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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I believe it is potassium deficiency that shows as holes in the leaves.I was wondering if I can make another solution of potassium and dose this along with the already dosed pps-pro mix? What is the proper soulution to make here? How many grams per ml should I make and at what dose should I use?
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Add about 3 grams of K2SO4 to each 10 gallons of water you have to bring up the K levels (brings K levels up to about 36 ppm).

Then for weekly dosing add roughly 1 gram per 30 gallons (this adds 4 ppm per dose).

Your plants will initially stockpile all the K they can in their tissues so the K levels will rapidly decrease from 35 to 0 ppm if you had to test. So you can probably be rather liberal with your first 2 dosings without K building up. Even when K does build up, it doesn't usually cause problems except in huge quantities (100's of ppms).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks.
Just to clarify. This is dry dosing?
Also this is ok with my pps-pro dosing?

If dosing dry should I mis with tank water to make a sloution first? I just don't want this to harm the fish
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Yes it is dry compound dosing.

I add the dry chemicals directly to the tank water. But you can pre-mix the chemicals before you add them with tank water if you want. The chemicals won't hurt the fish if you add them to the water directly, they try eat it, but spit it out when they realize it isn't food.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you Zapins

Nevermore, what was the solution you made? Howmany grams per what amount of water? What dose did you do afterwards?
 

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My personal experience with testing the levels of K in you aquarium would indicate that you cannot determine a K deficiency based on holes in your plants. You have to test the level of K in the water over time to do this.
I would not add additional amounts of K (beyond those recommended using standard dosing like EI or PPS) because that will result in severe imbalance in the ratio of KPN which is the basis of these programs. What is worse, if you kill off your plants the resulting plant material will give off high amounts of K into the water column creating even more of an imbalance? Sticking with the EI or PPS programs will make up any short term imbalance over time.

If you don’t stick to the program, you have no idea what is going on in your aquarium. If you want to do research that is great! Get a K test kit and figure out what is really going on in your tank.
 

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I respectfully disagree, K does not block nutrient uptake in small amounts like 36 ppm (or even way higher concentrations). The recommended levels on the fertilator are mere guesses at what the K level should be, and do not indicate harmful levels at all. This is certainly not the case with other nutrients like Ca, Mg, N, etc... these nutrients will cause nutrient uptake problems if dosed in too high a concentration.

I started getting K blocking problems at about 500 ppm concentrations.

Also, K is not an easy element to test for, and is notoriously hard to measure accurately, so any test kits that are cheaply available for K (if there are any) are going to be very inaccurate. I took my water samples to a lab and had them vaporized and tested the spectral emissions.

There are only a few plants that are sensitive to higher K levels (1 or 2, by my count) and these are not very commonly kept.

It is always best to use test kits to determine the nutrient levels in our aquariums and dose accordingly like you suggested, but the test kits available for potassium won't be able to do this. I believe the best course of action is to read the plant signs and dose a relatively modest amount of K to ensure they get enough.
 

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I respectfully disagree, K does not block nutrient uptake in small amounts like 36 ppm (or even way higher concentrations). The recommended levels on the fertilator are mere guesses at what the K level should be, and do not indicate harmful levels at all. This is certainly not the case with other nutrients like Ca, Mg, N, etc... these nutrients will cause nutrient uptake problems if dosed in too high a concentration.

I started getting K blocking problems at about 500 ppm concentrations.

Also, K is not an easy element to test for, and is notoriously hard to measure accurately, so any test kits that are cheaply available for K (if there are any) are going to be very inaccurate. I took my water samples to a lab and had them vaporized and tested the spectral emissions.

There are only a few plants that are sensitive to higher K levels (1 or 2, by my count) and these are not very commonly kept.

It is always best to use test kits to determine the nutrient levels in our aquariums and dose accordingly like you suggested, but the test kits available for potassium won't be able to do this. I believe the best course of action is to read the plant signs and dose a relatively modest amount of K to ensure they get enough.
I don't know about K blocking problems but I do know this: Nobody knows what effect excess K will have on all plants (including algae) and all fish. That means when you start fiddling with the program, you are conducting an uncontrolled research project using your tank as a guinea pig.
The worse part about such research is that its efficacy is just speculation. For example:
A patient goes to a doctor complaining about a cold. The doctor says eat two bowls of chicken soup every day. The patient follows the directions and in three days the cold is gone. Does that mean the chicken soup cured the cold?

