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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all!

I'm trying high tech for the first time. So far the new tank set up hasn't been going so well.

So far lots of plant melt, emersed growth plants are struggling to transition and the stems that are surviving are showing some weird signs.

I made my own PPS-PRO dosing, and I'm injecting co2. My substrate is dirt capped with eco complete, and I'm using a niceew rgb 24/7 36 inch light that's raised about 3 to 4 inches. Using a 12 gallon long book shelf tank.

Some issues that have been going on that I could use any feedback or input are:

- the new growth on my ludwiga super red are coming out quite pink. Not sure what's going on. When I got it it was red.

-my rotala h'ra are all growing twisted and side ways for some reason

- I'm having weird white string like blobs growing on my substrate( can't vacuum because it just uproot my plants)

-starting to see BGA on some of my leafs, especially the older leaves.

Any input would be great on what things I can improve.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Royals can grow sideways. Generally things look fine. Keep growing.
you can siphon out the white stuff with a hose, gently hovering above it.
Do you knownwhat the white stuff could be?? The issue is when I try to hover over its stringy and it pulls up the gravel and the plants as well. I thought it was bio film originally but now I'm not sure.

Is the light colored/ pink growth on my ludwiga something I should be concerned with??? I think ots hard reading all these articles about plant deficiencies and stuff and not thinking I have everything! Like for my ludwiga I was going to dose more iron, because it's pale new growth, but figured I should ask here first
 

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What fertilizers (brands) are you using and what are the doses and how often per week? Also what is the hardness (GH), PH, and KH of your water. And how often do you do a water change and how much water do you change out?

One of the easiest ways to identify a deficiency is to look at the fertilizers and verify you are dosing them.

The complete list of Macronutrients is nitrogen (N), potassium, (K) calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), Phosphate (P), sulfur (S) and Chlorine (Cl) (Yes it is a plant nutrient).

And the micro nutrients are iron (Fe), Manganese (Mn), Boron (B), Zinc (Zn), Copper (Cu), Molybdenum (Mo, Nickel (Ni).

Anything that is not in the fertilizer could be deficient.

Note nutrients in Italics are mobile nutrients. A deficiency of any mobile nutrients can cause old leaves to die and fall off the plant.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I made a dry ferts macro/micro solutions from some older dry fets I was given. I have KNO3, KH2PO4, K2SO4, and csm+B (older formulation with I think 0.1% boron??) All from aquarium fertilizer.com and daily.

I tried using amounts similar to GLA PPS Pro, but adjusted slightly according to rotala butterfly.

Since my tank is new (only 1week old) I haven't been doing too many water changes... not sure how often I'm supposed to do water changes with a new tank since I've been told I'm supposed to let ammonia build up??? But last I checked it was around 2ppm.

I am not sure on my GH or KH, I only have the API kit, are these numbers useful to have??? I do have seachem equilibrium. But when I checked my PH with CO2, it was around 6.8 ish.

I was thinking the light colored ludwiga look kind of like iron deficiency, but I am targeting 0.1ppm with my ferts.... so I don't really know. Again most of the ferts dosing were done kind of by hand using rotala butterfly and not sure if I did they correct haha.
 

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I am not sure on my GH or KH, I only have the API kit, are these numbers useful to have???
The GH test detects Calcium and magnesium Which is listed as essential plant nutrient. I stated in my earlier post that it you are not dosing a nutrient it could bee deficient. Well your list of fertilizers doesn't list calcium or magnesium.

KH detects carbonates. these influence PH. But they also reacts with some ingredients in some fertilizers. CSM uses Chelated ingredients which makes it resistant to reacting with with carbonates.

Again most of the ferts dosing were done kind of by hand using rotala butterfly and not sure if I did they correct
I use rotalabutterfly myself and have learned hoot do the calculations manually. It is accurate asl long as you select the right ingredient from the list and enter the correct information it needs to make the calculation.

But when I checked my PH with CO2, it was around 6.8 ish.

I was thinking the light colored ludwiga look kind of like iron deficiency, but I am targeting 0.1ppm with my ferts...
The dosing method you are using was developed some time ago before people knew the limitations Fe EDTA (the iron ingredient in CSM+B.

