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Holes in anubias leaves and other Q's


QandD

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Hi all, 

 

As I've mentioned before, I'm new to growing plants (properly), and have had some happier plants over the past week and a half from a good source. However, this morning, I noticed that some of the leaves on my anubias frazeri were looking sick. Namely: one had a lot of holes. 

 

20150726_103358_zpstp9otmti.jpg

 

It should be noted that I'm in the middle of fishless cycling (at the high nitrite stage--I'm doing a 90% water change now since nitrites were more than 2 ppm this morning). Ammonia hasn't started to drop significantly (it was between 1-2 ppm this morning, though I will get it down to 1 ppm after the change). I have been dosing Flourish comprehensive and Excel (only 1 capful for 29 gallons) about twice per week or with water changes, and I use root tabs. I've read that Flourish comp takes care of "micronutrients," but should I be dosing "macro" ones? How do I tell what kinds they need? 

 

Other than one of my banana plants rotting from the roots, the plants have been doing OK so far. I have had to replant my stem plants (Brazilian pennywort, creeping Charlie) a couple of times, but my Amazon sword is looking a little anemic. I also have a red crypt that is doing well. I have Italian vals and a dwarf lily coming in the mail.  I use an inert sand substrate and have a 5000-7500 K T5-OH light with a small Finnex LED that I only use periodically. Temperature has been at 81-82 F for the cycle. My pH has been at 8 steadily, though Koko has recommended that I stop buffering my water to try to lower it (my tap is 7.2).

 

I have read that holes in the leaves can be a sign of nutritional deficiency. Could this be so? Or are the water conditions stressful and/or should I expect some leaf problems in the first couple of weeks with the plants? 

 

Sorry for all of the questions, but I would like to keep these ones alive. They aren't cheap!

 

If it helps, this is my whole tank picture as of this morning:

 

20150726_103422_zpsusgltbus.jpg

 

Thanks!

 

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Holes can be caused by a number factors ranging from nutrients to co2 deficiency. In my tanks holes are usually indicative of a potassium shortage, but a nitrogen shortage will do it too. You don't really need to know what kind they need because plants require both macro and micro nutrients to thrive. Macro nutrients contain things like potassium, nitrate, etc, whilst micro nutrients are things like iron, boron, cobalt, magnesium, etc. Sticking with one fertilisation system ensures you give the plants a good array of what they need. Trying to target specific fertilisers will only cause you a headache, trust me. In the long run you might find dry mix fertilisers to be far more convenient. They take a little longer to measure out, but are very cheap and will last you forever. Something like the Estimative Index system is highly preferable here since dosage is teaspoon based—although specific weights can be measured for more accuracy. The other option would be to get bottles of Seachem Nitrogen and Potassium, but this will be more costly. If dry ferts interest you I can elaborate a bit more. :)

 

I wouldn't worry about the water parameters. I've had far more delicate plants grow in water far worse whilst cycling (i.e. the API test kit had readings that weren't even on the chart). You can dose the excel more often if you wish. I dose it daily in a low tech, and my glutaraldehyde solution (what excel is) is stronger than Seachem's product.

 

Your crypt looks like a wendtii brown or wendtii tropica to me. Both are nice plants. :)

Edited by dan in aus
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Holes can be caused by a number factors ranging from nutrients to co2 deficiency. In my tanks holes are usually indicative of a potassium shortage, but a nitrogen shortage will do it too. You don't really need to know what kind they need because plants require both macro and micro nutrients to thrive. Macro nutrients contain things like potassium, nitrate, etc, whilst micro nutrients are things like iron, boron, cobalt, magnesium, etc. Sticking with one fertilisation system ensures you give the plants a good array of what they need. Trying to target specific fertilisers will only cause you a headache, trust me. In the long run you might find dry mix fertilisers to be far more convenient. They take a little longer to measure out, but are very cheap and will last you forever. Something like the Estimative Index system is highly preferable here since dosage is teaspoon based—although specific weights can be measured for more accuracy. The other option would be to get bottles of Seachem Nitrogen and Potassium, but this will be more costly. If dry ferts interest you I can elaborate a bit more. :)

 

I wouldn't worry about the water parameters. I've had far more delicate plants grow in water far worse whilst cycling (i.e. the API test kit had readings that weren't even on the chart). You can dose the excel more often if you wish. I dose it daily in a low tech, and my glutaraldehyde solution (what excel is) is stronger than Seachem's product.

