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Vexing nutritional problem

Discussion in 'CO2 Enrichment' started by Henry Hatch, May 6, 2008.

  1. Henry Hatch

    Henry Hatch Guru Class Expert

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    Generally most of my plants grow pretty well, but for some reason I have specific problems with a plant such as dwarf sag. that I just cannot seem to solve. The attached photo shows pale growth. I have grown this plant in three different tanks always with the same problem. Growth varies from almost white to pale.

    This particular tank is a 20 high with 48 watts of t5 HO lighing. I do 50% water changes weekly. The tank has 8 small fish.

    Dosing:
    kno3 1/8 tsp x3
    kh2po4 1/16 tsp x 3
    flourish 4ml x 3
    gh booster 1.5 tsp once a week - tap water is 5 deg which is as high as it gets.

    I use diy co2. My drop checker does not seem to be working properly so I'm not sure about co2 levels. I use 3 liters of wine yeast and sugar. I did have this plant in a 50 gallon tank with lots of pressurized co2 and had the same problem.

    I've made 2 recent changes. Lighting was 45 watts of no flourescent and I just installed the t5 bulbs described above about 2 weeks ago. I was using equilibrium, but changed to gh booster just last week.

    I have tried dosing additional calcium, and magnesium - no change. I've had this problem for a year.

    If my other plants are ok maybe I should just stick to what grows in my tank.
     
  2. Henry Hatch

    Henry Hatch Guru Class Expert

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  3. Carissa

    Carissa Guru Class Expert

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    Hi,
    Just wondering which Flourish product you are dosing with. I don't know what would cause this problem, but the other components you would need would be iron and traces, unless this is contained in your Flourish dosing.

    Adding that amount of KNO3 would be adding a total of 21ppm of nitrate per week or an average of 3ppm per day. This could be fine, or it could be a little low depending on your fish load and type/amount of plants, especially since you have what seems to be a pretty low fish load. I would try increasing it.

    This would also add 13ppm of potassium....again on the lean side, but if you bump up KNO3 this will help increase potassium too.

    The KH2PO4 is adding about 10ppm per week. Since the high side of the average uptake is about 4ppm per week, you can probably cut back a bit on this.

    Calcium and magnesium - 5 degrees is not that bad. Unless this plant has special needs that I'm not aware of, I don't think this is the problem.

    Stable CO2 is obviously a good thing, but if you also had these problems in a tank with pressurized co2 and you knew the levels were high enough, I suppose this could be ruled out. How did you know levels were high enough, without a working drop checker?

    Something else you could try just as a sidepoint....take a sample of your tank water, test pH, then let it sit overnight and agitate it a bit. pH should rise by about 1.0 if your co2 levels are in the right range.

    Just general observations, I don't have experience with this plant and haven't had this problem before, someone else may have some better observations.
     
  4. Mooner

    Mooner Lifetime Charter Member
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    You increased your light a lot :eek: You may very well be bottoming out on something.

    Keep doing what you tried with the CA and MG. Get the parameters steading so you can rule them out one at a time. Sorry, but I'm not a fan of DIY CO2, there will always be a variable there to deal with. Need to get the DC working so you know what CO2 level you do have.

    D. Sag is quite weedy under good conditions. I run pressurized CO2, EI plus a little with 1.8 watts of PC lighting and the D. Sag will reach 9" tall in Eco-complete and Florite Black.

    Keep at it and you will find what you are missing:)
     
  5. Henry Hatch

    Henry Hatch Guru Class Expert

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    Hi folks,

    Thanks for your comments. Let me make a few other comments. The Flourish product I use is their plant supplement which has iron, and additional Ca and Mg.I have dosed iron for quite some time and discontinued doing it and saw no change in the plants. The Gh booster I add has Ca, Mg, and K. I did get a water report which indicated a Ca level of 8.7, Mg 3.9, and K 15.0. I would think with a gh of 5 out of the tap that I would have a little more Ca and Mg. I'm sure that what comes out of my tap varies. I have suspected a possible Ca or Mg problem. Maybe I did not give it long enough. Since this is a long standing problem, it may take longer to resolve.

    I agree with the concerns about diy co2. I do have a 10 lb co2 tank on my 50 gallon. I was thinking about running all 3 tanks on one co2 tank, but the location of the 2 smaller tanks did not make that practical. I have added a lot of light and that makes co2 levels more of an issue. I may go with a single bulb.

    However, in other regards the tank is doing well. I haven't had to scrape algae in weeks. The other plants are doing fine. That's why I've been cautious about making too many drastic changes. I did not want to solve one problem and create 2 others.

    I'll try adding some Ca, Mg, and maybe Kno3.
     

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