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Discussion Starter #1
Ray’s observation:
Do holes in plant leaves mean a K deficiency? Maybe, but probably not.
Are these holes in Alternanthera reineckii the result of a K deficiency? No because this is my plant and I have been checking the levels of K in my aquarium routinely for over 6 months with no deficiency.

In fact, these holes are the result of predation by a supposedly non-plant eating species, Siamese Algae Eater (Crossocheilus siamensis). This is verified by the fact that after the fish were removed from the environment, the newer leaves in the back no longer had evidence of distortions.
 

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I've had SAE's eat all sorts of plants in my tanks. They have a special affinity for R. wallachi and a variety of mosses. I haven't noticed that they've ever bothered the A. reinekii before, but YMMV.
 

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I have ottos eating entire leaves, one hole at a time of my Hyptis sp (aka Lamiaceaesp aka Hemigraphis traian - Good grief!) At first I though it was melting due to not enough KNO3. Then as I watched I saw several ottos decend and eat away! Those hungry little buggers! :D
 

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I've been lucky then. I see otto's on several plants but never noticed any holes or such on the plants. And my SAE, he just hangs out on the drift wood and glass.

I do supplement their diet with spirulina wafers and bottom feeder tabs. I wonder if that curbs their taste for aquatic vegetation
 

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I've been lucky then. I see otto's on several plants but never noticed any holes or such on the plants. And my SAE, he just hangs out on the drift wood and glass.

I do supplement their diet with spirulina wafers and bottom feeder tabs. I wonder if that curbs their taste for aquatic vegetation
I feed cucumbers, zuchini, and the aforementioned. I do have other fish that are larger that eat these. Maybe the ottos are too intimidated to compete for the supplied food so they find their own source. Who knows. Wish they'd work a little faster on my anubias GSA.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I've had holes develop in my Anubias directly linked to a K deficiency, but I've also had SAEs munch down tons of moss.

Just more evidence that there isn't just one solution to solve every problem.
I'm curious, how did you know it was caused by a K deficiency? Do you test for K?
 

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Ray's observation:
these holes are the result of predation by a supposedly non-plant eating species, Siamese Algae Eater (Crossocheilus siamensis). This is verified by the fact that after the fish were removed from the environment, the newer leaves in the back no longer had evidence of distortions.
I had the same experience with those fish. All the R. wallichii and moss I had was grubbed to nothing. Now that the SAE's are gone, only the Singapore Moss has recovered (and mysterious holes in a couple stems are no longer an issue) .
 

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I was always confused why people said pinholes were caused by K deficiency... As a horticulture major we learned marginal chlorosis on older leaves was the main symptom of that deficiency... Holes are almost always said to be damage in the industry.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I was always confused why people said pinholes were caused by K deficiency... As a horticulture major we learned marginal chlorosis on older leaves was the main symptom of that deficiency... Holes are almost always said to be damage in the industry.
Now this I can believe. Where did this idea of holes in plants = K deficiency come from?

In fact, even marginal chlorosis wouldn't guarantee a K deficiency. Wouldn't you want to test the soil or plants for K to confirm or rule out that possibility?

My feeling, and as I've said before, I could be wrong, if you are on an established fertilization program, the last thing you would suspect is a problem with KPN!
 

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Your right ray many signs of deficiency overlap. and every plant reacts different, that is a general guideline. If you see very specific marginal chlorosis then you have got to suspect K deficiency though. You can never be sure without testing the plant tissue (Even if the soil is high K the plant may not uptake it from the soil... excess salts can cause this.)

jmhart that is an interesting thing to note, but i cannot imagine a lack of any nutrient to cause specific tissues to dissolve or dissapear. Something has to remove the tissue... even dead tissue will still be present.
 
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