 

Your crypt looks like a wendtii brown or wendtii tropica to me. Both are nice plants. :)

Hi Dan, thank you for your very helpful response! Dry fertilizers would interest me if I could understand them a bit better. I read LisaCGold's pinned thread on her low-tech tank, but I have to admit that I found a lot of it confusing :-/

Out of curiosity, are the nitrogen fertilizers different from the nitrogen-based compounds given off by the fish?

One more thing: I would dose more Excel but I have Italian vals coming in the mail. I have heard they will melt. Would they respond to a gradual increase in liquid CO2, though? Or should I just get rid of them? (Bummer... I don't like ordering plants I can't use!) Would they respond well to a different CO2 supplement that did not involve pressurized tanks?

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They can be a bit tricky to understand in the beginning. If you don't mind waiting until tomorrow when I'm less exhausted, I'll be glad to explain them more. :)

Pretty much it's just dosing nitrate. In a low/medium tech goldfish tank I wouldn't bother doing nitrates because the fish do a pretty good job.

Don't get rid of your plants, I'd never suggest that. People do dose liquid co2 with vals, they just tend to be more cautious about it. Dosing below the recommended dosage and acclimating up to a full dose is one way, as is putting the dose in at another end of the tank. They may melt, but should bounce back over a few weeks. :)

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They can be a bit tricky to understand in the beginning. If you don't mind waiting until tomorrow when I'm less exhausted, I'll be glad to explain them more. :)

Pretty much it's just dosing nitrate. In a low/medium tech goldfish tank I wouldn't bother doing nitrates because the fish do a pretty good job.

Don't get rid of your plants, I'd never suggest that. People do dose liquid co2 with vals, they just tend to be more cautious about it. Dosing below the recommended dosage and acclimating up to a full dose is one way, as is putting the dose in at another end of the tank. They may melt, but should bounce back over a few weeks. :)

 

 

Thanks again for your reply! In the mean time, I have ordered a bottle of Seachem Potassium since I think there is a fair amount of phosphorous in my tap. Otherwise the plants seem to be doing a little better since trimming them, though I need to do a bit more (waiting for some proper scissors that are coming in the mail). And thanks for the advice about the vals, too!

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Sorry for the delay, I've been a bit busy this week.

 

When it comes to dry fertilisers there are several fertilisations regimes you can follow. The most common and the simplest is Estimative Index or EI (other fertilisation systems include PMDD and PPS-Pro, but I don't really know much about these in practical use). EI basically involves dosing more than your tank needs so plants are continually being fed. For this reason it is simpler because the measurement system can be teaspoon based and is more arbitrary in general. It is just a matter of adding X amount of fertilisers to your tank. There is a suggested dosage for different sized tanks, but the user is able to tweak as necessary. 

 

When someone talks about EI, they are typically referring to a tank where you have good co2 and lighting, but the application of EI does not rely solely on these. Like I said it is fairly arbitrary, so you can dose EI in a low tech set up, you would just do it less frequently since nutrient uptake is slower. The low tech paludarium/riparium nano thing I have only receives fertilisers once a week, whilst my high tech aquarium gets macros and micros 3x weekly.

 

As for what is actually dosed, well, that is pretty simple. Typically we have a nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium source (macros) and trace elements (micros i.e. dry chelate mix, plantex, Seachem Flourish, etc). Extra iron can be dosed if the end user wants to, but is in no way necessary.

