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Rotala Rotundifolia - Growth Issues

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As I have the same issue with above plant every time I give it a go I thought it may be the time to eventually try to do something about it. Basically every time I plant this Rotala in my tank, as soon as it starts growing it immediately changes the appearance which I don't really like (I don't mean unhealthy). Leaves become more green rather than reddish, rather than thin needle shape they become rounded and what bothers me the most, they are about 3 times bigger than on the original plants. It slowly starts looking more like lettuce than Rotala. It has started shooting new stems even without trimming. Also some of them start getting stunt tipps. I have high co2 and light level, good water circulation and tried branded ferts same as EI. To me it looks more that the plants get too much of something rather than not enough but I would like to see what you guys think. That's how it changed within 12 days from planting - compare bottom parts of the stemms to a new growth. Let me know what you think.
70D48D04-C2E2-40FC-B21F-C32EA6BA6CE2_zpskwu3q28p.jpg
8248EB2A-B014-4BD1-A27F-02BFCACE14C8_zpsd8hurxat.jpg
 
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If it is a deficiency, its micronutrients issue and it looks like iron deficiency to me. Otherwise micronutrient toxicity if you think you are severely overdosing.
Dose more iron and/or micro ferts for a week, the new growth should improve if its that. What's grown already, like those light green tops, may not recover...
If not, large and large water changes to reset the tank and try dosing less. Either way, it looks micro nutrient related.
 

Konrad Michalski

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To be honest I don't look at deficiencies as a possible cause of it. Them new tips looks like they are super healthy and because they grow so big I'm rather thinking that there is too much of something. I had the same issue with bacopas before, when I got them they were small nice cuttings and all of the sudden became a monster in my tank. I'm thinking about carbon source as I dose co2 via two inline diffusers to circulate it properly and on top of that I dose 10ml of liquid carbon daily for my 180l tank. I'm just not sure where to start with adjustments.
 
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dw1305

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Hi all,
To be honest I don't look at deficiencies as a possible cause of it.
It isn't CO2, the leaves definitely should be much greener than they are.

Because it is the new leaves that are yellow it is a problem with a non-mobile element, which definitely suggests that iron is a possibility. The darker veins ("interveinal chlorosis") is also suggestive of iron deficiency.

Is your water very hard? Often micro-element deficiencies are caused by the ratio of elements, rather than an actual lack of an element. For example very high calcium levels can stop iron uptake.

cheers Darrel
 

Konrad Michalski

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Because it is the new leaves that are yellow it is a problem with a non-mobile element, which definitely suggests that iron is a possibility. The darker veins ("interveinal chlorosis") is also suggestive of iron deficiency.
Thanks for your input Darrel. Just to clarify this is not Rotala Rotundifolia Green. I always thought Rotala Rotundifolia should be from yellow, through orange to red colour. If I had deficiencies of any kind why would leaves become so big and healthy (about 3 times bigger than on the original plant)? I could even accept them as they are if not the fact that some of them start getting stunted tips. And what is weird the stem with stunted tip will shut fresh, healthy stem which may grow just fine.
I tried to increase Iron level but started getting loads of green dust all over the glass so had to stop it.
I increased co2 but fish couldn't take no more, plants though are pearling like crazy even with the current level.
I'm not sure about hardnes of the water as never tested it but according to Severn trent that's what I should have in my tap
E46E6935-A837-4427-AE95-A051C5A39D02_zpsxgznczde.jpe
 

GHNelson

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Have you tried adding Potassium...I've noticed that the Hygrophila pinnatifida leafs are not in the best condition!
Or have you just planted them..... from emersed conditions!
hoggie
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Have you tried adding Potassium...
It is unlikely to be a potassium (K) deficiency, purely because potassium is mobile within the plant and the deficiency symptoms would be in the older leaves, not the younger ones.
I've noticed that the Hygrophila pinnatifida leafs are not in the best condition!
You are right they don't look great, and they appear to have pin-holes, which is interesting. If the water was very hard then you might find that calcium (Ca) could interfere with potassium uptake.

The water report shows hard water, but many members will have a harder tap supply (mine is ~17dKH). Hard water makes iron deficiency more likely, it might be worth <"trying a different chelator">.

cheers Darrel
 

kadoxu

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This is happening to me as well... My GH is usually above 20 and the PH is around 7.2 when CO2 is at optimum levels.
I'm going to replace Seachem Flourish (which has Ferrous Gluconate) with APF Chelated Trace Elements (EDTA Chelated Ferrous) and see if it makes a difference...
 

Konrad Michalski

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Have you tried adding Potassium...I've noticed that the Hygrophila pinnatifida leafs are not in the best condition!
Or have you just planted them..... from emersed conditions!
hoggie
Thanks Hoggie. That Pinnatifida is a left over of something. I'm not even sure how it's got there. The fact is at some point my Staurogyne Repens lost loads of bottom leaves so I trimmed it. I thought it happened because they were fairly long and light wouldn't get there.
I also thouth it could have been Potassium so to a basic mix of EI I've been adding 1/2 a spoon of K2SO4 per 500ml. Because it is only an Ivagumi set up I thought basic EI dose should have been more than enough.

The water report shows hard water, but many members will have a harder tap supply (mine is ~17dKH). Hard water makes iron deficiency more likely, it might be worth <"trying a different chelator">.

