Rotala sp Green --what's wrong? - Fertilizing - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 05-17-2004, 05:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Rotala sp Green --what's wrong?

Throughout the year, I have had problems with supposedly one of the easiest plants to grow --Rotala sp Green. Although increasing iron/traces seemed to be the solution last year, I can't seem to replicate the same results this year. Here are the aquarium conditions:

20g long
currently 6.15 wpg PC (2x55w PCs + 1x13w PC)... I'm experimenting.
Symptoms actually became WORSE when temporarily switched to 2x20w NO Flos for a week (2 wpg)
Pressurized CO2 being used... CO2 triple checked to be ~30ppm
NO3: ~5-10 ppm
PO4: ~1-1.5 ppm
Flourish 3 mL daily, Flourish Trace 3 mL daily, Flourish Iron 3 mL daily = 3x7= 21 mL of each supplement every week (that should be enough!!)
GH: 9
KH: 6
No additional K+ supplementation

Symptoms: Rotala sp Green produces small leaves which curl downward and corkscrew slightly. Older leaves are very dark green. Rotala sp Nanjenshan produces very short, scanty leaves with brown dead spots of necrosis.

Plants like Blyxa japonica, Tonina fluviatilis, H. zosterifolia, Ludwigia arcuata grow well without any sign of deficiency.

I will post pictures of the symptoms in a few hours.


Here's a picture showing the Rotala sp Green. Notice the curled growth.

Close up of a stem showing the deficiency.

Individual stem.

Rotala sp Nanjenshan. The plant isn't as "fluffy" as it should be, grows slowly, and has many dead brown spots at the internodes and along the stems.
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Old 05-17-2004, 06:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My Rotala sp. "Nanjenshan" did the same thing. Despite a good fertilizer regimen and a lot of light, I ended up having to throw it out.

The pictures of your plants look distinctly yellow to me...but you said you are dosing iron. Maybe more is needed?

I have heard that Ca and Boron deficiencies will make the leaves curl, as my Nesaea is currently doing. I don't know the contents of the ferts you're using. You said the Ludwigia arcuata is fine, so it probably isn't that, but maybe dosing K (to make the Ca available) will help.
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Old 05-17-2004, 08:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I think the yellow color of the plants is partially due to the 9325k PC bulb I have in there mixed in with the 6700k. 9325k bulbs are HORRIBLE at rendering color (CRI in the 60s).

Someone emailed me suggesting that I raise NO3 levels and double check CO2 levels. I have tried raising NO3 levels and after a couple weeks of the high NO3 levels, I noticed no noticeable change in the plants. However, I am willing to try again...

I can't raise my CO2 levels any higher at this point. Even a slight turn of the CO2 knob will cause my fish to show visible signs of stress.

More iron/Fe?

As a little experiment, I dosed extra calcium today, raising my GH/KH by 1dGH. I'll report back if I see even the slightest improvement by the end of the week.

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Old 05-17-2004, 09:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Carlos, what kind of kit are you using for the NO3? How often are you doing the testing? At 6.15wpg of PC lightings nutrients are going to be used up very quickly and bottom out real fast imo/ime. My guess is that your NO3 is causing all this issues since you mention your CO2 is good. Hope it helps....
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Old 05-17-2004, 09:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I've only had the current lighting up for about three days. The problem dates back way, way before I ever even thought about popping in a pair of power compacts. I will try the higher NO3s again.

I test my tank water twice a week. I formerly used an AP test kit. I am currently using the Red Sea test kit with good results as far as I can see. If I dose more, the test kit reads more nitrate. Dose less, it reads less... etc.

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Old 05-18-2004, 05:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Any thought to increasing Ca and Mg and lowering K levels?
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Old 05-18-2004, 04:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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with the KH and GH shouldn't he have enough Ca and Mg? How are you dosing No3 exactly? 2 tbls to 500 ml dry powder, etc? I would add more root fert, since you are using eco. If you had flourite, I wonder if you would be having the same problem. With that much light, your iron, No3 and phos have to be right on. I've had the same types of problems, but its been going away with lots of no3.
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Old 05-18-2004, 06:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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No flourite wont help. My plants are doing the EXACT same thing. They just look bad. Grow funny. all that. Whats weird is my only good looking stem of it is in my 20 gallon that i pretty much ignore besides adding the nutrients. Which is almost identicle to the nutrients in my 50gallon. I suspected maybe this plant greatly prefers the red spectrum because the only big differences in the two is that i add my traces dry to the 20 gallon and in a solution in the 50 gallon.... And that my light is 8800k in my 50gallon and Aquarays in the 20 gallon. I have Miracle grow under Eco complete in the 20gallon and EW casting unboiled in the 50 gallon under Flourite. With all thoughs nutrients you would think the that substrate would be no big deal.
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Old 05-18-2004, 07:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I have experienced the same thing with Rotala indica, although not as severe. It would only be the ocassoinal stem that did it and I would cut it off. Often one side shoot of a stem would look like yours and another from the same stem would look fine. I have no idea. I will, though, throw in a couple of my own thoughts/observations.

When this started for me I jumped on the Ca bandwagon and got some Kent's liquid calcium. Dose 4-5 mls at the wc(in a 10 gallon, 4.5 watts and CO2) of the Calcium. I have a Gh of 9 so i shoul dalready have enough Ca. I have/had been raising my kH from 2 to 4 with baking soda. I am strongly associating this problem with an Na buildup.

I also was dosing more Flourish/Fe than now, although not nearly the levels you are. Only 1-2 ml every day for me. Maybe you are having a nutrient toxcicity situation? How often are your wc's. I assume 50% once a week. Could this problem be a buildup of some unusual nutrient(vandium or something silly like that)? Since this Rotala is suposedly so easy to grow, this theory could make some sense. Leave it alone and it grows fine, let NO3 climb, P drop and it is fine; start going "high tech" and the plants suffers? Maybe it is more sensitive to higher trace buildup? This does not make much sense though, Shane is dosing both his tanks the same.

Lighting... well one never knows but I had this problem before switchng to 9325k bulbs so....and not now.

K, well I do and always have dosed 10ppm of K2SO4 at the wc.

Well anyway, no answers but maybe some clues. If nothing else, you can just add this to the mix
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Old 05-19-2004, 02:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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NO3, double what you are using, I add 1/4 teaspoon/20 gal tank every other day or so for this weed at high light(5.5w/gal).

It does better and grows easier at less light, like most plants. There's more wiggle room with less light. Then you can add less NO3 etc.

If you are having trouble with some of these plants, try more KNO3.

The plants will take it from the water column.
I found this plants to fun but a bit too invasive/fast growing for what I want at the moment but has it's uses certainly. Easy to grow but at high light, it likes good NO3 levels, same can be said for a few other plants.

You folks with all that light might want to add 1.5-2x more KNO3. I think you will find along with weekly 50% water changes that the plants will do quite well that you are having trouble with.

Try it for 2-3 weeks and see for yourself. Instead of adding 1/4 teaspoon 2x a week etc, add it every other day.

Tom Barr
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