the cause as being a shortage of those two nutrients.

    That would seem to be better than searching in the dark for the light switch.

    Bill
     
  9. Wet

    Wet Lifetime Members
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    Thanks Richard.

    Bill, I fell out of the habit of testing and don't have current NO3 and PO4 kits anymore. I probably should have when borrowing from other methods.

    I have moved forward with the dosing and suggestions above. Thank you.
     
  10. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Anytime you feel the need to test PO4 or NO3. o a water change, cleaning, and do at least 50-60% and then dose the nutrients back, then you are spending your time in a more productive manner.

    Testing is a guessing game, you know why and what you did to get the plant to stunt.

    Generally it's neglect, and..........that's all the test kit will tell you if it's accurate in this case with the Ludwigia if it's NO3/PO4.

    But you can already resolve that without a test kit by the water change.
    Then it's just a matter of CO2.

    You know it's low or CO2, so why not just start doing the work rather than tinkering and testing?

    Don't beat around the bush, take care of the tank, do frequent water changes/dosing and the plants do very well, algae hates it.

    This is the same old thing 100X.
    I'd do this and then if you feel the need, then test.

    Test kits lead folks astray often times or give readings that send the aquarist off some time wasting road. They think their NO3 is too high, when it's really too low and the same with PO4.

    If you think the NO3/PO4 are too high(you need to know what range that is, it's very high BTW and does nothing to plants even at 10ppm /100ppm PO4/NO3) do a large water change, that takes care of that fear.

    Now dose 1ppm PO4 and 10ppm of NO3, now you know you have enough of each but not too much.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  11. aquabillpers

    aquabillpers Lifetime Charter Member
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    I don't want to beat that proverbial dead horse, but some of the plant growers here employ low light, non-CO2 methods. For us, EI is not an option, as Tom has stated. To state catergorically that testing is a waste of time sort of marginalizes those of us who use it when we suspect a problem. (Sob, sob.)

    If I switched to a high light, injected CO2 environment I would use EI and probably never see a test kit again. But I have enough trimming to do in my tanks as it is, without making the plants grow even faster.

    I'm now off to remove the last gambusia from what is presently a fairly attractive, heavily planted tank. We'll see.

    Bill
     
  12. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    But the poster here is using CO2, thus the advice.
    It's not a blanket statement, it's specific. If they had a different method, my advice would be different as well.

    Still, many low tech folks never use a test kit and do quite well.

    The slower plant growth allows you to see the plants as the "test kit".
    Error for such non CO2 methods should always be in favor of running things "lean" for the plants and being able to top off once every 1-4 weeks with some inorganic ferts(or extra fish food in some cases, although I've had better results using inorganic ferts that have a better balance than fish food) for optimal conditions without test kits.

    The idea is rather simple and it's very effective over years.

    If you add too many fish, then you will have a gradual build up of NO3 and you do not have a balanced fish plant tank.

    Now you will have more work, less success, more water changes, more testing etc. The goal of most low tech tanks is to avoid such work.

    My low tech tanks never get any water changes, have a good amount of algae eaters, moderate fish loading, run slightly lean, I top off once a week with about 1/10th the amounts dosed in a CO2 low light tank.

    If I see anything negative in the plants that suggest too little nutrients, I'll add a bit more ferts once a week.

    If I see anything that suggest too much or I think I want to lean the tank up, I just no longer dose for 2-4 weeks till the plants suck up all the nutrients from the water column.

    This method does NOT work if you add too many fish and over feed often. But then you don't have a balanced fish tank and that is a trade off you need to live with and adds more work for yourself.

    If you want that much work and still demand that same fish load, just go low light/CO2 enrichment, that's not much work really and the water changes will help mitagate things a great deal.

    Both methods do not require test kits if you set things up correctly and focus on a balanced tank with the fish loading for the non CO2 method.

    It's not hard.
    Some folkks add more food if the tank looks a bit "lean".
    Some care and observations of the plants will go a long way.

