Holes in floating plants

brhau

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10 Jul 2020
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Hello,

In this tank, I have red root floaters, Salvinia cucullata and Amazon frogbit as my floaters. I'm seeing holes in some of the plants (picture below). Does this look to you like:

1. lensing?
2. nutrient deficiency?
3. inverts feeding?

This is a newish tank, so not many snails. It does have amano shrimp. It gets fed:

Flourish (micros)
Fe-DTPA 0.5ppm
potassium 6ppm
nitrogen 2ppm

I do keep a lid on it, since I've got potential jumpers.

Cheers,
Ben



holes-floaters.jpg
 

Nick72

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but from your intro post I'm going to assume this is a low tech tank (no CO2).

Are those figures in ppm, per dose, in which case how many times a week, or per week?

If per week I'd say you need to up Nitrogen to at least 7ppm per week.

I also can't see a source of Phosphorus. This is essential for healthy plant growth, so I would start there.

If the problem persists we could look at the available, Ca, Mg, S, but I would start with N & P.
 

alto

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Are you seeing holes in newer leafs as well, or mostly older growth (are plants from another tank or ?)?
 

brhau

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but from your intro post I'm going to assume this is a low tech tank (no CO2).
Are those figures in ppm, per dose, in which case how many times a week, or per week?
Yes, it's low tech. Is aqueous CO2 a factor for floating plants? Figures in ppm are weekly.


If the problem persists we could look at the available, Ca, Mg, S, but I would start with N & P.
Thanks, I will look into Phosphorus. It's reasonably stocked, so there is also N & P from fish and food. Could those deficiencies cause those holes, though?
 

brhau

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Are you seeing holes in newer leafs as well, or mostly older growth (are plants from another tank or ?)?
Hm, hard to say with the frogbit, but with the RRF I'd say any of the larger leaves are new growth. I did bring the frogbit from another tank, so it's possible they brought snail eggs with them. However, I do not see holes in the frogbit in the source tank.
 

Nick72

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Yes, it's low tech. Is aqueous CO2 a factor for floating plants? Figures in ppm are weekly.
No. Just checking you weren't injecting CO2, in which case your ppm would be way under optimum.

Thanks, I will look into Phosphorus. It's reasonably stocked, so there is also N & P from fish and food. Could those deficiencies cause those holes, though?
Indirectly yes, the floaters look unhealthy, it could be caused by any number of deficiencies, but lets start with the basics.

With the limited information available I'd say a P deficiency is most likely.

You could always get a test kit and test for P (intro opposing view from @dw1305)
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
1. lensing?
They look like they may be burn marks on the Salvinia.
2. nutrient deficiency?
3. inverts feeding?
Are you seeing holes in newer leafs as well, or mostly older growth (are plants from another tank or ?)?
It definitely looks like snails have been feeding on the older leaves, possibly because they were already unhealthy. If it is snails, when you look at the float cells (on the undersides of the Amazon Frogbit leaves) you may be able to see obvious pits, with mechanical damage around the edges (it will look a bit like styrofoam). The new leaves look OK.
Yes, it's low tech. Is aqueous CO2 a factor for floating plants?
No, they have access to <"400ppm of atmospheric CO2">.
With the limited information available I'd say a P deficiency is most likely.
Yes, it could be phosphorus (P) or magnesium (Mg) etc. I don't normally try <"and second guess these"> I just add a complete fertiliser. Because you are in San Francisco I'm going to assume you have a soft water supply from a reservoir in the mountains, so it probably doesn't have <"much magnesium in the tap water">.

Have a look at the "duckweed index" bits in <"Micronutrient toxicity or ....">.
You could always get a test kit and test for P (intro opposing view from @dw1305)
Orthophosphate (PO4---) is actually <"reasonably easy"> to test for. Have a look at @jaypeecee 's comments in the linked thread.

cheers Darrel
 

brhau

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Yes, it could be phosphorus (P) or magnesium (Mg) etc. I don't normally try <"and second guess these"> I just add a complete fertiliser. Because you are in San Francisco I'm going to assume you have a soft water supply from a reservoir in the mountains, so it probably doesn't have <"much magnesium in the tap water">.

Have a look at the "duckweed index" bits in <"Micronutrient toxicity or ....">.
Hi Darrel,

A complete fertilizer would be great. I started down a rabbit hole and am in need of some guidance.

I'm looking at the Nilocg Thrive line of all-in-one ferts (since they show the final concentrations) and don't see a combination that looks appropriate. Concerns:

1. If magnesium and calcium are potential deficiencies, those not included (they recommend adding a GH boost for those). However, increasing GH is not what you want for apistos, right?

2. This may be anecdotal, but my fish seem to be happier in low nitrate water (10ppm or less). I already have 7-10ppm nitrate (as far as I can measure) only dosing 2ppm nitrogen per week. The all-in-one ferts tend to add 6-7ppm nitrate, which sounds like more than I want. The lower nitrate mixtures are quite low in iron and phosphate.

What all-in-one combinations do you find most useful for apisto tanks when starting with soft water? Alternatively, I can continue what I'm doing and just add phosphate.

-Ben
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Nilocg Thrive line of all-in-one ferts
That one <"looks all right">.
1. If magnesium and calcium are potential deficiencies, those not included (they recommend adding a GH boost for those). However, increasing GH is not what you want for apistos, right?
I wouldn't worry about adding any salts specifically to raise the dGH.
This may be anecdotal, but my fish seem to be happier in low nitrate water (10ppm or less). I already have 7-10ppm nitrate (as far as I can measure) only dosing 2ppm nitrogen per week. The all-in-one ferts tend to add 6-7ppm nitrate, which sounds like more than I want. The lower nitrate mixtures are quite low in iron and phosphate.
I wouldn't add a set amount, just watch the plants. At the moment I use a <"hybrid duckweed index"> where I add a small amount of iron FeEDTA and "Epsom salts" on a regular basis, but only add a complete mix when the <"Limnobium is suffering">.
What all-in-one combinations do you find most useful for apisto tanks when starting with soft water?
At the moment I'm still using <"Miracle-Gro">, I don't recommend it, because it contains ammonia and urea, but I keep very weedy tanks and I am dosing very small amounts.

I also have hard tap water, from a limestone aquifer, so I can potentially <"use that to raise dGH/dKH">.

cheers Darrel
 

brhau

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Thanks, as always.

I wouldn't worry about adding any salts specifically to raise the dGH.
I don't want to raise dGH, but if I add both magnesium and calcium I will, right? I could just not worry about calcium, which looks like what you might doing.

I wouldn't add a set amount, just watch the plants.
I *think* I understand how the duckweed index works, and by measuring, I'm trying to understand and locate the regime in which I'm on the edge without vastly over/undershooting. i.e., my "set amount" might be too coarse an adjustment, depending on desired magnitude of the change. Particularly with nitrate, which my fish don't appear to tolerate too much of. Questions:

1. What is the lag time over which you expect to see changes in the Limnobium as a result of dosing? I understand you need to continually dose iron because it only affects new growth. Will nitrates make existing leaves greener, and how quickly?
2. Does a much faster growing plant like Salvinia minima mask my ability to see responses in the Limnobium?

Cheers,
Ben
 
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