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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
WET broached the subject of collecting a list of indicator plants in this ancient thread:
http://www.aquaticplantcentral.com/forumapc/fertilizing/65185-plant-deficiency-diagram-4.html

The idea is that if you are dosing enough of the nutrient to keep the indicator plant happy, then there's enough of that in the tank to satisfy any other plant because they will certainly need less.

Since I can't find a corresponding thread elsewhere, I'll begin one here. I gathered a few from existing threads. Please add any that are real pigs for one particular nutrient.

Hygrophila Pinnadifida - Potassium deficiency - brown spots turning to pinholes and eventual leaf/plant melt.
Rotala Mexicana Goias - CO2 - Plant droops
Mayaca Fluviatilis - Iron - <need plant behavior for low nutrient>
Hemianthus Micranthemoides - Trace deficiency - gets transparent new growth
Hemianthus Micranthemoides - Fe deficiency - loses it's rather unique candy-apple-green color
Rotala Indica - Nitrate deficiency - new growth has more oblong leaves (vs. round ones)

Note that I've searched for an existing thread that has collected a list of good indicator plants, but no luck. If there is one already, please point me to it.
 

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Most Hygrophila are good phosphate indicators. The pinholes won't go away with 100 ppm potassium, but so far anyone who I advices increasing phosphate had no pinholes anymore. Hygrophila corymbosa shows pinholes very fast...

Most fine needle leaf plants are good iron indicators, Rotala 'vietnam', Rotala nanjenshan etc.

For CO2 I use Pogostemon stellatus, Nesaea species or Ludwigia inclinata var. verticillata species. The first two start curling with low CO2, the Ludwigia stem disintegrates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That's kinda cool. Sounds like it is a useful summary plant. "If your Nesaea is happy, your ferts are good!" Agreed?

But at the same time it is maybe a bad plant to use when trying to pinpoint a particular nutrient deficiency? Or are there different behaviors it shows for different deficiencies?
 
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