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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Please help to identify my plant deficiency. They are in 1.5wpg of T5HO light that's on for about 8.5 hours a day, no co2 but dosing metricide and EI (1/3). Most of the effected leaves turn yellow, have holes then turn transparent and fall off quickly. This happens on older leaves but they're not really that old, most effected are the hygrophila siamensis they have only the top new leaves left.. I thought it could be the sand substrate but I tried floating the plants for a while and they still die off. I also have root tabs in the sand.
 

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When were these plants introduced to your aquarium? Like most living things they need to adapt to new environments. Also, ive recently been doing research on kh and gh and we have very low levels which isnt suitable for a lot of plants. They can survive but never thrive in these lvls. Purchase some equilibrium by seachem to raise these levels and your plants and fish (depending what fish) will love you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Thaim. It's been at least 3 months... they were healthy until the last 2 weeks. My GH is 7 and I do add calcium and micro nutrients so that should be good. Maybe I'm low on one of the macros?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Estimative Index Dosing.. yeah i add 1/3 of suggested nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus for low tech, but just not sure if I have enough. It looks like low potassium but it could be phosphorus too... not sure if i should just double everything.
 

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This will not be a micro deficiency since you have yellow and dying leaves and also pinholes. Looks to be Potassium possibly. Have you tested your nitrate and phosphate levels? How are you determining that 1/3 EI is enough. I think there is a misconception that EI is a fixed formula. It is only a suggestion to dose "enough". So if you are not running into excess by your weekly water change, you aren't using EI efficiently. I would dose the full EI recommendation (what size is your tank) and test your parameters. Are you buffering the water? It's really difficult to diagnose the symptoms without a full slate of info.

GH
KH
pH
Temperature
Duration of lighting
Type and wattage (you have this but what kind of fixture is this and how high is this off the substrate?)
Nitrate
Phosphate
Substrate type and age - I see you have sand...another reason you have to dose more since nothing is retained in the substrate.

Full tank shot to show biomass might help too. What is enough for one tank is a severe deficiency in another.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Thanks 2wheelsx2. I've added the tank shot. used to have more plants but removed the rotten ones.

GH - 7
KH - 3
PH - 7.2-7.4 (no buffering)
Temp - 26C / 79F
Light - 8.5 hrs, 54wx2 T5HO (Odyssea) light is just sitting on top of glass lid, about 20" from substrate.
Tank - 75g
Nitrate - test colour hard to tell, maybe 20mg/l
Phosphate - no test kit for that, but the problem got worse when I removed most of the livebearers in the tank. I still have 3 of them with some frys, and 23 corys and ottos. I've been double the dose.
Sand - sand maybe 1mm, 8 months old. roots appear to be white and healthy though.
EI dose - twice a week - 1/8 teaspoon phosphate, 1/4 teaspoon nitrogen and 1/8 teaspoon potassium + 5ml metricide daily. I've been adding 1/4 phosphate and potassium last 2 water change and removed bad leaves but they haven't improved.

I also have problem with stem rotting, but not always from the substrate, sometimes it would turn brown in the middle and break off finally. roots still healthy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I did some googling and found that hygrophilas are potassium hoggers and I have 4 hygrophila species! I'm going to up the K+ dose until they're better. I should probably turn the light down a little because I'm getting some black hair algae. If anyone has any other suggestions please let me know.
 

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Yes, without CO2, and dosing Metricide, if you are getting BBA probably too much light for what you are doing. Pinholes generally denotes K deficiency but not always. You have nitrate so it won't be that. I would up the K and cut the photoperiod or intensity back a bit by raising the light a little.
 

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potassium deficiency, regardless of your additions of NO3 and PO4, potassium should always be at a good level. You cant really overdose it and it will not cause algae blooms. this is why using a comprehensive GH buffer is important. bear in mind that the ratio of N-P-K uptake by most aquatic plants is somewhere in the neighbourhood of 5-1-25. so its easy to see how a potassium deficiency is easy to suffer from.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ok I will be on 1/4 teaspoon of Potassium 3 times weekly as recommended in regular EI dosing for my tank size. Is that enough to start the recovery process?
Thanks everyone for your input.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Some leaves are still yellowing on the edges and holes started to appear just like before.. should I add more potassium or wait a little longer?
 

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yellowing can indicate lack of iron (unlikely) or lack of nitrogen
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I wonder if they're not taking up the added potassium when the other two macros are low. I'll keep the potassium dosage and bump the nitrogen and phosphorus to regular EI level to balance it out. The reason I'm not using its full dosage is I do not have high light nor co2, and that's what EI is used for.
 
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