Lobelia cardinalis dark spotting/patching?

dw1305

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Hi all,
yes, that what I was thinking of, generally when I see yellow or very bright leaves leaves I think of Fe/N/Mg (depending on the leaves age).
Exactly that for me as well.

That was the premise I developed the <"Duckweed Index"> on.
I must admit that Fe deficiency on that Pogostemon looks really cool, I'd be tempted to intentionally cause that for such a nice look.
..............<"the future of aquascaping">........

cheers Darrel
 

JBFUK

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Ah, so I don't believe it's new leaves that were losing their colour but old leaves on a 'new' plant. By new I meant that I added it within the past 2-3 weeks whereas most of the others have been in the tank since I brought it back at the beginning of November. I also added a small 'Rotala rotundifolia' at the same time as the Hygrophila - it seems to be doing 'ok'.

I added 2ml of Flourish Complete today which should equate to 0.2ppm Fe plus other traces. A few hours later I checked the TDS which had dropped to ~370. I think checked again at 7pm and got a reading of around 420. Seems to vary a fair bit throughout the day. Temperature may be a factor in the pens accuracy although it does read the temperature too and is supposed to compensate.

As the Hygrophila is quite a fast growing plant, had reached the surface and getting in the way of the flow of the filter a bit I decided to give it a trim. I took the tops off several of the stems so that it will bush out a bit. I took a photo of several of the 'interesting' leaves that were towards the top as I figured they may help with diagnosis. I also took one that had the dark green blotching and wiped it on a paper towel to see whether I could effectively wipe it off (if it were algae). I'm not sure what to make of the result of that test as I was able to get some green reside on the towel but it seemed more to me that I was actually just spearing the rotting leaf matter on to the towel rather than wiping off some algae, but then I don't know how easy or difficult it would be to wipe algae off of a leaf as opposed to a plastic item or the glass where it wipes off very easily and cleanly.

IMG_0102.JPG IMG_0103.JPG IMG_0108.JPG

I could be looking at multiple issues or deficiencies here. Just in case algae is one of them I've blocked out most of my night light with tape so that there is just a really tiny bit of visible light emitted - it was low before but now it's as low as it can be without just turning it off. I would consider changing the schedule for less hours of light but I really do want to be able to see the tank in the evening otherwise what is the point of having it. I was thinking about a siesta period but what I have read suggests that is not effective. I already have the intensity at 50% for the first two hours and 70% for the last 4 hours.

Also I don't think randomly changing everything at once is the answer and it really does seem like my first issue to resolve is nutrient dosing.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I took a photo of several of the 'interesting' leaves that were towards the top as I figured they may help with diagnosis. I also took one that had the dark green blotching and wiped it on a paper towel to see whether I could effectively wipe it off (if it were algae). I'm not sure what to make of the result of that test as I was able to get some green reside on the towel but it seemed more to me that I was actually just spearing the rotting leaf matter on to the towel rather than wiping off some algae, but then I don't know how easy or difficult it would be to wipe algae off of a leaf as opposed to a plastic item or the glass where it wipes off very easily and cleanly.
That is useful. Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words.

The green spotting is definitely algal, its <"Green-spot Algae"> and, as you've found, the individual colonies are difficult to remove. It isn't something I usually suffer from (touch wood), but if you search on the forum it tends to be associated with high light, high alkalinity, low CO2 and <"low phosphate"> (PO4---) levels. I'm going to ignore CO2, mainly because your plant leaves are near the water surface, where they will receive exra CO2 via diffusion, and also because it's a plant that grows well for me low tech. I'd tend to ignore light intensity as well. I just like to make sure I have enough PAR, partially this is why I like a floating plant it is adapted to high light and isn't CO2 limited, I can also use it as a <"net curtain">.

The purpling, on the end of the leaves, is also often a sign of low phosphate. This is Maize (Zea mays) showing phosphate deficiency (from <"Soil phosphorus availability and lime: More than just pH?">). As the linked article suggests PO4--- deficiencies are more likely in very acid or alkaline soils, and that nutrient uptake is often not simply a case of numbers, but much <"more a case of ratios and availability">.

