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Discussion Starter #1
Hi!

I'm observing holes and some withering in old leaves in my low-maint/light tank. From reading, I guess this points to deficiency in K. As this ia a 1.3wpg non-CO2 tank, I would prefer it remain as such. Anyhow, I have base fert, gravel and coral chips (which gives Mg and Ca?) and main Crypts and other low-light plants like Java Fern, moss.

My critters are 6 white clouds, 2 small platy (to clear up surface scum), 2 ottos, 3 yamatos, 1 C.Paletus, 3 C. Habrosus and 9 young (0.5") C. Hastatus.

Any advice? Feed more? Dose something? Remove some Coral chips? thanks! :)
 

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Welcome stocker:)

It does sound like a deficency of either K or N. ITs hard to tell though because all plants are a little different. What type of plant is it? What are your N levels? Do you dose any ferts? KNowing this would be helpful:) COuld you use the "I need help template". Its the sticky at the top of the forum topics. I would venture a guess and say that your prob is either N, K or lack of any micros but......

Thanks

Dennis
 

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I think Dennis is coorect. Add some KNO3, although only a small amount once a week.

Also, add a little SeaChem Equilibrium each week.
That should cover all your bases.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ok Dennis, here goes... (sorry I didn't do that earlier)

1. Tank water volume: 15USG/56L
2. Tank lighting (type, watts per gallong, etc.): 20W FL, 1.3wpg
3. Tank filtration: Eheim 2213
4. Tank substrate: JBL base fert, normal gravel
5. Plants: Crypt Balansae, Retrospiralis, Ciliata, Becketti, Petchii, Wendtii, Pontederiifolia , Patchi, Java ferns, Moss, H. Difformis, Bacopa Caroliniana, some Vals, Anubias barteri ''coffeefolia'', (Egeria densa and Hornwort for algae prevention) (Yup, I like Crypts!)
6. Fish: 6 white clouds, 2 small platy (to clear up surface scum), 2 ottos, 3 yamatos, 1 C.Paletus, 3 C. Habrosus and 9 young (0.5") C. Hastatus
7. Test kits used (brand and type): None, it's supposed to be a low-maint tank! :lol:
8. Fertilization regimen (include products used): See Below.
9. Do you CO2? No
10. Water change routine: Seldom.
11. How long has the tank been set up? 6months

12. Describe your question or problem in detail:
Holes in old leaves in most plants, seems like deficiency in K. Started in the H. Difformis (I guess fast growers get it first)
I had tried to dose some Flourish previously, about 1ml/week, BBA started coming out, so I stopped after the 2nd dose. Injected some H2O2 locally, and the yamatos took care of it. I also tried doseing 1ml of Excel, but seems like no effect, but occasionally I put some. I used to feed 4 times a week, but since yesterday I feed daily.

So it's Seachem Equilibrium and KNO3? Do I follow the recimmended dosages or less for my low-light no CO2 tank? Can provide me a figure, cos I'm new at this dosing stuff. Also how long should I start seeing results? (just in case I panic and start saying it's not working! :lol: )

Also, Is Flourish and Excel no good for me?

Thank all! :)
 

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If you want a low tech non CO2 method then do just that.
If you want to improve growth and add flourish/Excel etc, then do that.

Don't try and do both or bounce back and forth.

For non CO2:
Few if any water changes
Fish waste/fish food is the primary input, fertilizer.
Some traces from the substrate only.

Don't add it to the water column unless you have substantial floaters, , java fern etc and other plants attached and no access to the substrate.
Then only very small amounts every week.

If you add something like excel etc, then you will increase growth and remove all the fish waste quickly and cause a deficiency.

Excel will have definite effect on the tank, you might not see it right off like CO2, but it does increase growth.

But back to the issue at hand:
Add the 2 things I suggested, roughly 1/8" teaspoon of the SeaChem EQ and a little less on the KNO3 weekly.
Use the H difformis as your gauge.

I use H polysperma as mine on my non CO2 tank.
I'll get holes if I do not add a little KNO3. I remove a fair amount of this plant through pruning so I have to replace what I take out with something.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Tom, Dennis.

I will take the advice on low-tech non-CO2 tank. Will get the Seachem EQ and KNO3 and dose it in.

OK, hope you guys don't mind my questions (esp if they lack common sense!). Just like to learn...

1) why did you recommend KNO3 instead of K2SO4 or KH2PO4? Would the NO3 be too much for my tank to handle? I used Chuck's calculator and 1/8 teaspoon actually gives me ~8ppm of Nitrate and ~5ppm K. I uunderstand together with the EQ, my K levels would be higher.
2) I read (on Seachem's web) that EQ contains K2O, Ca, Mg, Fe and Mn, should I then remove my coral chips (about 20 pieces)
3) What do you think/know caused my K (or N) deficiency? Was it the lack of feeding, coral chips?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Got the EQ and KNO3. Prepared a solution with it (Takes the guesswork out of 1/8 teaspoon) put in 1/8 teaspoon worth of it and keeping my fingers crossed! :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Into my 2nd week of dosing, still do not observe much improvement, or should I, not sure if the existing holes will "clear up" or simply no "new" holes as an indication to the dosing working?