    Rather than suggest folks calibrate their test kits and go through all that, I'd rather see folks spend their time more productively in the hobby: not the "Test Kit hobby". Rather, the planted tank hobby, scaping, providing a good place for the fish, Gardening etc.

    Many folks seem to think that everyone' AP test kit of their Hagen is perfect, they are not. So and so might have calibrated their one single test kit and it worked for them, but then another guy reads that and thinks they don't have because the other did the work.

    That's a very bad idea and suggest that all test kits are equal, they are not.

    If you do insist on using test kits be careful about assuming that they are right, make sure they are right, don't guess there and tell me I'm guessing with the EI dosing:rolleyes:

    I suggest that folks that want to test to get the Lamotte or Hach, better yet, the colorimeters.

    This way you have good equipment and can do some decent data acquisition.
    You will still need to know how to use and make calibration solutions, then make a calibration curve. You'll also need to know more about chemistry than many low tech folks ever want to know about.

    I just tell them to add a pinch of this and that once a week in addition the feeding their fish.

    This works very well.



    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  13. Wet

    Wet Lifetime Members
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    I accept where I erred. I should have moved faster with the principles that gave me success with the previous dosing, all following Tom.

    Do you find any benefit to daily dosing of macronutrients? Assuming adequate plant mass, CO2, etc. I am still curious about this method, but suspect the benefits I see (in other plants) is more from daily trace input than macros.
     
  14. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    So is the weed growing better now?

    I do try and avoid complex methods when giving advice.
    Testing adds expense, complications and a lot of explaining.

    Over time and in general, folks seldom test. You are a big old lair if you have done this hobby and test religiously the entire time.

    I can test for defined peroids to answer a particular question I might have.
    I don't test every day of every year, there is just no need. When I do test I am careful, and very precise about it and my assumptions. I have to really stay on top of things, it's a lot of work, I must make sure that the other parameters will not influence the results of my dependent variable/s. That is a lot of work I know dang well very very few folks do this when they test.
    Most simply guess on the other parameters.
    They'd complain about the work a lot more otherwise!!!

    Most folks tend to only test when there is an exisiting problem.
    I and several folks tested a fair amount when things where going well.

    I took the bold step to test before, during and after a treatment.
    That gave me a great deal more knowledge than mere testing when there is an exisiting problem.

    Now I know what caused that look or deficiency with higher degrees of confidence.

    I test in 2,3 or 8 week time blocks (not all the time as method). I have many small tanks, this allows me lots of treatments and to redo things quick and tear down, re set up another test or treatment. Trade off is I spend little time scaping and having nice larger display tanks.
    I use colorimeters or Lamotte, sometime the lab if I have multiple samples to test. I do a lot of water changes during that time. I ask specific focused questions and try to come up with treatments I think will help answer my question/s.

    Then I can relax.
    Now I know that NH4 causes GW, as does too many fish, disturbing older substrates, with higher light, good nutrient levels, etc.

    So when I see stunted tips etc and then if I do not address that fairly quick, BBA, I know it's low CO2.

    I do not need to test from here.
    I also do not need to ask the hobbyists their parameters.
    I already know what is going on without any prior knowledge.

    And this knowledge after you have done such test is pretty much dead on every time.

    The hardest part is getting folks to believe you that you are right:D

    Later they often figure it out and then go, "dang, you were right".:p

    Haha, that is learning process also.
    And we all do it to a large degree;)

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  15. aquabillpers

    aquabillpers Lifetime Charter Member
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    Tom,

    It sounds like you test more than I do!

    When I finally noticed that one of my long-running low light, non-CO2 tanks had gone into decline, the first thing that I did was to test the NO3 and PO4 levels. I found that the former was close to 0 ppm, from the normal 10 - 20 ppm. The drop was apparently caused by the sudden explosive growth of duckweed, perhaps coupled with the depletion of the soil substrate.

    I added enough KNO3 to get the level back where it normally was, removed a lot of duckweed, and the tank is now reovering. The diagnosis and correction took about 15 minutes. I'll check the NO3 level monthly for a while, and pay more attention to the duckweed.

