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Another Staurogyne Repens thread....

DaveWatkin

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Hey guys,

I see (and have posted in places myself) lots of threads of people struggling with S' Repens. It seems to be a plant some people just get and others can't and I'm on the can't side. That said I have been making improvements and I thought I had finally cracked it but unfortunately it seems to be going downhill again so am after some advice on what could be the cause before it spirals downhill too fast to recover.

I have a 57L Flex which is quite heavily planted with epiphytes in an island style. This was a rescape and the tank already had a Tropica Aquasoil base (40mm) so I decided to plant around the island as well and chose S' Repens (because I'm a stubborn fool) for most of the coverage. I had a single pot and started on the back right of the tank and to my surprise it took great, better than any I have planted prior. After a long wait for additional plants (Brexit....) I finally got more and planted the rest of the tank. These started well but some areas never really took off and now they have all started to look worse for wear.

I recently reduced my light slightly as my Anubias was getting pretty dirty and was directly under it. I had also transferred some BBA from another tank when moving a plant and although it wasn't taking off it was appearing slightly all over and not dying off so I started Excel as 2ml daily about two to three weeks ago. S' Repens were already lagging then but have shown a little more drop off since.

I was dosing 6ml Tropica Premium each week with a 50% waterchange but since I started noticing the S' Repens struggling I have upped this to 5ml Premium and 5ml Specialised (Low bioload tank) to try and account for the addition of the final plants.

Now I'm not sure where my problem is. I don't think it is a light issue as the plants to the rear of the tank which are most shaded were originally the ones doing the best.
I thought too much flow was the original culprit for the lack growth as the plants struggling were at the front, right in the flow path (the curved glass on the flex drives it down to the front right pretty hard), however I'm now seeing yellowing and melting of lower leaves all over.
Pretty sure my ferts are fine as I have increased them a lot already and I can't find anything online about Excel negatively affecting S' Repens (on a side not it has massively improved all other plants in this and another tank I started using it in!)

I've attached some pictures, my phone camera seems to make the greens pop more than they should but you can still see things aren't quite right, it's worse in person.
The plants are yellowing, melting and have curved leaves on the new growth.

If you made it this far thanks for reading and I look forward to any advice you guys have!
 

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DaveWatkin

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Thanks Hoggie,

How much would you advise and would this just be added weekly with the other ferts?

I should also of said above, my water is very soft and I add equilibrium and alkaline buffer to raise to 6Gh/6Kh. Not sure if these have any Mg in, will have a look at the bottles.
 

Kalum

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As @GHNelson mentioned it looks like a macro deficiency since it's the old growth that are affected, new growth looks good which points to your micro dosing being fine
 

GHNelson

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Thanks Hoggie,

How much would you advise and would this just be added weekly with the other ferts?

I should also of said above, my water is very soft and I add equilibrium and alkaline buffer to raise to 6Gh/6Kh. Not sure if these have any Mg in, will have a look at the bottles.
You can't overdose with Mg......just add 1/4 Teaspoon once a week!
I would cut the top off the repens and replant the new growth.....bin the old remaining bottom half or use it in an emersed cointainer;)
 

DaveWatkin

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Thanks @Kalum and I guess as I already dose Tropica Premium which has Nitrate and Phosphate I need to add a source of Potassium? Is Magnesium a Macro?

Sorry, really don't know any chemistry I'm afraid.
 

DaveWatkin

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You can't overdose with Mg......just add 1/4 Teaspoon once a week!
I would cut the top off the repens and replant the new growth.....bin the old remaining bottom half or use it in an emersed cointainer;)
A little off topic, but from what I have read around here and your reply just now it would appear you can't overdose any ferts? Is there any disadvantage, apart from cost, to dumping excessive amounts in each week? For example EI dosing a low tech setup. I know it is recommended to reduce the dose quantities with low tech but is that just cost again?

Not looking to do it, just something I've been wondering and seemed like an opportunity to ask.
 

ceg4048

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The plants are yellowing, melting and have curved leaves on the new growth
Hello,
These are symptoms of poor CO2. If this is a non-CO2 injected tank S. repens will struggle. If this is a CO2 injected tank then you'll need to review your CO2 technique. Daily Excel dosing and frequent large water changes will help to rectify CO2 shortfalls.