Getting a bit worried because some of my narrow leave java fern are beginning to wither at the edges... :cry:
 

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The holes wont heal them selves. New growth should be healthy though. How old is the javav fern. Are you sure the leaves are not emersed growth, which will die back eventually. Is there new growth on any plants? Low light tanks grow slowly so it will tak elonger to see results from a change. 2-3 weeks is basically what it would take to see results in some of hte "fast" growers. H. difformis for instance:)

Hope that helps:)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Dennis, thanks. Will be patient and wait out. My Java fern has been submerged for quite some time. Got it from a mature plant, and have been growing, just a bit concerned about the leaf edges...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Have tried the above for 3 months now, and the situation is much improved. However, I still observe some of my crypts exhibiting some pinholes. Should I increase the dosage to say 1/6 or 1/4 teaspoon weekly? Last week, I added about 1/6 teaspoon and have not observed any detrimental effects. :lol:

I've attached some pics of the tank and the observed holes.
 

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Well,

Let me share something with you. I have a 10gallon low light/non CO2tank similar to yours, Crypts, Anubias, mosses and 10 smallish sized fish (think zebra danios) So fa when I see holse develope in my leaves like you have I use that as a signal to change the water. I have found that seems to corelate to high NO3 levels in the water. Generally a couple of the crypt leaves will develope holes then the leaf melts away. I change the water and all is fine for 2-4 weeks.

3 weeks ago I decided to start dosing this tank to see if I could improve the growth and overall health of the tank. I have been adding 5ppm NO3, .75ppm PO4, 2ml flourish and 5ml Flourish Excel evrey week. The Flourish and excel are dose twice a week and the macros are dosed in small amounts every other day. An interseting thing I have observed is that the tank has remained cleaner and more algae free in the past 2 weeks than normal. There has not been a noticable increase in growth although I also rescaped the tank 2 weeks ago so I know the crypts are stil in a little shock. My green wendtii has not exhibited any of the holes or melting leaves but the wendtii Bronze has lost several leaves. at this point I am going to lay blame for that on the replanting stress.

In your situation stocker, I am glad you have seem some improvement in your tank. Are you dosing anything but KNO3 and equilibrium? In my situation I am hoping that the overall improved nutrient levels and health of the tank will lead to better growth and nutrient uptake, thus causing less of a buildup of NO3 over the course of several weeks. My main hope is that the added PO4 and Flourish/excel will lead to less maintance. While it is definately to soon to tell the future for my tank, there seems to be a definate improvement in these past 3 weeks compared with the past few months.

So for your questions, I know its suposed to be low maintance but it might be worth it to test your NO3 levels now. Just out of curiousity:) You are already adding 15ppm NO3 weekly to your tank. That seems like a bit much for a low light/ non CO2 tank. You might try adding just a smidge of PO4 weekly to see if that helps. Maybe start with .5ppm P or so and see what happens. Adding some PO4 should cause a greater uptake of NO3.

Hope that rampling helps:)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
No, nothing else but EQ and KNO3.

Maybe I'll do a 20% water change and perhaps add a little bit of PO4. But I really do not want this to become a high maint tank, so I'm really hoping to minimise dosing and not to go the route of adding excel and flourish. Any other ideas? :) :?:
 

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Stocker,

A waterchange wont hurt. You could change up to 50% without any problems. I would try adding a little PO4. Java Ferns and mosses all love PO4, actualy most of the lower-light plants are very fond of PO4. As long as your base fert is still good I would not be to concerned with adding any additional trace now. HTH:)
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I just did a 20% water change. keeping my fingers crossed! BTW, there are no mosses or Ferns in the tank, just crypts and some Vals in the background.Here's a picture of it. comments welcomed! :lol:
 

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Non CO2 tanks take time to improve.
You can add more plants, Crypts sometimes form those seemingly hole like spots, generally low NO3.

Those spots don't, like the other holes, revert back, so you can trim them off after the plant grows some more.

Patience.
The growth rate is much slower.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for all your advice and help. Looks like I just gotta be patient. I will then just maintain my dosage of KNO3 and EQ of 1/8 teaspoon for the time being. Great forum! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Hi all,
I'd like to report that most of the holes are gone, except for the 3 stalks of Cryptocoryne pontederiifolia, which I have moved to another tank anyway.

However, I've noticed some small turfs of dark-greyish brush algae on some pieces of the gravel near the front of the tank. A LFS told me it's because the gravel there has poor circulation (maybe too dense) and have gone aneroxic? It's only a 2ft, 15Gal tank, and I'm using a Eheim 2222 on it, with a rainbar at the rear top of the tank. I notices the circulation is a little better with the rainbar "stopper" removed. So most of the water gets out at the left top corner. So I guess it's conceivable that the front portion of the tank's circulation is poorer than the rear/middle areas.

Any advice? reposition the rain bar at the bottom rear of the tank with the "stopper"?
 
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