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Traces Toxicity = Plant Enzyme inhibition = Persistent BBA?

Discussion in 'Aquatic Plant Fertilization' started by fablau, Dec 2, 2015.

  1. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Hello everyone.


    I'd like to open a new thread about the effects of traces toxicity after having discussed it a lot on the forum below:


    CSM+B Toxicity Experiment


    And again about possible BBA causes on a different forum:


    What exactly causes BBA? Part 2 - Bacterial imbalance | Page 17 | UK Aquatic Plant Society


    After discussing and testing myself that by reducing traces (specifically CSM+B) in EI dosing regime results in high benefits for plants such as increased growth, overall health improvement and, mostly evident, better defense against algae (BBA), I've come to the conclusion that toxicity may simply inhibit plant enzyme production in some way. That's explained in several papers and studies around the web, here is an abstract example:


    Effects of metals on enzyme activity in plants - ASSCHE - 1990 - Plant, Cell & Environment - Wiley Online Library


    In my own experience, that would be the only logical explanation in the observation of BBA disappearance from old leaves of Anubias in my tank after just 2 weeks of reducing traces. It is my idea that by reducing or removing toxicities, plants re-gain strength in enzymatic processes that increase their natural defense to external pathogens as well as algae, and not only prevent new algae to infest them, but they are able to "cure" themselves as I have experienced.


    I'll wait for your thoughts on this possible concept which would open new ways of combating and mostly preventing BBA in our tanks.
     
  2. Solcielo lawrencia

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    That would explain a lot and I suspected this is the case since all forms of algae have subsided which used to rage on. Since I've reduced or ceased dosing CSM+B, BBA has had difficulty reestablishing. Some areas, the BBA started turning pink, a sign that it's dying. However, there are some other places on the wood that I removed moss from where BBA is colonizing; I suspect this is due to the wood releasing the absorbed metals back into the water column.
     
  3. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Yes Solcielo, on most of my Anubia leaves it disappeared by itself in a matter of days. I still have some BBA on very old, probably damaged leaves (either on the smallest, under-grown old leaves, or at the edges of very old leaves).


    On other plants, on old leaves, BBA has actually grown more (as you said in another post, that could be due to the fact that, without toxicity, BBA grows better as plants, wherever it finds that possible of course), but if I remove those leaves, the new growth doesn't seem to be affected so far.


    Similarly as above, on some wood it has disappeared, whereas somewhere else BBA has grown more lately, probably because of the same issue above (gone toxicity). I could use Excel on the wood, but I don't want to. I want to see if BBA is going to have its own "cycle" and die off by itself. I'll keep you posted on that.


    Thanks!
     
  4. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    The citation discusses plants in vivo, holy buckets folks, that does not tell you beans about horticulture or whole live plants. The abstract also does not address the dosage either.


    That's like accepting every allelopathy in vivo test well test that was shown by Diana's book for support.


    Copper is WELL KNOWN herbicide for aquatic weeds. A little will help plants, a lot will kill them. It is more selective at moderate ranges towards algae, not aquatic plant however. Eg, 0.4ppm will kill algae, but not the weeds. Copper is used in this capacity to get rid of algae on the weeds 1st.............then they use a much more costly herbicide so it's not wasted on the algae for aquatic weed control.


    Copper can substitute for a most metal co factors.


    But............it's also a huge question of dose. Plants need it, but the questions are how much and how does it affect whole live plants under culture?


    Poor support.
     
  5. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    My example above was just a random one and of course not strictly related to aquatic plants, therefore wasn't my intention to give that resource as "supportive" of my idea posted here. Its purpose was just a "wake-up" call to make us aware of this possible process going on in our tanks sometimes, where a toxicity of some sort could bring enzyme inhibition first, which could lead to making plants more vulnerable to algae or other kind of pathogen attacks.


    In other words, I am not trying to impose or create a new theory - for which of course I'd need more knowledge first, and supporting documentation second - but I was just curious to know if other people in the hobby would have found this idea logical in some way and deserving more research.


    Wanted to have just a friendly chat on this thought of mine :)
     
  6. Solcielo lawrencia

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    From the article, do these symptoms sound familiar?

    I learned a new word today: epinasty, the nastic movement of plants, the bending outward and often downward of stems or leaves. This would explain the severe epinasty observed in Rotala rotundifolia "green" and Eleocharis parvula.
     
  7. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Well, yes, of course I had most of those symptoms... and I am sure weren't due to lack of nutrients or Co2!
     
  8. CanTank2012

    CanTank2012 Junior Poster

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    Do you use any root tabs or any other fertilizers aside from NPK and CMS+B?
     