Cheers Darrel. Interesting fact is that when I was using brand fertilizers all my Staurogyne repens leaves were lovely, green colour and never falling out but my Monte Carlo was becoming more yellow rather than green on its tips (sometimes even nearly white). When I tried EI Monte carlo became lovely and green and Staurogyne started suffering a bit that's why I'm so lost. I thought about iron deficiencies myself but when started adding Ferro by Easy Life my glass whas getting greener that the plants are. I can try this again while having Rotalas though.
I'm not sure if that could be any symptom too but my hair grass growth is rather poor/not satisfying.
I know Clive would crucify me for saying this but I even started thinking about testing my water.
 

Konrad Michalski

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As for today fresh growths started looking slightly better but unfortunately some of them are still getting stunted as seen on the photo :(:(:(
393BDAF3-E3A6-4BE5-A936-3804865F7513_zpsys0xmmmg.jpg
 

Ulfsark

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Lower your nitrogen levels. When a plant that is supposed to be red turns bright green it means it has too much nutrients especially nitrogen. Once you have about 10 ppm of N, you will see quite a difference.
 

Konrad Michalski

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Lower your nitrogen levels. When a plant that is supposed to be red turns bright green it means it has too much nutrients especially nitrogen. Once you have about 10 ppm of N, you will see quite a difference.
Thanks mate. As for now I did test my water:
N - 20 ppm
P - 1.5 ppm
K - 14 ppm
As tou said I will be lowering Nitrogen to about 10ppm but also Potassium to about 7ppm. To be honest I'm nearly sure it is Potassium which is causing stunted growth but I will find out soon. I will be changing quite a few things now and hopefully resolve the problem. I'm only regretting reading all the info about not testing the water - possibly the biggest mistake since I got into this hobby. Testing the water actually opened my eyes and at least I know what is going on in my tank. Even if it is not 100% accurate it is still better than knowing absolutely nothing. Also I'm going to reduce the water changes from 50% to about 30% as it makes no sens to me. Let see what the outcome will be.
 

rebel

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Can someone comment on the sodium levels in the tap water. Could that be an issue??
 

Konrad Michalski

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Can someone comment on the sodium levels in the tap water. Could that be an issue??
I'm not sure about Sodium but I found out that I have Calcium at 70 mg/l. I'm still sure it is more likely Potassium which causes it. Another week or so and I will be able to confirm it.
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
Can someone comment on the sodium levels in the tap water. Could that be an issue??
No that is fine, until you get to sodium (Na) levels that interfere with the uptake of potassium (K) ions the sodium level is pretty much irrelevant.
To be honest I'm nearly sure it is Potassium which is causing stunted growth but I will find out soon. I will be changing quite a few things now and hopefully resolve the problem.
It isn't potassium, because K is mobile within the plant and deficiency would effect older leaves. Iron (Fe) is a much more likely deficiency.
I'm only regretting reading all the info about not testing the water - possibly the biggest mistake since I got into this hobby..
It would be really useful to know the parameters of the tank water are, but we honestly don't have access to techniques that give us meaningful repeatable results.

<"This is a deficiency of a non-motile element">.
N - 20 ppm
P - 1.5 ppm
K - 14 ppm
If we assume that your test results for the macro-nutrients are in the right ball park, then they are pretty much perfect for plant growth.

cheers Darrel
 

papa_c

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This is a really interesting read.

Darrel, one question that is puzzling me, I always thought that there was no problem overdosing EI, but reading the comments above has me confused. It sort of implies excess of elements can lead to issues just as a shortage of elements can. Or have I misunderstood/misread this?
 

dw1305

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Hi all,
I always thought that there was no problem overdosing EI, but reading the comments above has me confused. It sort of implies excess of elements can lead to issues just as a shortage of elements can.
I'd have to start by saying that I'm not an EI user, and use an alternative approach that involves <"keeping the plants growing, but slowly">.

There are number of issues.
  • You will get interactions between ions, leading to the formation of insoluble compounds. Iron (Fe) is the prime example of this, where most iron compounds are insoluble, meaning that we have to use a chelator to keep any iron plant available, particularly in alkaline, aerobic conditions .
  • You also have the other side of the coin where iron toxicity is a real problem for plants with their roots in acidic reducing conditions. There is a good resource for background reading in <"plant physiology">.
All plants will show a nutrient response curve (like the one below), but the scale of the X axis will vary by several orders of magnitude dependent on both plant and nutrient.

img21.png

If you think of an essential micro-nutrient, like zinc (Zn) or copper (Cu), the range from deficient to toxic is going to be small and at a very low level. If it is a macro-nutrient, like nitrogen (N), the critical concentration and toxic levels will be much, much higher, but plants will show a differential approach dependent upon the conditions they've evolved under. A nitrogen level that is sub-optimal for growing Cabbages may be in the toxic zone for a fern.
  • High availability of one ion may block the uptake of another. If we stick with iron as our example if we have high levels of calcium, iron uptake becomes more problematic, and some plants will only grow in low calcium situations, we call them <"calcifuges">. It isn't the total amount of iron that is important, it is the calcium:iron ratio.
The analogy I would use is that EI is a tomato growing approach, whereas I'm more interested in a orchid growing.

cheers Darrel
 
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I tried to increase Iron level but started getting loads of green dust all over the glass so had to stop it.

The green dust was probably already there, just not green enough for you to see it due to iron deficiency. I remember when my plants were severely deficient in iron, dosing iron greened up the green spot algae too. It had too suffered iron deficiency along with my plants :)
 
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