Fe EDTA is only stable at a PH less than 6.5. Your PH is too high. As a result within a day the iron separates from EDTA and reacts with water forming iron hydroxide which is not soluble in water. If it is not soluble plants cannot use it. KH might also accelerate the process. In either case you are deficient in iron even though your target dose is OK.

There are two solutions to this problem:
-Dose Fe DTPA. This is stable to a PH of 7.5 and it might work up to 8. Dose 0.1ppm Fe DTPA once a week.
-Reduce the PH of your tank.

In your case you probably want to do both. Seachem equilibrium is a GH booster it provides calcium and magnesium as well as sulfur. However plant do need more calcium and magnesium then sulfur. So Equilibrium may help to push your pH down because of the excess sulfate it has. Plant only need about 1 degree of GH.
 

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One other issue with FE EDTA that I should mention is that its byproduct is iron hydroxide. Which is a phosphate and borate spung. In high tech tanks people may have to use more phosphate and borate than the plants need since iron phosphate and iron borate are not soluble. So you need to find a balance between the CSM dose and your phosphate and borate your plants need.

An additional issue is that CSM have very little Zing and copper in it. For some people this is not a problem because sometimes tap water has enough. I am using RO water which has no Cu or Zn so this deficiency was a problem and the Fe EDTA in CSM made it difficult for me to gt a balance. I had to make my own fertilizer equivalent of CSM to reach the ideal dose of 0.1ppm Fe, 0.05ppm Mn, 0.01ppm B and Zn, 0.006ppm Cu, and 0.001 Mo and Ni. Making your own CSM equivelent fertilizer is not easy. So for now I wouldn't recumbent you try this.

Also note Equilibrium in addition to Ca, Mg, S, it has potassium. You are also dosing K2SO4. So if you use Equilibrium you can discontinue K2SO4. Your KNO3 has enough potassium. Long term you might want to make your own GH booster using Calcium sulfate, Magnesium sulfate, and sodium chloride (table salt). This has all the Ca, Mg, S, and Cl your plants will need. Use rotalabutterfly to target 12ppm Ca, 4ppm Mg, and 0.3ppm Cl Note total butterfly will generate NaCl dose to reach TDS not Cl by default.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
One other issue with FE EDTA that I should mention is that its byproduct is iron hydroxide. Which is a phosphate and borate spung. In high tech tanks people may have to use more phosphate and borate than the plants need since iron phosphate and iron borate are not soluble. So you need to find a balance between the CSM dose and your phosphate and borate your plants need.

An additional issue is that CSM have very little Zing and copper in it. For some people this is not a problem because sometimes tap water has enough. I am using RO water which has no Cu or Zn so this deficiency was a problem and the Fe EDTA in CSM made it difficult for me to gt a balance. I had to make my own fertilizer equivalent of CSM to reach the ideal dose of 0.1ppm Fe, 0.05ppm Mn, 0.01ppm B and Zn, 0.006ppm Cu, and 0.001 Mo and Ni. Making your own CSM equivelent fertilizer is not easy. So for now I wouldn't recumbent you try this.

Also note Equilibrium in addition to Ca, Mg, S, it has potassium. You are also dosing K2SO4. So if you use Equilibrium you can discontinue K2SO4. Your KNO3 has enough potassium. Long term you might want to make your own GH booster using Calcium sulfate, Magnesium sulfate, and sodium chloride (table salt). This has all the Ca, Mg, S, and Cl your plants will need. Use rotalabutterfly to target 12ppm Ca, 4ppm Mg, and 0.3ppm Cl Note total butterfly will generate NaCl dose to reach TDS not Cl by default.
I feel like this is getting a lot more complicated than i originally thought >>. Is there any easy kit that you can recommend that has all of these things you have mentioned? Again, im like just starting off and this is all very overwhelming.

According to my local water report for Ca (avg 24.5 ppm), Mg (15.5 ppm) and Cl (100.5 ppm). Would those be enough in my natural water to meet those levels ??? Not sure how dosing versus what's in my water would differ in testing
 

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For Iron, Does seachem liquid iron work??? I have a bunch of that, and if I only have to use that as my liquid i think I can mange just buying those bottles every so often.
Seachem uses iron gluconate. Gluconate is a type of acidic sugar that bacteria consum very quickly. So it causes the same problem.