 

In the end someone dosing full EI will dose the following 2-3x a week:

 

Potassium Nitrate (KN03).

Monopotassium Phosphate (KH2P04).

Potassium Sulfate (K2S04).

Whatever your micro source is.

 

Typically you alternate days—macros one day, micros the next. Macros typically cancel out your micros, so dosing them together is a waste. A GH booster is commonly added once a week too. This replenishes magnesium and calcium, but not everyone does this. It is recommended by Tom Barr (the person who invented EI) though.

 

As for the actual dosing, well, you have three options: 

 

1) Dose dry i.e. place salts directly into the tank.

2) Pre-dissolve prior to dosing.

3) Make a 'stock' solution and dose using pump bottles.

 

I'm not sure how big your tank is, but if you look at the following link you will see a list of recommended doses for differing tanks. This link also explains EI far more eloquently and in greater depth than I have.

http://www.barrreport.com/forum/barr-report/estimative-index/2938-ei-light-for-those-less-techy-folks

 

Green Leaf Aquariums Sell an EI fert kit for $15.

http://greenleafaquariums.com/aquarium-fertilizers-supplements/micro-macro-fertilizers.html

 

I hope this helps and wasn't too difficult to follow. If you have any questions feel free to ask and I will try my best. :)

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Sorry for the delay, I've been a bit busy this week.

 

When it comes to dry fertilisers there are several fertilisations regimes you can follow. The most common and the simplest is Estimative Index or EI (other fertilisation systems include PMDD and PPS-Pro, but I don't really know much about these in practical use). EI basically involves dosing more than your tank needs so plants are continually being fed. For this reason it is simpler because the measurement system can be teaspoon based and is more arbitrary in general. It is just a matter of adding X amount of fertilisers to your tank. There is a suggested dosage for different sized tanks, but the user is able to tweak as necessary. 

 

When someone talks about EI, they are typically referring to a tank where you have good co2 and lighting, but the application of EI does not rely solely on these. Like I said it is fairly arbitrary, so you can dose EI in a low tech set up, you would just do it less frequently since nutrient uptake is slower. The low tech paludarium/riparium nano thing I have only receives fertilisers once a week, whilst my high tech aquarium gets macros and micros 3x weekly.

 

As for what is actually dosed, well, that is pretty simple. Typically we have a nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium source (macros) and trace elements (micros i.e. dry chelate mix, plantex, Seachem Flourish, etc). Extra iron can be dosed if the end user wants to, but is in no way necessary.

 

In the end someone dosing full EI will dose the following 2-3x a week:

 

Potassium Nitrate (KN03).

Monopotassium Phosphate (KH2P04).

Potassium Sulfate (K2S04).

Whatever your micro source is.

 

Typically you alternate days—macros one day, micros the next. Macros typically cancel out your micros, so dosing them together is a waste. A GH booster is commonly added once a week too. This replenishes magnesium and calcium, but not everyone does this. It is recommended by Tom Barr (the person who invented EI) though.

 

As for the actual dosing, well, you have three options: 

 

1) Dose dry i.e. place salts directly into the tank.

2) Pre-dissolve prior to dosing.

3) Make a 'stock' solution and dose using pump bottles.

 

I'm not sure how big your tank is, but if you look at the following link you will see a list of recommended doses for differing tanks. This link also explains EI far more eloquently and in greater depth than I have.

http://www.barrreport.com/forum/barr-report/estimative-index/2938-ei-light-for-those-less-techy-folks

 

Green Leaf Aquariums Sell an EI fert kit for $15.

http://greenleafaquariums.com/aquarium-fertilizers-supplements/micro-macro-fertilizers.html

 

I hope this helps and wasn't too difficult to follow. If you have any questions feel free to ask and I will try my best. :)

 

Thanks for all of this information, Dan! I'll be sure to look into it--not too difficult to follow at all.  :)

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Here is a premixed EI fertilizer package http://nilocg.com/liquid-npk-m/

I currently use this. Very easy. One pump per 10gallons. Macros first day. Micros 24 hours later. I also use excel. Dose all this after water change that is >= 50%.