soilphosphor.jpg


The purpling is more visible because of the leaf yellowing, which is caused by a lack of chlorophyll. Phosphate deficiency can cause yellowing, but the most likely causes of chlorosis are deficiencies of nitrogen (N), potassium (K), magnesium (Mg) and iron (Fe).
I added 2ml of Flourish Complete today which should equate to 0.2ppm Fe plus other traces
The "Flourish" won't necessarily have actually added any plant available iron. We know that <"Flourish Iron" contains ferrous gluconate"> and we also know that it isn't an <"efficient chelator in harder water">, have a look at @X3NiTH's comments in the linked thread. Seachem's advertising blurb is <"always interesting">, but sometimes a bit opaque.

cheers Darrel
 

JBFUK

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Interesting, I also came to the same conclusion regards Phosphate deficiency and the purple hue, I suppose Nitrogen deficiency could be an uptake issue due to low iron, potassium or magnesium levels. That or the plants have use all available nitrogen from the tap water. I will do a drop test later to see what that shows up. I know it's not pinpoint accurate but should give some indication on current levels.

Now for the green spot algae, I take it that can either be too much light or a result of the nutrient imbalances? If it's light, how can I adjust my lighting schedule but still enjoy having my tank lit up in the evening? I currently have lights on to 50% at 8am (30min ramp period starting at 8am), at 10am they ramp up to 100%, at 5pm they ramp down to 70% and at 8:30pm they start ramping down to be off at 9pm. I understand in the tropics a 12h day is the norm - I'm an hour over that but thought the reduced intensity would help counterbalance. If I leave the sunrise period until later in the morning in order to shorten the day then there will already be some ambient light in the room from daylight (no direct sunlight but some ambient light). Is that ambient light considered negligible or do I need to synchronise with it? Not sure how that will work in the summer when it's light at 5am! It's a shame the algae eaters and amano shrimp don't seem to be touching this green spot algae.

For nutrient issues I have ordered dry salts, however, I would like to try to use up some of the Seachem nutrients otherwise it's wasted money. I was thinking of combining the different sachem macros in to a macro mix to make it easier to dose. After reading various sources of information I have decided to try a middle ground approach somewhere between PMDD+PO4 and EI. My plan is as follows, having used the RB calculator to work out the ppm content of the Seachem products:

Weekly Dosing Target:

Potassium 12ppm - (minus 2.5 from N/PO4 = 9.5) Flourish Potassium 6.3ml
Phosphates 3ppm - Flourish Phosphorus 24 ml (inc 1.24 ppm K)
Nitrates 5ppm - some already available in tap water - Flourish Nitrogen 2.4 ml (inc 1.26 ppm K)
Magnesium 5ppm - 1.5ppm from tap water, add 3.5ppm - 100ml/25g Epsom salt solution 4.5ml
Iron/Trace 0.3ppm - Flourish Complete 3ml

Create Macro Mix -

Create 4 week Mixture =

K - 25.2ml
PO4 - 96ml
N - 9.6ml
Mg -18ml

= 148.8ml - 12 doses
= 12.4ml / dose


Flourish comprehensive Micro = 1ml / dose

New Schedule -

Saturday - 30% WC + Macro Mix
Sunday - Flourish Micros
Monday - Macro Mix
Tuesday - Flourish Micros
Wednesday - Macro Mix
Thursday - Flourish Micros
Friday - Rest

To begin on February 1st.


I will also soften the water slightly more. New water parameters - 2/3 RO:1/3 tap water - target for new water GH 6 KH 4. Having read up on this I don't think I can take the GH any lower without risking harm to the Amano shrimp. I understand that the nutrients will actually increase GH/KH to higher levels than the original water mix, but not sure how to account for this or by how much it will impact so ignoring that for now.

Does this sound like a sane/sensible plan of attack? I figure that I need to consistently follow some sort of new regime for at least a couple of weeks without making random changes otherwise I can't expect to see a stable environment forming.
 
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dw1305

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Hi all,
I understand in the tropics a 12h day is the norm - I'm an hour over that
I'd shorten the lighting period a bit.
If I leave the sunrise period until later in the morning in order to shorten the day then there will already be some ambient light in the room from daylight (no direct sunlight but some ambient light). Is that ambient light considered negligible
Go for that and ignore the ambient light.
Does this sound like a sane/sensible plan of attack? I figure that I need to consistently follow some sort of new regime for at least a couple of weeks without making random changes otherwise I can't expect to see a stable environment forming.
It does.
would like to try to use up some of the Seachem nutrients otherwise it's wasted money.
I would. It is only really the Seachem Iron (Fe) that is likely to cause issues. Iron (Fe), and to a degree, phosphorus (P), are different from the other plant nutrients in that they are much more likely to form insoluble compounds and come out of solution.