PPS pro is just CSM with DTPA added so it still has Fe EDTA and will therefore still cause phosphate and borate to be locked up with iron. I tried mixing my CSM with DTPA but found it was not much of an improvement. I got better result by buying the all the ingredients separately and mixing my own without Fe EDTA. But note I am using 100% RO water. With your tap water you might get better results than I did.
 

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According to my local water report for Ca (avg 24.5 ppm), Mg (15.5 ppm) and Cl (100.5 ppm). Would those be enough in my natural water to meet those levels ??? Not sure how dosing versus what's in my water would differ in testing
That should be fine but keep in mind those are yearly average numbers. IN some places summer nd winter values can be very different leading to inconsistent results. Get a GH test kit so you can monitor your water and adjust if needed.

I feel like this is getting a lot more complicated than i originally thought >>. Is there any easy kit that you can recommend that has all of these things you have mentioned?
When I started out I couldn't find any fertilizer that worked in my tank filled with RO water at a PH of about 7. I had to lean everything I have listed above myself. And I have observed a lot of people on forums and some can go hgh tech without any issues and some never get it to work. The key difference is what is in there tap water (often an unknown). PPS Pro and TNC were the only two fertilizers that looked good on paper but TNC is only available in europe and I don't know its ingredients and PPS Pro for me was not much of an improvement. It took me years to get to were you are now. hopefully with everything I have listed you will get what you want faster than it took me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
That should be fine but keep in mind those are yearly average numbers. IN some places summer nd winter values can be very different leading to inconsistent results. Get a GH test kit so you can monitor your water and adjust if needed.


When I started out I couldn't find any fertilizer that worked in my tank filled with RO water at a PH of about 7. I had to lean everything I have listed above myself. And I have observed a lot of people on forums and some can go hgh tech without any issues and some never get it to work. The key difference is what is in there tap water (often an unknown). PPS Pro and TNC were the only two fertilizers that looked good on paper but TNC is only available in europe and I don't know its ingredients and PPS Pro for me was not much of an improvement. It took me years to get to were you are now. hopefully with everything I have listed you will get what you want faster than it took me.
Thanks so much! I'll get a GH/KH kit by wed and post the results. I really do appreciate all the help and insight you've given! Do you mind me asking how often you are dosing and what PPM you are aiming for each of your ferts??

Im actually trying to find a regimen that i only have to do a few times a week vs daily. but not sure if i'll actually find that haha. I also wasn't sure if EI vs PPS pro, or if i should just copy one of the premade formulas like Thrive + or APT3 complete and aim for similar ppm to them.
 

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Note the link I provided fro iron DTPA in the long run will cost you a lot lesss than Seachem iron. You can use rotalabutterfly to make a solution with it. and the half pound bag cost $10 and will probably last sell over a year. Note use distilled water or RO water with a couple of milliliters of vinegar. The Vinegar insures the water is acidic and safely below the max PH limit of DTPA.
 

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Im actually trying to find a regimen that i only have to do a few times a week vs daily. but not sure if i'll actually find that
I always wondered whey nutrients had to dosed so often. Well once I fixed all the issues with my micros I am now dosing that once a week. GH booster once a week. For the other macros looks like once a week is also possible. Apparently the daily dose is needed to compensate the nutrient losses and deficiencies.

So The daily dose appears is needed because of deficiencies, and unstable ingredients frequently used in fertilizers. It has been a struggle to get to were I am now.

Also note eventually you might want to try a passive CO2 system. It is much more efficient than using a bubbler and it is impossible to kill fish with too much CO2. Using the conventional approach in my small tank I had a lot of problems maintaining a stable CO2 flow and once it got too high and I killed the fish. And my 21oz CO2 bottle only lasted about 4 months. It works well in my small tank and it appears that I can go 2 years on one 21oz bottle. I don't know how well it work in a larger tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Note the link I provided fro iron DTPA in the long run will cost you a lot lesss than Seachem iron. You can use rotalabutterfly to make a solution with it. and the half pound bag cost $10 and will probably last sell over a year. Note use distilled water or RO water with a couple of milliliters of vinegar. The Vinegar insures the water is acidic and safely below the max PH limit of DTPA.
would i add this in addition to the CSM+B amount?? When i made the solution for CSM+B it says it was targeting the 0.1pmm of iron, and when i make one for DTPA it still targets the same amount. and is normal house hold white vinegar okay?
 
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