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Yet another "what's my deficiency?" thread

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Florin Ilia, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. Florin Ilia

    Florin Ilia Lifetime Charter Member
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    Hi,

    My plants have small leaves, sometimes twisted - see pics below.

    I am dosing EI "by the book":

    1/32 tsp Plantprod Chelated Micronutrient Mix 3x/week (I also add 1/32 tsp Iron Chelate 13% once or twice a week)
    1/8 tsp KNO[SUB]3[/SUB] & 1/32 tsp KH[SUB]2[/SUB]PO[SUB]4[/SUB] 3x/week
    1/4 tsp Barr's GH Booster after the weekly water change
    10ml Seachem Excel daily
    and I inject ~45 ppm CO[SUB]2[/SUB].

    Whenever I measure NO[SUB]3[/SUB], PO[SUB]4[/SUB], K, Fe they are at the upper end of the EI range or above. (except for 2 or 3 weeks I had a deficiency of Fe, but the small twisted leaves have been there before)

    Clicking on the pics open hi-res versions. Sorry for the soft focus.

    Alternanthera reineckii 'Lilacina':

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Rotala macrandra:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Sometimes there are also holes:

    [​IMG]

    Not pictured here, but also Didiplis diandra has small leaves - no twisted but definitely smaller. Also, all plants that I top off take quite a long time (more than one week) to grow new tops.

    Can anyone tell me what this could be?
     
    #1 Florin Ilia, Dec 11, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2011
  2. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    looks to me like a K+ issue, (the singed leaves and pinholes) although there could also be a CO2 deficiency. (curled leaves) How do you know you are injecting 45 ppm? and how do you measure K?
     
  3. Florin Ilia

    Florin Ilia Lifetime Charter Member
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  4. dutchy

    dutchy Plant Guru Team
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    Very nice equipment!! But it seems like your plants tell otherwise.... No calibration errors?
     
  5. Florin Ilia

    Florin Ilia Lifetime Charter Member
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    Nope, no errors.

    I can't bet on my measurement skills though, I don't have any lab training. I know that it's easy for newbies to misinterpret measurements. It's just that different things point in the same direction (for CO[SUB]2[/SUB]: OxyGuard meter, dropchecker color, also pH/KH table; for K: dosing and measurement).

    I could of course try to increase CO[SUB]2[/SUB] and dose some K[SUB]2[/SUB]SO[SUB]4[/SUB] to see what happens...
     
  6. Wet

    Wet Lifetime Members
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    I've seen similar with leaf shape and size when limiting N dosing (which, with my dosing KNO3, also limits K). I think of them as oblong leaves. I'd also add more traces because when there's something going on with new growth, traces probably have something to do with it.

    [​IMG]

    I'll make the argument for simply doubling your dosing, make bigger water changes, and seeing if new growth looks good. Those old leaves will never recover and you may as well trim them off. If new growth is good (it probably will be), you can then lower individual nutrients to try to isolate the problem. If new growth is not good, maybe you have such density and plant flow the tank really does need more than 45ppm CO2. (I do not think this is unreasonable for a stem tank.) I suggest this because it's much more effective and easier to isolate nutrients with healthy plants rather than sick/recovering plants.
     
    #6 Wet, Dec 11, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2011
  7. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    Water temperature? Very easy to overlook this.

    Is the water temperature stable?

    Does the water current flow through the location where the plant is or just swirl around it? Water must flow through so the plant receives a steady flow of co2 charged water, not just the same water swirling about in some turbulence giving the illusion of true flow. Flow should be lazy though, not too fast.
     
  8. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    By the way, I'm completely stumped as to how this could possibly be a micro or macro deficiency given Florin is EI dosing by the book. Seems more like a co2 flow and stability issue to me.
     
  9. Florin Ilia

    Florin Ilia Lifetime Charter Member
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    Wet, Scott, thanks for the suggestions.

    Water temperature is between 24 and 25°C (75-77°F), quite stable inside this range.

    Bad flow is an interesting idea. Here's my tank viewed from above:

    [​IMG]

    The outflow (green) is a vertical spray bar so water is moving at all heights.

    It's true that the current seems to be quite strong on the edges (probably too strong) and maybe there is turbulence in the middle, the only problem is that I see small/twisted leaves both in plants from the stronger flow and plants from the middle.

    My CO[sub]2[/sub] concentration is pretty stable through the day, I do turn it off at night (see http://www.barrreport.com/showthread.php/9091-Stable-enough-CO2?p=75588&highlight=stable+enough#post75588 - except I increased concentration a little bit since those measurements were taken).
     
    #9 Florin Ilia, Dec 11, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2011
  10. pat w

    pat w Member

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    You may still be on the low side in K.

    On a std. EI dose
    SSP set to a 3 day-a-week dosing schedule
    per the K graph ... the min. K addition is 10 ppm per dose, for a weekly addition of 30 ppm max. is 30 ppm for a weekly total of 90 ppm.

    Just for reference, I'm dosing 8 ppm daily (autodoser) for a weekly total of 56 ppm.

    Pat
     
  11. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    If possible add the in/outflow in the same corner, side of the tank.

    The D diandra is good indicator of CO2.

    It's pretty tolerant otherwise, the smaller tip growth is always a CO2 suspect issue. A reineckii, R mac as well.
    Those older stunted tips will not recover, the new growth is what to look at.

    While one of my tanks has 45-55 CO2, the other needs 70ppm. Same type of tank etc.

    Flow might help.

    Location in the flow also makes a difference.
    KH might be an issue, but if it's 4 or less, not likely.

    I have doubts that the KH is a problem.
     
  12. Florin Ilia

    Florin Ilia Lifetime Charter Member
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    Thanks Tom.

