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Echinodorus/Cryptocoryne Species Suffering in Shallow Sand?
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shinio
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Joined: 03 Oct 2008
Location: Singapore

PostPosted: 2012.01.18(Wed)17:55    Post subject: Reply with quote

unissuh wrote:

One thing I've learnt over the years of trying to solve people's problems on the net is that good pictures save a lot of time!


keithkyli wrote:

A picture really beats a thousand words. Very Happy


Embarassed I didn't feel that the pictures I took were of decent enough quality and hence, didn't really feel the inclination to post pictures. I guess I should for any subsequent posts. Smile

unissuh wrote:

That doesn't look like a K deficiency.


Most of the pinholes caused by the deficiency were enlarged by the ponds snails I have. They just seem to only eat those yellowed areas and then leave the damaged leaves in there. I didn't dare to trim all the damaged leaves away because almost all of the leaves were damaged.

If you look really closely at the leaves of the Cryptocoryne, there's actually a couple of holes, albeit enlarged somewhat, that looked like the pinholes I've originally noticed.

keithkyli wrote:

I think your Echinodorus doesn't look submersed. It seems to me the leaves are stiff and waxy.


I agree that the leaves feel stiff and waxy. They don't ripple and all when I directed some current to them. Also, when cut, they just hold their shape real well, even with the surface agitation I have (lots of ripples). But I did see it transit from emersed form to submersed form - it shed its larger oval-shaped leaves with their long stalks to give me this. I thought this was a transition, unless it was a transition from high light (LFS condition) to low light (my tank condition).

keithkyli wrote:

For my Echinodorus, I bury all the roots and the brown bulb well into the gravel.


Sounds like I could have pushed the plant down a little more. I'll be sure to do that and see if it helps. Very Happy

unissuh wrote:

Not sure exactly what your deficiency is - all I can say is the Hygro looks a little nitrate starved (opinion not fact).


Hmm, so do you think I should dose more urea as a substitute for nitrate? I'm rather worried that the additional urea might be too much for my bacteria colony to handle. Moreover, all the other Hygro stalks seem fine. So, if it was due to lack of nitrogen/nitrate, why is it only showing in this 2 stalks? Seems kind of strange to me since I do dose urea (as a form of nitrogen) into the water column so all the stalks should have similar growth due to the similar conditions.

unissuh wrote:

Don't buy Flourish trace - just buy regular Flourish and treat it like a trace mix. Flourish trace is just 10x weaker offhand.


Noted. Very Happy

unissuh wrote:

I think you should try dosing a trace mix and give the blood and bone tabs a go as a substrate fertilizer like I suggested above - see if this helps the plants along. You'll soon notice an improvement if it does (probably within 1-2 weeks).


Should I do this step-wise, as in I'll dose the trace mix, wait a couple of weeks, before inserting the tabs if the former didn't work out? With this plan, at least I'd know what was causing the poor growth.

unissuh wrote:

It's CaribSea moonlight sand - VERY fine sand (probably 1/10th to 4/10ths of a mm at a guess??). Feels like the powder sand you get on beaches.


Well, that does sound quite similar to the sand I have. So I suppose grain size isn't the issue here.

Thanks for the help thus far,
shinio Wink
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unissuh
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Joined: 29 Mar 2005
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: 2012.01.19(Thu)5:47    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, wouldn't dose any more urea than you are confident is safe...at least in the water column. Safer to dose this type of stuff in the substrate (I.e. via tabs) where it won't get free as fast.

It's not that you're not dosing urea, it's that you're not dosing *enough* of it to satisfy the plants that is the problem. Your mix is purposely deficient in N, so it's not exactly unexpected that N deficiency symptoms appear. As for why some plants show it more than others - no idea. Perhaps they are further away from a root tab, or there is more detritus buried near one, impossible to say I think.

I'd just start on both new tabs and trace dosing at the same time. Can fiddle later if it solves your problem & you decide you must know which is essential. The hypothesis is that the fine sand is causing the problem right? So might as well test all the fert deficiencies in one go.
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shinio
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Joined: 03 Oct 2008
Location: Singapore

PostPosted: 2012.01.23(Mon)7:57    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry for the late reply! Have been busy for the past few days in lieu of the holidays.

unissuh wrote:

Your mix is purposely deficient in N, so it's not exactly unexpected that N deficiency symptoms appear.


