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Old 09-07-2019, 02:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Help ID'ing Plant Deficiencies?

I have been trying to troubleshoot nutrient deficiencies in my 75 gallon aquarium for the past few months without success. Would you mind taking a look at the photos below? Maybe you can point me in the right direction.

I have been using the Seachem product line for fertilization. I'm realizing more and more that to get the ppm concentrations needed, I have to use a lot of product which gets too expensive. So I'll be switching to dry fertilizers. I still have to figure out what target ppm doses I need for the major macro/micro nutrients though--since I've been having trouble.

I don't use CO2. I do have generous root tabs everywhere there are plants. Lighting is medium to high using a Finnex LED 24/7 Planted+. The light gradually turns on starting at 6:00am and then gradually turns off by 12:00am. Intensity is least earlier in the morning and later at night. Color is more on the red spectrum in the morning and evening, more blue at night, and more white during the day.

PPM Dose Amount Per Week (Fertilator)
Nitrate = not dosed but is always 10-20ppm in aquarium
Phosphate = 1.62 ppm
Potassium = 25.21 ppm
Calcium = 6.67 ppm
Magnesium = 1.99 ppm
Iron = 0.51 ppm

Plants: Red Temple, Crypt. Wendtii Green, Jungle Val., Java Fern, Water Sprite, Pothos (roots submerged)

Thank you for your help!






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Old 09-07-2019, 03:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help ID'ing Plant Deficiencies?

Quote:
I don't use CO2.
Bingo..bing bing bing

Lower your light intensity if you're not adding CO2 or don't have dirt in the substrate that generates CO2.
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Old 09-07-2019, 03:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help ID'ing Plant Deficiencies?

So the deficiency you are seeing in the photos are a carbon deficiency? Are there any other deficiencies you see?

Whenever I have tried lowering the light intensity I just end up with algae everywhere, and some of the plants with higher light requirements (red temple) seem to wilt a little. Is adding a CO2 system the best answer?

I know I can't dose Excel (carbon source) because it will melt the jungle vallisneria. I think I remember reading that snails are also sensitive to Excel. I don't want to add dirt to the substrate or change the substrate. I know sand isn't the best option for plants but a planted tank is still possible with sand.

I don't know very much about supplementing with CO2. I know it's expensive and complicated to set up and asphyxiation is a concern. My aquarium has good surface agitation and water flow--wouldn't that off-gas a lot of the CO2 being dosed?

I have complete control over the light fixture. Would a split photo period be worth trying? Reducing the total amount of time the light is turned on? Any other ideas worth trying before CO2?
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Old 09-07-2019, 05:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help ID'ing Plant Deficiencies?

yeah, looks like CO2 deficiency.
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Old 09-07-2019, 07:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help ID'ing Plant Deficiencies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by christinamac910 View Post
I have been trying to troubleshoot nutrient deficiencies in my 75 gallon aquarium for the past few months without success. Would you mind taking a look at the photos below? Maybe you can point me in the right direction.

I have been using the Seachem product line for fertilization. I'm realizing more and more that to get the ppm concentrations needed, I have to use a lot of product which gets too expensive. So I'll be switching to dry fertilizers. I still have to figure out what target ppm doses I need for the major macro/micro nutrients though--since I've been having trouble.

I don't use CO2. I do have generous root tabs everywhere there are plants. Lighting is medium to high using a Finnex LED 24/7 Planted+. The light gradually turns on starting at 6:00am and then gradually turns off by 12:00am. Intensity is least earlier in the morning and later at night. Color is more on the red spectrum in the morning and evening, more blue at night, and more white during the day.

PPM Dose Amount Per Week (Fertilator)
Nitrate = not dosed but is always 10-20ppm in aquarium
Phosphate = 1.62 ppm
Potassium = 25.21 ppm
Calcium = 6.67 ppm
Magnesium = 1.99 ppm
Iron = 0.51 ppm

Plants: Red Temple, Crypt. Wendtii Green, Jungle Val., Java Fern, Water Sprite, Pothos (roots submerged)

Thank you for your help!
Hi @christinamac910,

I noticed in the pictures that it appears that the older leaves are the ones most effected. I see interveinal chlorosis, followed by a complete loss of photosynthesis (and green coloration) on the older leaves. The older leaves also show a downward 'cupping'. I am guessing that you tend to loose the older leaves on the plants fairly quickly after they mature.

Because it is the older leaves that seem most affected I would suspect one of the "mobile" nutrients is causing the issue. Based upon the symptoms I see in the pictures it appears that magnesium (Mg) may be the culprit.

Here is what I suggest; double the amount of Seachem Equilibrium so you are dosing about 4 ppm of MgSO4. I was going to suggest just dosing Epsom Salt however your Ca is lower than I would typically like to see in a tank as well.

Do you happen to know the hardness (dGH) of you tank?
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Old 09-12-2019, 04:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help ID'ing Plant Deficiencies?

Were the plants thriving before and then suddenly, or over time, start to look bad? My guess is that something happened and shocked the plants. A sudden change in water parameters or lighting can cause this. The older leaves stop growing and algae takes off.

Until you can invest into a CO2 system, try this trick. Have the lights turn on from 8 am to noon. Off from noon to 4 pm. Then on again from 4 pm to 8 pm. You won't get results anywhere close to CO2 injecting but it should help reduce algae growth. For the mid day rest period to work the tank needs to have as much sun light blocked from reaching the tank. Otherwise it might make things even worse.

Looks to me like the tank is running out of carbon from the lights being kept on too long. Having a rest period will help a little bit to regain some carbon but not much.

Might take a month but you should see new growth that has adapted to the new conditions. Then trim off the old growth on the faster growing plants to help make things look nicer. The algae on the anubias might also be from a lack of phosphates or the plants inability to use the available phosphates. Take that plant out and spot treat with hydrogen peroxide since it's such a slow grower. You don't want to trim those leaves off.
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