Does anyone know what makes a plants leaves curl?

Discussion in 'General Planted Tank Discussions' started by Cat, 8 Nov 2019 at 6:08 PM.

  1. Cat

    Cat Member

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    An unpopular question its seems but does anyone know what might make my Echinodorus leaves curl?

    My tank is thoroughly stricken and there is more wrong with it than right with it. I'm trying to work out what has gone wrong so I bought a couple of easy plants to see what would happen to them now that I have upped the CO2 and lowered the water temperature ( I have Discus fish so temp was quite high ) ANYWAY I put them in and they are sort of coping, one has sprouted some sort of flower thing and the other has long narrow rolled up leaves?

    Trying to find out what this suggests but when I use the search on this forum I can't seem to find an answer, other than a possible lack of CO2, my drop checker is yellow I can't have it higher I'm surprised the fish are coping to be honest. Any suggestions would be much appreciated!
     
  2. AndyMcD

    AndyMcD Member

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    Embarrassing situations?


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  3. AndyMcD

    AndyMcD Member

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    Could it be:
    - strong water flow?
    - growing towards the light?
    - CO2 and light hitting one side more than another?


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  4. zozo

    zozo Member

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    Many plants can show this symptom and i believe it yet isn't fully understand why. I had this issue a while back with the majority of Cryptocoryne sp. in my tank. Suddenly curling the leaves down. And it all turned back to normal after a while without me changing a thing. I have no clue what caused it or cured it.

    it likely is a kind of stress symptom and the cause could be a number of situations that are extremely difficult to diagnose. Theoretically, i believe it likely be related to osmotic pressure in the plant and a lack or excess of a certain chemical element or other external parameters can trigger it. Such as light, temperature, flow and or combinations. In aquatic plants, it's particularly difficult since it's influenced by water column and substrate parameters. Creating more possible combination stressing the plant.

    Everything it needs simply might be available sufficiently enough in the possibilities we have to determine this. But still, there is something going on making the plant not able to coop with it and show this symptom. For example, an excess or lack of certain elements or a number of other invironmental parameters can inhibit the plant to uptake and or transport other elements.
     
  5. freewolny

    freewolny Member

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    no they are not, and you've diagnosed them:
    and these chemical elements are K and Ca.
     
  6. Cat

    Cat Member

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    It would seem unlikely to be Calcium as we live in a very hard water area so I always assumed the water would have quite a lot of calcium in it already? We certainly have a lot in our soil. I use "Aquarium Plants Foods" dry salts to dose the water, I put in Potassium Nitrate and Potassium Phosphate, I already put in a quarter more than the guide amount even though I have virtually no plants living anymore. Do you think maybe this is the wrong kind of potassium? Or maybe the plants are having problems absorbing what is there?
     
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  7. Cat

    Cat Member

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    A lot of people talk about the plants being grown in the air and then having problems acclimatising to being underwater and these are very new plants so I wondered if it might be that because if so presumably they would resolve themselves in time without intervention. But the leaves are so thin as well and slightly yellow. I've been adding extra Iron after learning more about things from Darrel and the vallis has never looked so green although the whole aquarium is now permanently tea coloured, so swings and roundabouts I guess!
     
  8. Cat

    Cat Member

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    Yes well if my tank was Japanese it would have committed hara-kiri by now......
     
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  9. freewolny

    freewolny Member

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    Yes, but you're talking about particular tank - while zozo referred to tanks in general. Main regulator of pressure within plants is K, then Ca and certain presence of Mg can also disturb uptake of K to my knowledge (based on personal observations). Of course there are lots of other factors like acidity and hardness of water (which tells us about presence of Ca and Mg and carbonates in general) but when looking at curling leaves (which in new leaves are quite often lead to extremum) I'd first try to balance K/Ca and Mg. But there is no definite formula (due to other factors I've mentioned) so you'll probably need to do that by simply testing certain levels of these macros and observe the results - and there is a chance that if as you've mentioned you have tonnes of Ca in water, I'd look at levels of K/Mg first. And you'll probably need to find out exact amounts of what you dose - numbers (or rather ratios) are very helpful in this case.
     
  10. Cat

    Cat Member

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    Yes I only discovered recently that my hard water made iron less available hence the extra stuff been put in. I use Epsom salts for Mg. I was always told on this forum that home testing kits were pointlessly inaccurate. Maybe I'm putting too much in! Its a very large tank with not much in it maybe my substrate consuming it all.....
     
  11. freewolny

    freewolny Member

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    And you hit the right tone here. Fe due to high alkalinity of water in UK (in general) is to my observations core of problems in most of of the tanks in this country (and that's why I'm re-mineralising my water from scratch, not to mention extremely high levels of Ca and/or Mg). Without the correct levels of Fe (fuel) plants cannot even start the growth of the chlorophyll caused by N (which is the machine using the Fe fuel).
    Whoever told you the tests are rubbish - he or her - was absolutely right. I don't use test at all (however I have some of them bought when I was simply naive). The only test I'd think is useful is the pH test (but pH can be calculated, even its fluctuations depending on the levels of hydrogens).
    But to the point: levels of K/Ca and partially Mg are crucial for keeping plants being not deformed (or deformed if someone would like to change their look) due to internal pressure of the plant cells.
     