    My KH is around 5 degrees at tap and currently around 3 in the tank due to filtering over peat.

    Next weekend I will move the inflow to be in the same corner as the outflow. I will also try to experiment angling the spray bar towards the glass, to reduce the strength of the flow in the back and maybe by reflection to reach the the middle of the tank.

    I will try to increase K and CO[sub]2[/sub] to rule them out. K is easy, for CO[sub]2[/sub] I will take a few days to increase. A reinekii is a slow grower but R macrandra should tell me pretty quickly if I'm on the right path.
     
  13. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Recovery will take at least 1-2 weeks before you get good signs of CO2 issues, A reineckii will take the longest. D diandra the shortest.
     
  14. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    Hi Florin,

    Do a Google search on 'Gyre'.

    For example, have a read of this article: http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2007/1/aafeature

    In my tank, I have a horizontal gyre flow pattern; viewed from above it resembles a racetrack.

    Sure, there is a dead(ish) zone in the middle. I have some Amazon swords and a few large rocks in the middle; no BBA or anything on them and growth is ok, so I guess it's just a matter of not putting anything too fussy right in the middle (but you wouldn't do that anyway I suppose).

    You might be able to get a good lazy gyre flow pattern going in your tank with your filter outflow. If you don't get enough 'fetch' (i.e. the water returns swirls back before making it to the end of the tank), you might be able to position a small powerhead to 'cooperate'..?

    Scott.
     
  15. csmith

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    This doesn't help you in the way you're looking for Florin, but it may help long term. I think, and this is my personal opinion, that this is the newest "widespread" myth going right now. It's not possible to dose EI by the book, as there is no book for EI. The numbers posted for EI are a guideline, a base line to get you to a close point. EI is about getting the plants a smidgen more ferts than they need so they have all they can handle. It's not a set system like so many others out there. I just really think EI is getting sent in a direction it was never intended to be taken. This is far more rampant on other sites. I just recently got back in to checking out TPT, and it blows my mind the flack EI has been catching recently because of this very thought process. "It doesn't work for my tank, it's no good!" There's a current thread where a guy has upped his lighting, cut the dosing by quite a bit, then waited three whole days before claiming it a miracle fix.

    Tom, or anyone else, if my understanding of EI is flawed please correct me. My apologies for the rant, but this seems to be a recurring theme now.
     
  16. Florin Ilia

    Florin Ilia Lifetime Charter Member
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    C., I understand your point, but you may be reading too much in my shortcut phrase :)
     
  17. csmith

    csmith Guest

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    Perhaps, and again I apologize for the rant. Just some of the threads I've read over the past few days irk me. To be of any help, I'd have to agree with the consensus and up the ferts (CO2 included), then back them down slowly until you find the cause. I dealt with this same issue (curling leaves) in my smaller tank quite often, and the answer was almost always CO2 related.
     
    #17 csmith, Dec 13, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011
  18. scottward

    scottward Guru Class Expert

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    Your thinking is flawed. :)

    It's about giving the plants PLENTY (not a smidgen more); i.e. provided non-limiting macros/mesos/micros.

    Once your tank is growing well, you can, if you like, fine tune the dosing if you want to. Not sure why anybody would bother given bulk ferts are so cheap and last for ages anyway.

    A lot of people seem to complicate EI. You simply "look up" your tank size and dose accordingly. Done. Piece of cake.

    Light is easy to set and forget too.

    Getting good flow + CO2 levels etc is the hair pulling part.
     
  19. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    I also do not know what by the book EI dosing is, it's pretty flexible and wide ranging, there's a rough range that's going to provide non limiting PPM's for ferts, and then there's a rough range of water changes and uptake....but these can vary widely.

    You can add more/less ferts than EI, it's more just an upper bound for dosing, then yuo can add a bit more(not likely folks need much more really) and then slowly add less over time to see where the critical point is is where you see significant, but subtle changes due to dosign less.
    Often, this can be quite less than the origianl EI start point.

    I've had all 3 of these plants, and have or of the 3 in my 120 gal without issues. I have A reineckii as well initially, but since I have the L perunesis, there's little need for a broader leaf red plant.
    So it was removed.

    I've also had those same types of holes, and stunted tips in the past, but it was a CO2 issue, every time I had good CO2 etc, then they never had issues.
    I knew this because all the other plants also grew well, so it was likely that these species are less CO2 competitive than many of the other species.
    All plant species do well in that 120 Gal, good light/CO2 and ferts.

    My fert dosing has not changed much over the last few years, but CO2 and light have.
     
  20. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    Well, the other issue, is if someone can dose more and have the same results....then it's NOT the reason...........If you dose less and have good results, that does not imply it was solely from the dosing.

    You can only falsify what is NOT.
    Showing cause is much harder to do and all it takes are few folks to disprove your hypothesis and the idea is shot to snot.
    But most do not care, as long as something is making their tank do well/better.

    Many things could be the cause there.

    I cannot test for all those, only one of two things at a time.

    Maybe it's CO2?
    Maybe these plants are just weird and CO2 is NOT the answer for Florin.
    But in all likelyhood, I'd bet in some way, CO2 is. I've added enough ferts of the years to know they are really quite flexible.

    Sediment ferts seem to really help(eg ADA AS), light bulb spectra seems to help also, but CO2........this sucker gets everyone at some point.
    PMDD used PO4 limitation to help mitigate CO2, since PO4 limitation is tolerated by plants more, this allows CO2 variation to go down and be less limiting than PO4.

    This explains why........someone had less algae with PO4 limitation, and why others also have no algae issues with PO4 dosing as high as 5ppm 3x a week, like myself.
    It could be Mg, since many do not test for that one.........could be a few different things.
     
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