A gh+ booster is also good. Plants like anubias need the calcium.

Edited by LisaCGold
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Here is a premixed EI fertilizer package http://nilocg.com/liquid-npk-m/

I currently use this. Very easy. One pump per 10gallons. Macros first day. Micros 24 hours later. I also use excel. Dose all this after water change that is >= 50%.

A gh+ booster is also good. Plants like anubias need the calcium.

 

Oh cool!

 

I think my gH is pretty good since the water is hard, but I will think about getting one!

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If your gh is in the range of 9 - 11 dH that should be sufficient. No need for additional booster there.

 

Quick question--how many times per week do you dose ferts? Once per week after water changes? Also, do they provide directions how to dose gH booster or would I need a test kit?

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I dose the ferts once a week after a water change. I do the macro ferts and excel just after water change, then do the micro ferts at least 24 hours after the water change. You need to separate dosing both the macro and micros so the iron is not lost through a reaction with the phosphate (you probably already read about this). During midweek, I will do a dose of excel.

 

With my 40b tank, the Finnex Planted+ light is about 21-22" inches from the bottom, so this once a week fert plan with an excel dose inbetween works. In my new 65 gallon tank the light will  only be 18" from the bottom, so I may need to up how many times I dose the ferts or I need to reduce the photo period. In any case when I upgrade the tank, I will have to tinker around with the fertilization plan.

 

For any GH+ booster you should get a GH test kit, although I'm learning about how GH could test adequately (9-11 dH), but not have the positively charged calcium and magnesium that plants and fish need. See www.americanaquariumproducts.com/redox_potential.html

 

It is a bit of an intense read though. With my 40b tank, I just dose the GH+ booster once a week which tests to 9 dH. I'm still thinking about the article to see if I need to dose the GH+ booster twice a week.

 

In the meantime, I've ordered Wonder Shells from American Aquarium Products which slowly release the GH+ type minerals. I'm thinking I'll dose GH+ booster once a week and then have a piece of the Wonder Shell to continue to slowly release positively charged calcium, magnesium, and other minerals.

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I dose the ferts once a week after a water change. I do the macro ferts and excel just after water change, then do the micro ferts at least 24 hours after the water change. You need to separate dosing both the macro and micros so the iron is not lost through a reaction with the phosphate (you probably already read about this). During midweek, I will do a dose of excel.

 

With my 40b tank, the Finnex Planted+ light is about 21-22" inches from the bottom, so this once a week fert plan with an excel dose inbetween works. In my new 65 gallon tank the light will  only be 18" from the bottom, so I may need to up how many times I dose the ferts or I need to reduce the photo period. In any case when I upgrade the tank, I will have to tinker around with the fertilization plan.

 

For any GH+ booster you should get a GH test kit, although I'm learning about how GH could test adequately (9-11 dH), but not have the positively charged calcium and magnesium that plants and fish need. See www.americanaquariumproducts.com/redox_potential.html

 

It is a bit of an intense read though. With my 40b tank, I just dose the GH+ booster once a week which tests to 9 dH. I'm still thinking about the article to see if I need to dose the GH+ booster twice a week.

 

In the meantime, I've ordered Wonder Shells from American Aquarium Products which slowly release the GH+ type minerals. I'm thinking I'll dose GH+ booster once a week and then have a piece of the Wonder Shell to continue to slowly release positively charged calcium, magnesium, and other minerals.

 

Thanks for this information! I ordered the fertilizers since my swords and a couple of other plants seem a bit anemic (including the anubias). I also purchased the gH booster that comes with the pump ferts. 

 

I have a 29 gallon tank that is 16-18" deep (16ish due to substrate) and have a photoperiod of around 11 hours. I suppose I could reduce it if need be, but do you have a sense of how much fertilizing/CO2 I'd need to put in? I like being able to see the fish, and my house is kind of dark. My light is a T5-HO 7000K.