Other fertilisers
When you add potassium nitrate (KNO3) it goes into solution as K+ and NO3- ions, and they <"just remain in solution">, and plant available, eternally. That is why it doesn't matter where an ion has come from, once they are in solution they <"are all the same">.

Iron
When you add a soluble iron salt (like ferric iron III chloride (FeCl3), it will also go into solution (and those 3 Cl- ions will stay in solution), but the Fe+++ ion will react with hydroxide (OH-), bicarbonate (HCO3-), phosphates (PO4---) etc ions and <"rapidly go out of solution">.

cheers Darrel
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I probably should have posted the "Solubility Rules Chart" at some point, because I often talk about solubility and ions, and which combinations of nutrients are likely to go out of solution.

large_solubility_rules_chart-mk.png


cheers Darrel
 

JBFUK

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Ok, so my reading on that is so long as I keep my iron nute and others in a separate solution then I'll be ok? That's why I planned to dose Flourish Comprehensive and Macro mix on alternate days, which I believe is the EI way of doing things? So I'm kind of looking at a dosage level a little higher than standard PMDD+PO4 but using an EI schedule. I also have a bottle of 'Flourish Iron' so could dose that in addition to the Flourish Comprehensive if there is no problem with overdosing iron?

Just ran all of my drop tests. KH (6.5) and GH (9.5) are as expected. Ammonia 0 and Nitrite 0. Nitrate reads between 0-5ppm so I think it's right that I include nitrogen in my dosing schedule. Should I actually look to dose more than the 5ppm/week NO3 that I had planned above?

My Soda pop CO2 bottles were pretty much at the end of their life so I have recharged, cleaned the diffuser etc. I have about 1 more recharge of bicarb and acid ingredients left - plan to switch to a sodastream bottle setup. My last recharge was on 12th Jan so it's lasting between 2-3 weeks. I think a sodastream bottle will last much longer and provide a more consistent pressure output. Had better get on and order the new regulator and adapter from China as it'll probably take 3-4 weeks to arrive.

Have also changed my light schedule to come on at 10am rather than 8am, but go off half an hour later. So 1.5h less light per day overall.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I also have a bottle of 'Flourish Iron' so could dose that in addition to the Flourish Comprehensive if there is no problem with overdosing iron?
My guess would be they both contain ferrous gluconate and you won't actually have dosed any/very much plant available iron in either case. Have a look at @Zeus.'s thread and @Craig Matthews's <"pink tint" thread using FeEDDHA">, I think that the "pink tint" is a way forward for you.
so my reading on that is so long as I keep my iron nute and others in a separate solution then I'll be ok?
Should be, if you acidify the "all-in-one" solution you should definitely be all right, <"white vinegar"> would do as your acid.
Nitrate reads between 0-5ppm so I think it's right that I include nitrogen in my dosing schedule. Should I actually look to dose more than the 5ppm/week NO3 that I had planned above?
I'm <"not a great fan of nitrate tests">, I'd probably leave it at 5 ppm NO3 for the moment and see what happens.

Once the plant has all of the <"fourteen essential nutrients"> it needs for growth present then I expect the plants will burst into growth and then you can use the <"leaf colour chart"> to give <"you an indication of nitrogen level">.

cheers Darrel
 
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Hi all, It might be a light intensity effect now it has surfaced, or it might be the start of iron deficiency. This is iron deficiency in Hygrophila corymbosa, (photo by @sciencefiction) <"EI dosing......"> .

iron2_zpsa522aade-jpg.jpg
If the water was warmer at 19:00? That may account for the difference. Yes, it does. All plants (even things like Cacti) can only take up nutrients as ions from solution. It is back to the <"Donald Rumsfeld's "unknown unknowns">, but it is certainly feasible and my suspicion would be, at least part of, the answer.

You can see the process (of a solid becoming ions) occurring in snails in a high tech, where you get <"shell attrition"> during the "CO2 on, lower pH" period. We have a lot of <"threads about this">, the problem is that it is really only aquascapers who add the nitrate (NO3-) ion from a salt (usually KNO3), rather than it being the "smoking gun" of previously high levels of the, definitely toxic, ammonia (NH3/NH4+) and nitrite (NO2-). No you are fine, plants can take up all forms of fixed nitrogen (NH3/NH4+, NO2- & NO3-) and every NO3- ion is the same as every other NO3- ion.

cheers Darrel
.
I have not read the entire conversation. I am sorry, not following anymore,and I might have missed the meaning, but just to note since I got an alert, it is one of my pictures that Darrel linked and it is definitely the result of iron deficiency, which I still battle in my hard water, in my low tech tanks. In my emersed plants,as I've noted before here,I manage it by planting them in red clay iron rich pebbles. If you have hard water, you need red clay in your substrate, providing you're trying to grow healthy plants. Iron, just like in humans, is going to make your plants tired,colorless and listless, when lacking.
 