  9. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    No, just those dry ferts. Substrate is inert (Eco Complete). But as I said elsewhere, I perform water change every 2 weeks so I am more prone to ferts accumulation. Unfortunately I can't do WC more often than that.
     
    #9 fablau, Dec 2, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 2, 2015
  10. CanTank2012

    CanTank2012 Junior Poster

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    I currently dose NPK and CMS+B in recommended amounts targeting about 1 ppm Fe per week. Weekly water changes. Very high CO2 and using AS as a substrate. Tank is heavily planted but mostly with shorter smaller plants.


    I have been dosing CSM+B 2 months ago. In the last 4 days some plants have melted a bunch of leaves overnight for some reason, while most pearl and grow very well.


    The only 2 things that changed shortly before are:


    - Increasing health and plant mass.


    - Relocation of CO2 diffuser.


    I have reduced the light and moved my CO2 diffuser back to where it was. Will give it couple weeks, then will cut on CMS+B to see if that helps.
     
  11. Pikez

    Pikez Rotala Killer!
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    Epinasty: how I feel the day after margaritas.


    But seriously, there are a bunch of people running wildly uncontrolled 'trace detox' tests. It all just started. So let's give it a few months for people to report back. I am not holding my breath for an incredibly eye-opening revelation. But I think we'll all learn a thing or two.


    At that point, we may be able to piece things together a bit. Dismiss and falsify…somewhat. Or double down on trace tox.


    I am not willing to do either at this point.
     
  12. CanTank2012

    CanTank2012 Junior Poster

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    See, if your tank is stable, don't change it :) But if you are having troubles like I do, why not to try a thing or two.
     
  13. Solcielo lawrencia

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    This is a huge fallacy in thinking: the need to use controls. These are live tanks and will always be live tanks. Whatever improvements will occur in these tanks, not one in a lab, and will be thus valid. So criticizing dosing patterns because it isn't controlled is not valid, even if it sounds like it is. Why? This is an important point: while we may not know exactly what caused the issues (CSM+B is a amalgam of metals, any of which can become toxic in high enough concentrations), we will know that ceasing or reducing it improved plant growth and health. This is what actually matters to most hobbyists.


    I know the reason why so many people kept their mouth shut for so long: the belief that they were doing something wrong and lacked the knowledge to know different and relied on those who were more knowledgeable for explanations. I've been in the exact same situation. Why do you think so many people are detoxing? They are doing so because they've had plant growth and health problems. The moment I stated firmly that all the issues they've been having are a direct result of micronutrient overdose and plants are suffering from toxicities, it set in motion a change in thinking from "impossible" to OD to what people are now starting to understand as the cause of the problems they've experienced for so long.


    If it's true that "EI causes no problems", why are so many people so eager to detox? Is it because their plants are super healthy and they just want to experiment with making them grow worse by inducing micronutrient deficiencies? "EI causes no problems" is a myth. Evidence: look at all the pictures of the plants that are being sold on various online forums from hobbyists. Too many examples abound of micronutrient toxicities but the sellers are oblivious to them even though they clearly show symptoms. I've also seen some of these "EI dosed" plants in person: they exhibited micronutrient toxicities.


    When I realized the issue was toxicity from my (uncontrolled) experiments, I recalled and looked back at all the threads relating to the issue. "Low CO2" is the most common response. False. They were micro-tox's. Dozens and dozens of pages all describing the same phenomena across the same species, across various online forums going back years and years. If you read that UKAPS thread, I listed dozens and dozens of threads all relating to micro-tox issues. What was clear from looking through all the pictures is that genuine deficiencies have become rare, probably due to the adoption of the EI concept. (IIRC, I counted less than a dozen instances of true deficiencies.) Micro-tox isn't a new a phenomenon, it just wasn't recognized as a toxicity until now.
     
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  14. CanTank2012

    CanTank2012 Junior Poster

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    Let's take it to a logical approach here, we don't need to prove a theory, we just have to fail at disproving it and it will stand true until someone disproves it - at least my physics major friend says so :)


    Solcielo, a few questions to you:


    - We know there a lot of "strange" deficiency threads recently. Was the solution for those people to lower CSM+B? Do we know that for sure? did they change anything else?


    - How come some veterans who have been doing this for years have never experienced this? Are they doing something different?


    - From your experience, what was the "aquarium botanist :)" level of the posters of those threads? Was it a mix of experienced gurus and newbies, mostly newbies? Mostly gurus?


    - Do we have a regional breakdown of where eople with issues seem to be coming from? What is it's a combination of CSM+B and local water parameters that cause this? That would explain why reducing CSM+B solves it...


