How to Diagnose Plant Deficiencies - Step by Step Guide - Plant Deficiencies - Aquatic Plant Central

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Old 03-13-2015, 09:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How to Diagnose Plant Deficiencies - Step by Step Guide

After several years of reading up on plant deficiencies, doing tests on my own plants and reading many deficiency threads I figured I would write up a guide that walks you through how to figure out what deficiency your plants have.

I organized the following document into 3 columns, the first one tells you step by step how to diagnose plant deficiencies, the second column is a reference list with descriptions of the most common mineral deficiencies, and the third column walks you through an example from start to finish.

I will probably update the file as time goes on.

I have uploaded two versions of the same file, one high res that opens with a web browser, the other a PDF which is low res.

Website view (high resolution images and text that can be copied & pasted):
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B81...ew?usp=sharing

PDF version (low res pictures):
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B81...ew?usp=sharing
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Old 03-14-2015, 04:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to Diagnose Plant Deficiencies - Step by Step Guide

Oh wow! That's great. Thanks!
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Old 03-23-2015, 03:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to Diagnose Plant Deficiencies - Step by Step Guide

Gold!
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Old 03-23-2015, 01:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to Diagnose Plant Deficiencies - Step by Step Guide

Great write up! One thing, about the potassium and pinholes in Hygrophila. Have you ever solved it with potassium? I've had it in 3 different tanks and because everybody always tells you it is potassium, I daily dosed 10 ppm. Pinholes kept popping up, just like in this picture:

I even sent water to a testlab. Potassium >72mg/L


I measured low phosphate in all 3, so I increased that and no more new holes.
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Old 03-23-2015, 02:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to Diagnose Plant Deficiencies - Step by Step Guide

Thanks everyone.

Yo-han:

I've finished all the calculations and buying the setup materials I need for a phosphorous deficiency test.

I'll be running the phosphorous deficiency experiment over the next month or two to determine the exact symptoms aquatic plants show. Phosphorous deficiency should be very uncommon in aquatic plants from what I've seen (unless it looks the same as another deficiency).

According to what I've read about terrestrial plants it should look similar to nitrogen deficiency. However, aquatic plants don't seem to have exactly the same patterns of damage that terrestrial plants do (probably because the leaves cannot dry out and become dehydrated like land plants can) so the symptoms are slightly different in a few of the deficiencies. It wouldn't surprise me if we found out something interesting.

I'll post the experiment design and initial conditions in a new thread soon, then update the thread as the experiment continues until we have an answer.
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Old 03-23-2015, 02:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to Diagnose Plant Deficiencies - Step by Step Guide

Be sure to include some Hygrophila corymbosa!

I agree with you that phosphate deficiencies are rare. IME plants will slow their growth (and perhaps some GSA) but never real problems. Perhaps because phosphate was always quite high and plants weren't able to adjust fast enough to the drop...
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Old 03-27-2015, 12:07 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to Diagnose Plant Deficiencies - Step by Step Guide

Great write-up zaplin.
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Old 03-29-2015, 07:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to Diagnose Plant Deficiencies - Step by Step Guide

Awesome, thanks for writing this up.
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Old 11-04-2016, 11:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hi Zapin,
Your valuable posts made me solve iron deficiency in my planted tank and join this forum.
These are the picures taken at different intervals.
Initially i suspected sulfate deficiency and started dosing potassium sulfate but problem persisted (i did not think of iron deficiency as i was already dosing iron, test kit showed 1-2 ppm of iron)
Later i came back to iron. It was a chelated iron (chelated with amino acids), thought i should change it. Ordered fe-eddha 6% and within 2 days everything started to change.
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Old 11-04-2016, 11:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Sorry for the bad picture quality
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