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  12. zozo

    zozo Member

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    The vast majority of plants we buy in the lfs are Bog plants. :) And these plants can all grow in 2 different forms, preferably and natural in terrestrial form and forcefully also in a permanent aquatic form.

    Both forms are for most sp. completely different from each other anatomically and morphologically.

    The nurseries providing the lfs with plants grow all these plants in their terrestrial form. Because this is commercially much more attractive. In the atmosphere, there is abundant CO² available and don't have to worry about algae.

    Because of the anatomical and morphological difference in both forms, the plant needs to transition from its terrestrial form to its aquatic form. And to do this it will shed all its terrestrial leaves grown in the nursery and grow back aquatic leaves in your aquarium. Depending on X factors it can take weeks for a plant to complete this transitional cycle.

    What is particularly confusing for newcomers is the way the lfs present the aquarium plants. They get terrestrial grown plants from the nursery and immediately put these plants underwater in the shops' display tank. It's actually a very stupid and even less educational practise what the lfs owners keep up with. You as a customer are thinking you are buying aquatic plants and do not expect them to die first before it transitions back into aquatic form.

    Makes people wonder what they are doing wrong? Actually looking at something natural.
     
    Last edited: 10 Nov 2019 at 10:36 AM
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  13. dw1305

    dw1305 Expert

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    Hi all,
    Calcium would be my first thought as well, and I think it must be a nutritional deficiency, but I don't think it is either of these.
    Definitely will have. If you have water from a chalk aquifer (and you will) it is fully saturated with Ca++ and HCO3- ions, and at least 18dKH/18dGH.
    That definitely isn't the issue, <"every K+ ion is the same as every other K+ ion"> and ~all potassium compounds are soluble, so all the potassium ions you have added are available to the plant.
    That is useful to know. Vallisneria is a plant that grows better in harder water, and will have adaptations to allow it to take up ions in harder water.

    An option would be to replace the Echinodorus with <"Cryptocoryne crispatula "Balansae">?
    So it looks likely to <"be a micro-nutrient">, and one that is <"less available in hard water">.

    I'll be honest <"after that I'm struggling">. Could we have a picture of the tank?

    cheers Darrel
     
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  14. freewolny

    freewolny Member

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    And Darrel is right about the Fe. Plus see post #11 about the Fe and find better Fe chelate which is more stable in your water = less Fe will be needed in general (no tea in the water) but more will be available for the plants.
     
  15. Cat

    Cat Member

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    oooooooh good to know, I did a water change today and the leaves looked so much greener. I thought the red colour in the water might be making the leaves look less green but I didn't realize quite how much it changed the colour of them. I'm using this Fe for gardeners, one that Darrel used bc I don't trust my ability to tell if there are other additives in the water that might harm my fish....
     
  16. freewolny

    freewolny Member

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  17. Cat

    Cat Member

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    This is the progression.......pictures taken from my previous thread
    Could it be the substrate? Tank in terminal decline...

    It was - fish tank1.jpg

    Then it become - fish tank 2.jpg
    Now it is - 20191112_090620.jpg

    And the Vallis -
    20191112_090649.jpg

    When the Discus were young the tank was fine, I haven't been able to work out why everything has being dying. I am starting to suspect it was the temperature because I put it up for the Discus and up til that point it was the only change I did to the whole system, it's been down from 30 for a couple of weeks now and the two plants I just put in haven't died. I have also rammed masses of CO2 in there and got it to go in much earlier than before the lights come on, The drop checker is permanently yellow now but the fish aren't struggling so thats how I've left it. It is 420 ltrs so a couple of hours before probably wasn't enough for so much water. It was always a pretty ropey tank but it was good enough for me. I would like to change the substrate because it really has degraded a lot it's been over 5 years ( can't remember when I put it in to be honest ) but I can't do anything with the fish in there sadly.
     
  18. Cat

    Cat Member

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    I didn't know RO water could give you cardiovascular disease? Is that something to do with electrolytes?

    When I used to use an RO my water still didn't get below 7pH our water is so hard. Our Nitrates are also at the legal limit, apparently because we live near farmland and the run off from the fields and all the fertilisers go into the rivers and our water systems in general. All of this could explain why even when the tank was doing well I couldn't grow anything other than low tech plants. But once you start growing plants in an aquarium it's hard to go back to gravel and fish. Before my tanks were always bare bottom as this was considered the most hygienic for Discus.
     
  19. Cat

    Cat Member

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    It's so complex and there are so many variables, if it hadn't been so expensive and time consuming to set up my tank and convert to keeping plants I would have given up ages ago. Also its over 2 metres long and in my living room so its hard to ignore. I bought the plants from a local fish store and they had obviously just got the plants in because normally everything looks half dead. I wonder if I had purchased the plants from an aquatic plant specialist whether the plants would be grown submersed?
     
  20. freewolny

    freewolny Member

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    As a fist thing I'd immediately remove those stones - they are most likely lime based, neither discus nor most of the plants like it (no to mention that CO2 you are using literally dissolve them and increase alkalinity in your tank). Generally it looks to me like massive fert intoxication to the plants (mainly N/PO). You're "nicely" trying to reflect Amazon conditions during wet season.
     

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