JBFUK

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So I've been using my new regime since Saturday. Green spot algae hasn't disappeared but it no worse either which I guess is good. Certainly seeing some growth but things still looking a bit yellow. I suppose it's going to take more time to tell whether or not the new dosing scheme is working.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Certainly seeing some growth but things still looking a bit yellow
Some growth is promising.
I suppose it's going to take more time to tell whether or not the new dosing scheme is working.
The plant mobile nutrients will give you a pretty instant greening, in the case of iron (Fe), manganese (Mn) and molybdenum (Mo) it is only <"new leaf tissue"> that would be greener.

cheers Darrel
 

JBFUK

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I'm double dosing iron at 0.2ppm, hope that's ok? I'm giving 0.1ppm via Flourish Comprehensive and 0.1ppm via Flourish Iron.

My dry salts came through today. Perhaps I should mix up some of the trace and start using that instead.
 

JBFUK

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My PH is between 7.5-6.8 though-out the day (changed by dissolved CO2 I guess). Does that help work out whether or not the iron is 'available'?
 

JBFUK

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Usual 15L water change on Saturday for 1/3 Tapwater 2/3 RO - GH~6, KH~4. Hygrophila is still looking pale, a few of the top leaves seemed to have new algae growth. I trimmed a fair amount off the top again (it grows quickly).

I noticed some of the top growth on the lobelia seems a bit 'twisted'.

IMG_0143.JPG

I read this is quite possibly due to a lack of calcium? But then given I'm using 1/3 tap water and we are in a hard water area is this really an issue or is calcium uptake perhaps affected by some other trace elements? Maybe I should be considering going back to using Equilibrium to remineralise?

I mixed up 500ml of the APF trace salts. I'm now going to be dosing 6.5ml (0.2ppm FE) twice per week, first dose yesterday.

I read the APF site's info on EI dosing which I believe is taken from these forums. Interesting to read there that algae is actually caused by ammonia rather than an excess of one particular nutrient. It suggested plants can emit ammonia due to a lack of a nutrient availability in relation to the amount of light/CO2 and that can cause algae - perhaps that's what's causing my green spot algae on leaves? So maybe I need to increase my Marco dose? That said I have been measuring the ppm and it steadily rises throughout the week so it must only be one particular nutrient that is lacking?
 

JBFUK

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Plants are all growing well, no real signs of deficiencies but the GSA persists.

Just gave everything a heavy pruning and switched my Bicarb/Acid CO2 maker for a sodastream bottle and regulator in an effort to make the CO2 delivery more stable and reliable.

I have also just switched from the previous nutrient schedule to the 'All in one' mixture as described on "James' planted tank" website. Now that the plants are established I would like a slower growth rate and to stop this darned GSA which makes the plants look ugly.

Considering reducing the light intensity so it never goes above 70% or shortening the lights on period. I have already turned the moonlight off. Think I should give it a couple of weeks with the previous changes in place first as changing too many variables at once is never a very good plan.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Plants are all growing well, no real signs of deficiencies.......
Well that is positive, even if you still have GSA. I've had it a few times on Anubias leaves when they've been in bright light, but soon after that the floating plants have shaded them again and it has gone away.

cheers Darrel
 

JBFUK

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So I have reduced the lights on time by 30 mins and reduced the max intensity for the day to 70% - has been like that for a week. Seems stable. Still a very fine misting of GSA showing up on top leaves but nothing like before. I wonder whether I should now increase my dosing a little to see whether it makes the GSA better or worse?

Rather than trying to tweak the all-in-one mix to add more N P or K perhaps for now I'm better off just increasing the overall dose from 5ml/day to 6ml/day? The mix breakdown is:

Dosing is 5ml per 40 litres
Each 5ml dose adds:
1.5 ppm Nitrate
0.4 ppm Phosphate
1.6 ppm Potassium
0.2 ppm Magnesium
If the GSA starts to get worse then I could reduce to 4ml/day and observe - try to find a balance?
 
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