    If my NO3 test kit is within 5 ppm or so at normal aquarium levels, that's close enough for me.

    When someone with a high light, injected CO2 tank has a problem, he is often advised to do a major water change and redose. That advice seems to usually work, but he never knows which nutrient was low, if any were, and if one was, why it was. That advice, good as it is, can mask the problem.

    I prefer to know what is going on in my tanks.

    I'm off to the shores of Lake Ontario, to watch the annual salmon slaughter. Killing king salmon is no great evil since they are soon to die anyway, but people also catch steelhead and brown trout and kill them too, and that is a loss.

    Bill
     
  16. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Sounds about right.

    As you learned with the downward spiral in this tank, now when this occurs again, you'll have a better idea and add a little KNO3 and PO4 right?

    My suggestion to add a pinch of KNO3/PO4 to non CO2 tanks once week will not hit a particular target per se, but it will relieve a fair amount of NO3/Po4 stress and keep the plants growing well.

    Slow growing non CO2 tanks are much easier to dose and you can dose lower amounts without negative effects on the tank. Why? Uptake and demand are much slower.

    You have more wiggle room in your routine, so use that to your advantage!! Less work!

    The point is through this testing you did, now you can better predict the future, I can because I've done a lot of testing and no longer need to test for many things, I already know and have tried various management methods that don't require testing.

    Mid level experience aquarist are the worst and don't understand this yet.........but later they figure it out. The saying is " A little knowledge is the most dangerous".

    You really did not need to test and you do not in the future.
    All you had to do was follwo the advice I gave in the non CO2 method and watch the plants.

    You know that as plant biomass increases, so will uptake and the the amount of nutrient removal. You also knew that the substrate was getting older and should account for that.

    You very well could have predicted you needed to start supplementing with macros as well at that point when you saw the plants declining/algae apear etc, no test kit was needed.

    Most low tech greeb tumbs do this, very few test.
    Simple observations.

    Now what would happen if the test kit was inaccruate?
    You would conclude it's not the low NO3/PO4 and assume thing s like alleopathic chemicals and Tom Barr does not know everything nor his behind from a hole in the wall.

    haha

    That's occurred many time on the web:D :eek:
    And it'll happen again........ nothing I can do about it either.

    I think many assume I'm anti test kit, I'm not, I use them a great deal, but using them should teach you something an dyou shouild learn from the data and results.

    Then you do not need them in the future, you have watched the plants and know the signs and what to do from then on.

    Then you no longer require the newbie to tell you what their parameters are or not, just a pic or a good description of algae/growth and so forth.

    Most can do that easily.
    Then based of your knowledge, you can tell them to add a buit more KNO4/PO4 and do so once a week, just smidge etc and that will solve most of the issue for them.

    Test kits are not items that should be used for a routine.
    They are used to answer questions and can introduce more cost, work and assumptions that do not always solve the issue.

    Intensive critical test can teach many things, then you no longer require them thereafter.

    I work hard now so I don't have to later.
    Same deal with the test kits.

    Many folks simply will not test no matter what you say, most don;t want to test to begin with and no one wants to spend $$ of the test kits either.

    So rather than sending folks down that path I took, I tell them not to test, watch their plants, spend their time working on cleaning/pruning./water changes/ and so forth.

    For non CO2 tanks, adding a smidge 1x a week works well, larger tanks 2 smidges and so forth (smidge =~~ about 1 short rice grain). I just add abiout 5x less KH2PO4 than KNO3(eyeballing is fine).

    This assumes you have a balanced fish load and good plant growth prior.
    If you see a slow improvement, sometimes dramatic, that is good. If not, you likely have some other issue.

    Most see improvements, a smidge of GH booster is very good and traces can also help.

    If none of these help, then it's a filter, dead fish, too many fish, not enough plants etc.

    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  17. Wet

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    In mist and not, L. Guinea isn't doing anything yet. Bacopa "Colorata" has had a growth spurt and I found the crown/tips larger last night. I will update after continuing the current plan for a while.
     
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