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Are you going to use excel for your liquid CO2?

 

My suggestion:

I would dose macro on day 1 (along with excel), micro on day 2.  Then on day 3 and 4 test the nitrates and phosphate. If nitrates < 10 and phosphate < 1.0 then dose macro (along with excel) and 24 hours later dose micro. If nitrates >= 10 and phosphate >= 1.0 then just dose excel. Start over again next water change (I assume you are changing >50% water once a week).

 

See if dosing at most twice a week works. Give it at least a month to see if this works. If not, then let us know on this thread and we can adjust.

 

Also, any leaves that are damaged should be trimmed. You want the plant energy to go into growing and maintaining healthy leaves. Swords and anubias don't repair damaged leaves.

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Ooh, I just read that you are still cycling your tank right now. Interesting challenge. I didn't start the ferts until after my tank cycled. What is happening in your cycling process?

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Ooh, I just read that you are still cycling your tank right now. Interesting challenge. I didn't start the ferts until after my tank cycled. What is happening in your cycling process?

 

I'm in the nitrite management stage. I'd been going fishless and getting crazy nitrites for something like 8-9 days, but I have to be out of town in a week, so I was advised by the mods to put in my girls and do fish-in for the remainder so that I can manage their health more closely and get a sense of the actual cycle. This morning the parameters read .25 nitrite/ .25 ammonia / 0 nitrate, whereas during the fishless cycle the nitrites were over 5 ppm and I was reading around 5 ppm nitrate. 

 

Anyway, there's no super-duper urgency to dose the ferts. Yes, I do use Excel. So I would have to buy a phosphate kit, too?  :wall  No wonder I couldn't keep plants alive before. 

 

I have been trimming the anubias leaves and will have to hack at the swords now  :(

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I would wait at least two weeks after your tank has successfully cycled before you start dosing the ferts via the EI method. Unless someone else can help you with the EI method while your tank is cycling.

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You can dose EI whilst cycling. I've done it, as have many others. I never noticed any impact, the tank still cycled fine and within a relatively quick time frame. :)

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I dose the ferts once a week after a water change. I do the macro ferts and excel just after water change, then do the micro ferts at least 24 hours after the water change. You need to separate dosing both the macro and micros so the iron is not lost through a reaction with the phosphate (you probably already read about this). During midweek, I will do a dose of excel.

 

With my 40b tank, the Finnex Planted+ light is about 21-22" inches from the bottom, so this once a week fert plan with an excel dose inbetween works. In my new 65 gallon tank the light will  only be 18" from the bottom, so I may need to up how many times I dose the ferts or I need to reduce the photo period. In any case when I upgrade the tank, I will have to tinker around with the fertilization plan.

 

For any GH+ booster you should get a GH test kit, although I'm learning about how GH could test adequately (9-11 dH), but not have the positively charged calcium and magnesium that plants and fish need. See www.americanaquariumproducts.com/redox_potential.html

 

It is a bit of an intense read though. With my 40b tank, I just dose the GH+ booster once a week which tests to 9 dH. I'm still thinking about the article to see if I need to dose the GH+ booster twice a week.

 

In the meantime, I've ordered Wonder Shells from American Aquarium Products which slowly release the GH+ type minerals. I'm thinking I'll dose GH+ booster once a week and then have a piece of the Wonder Shell to continue to slowly release positively charged calcium, magnesium, and other minerals.

 

Hi Lisa,

 

Quick question: I bought NilocG's gH booster alongside the pre-mixed E.I. macros and micros, and I was wondering how much you typically dose. I have a 29 gallon tank and my gH is around 100 (6 drops). Is this a trial and error thing? I was thinking of putting in a tsp.

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Sorry so late to respond. Put in a tsp and then measure the gh in 12-24 hours. If not 9 to 11 drops then put in more (base this on how much the gh went up on a tsp of booster) and test again in 12-24 hours.

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