    I am embarking on this quest as well to try to find the truth :) Although I believe in EI as I can see plenty of great results, I am open minded as it never hurts a little ;)
     
  15. Solcielo lawrencia

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    To answer your questions in one fell swoop: it doesn't matter who or what. If the EI concept is sound, then most people should be able to use it without issues. But that has recently appeared not to be the case considering the number of people openly admitting that they've been having issues that they couldn't solve. Even the experienced have had issues, but they just didn't recognize the symptoms. Many of them probably still don't see the toxicity even if it's pointed out to them because they are so used to thinking it's normal growth patterns.


    Again, there's no issue with dosing the macros as suggested, just the micros.
     
    #15 Solcielo lawrencia, Dec 2, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 2, 2015
  16. UDGags

    UDGags Lifetime Charter Member
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    Is there a database of pictures somewhere that show toxicity in plants of various micros? Like how do you know what you're seeing in random sellers pictures is a toxicity and not a lack of nutrients (or a combination)? It would be great if there was a plant database that showed a normal plant and then photos with the various lack of nutrients/toxicities


    I don't think the average person using EI has a clue what they are actually doing. They are dumping in fertz blindly and not watching the plants. They go to the various tables look up their gallons and just add the amounts. A lot of the pictures I see people have very low plant densities and dosing a ton of fertz. People who use EI and have nice tanks usually have a high density of fast growing plants.
     
  17. CanTank2012

    CanTank2012 Junior Poster

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    The problem with suspected toxicity, is that it seems to appear as a combination of multiple deficiencies. Another problem us that toxicity is a theory at the moment - there is no documented toxicity consequences that I could find aside from what has been recently brought up as potential symptoms...


    And until someone deliberately having 2 tanks on the same regime with same or similar plants dumps a lot of CSM+B in there and confirm that the symptoms are indeed what is described, toxicity will still be a mystery at least to me.


    Another potential scenario is say most of CSM+B components are used up by plants, but some accumulate - may be different plants use different elements and this might explain why some hav issues and others don't.
     
  18. fablau

    fablau rotalabutterfly.com
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    Solcielo knows because we have discussed this issue together on other forums and in private: I have been dosing EI for the past 1 and a half year, and I had a lot of problems since the beginning (just look at all my posted threads on this forum in the past year and you'll understand). And I am not a beginner, i have been playing with planted tanks since 1984, and had great growth even before adopting EI.


    Said that, in the last year I have been fighting BBA in my tank a lot, even though most of my plants were doing "great". Or better... Some plants were doing really great, other were ok and other really just stuck for one entire year long. I have tried everything: super dosing, pumping Co2 to insane levels (over 150ml/minute in a 75gl tank to reach crazy PH drops of 1.6) but no avail, BBA didn't go away.


    So... Desperate after so long, I have tried this detox method..l and, what to say? Worked in just a few days. Have a look at the two pictures below, they show the same bunch of Anubias. The first picture is taken 3 weeks ago, before the traces "detox" cure, and the second one has been taken today after almost 3 weeks with very low traces (3 water changes, CSM stopped for the first 10 days, and now I am dosing just 1/10th of what was dosing before):


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    As you can notice, leaves still have some BBA but greatly reduced, and leaves look much healthier. Also, notice trumpet snails cleaning up what remains of the dead BBA... Isn't nature amazing?


    Here are some more Anubia leaves after the detox cure:


    [​IMG]


    They were pretty much all covered of fine BBA before.


    I am doing the same experiment in a low-tech tank and I am taking pictures of the progress. I will share everything once finished.
     
  19. Christophe

    Christophe Subscriber
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    Unhealthy plants are a great substrate for BBA. In my case, the plants were deteriorating about as fast as they were growing, weeping organics into the water. I did twice-a-week 55% water changes through the whole summer without making an impression on the plants.


    I don't think it was a matter of CO2. I had the same consistent pH drop daily throughout the whole time, except for when I turned it up even higher. Circulation? With a consistent drop of 1.3 or better (measured in the area of the tank with the lowest circulation) you'd think that some plants, somewhere in the tank, would be getting enough and doing well. None of mine were. This is what sold me on at least trying the micro reduction -- No plants were thriving, regardless where they were in the tank. Well-lit, shaded, high circulation, low circulation, first crack at the CO2-saturated water, or distant corner.


    I'm not ready to call it a frank toxicity until we can more specifically identify the conditions it occurs -- There are still plenty of counter-examples, people tossing plenty of CSM+B into tanks full of great looking plants, and not having a problem. What other possibilities could be at play here?
     
  20. Solcielo lawrencia

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    Show a counter-example and I'll show you the toxicity.
     
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