I use a LaMotte nephelometric test kit. Using reference standards and my spectrophotometer it is easy to get accurate and reproducable results.
 

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Well you need to be sure that there is new growth showing deficiency signs my man. K deficiency will be experessed in older leaves, so it will not be as easy as just looking, the older leaves will stay damaged and the holes wont fill in. My suggestion is to mark a leaf somehow that is the last old leaf with damage and watch for holes on the leaves above it.
Once you are sure there is new damage and its not from a fish... i would suggest Zapins little plan. Making a new solution is kind of a waste of time because you can just continue dosing PPS pro and then as things decline again (if they do) then dry dose more K. I doubt you will have to do this very much at all. Exact ratio's are not very important (Not coming from me coming from a PhD in plant Biochemistry).
 

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BTW ray your right you cannot be sure their is a deficiency just by the holes, but deficiency signs are very well documented so it is a very good indicator. I'm not sure how long you take your K measurements but testing water is probably a poor way of deciding you have K deficiency. Plants have very large storage capacity for most major nutrients, enough to grow without taking them out of solution for a very long time... I like where your mind is at though. Also check for magnesium, just because GH is in order does not mean Mg is. Marginal chlorosis is K deficiency usually white inervein chlorosis is Mg. Holes could be from K, Mg, or maybe PO4 depends a lot on species reaction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
thanks Shane. My old leaves are destroyed with holes, and most of my new leaves are fine. With the exceptions of some new crypt leaves and my hygro angustifolia. I had my crypt send off a new plantlet and the first leaves have holes in them. Also I recently cut my hygro and the new leaves have holes or a hole here and there.
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Any yellowing? Holes without yellowing make me think fish or snail damage is to blame
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
my crypt yes. The hygro no. Also I found some holes in my hygro sunset leaves too. The new leaves. They are not even pinkish yet.
However I do believe you are correct in some part at snail damage or fish damage. My anubias nana petite has something going on. The new leaves are gone. All the way down to the stems. Its just the new leaves though. The old leaves are still in tack and fine.
 

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Can you take pictures of the holes?

Sometimes plecos can cause small holes as they try rasp the leaves for algae. Also snails could possibly do the same, depending on what species you have.

The fact that your plants are missing leaves entirely seems more in line with herbivory.

What fish do you keep? What type of snails?
 

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The new leaves are gone. All the way down to the stems. Its just the new leaves though. The old leaves are still in tack and fine.
My SAE's regularly did that to my plants. They loved the central rossettes of my Amazon Sward plants. I always check KPN levels; so, I knew that there was no problem with nutrients. I though that it might be some form of bacterial rot. I didn't do anything but eventually it became obvious that the problew was from my SAE's. I lived with them for a few months and finally gave them away 2 weeks ago.

Hope you didn't add all that extra K.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
My fish and inverts are:
10 zebra danios
3 blue delta guppies
6 otos
6 amano shrimp

Snails
I believe I have pond and apple
I have alot so not sure what all of them are
Some have curly circular shells over there body. Not cone shapped.
Others are larger and have large, smooth shells, darker in color. These guys get pretty big. Maybe about 1/2" long

here are the pics.
This is the anubias nana petite with leave damage


this is the cryp with leave damage


sorry about the images. Apparently my camera does not want to work so well.
 

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i doubt this is nutritional deficiency. Get rid of the critters doing the damage.
 

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That does look like herbivore damage. Potassium deficiency usually is accompanied by chlorosis of leaf tissue around the holes (yellowing tissue).

Seems like the most likely culprit is the snails. Apple snails you say? What species? These snails grow huge - up to a baseball in size. They are known to eat plants. Try take some better pictures of the snails, or look online for a positive ID.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
ok I have ramshorn snails, bladder/pouch snails, and common pond snail. I was wrong about the apple snail. None of these snails are supposed to be a problem for plants from what I read. However I have a lot of them and they keep breeding. I found another 4 egg sacks just today, and about 30 small almost clear snail babies on the glass last night.
 
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