You mean that plants take in nutrients by proportion? That, even though there are plenty of nutrients, they are taken in in an arbitrary ratio? So with low N and high P and K, the plants hence show nitrogen deficiency?

I was considering of adding more urea into my solution mix but dosing less so that the NRazz:K ratio is closer to ideal (if there is even one) without me introducing more urea than I'm comfortable with.

I've also yet to purchase a trace mix fertiliser due to the holidays. I'd probably get one by the weekend and would post my results, maybe with before/after pictures. I've also realised that my plants are very likely to be suffering from micro nutrient deficiency as the Hygro's that have grown well slowed down in growth with new growth having green veins while the leaves remain greenish-yellow. I'd definitely look out for any difference in new growth after the addition of a trace mix.

unissuh wrote:

The hypothesis is that the fine sand is causing the problem right?


Actually, the original hypothesis was that the shallow depth of the substrate causes poor growth of deep-rooted plants. The hypothesis that too fine a substrate causes poor growth only came up later and was once again disputed by the excellent growth of your Cryptocoryne. And now, it is highly likely that this was all due to a deficiency in a micro-nutrient. Rolling Eyes

So for now, this discussion seems to have arrive at a conclusion which will need time to prove. I'll post back any findings a couple of weeks later!

Thanks so much,
shinio Wink
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unissuh
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Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: 2012.01.23(Mon)17:23    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
You mean that plants take in nutrients by proportion?


Don't know - maybe.

Doesn't really answer the question but ever heard of the Redfield ratio incidentally? 16:1 NRazz is the ratio of the element in algae/plants? Implies that plants need a set amount of each element for healthy growth.

Quote:
That, even though there are plenty of nutrients, they are taken in in an arbitrary ratio?


*If* there are plenty of nutrients (I.e. non-limiting) then it doesn't matter whether you have 5 ppm N or 20 ppm N...the problem is when there are limiting nutrients like in your case. Every nutrient has to be non-limiting. Very Happy

Because you have 0 ppm N, then it's not unexpected you'd get N deficiency, regardless of how high P or K is.

Does that make sense?
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shinio
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Joined: 03 Oct 2008
Location: Singapore

PostPosted: 2012.01.28(Sat)2:57    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never heard of the Redfield ratio. Maybe I should try to up my NRazz ratio from 8:1 to 16:1 when I prepare my next solution mix.

I understand what you're driving at. It's like a serving of baked rice will never seem to taste right if the amount of cheese used isn't enough, regardless of the other ingredients. It just won't.

So now, I should be looking into what the limiting nutrient is in my tank. And it seems to be a trace nutrient.

With regards to the blood and bone meal DIY tabs, I was thinking of adding worm casting into the mix. I have a packet of that as I wanted to try growing some Crypts emersed, but all died out on me - probably due to them already being weakened by the lack of nutrients in the tank. Confused I'd definitely be getting Seachem Fluorish on Monday, and maybe the items for the DIY tabs in this week when I pass by any garden centres or nurseries.

Lastly, I will most likely be downsizing to a 15G due to various reasons. The foremost would be finding my precious Corydoras trapped in the side sump. I've placed a screen meshing over the slit leading to the side sump but it's unable to fully cover over the slit so sometimes the fish gets in; almost all of the shrimplets end up there and risk being churned by the filter if they manage to penetrate through the media I have placed in there. Secondly, I feel that maintaining a 15G with 6 cories is much easier and will also allow me to do headcounts with more ease. And with the smaller area, I can make the tank more densely planted with the plants I already have. Besides, I'll be moving this year so the downsizing would definitely be a welcome.

So with the downsizing, the plants will have a deeper substrate at the back as I'll be sloping it such that the front is Corydoras-friendly. I'll try to avoid downsizing anytime soon so that we can see if the addition of a trace mix has helped the plants, thereby eliminating my original hypothesis.

Can't wait to have a tank overwhelmed by Echinodorus,
shinio Wink
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