What kind of nutrient shortage is this?


Guru Class Expert
May 23, 2009
Well, I had thought I knew you knew that I wasn't talking about Tiny Plaid Ninjas. :D

Yes, I knew you were talking about CSM+B not the TPN. But as I was struggling with
Heteranthera Zosterifolia melting so the Traces issue was all over my head. Tom said
5 ml 3-4x a week of TPN should provide enough traces for a 20 gallon tank.
So I used that TPN dosage as a reference (I can't use TPN long term because when
I step up to a four times bigger tank, I will not be able to afford it).

I compared the TPN with other traces to find out how much was a starting point for
the traces I was using (it's a repackaging of a product of Akzo Nobel sold in Thailand).
I was surprised that the iron in TPN was not high at all. Actually I had been dosing
about the same amount of traces as the suggested TPN. But the Stargrass was still
melting. Yep may be CO2, and may be the circulation, etc.

OK, cut to the point. My point is I think the Tenso Cocktail ( NUTRITECH SYSTEM - The Plant Nutrition Company :: Products :: KRISTALON :: Tenso cocktail )
is not a bad choice at all. It doesn't lack manganese. In fact, it has higher iron and
manganese than TPN (Mn 0.04% vs 0.1542%). So, if getting CSM+B is troublesome,
just up the dosage of Tenso Cocktail may help in this case.

CSM+B is interesting. I used to consider ordering it. But, to import chemical fertilizer
to where I live (Thailand), I have to pass a whole lots of procedures to get the license,
just like other importers and sellers of chemical fertilizer here. :mad:


Lifetime Charter Member
Lifetime Member
Jun 21, 2009
Surprise, AZ
Tenso Cocktail Apology


I agree the Tenso Cocktail is a good choice!

Thank you, I have never used Tenso Cocktail, in fact I confused the name and got the specs wrong, my apologies. :eek: The Tenso Cocktail does indeed contain Manganese.:cool:

It does not change my basic opinion. I still believe Joshua’s underlying problem is iron deficiency.

The relatively low iron of many micros has surprised me. However, that may simply be that I am used to the “iron heavy,” CSM+B. When I first started using, CSM + B, it was part of the PMDD regimen, since iron is easy to measure, the object was to add enough to raise the iron to .1 ppm, I now dose higher than that. I have also just about entirely gone to the EI dosing strategies.

Unless there is something in the micros’ that would be toxic, I would calculate the dose to exceed of .1 ppm iron. I would not concern myself with testing for general use as long as substantial water changes (more than half) are done every week.

The Heteranthera Zosterifolia is a beautiful plant, I had a plant the seller called Star Grass, but it certainly wasn’t Heteranthera Zosterifolia. So no direct experience.

It does sound as though it may be a CO2/circulation problem and the plant seems delicate enough to require lower water flow rates. Another thing to check might be the GH, though I just checked and it does not seem to be significant.

Well, thank you and let me know how Star Grass turns out.