Cheers,
 

DaveWatkin

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Thanks @ceg4048
This is a non co2 tank which currently gets 2ml excel per day (6ml on w/c day) and a 50% w/c weekly, sometimes twice if I have the time.

Currently dosing slightly higher than I should with Excel at 2ml but had no issues with plants or livestock at this level. You think I should up it more?
I know w/c days are supposed to be 5x daily dose but as I am already on the high side I opted for 3x to keep things safe.
 

ceg4048

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This is a non co2 tank which currently gets 2ml excel per day (6ml on w/c day)
OK, well then this is NOT a non-CO2 tank. Excel=CO2 but is not as effective as gas injection. You can increase the Excel dosing and/or lower the CO2 demand by reducing the light intensity. In fact, reducing the light should always be the first consideration when faced with any kind of deficiency. It's amazing how many people consider this as a last resort.

Also, since this is a high tech tank your nutrient dosing needs to include heavy doses of N and P. I do not know if it contains Potassium (K) as I see no evidence of this in any of the ingredient listings. As stated above by sparkyweasel, the so-called "Premium" does not contain N, P or K so there is no point buying this at all because it is simply trace elements, which the so-called "Specialized" already has.

My suggestion is that you save money and simply buy the NPK and trace element mix powders from one of our sponsors because you are not dealing with a low tech tank.

Cheers,
 

DaveWatkin

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Thanks again @ceg4048

I have always read Excel was really just a pesticide and didn't really do anything for CO2, I only started adding to rid myself of a small amount of BBA (small light reduction alongside to eliminate believed initial cause) and then I planned on stopping using it. However, I will say my growth and plant health has been greatly improved since adding so will probably continue and makes what you have said above ring more true to me.

If I am technically a higher energy system should I look at EI dosing? Due to the small sizes of my tanks and the fact they were none CO2 I have never really made this jump, I know it would be cheaper but at the small amount I use Tropica wasn't exactly breaking the bank. I know you can EI dose non co2 at lower rates, what would be the recommendation for liquid carbon? Would it be full dosing or somewhere in the middle on non co2 and pressurised co2 levels?

Lastly, one thing that has always put me off EI the dosing requirements, I currently dose ferts weekly, excel is an exception but was supposed to be short term, and don't want to get into daily dosing regimes as I have to work away at times, sometimes days, sometimes weeks and have no one to maintain them on a daily basis. Can EI be added weekly over just two days? Say Micro Sat, Macro Sun?

Thanks for any help.
 

ceg4048

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I will say my growth and plant health has been greatly improved since adding so will probably continue and makes what you have said above ring more true to me.
Hello Dave,
Well, yes, that is the beauty of Excel and similar in that is is a biocide toxic to CO2 related algae and at the same time many plants are able to assimilate it and use it to produce either CO2 or CO2 metabolites. The mechanism is known only to a few, but there are many Glutaraldehyde-only tanks for those who don't want the complexities of gas injection. It is nowhere as effective as gas but is much better than no CO2 enhancement at all. That being said, be aware that each plant has a certain toxic threshold, which can limit the type of plants you can put in this type of tank. Liverworts and bladderworts are among the most affected. Stem plants, mosses and lance type plants love this stuff.
If I am technically a higher energy system should I look at EI dosing?
Yes, absolutely.
I know you can EI dose non co2 at lower rates, what would be the recommendation for liquid carbon? Would it be full dosing or somewhere in the middle on non co2 and pressurised co2 levels?
I always suggest starting with full EI dosing. Observe the tank and experiment from there. Ensure that Excel is dosed daily just before lights on.
I currently dose ferts weekly, excel is an exception but was supposed to be short term, and don't want to get into daily dosing regimes as I have to work away at times, sometimes days, sometimes weeks and have no one to maintain them on a daily basis. Can EI be added weekly over just two days? Say Micro Sat, Macro Sun?
There is no law stating EI must be a daily exercise. Dose according to your schedule. I would probably avoid a single weekly dose however, but twice a week should be OK. Again experiment to find what works and as always, avoid excessive lighting.

Cheers,
 

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