Aquatic Plant Forum banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
Plants need 14 nutrients to grow, Nitrogen, Potassium, calcium, Magnesium, Phosphate, sulfur, Clorine, iron, manganese, boron, zinc, Molybdenum, nickel. If just one is missing or in short supply growth will be slow or stop and the plant could die. Light CO2 and fow will not cause leaves to die .

Some nutrients are immobile. Meaning the nutrients don't move within the plant. others are Mobil and can be removed from old leaves and moved to new leaves. The stripped old leaves then die and fall off. Based your description you have a mobil nutrient deficiency. If you look at the list of nutrients I wrote earlier all the mobil nutrient have a capital letter. My guess is that you have a magneisum and or a phosphate deficiency but I could be wrong. So you need to fertilize the water.

But please note that most fertilizers don't have calcium or magnesium or simply don't have enough of these for proper plant growth. The primary reason for this is that almost always tap water has more than enough. However if your water has a low GH level (general hardness) or you are using RO or distilled water you won't have enough. Consistent water changes like you are doing are generally necessary to keep GH stable in tanks. But if your water doesn't have calcium or magnesium you will need to use a GH booster to get enough for plants to grow. Increasing Gh by 2 degrees harness is typically more than enough for plants.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
Thank you very much! I've added maybe +1GH to the tapwater I use. Finnish tapwater have very low GH. Maybe I should rise it a little bit more..?
The thing that is har for me to understand is why the aquarium worked so fine for the plants in the beginning and that everything suddenly changed.

The reason your tank went weeks with no porblems and and then suddenly had problems was because your substrate was leaching nutrients. As time went by the amount of nutrients from the substrate declined until it ran out. Once it ran out growth in your plants stopped. Depending on the total amount of nutrients in the substrate and how fast it leaches out a tank could run months or even a year without any issues.

As to GH keep in mind GH is a measure of total calcium and magnesium in the water. plants need 3 parts calcium to one part magnesium. Ca / fMg ratios in tap water can very quite a lot but are typically mostly calcium. You were probably short on magnesium and had plenty of calcium. 1 degree of GH is about 17 PPM. 3ppm Mg and and 9ppm of CA is a total of 12ppm which is less than 1 degree and is more than enough for most tanks. GH boosters typically have the calcium magnesium ratio right so only 1 degree should be enough.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
K has been 6-15 (ive tried different K koncentrations by gradually increasing and decreasing nitrate free fertilizer) for the moment K is 6-8
We need to know the fertilizer brand name and how much you dose to figure out if you have enough nutrients. K is potassium is just one of 14 and doesn't tell use anything useful. And it would be helpful to know the ingredients in the bottle and hopefully the % of each nutrient in the bottle. Hopofully we would have enough to identify specific issue with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
I have used both fertilizers at their own in different doses and also at the same time. Ive also used Fe daily drops and Fe root tabs. Too much iron?
Yes and No. Iron doesn't dissolve well in water. many fertilizers use iron gluconate. It dissolves well and isn't affected by PH. But the gluconate is a type of sugar that bacteria will consume very rapidly. Once the the gluconate is gone the iron rusts and becomes unavalable to plants. So iron gluconate fertilizers do better when dosed more frequently because the iron may only last for a day or so.

Plants only need about 0.1ppm of iron in the water Yet many people and guidelines for iron gluconate dose about 1ppm a week or more. But too much iron is not good for fish since it may get trapped in the gills of the fish and kill them. Also too much iron may cause it to react with your phosphate resulting in iron phosphate which is also insoluble potentially causing a phosphate deficiency.

In my tank I use iron DTPA. it cost a little more but bacteria don't touch it. But it is PH sensitive it slowly rust at a PH higher than 7.5. My Tank PH stay close to 7 so I only dose 0.1ppm once a week after the weekly water change.

Other fertilizers use iron EDTA but it quickly degrades at a PH of 6.5. Most people don't have water that acidic. Others have experimented with iron HDDHA which is stable to a ph of over 10 which would seam ideal but it colors the water red.

PlantaMin (Tetra):
1% K20
0,005 B
0,2 Fe
0,01 Mn
0,002 Zn
This looks like a discontinued product in the US that was called Leaf Zone. PlantMin and leave zone don't show up on the tetra web site so it to may be disconinued. which was basically just iron potassium. PlantaMin only has 5 of the 14 nutrients plants need. So it is deficient in 9 nutrients. It wouldn't work for me in my RO water tank.

I don't know about Easy life but in my experience its probably not much better. The issue is with most fertilizers is that they assume your water will provide most of the nutrients your plant needs. So Most fertilizers on the market are deficient in Calcium, magnesium, zinc, and copper and most use the cheapest iron fertilizer (iron gluconate). They do this because it results in a cheeper product. Butt if you look at the labels on the bottle none guarantee that that the plants will grow with their product.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
But in a way im a little bit sceptical about the cause beeing defiancy, because my dad used to have a low tech aguarium with fish and a sponge filter that was full of big, healthy plants. He did not use fertilizer and made just small waterchanges. And fed the fish. Im wondering if it is possible that i have some really bad "infection" going on that maybe gets worse by the suboptimal nutrients..?
The big issue in this hobby is that no one knows what's in the water. Each water utility has different sources of water with different mineral content in it. And the water may be treated differently before it gets to your tap. Some people have no problems growing plants while others simply cannot do it even if they use the same fertilizer and do similar maintenance.

Also the number and size of your has has an effect on nutrient levels mainly from the amount of food and fish waist produced. Also small water changes can help increase nutrient levels but you run the fish of creating a mineral imbalance that can kill the fish. Some people use nutrient rich substrates but these will eventually run out of nutrients. What I have seen is that suboptimal nutrients results in unhealthy plants. And then the unhealthy plants die. But if you get the nutrients right the plants sam to be immortal and very tolerant of replanting and pruning.

In my case I use RO water because my tap water is variable and often harder than I wanter what I want in my tank. unfortunately for me that also means most fertilizers I tried didn't work. Over time I realized I had calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, and zinc issue. So I have started learning how to make my own fertilizer. There are only 2 fertilizers i have seen that I like but one is made in the UK (TNC) and not availablable in the US. So I cannot test it. GLA has a micro that looks promising but it also has a lot of Fe EDTA in addition to Fe DTPA.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top