translucent hygro

Discussion in 'Plant Help' started by fishgeek, 30 Sep 2007.

  1. fishgeek

    fishgeek Member

    Messages:
    117
    Location:
    west sussex
    i was wonderng if any one could give me an explanation for why my hygro leaves have begun to emerge abnormally

    they appera to stay rolled slightly, ie never fully open and although bright green are translucent

    i use home made fertiliser's and often mess about with things i shouldnt, terrestrial fertiliser's, usually with good algal growing consequences

    at present i havet been adding as much , and am using a trace element mix and very small amounts(diluted baby bio)
    CO2 is not measured accurately , deivered through a home made reactor

    i get pearling from the riccia , and only small amounts if that gives any indication of co2 levels?

    andrew

    also i was wondering if rotala is likely to be redder with nirogen restriction or higher ligtht? i think i had something about reds being itensified by either of those things
     
  2. Matt Holbrook-Bull

    Matt Holbrook-Bull Founder

    Messages:
    963
    Location:
    Dorset, UK
    I would suggest lack of nitrogen or phosphate. Read up extensively on the Estimative Index, you can choose to use that method or not, but reading it will help you understand more about whats required by the plants and help you fine tune your own methods :)

    Hygro is a very good barometer as to growing conditions, itll be the first plant to show signs of deficiency.
     
  3. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,937
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi Andrew,
    I second Flora's motion. Hygophilas are fast growing hardy plants. They have a high nutrient uptake demand so any difficulty with them signals the onset of starvation. You may need to implement a more disciplined approach to fertilization, especially of Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium (NPK). Terrestrial fertilizers can be used but there is a colossal risk of algae inducement because most of these fertilizers include ammonium salts or urea, which has a high ammonium content. Ammonia is to algae what spinach is to Popeye.

    As a result of the availability of the PMDD salts, KNO3 and KH2PO4, There is absolutely no reason to use terrestrial fertilizers. You can find them here: http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.p ... th=145_146

    Pearling is normally a good sign, but you have to be a bit more scientific to really determine what the CO2 levels are, and to determine what they should be based on your lighting. Lower lighting requires lower CO2. There are a couple of threads here that address how to measure CO2 content using a drop checker with 4dkH water. If you are unsure just ask and we can clarify.

    As far as the Rotalas, in my honest opinion I would first concentrate on implementing EI dosing and establishing/measuring correct CO2 levels. After a few weeks you'll see that the Rotalas will answer that question themselves.

    Cheers,
     
  4. fishgeek

    fishgeek Member

    Messages:
    117
    Location:
    west sussex
    maybe it is more to do with me having been away for 3 weeks and nt fertilising , after prehaps being heavy handed with my home brew feriliser

    i am aware of the probs with terristrial fertiliser and was just experimenting, as you could guess i did end up with algae and increased respiration from the fish so have to assume high ammonia
    after not fertilising whilst i was away, lights and co2 on solenoid and running as normal i have returned to find the problem with the hygro
    perhaps excaberated by this large sword that was planted right next to it and outgrowing the tank, sending runners everywhere and just dominating the light
    [​IMG]

    thinking about it now i should have given that to someone here ! doh!
    the rotala is growing well and i was just wondering whether it was light dependant or nitrogen limitation that tended to affect it's colouration, since i ahve been home and added some fertiliser(same old mix just much less) and doe some water changes it looks pinker, before it was a dirty maroon at the tips

    any other guess's for the translucent colour off the hygro?
    i bought a pH solution, a tetra test oe as i didnt see bromoblue at my lfs, at present lots going o round the house and i am not running the r/o so once that is going again i will make some of the test water solution that was spoken about in another post and get bromoblue and see whether i get that drop checker going green

    thanks for the comments
    ps managed to get a little potassium nitrate so now just need to work out a dosing regime for that... should be seperate to the trace elment mix is that right?

    andrew
     
  5. Matt Holbrook-Bull

    Matt Holbrook-Bull Founder

    Messages:
    963
    Location:
    Dorset, UK
    the break in ferts will definatly be the cause of the hygro problems, it grows so fast that itll show signs of problems in literally days :) at least you can identify the issue though, thats half the battle!!
     
  6. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,937
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi Andrew,
    That's a big sword. 3 weeks without fertilizing will bottom out the concentrations. It might have been better to lower the light while you were away. That would have slowed everything down and reduced uptake. I'm fairly certain that the translucency is an NPK issue and most probably N. The color should return after dosing for a while. Just prune and dose then you ought to be OK.

    Which Rotala is it again? Each behaves a little differently depending on light and nutrients.

    Glad to hear you got the KNO3. It's tons less troublesome that the terrestrial ferts and loads cheaper than the commercial bottles. The standard EI dosing scheme has the traces dosed on alternate days because there are possible issues with the iron in the trace precipitating out of solution when mixed with the PO4. The precipitate can still reach the plants as it falls to the substrate via the roots but at a slower rate. I know this is an issue with the Plantex CSM powder. I'm less sure whether the same problem occurs with commercial liquid traces.

    If you give us the tank size and lighting it'll be easy to determine a baseline dosing scheme.

    Cheers,
     
  7. fishgeek

    fishgeek Member

    Messages:
    117
    Location:
    west sussex
    for future reference would anyone want a sword that large 45cm high and at least 30 wide..., nout sure how to post it, cut most leaves and roots back and send like that?

    anyway it is gone now

    the rotala is wallachi - i think it looks like a fox tail, pink tipped only really in my tank

    i have 3 x 4ft lights over a little less than 200 litres so about 2- 2.5 wpg
    the KNO3 i was reading somewhere a rough suggestion of almost a1/4 of a teaspoon every other day for a 20 gallon tank, is that a lot or is it just somethnig i need to get used to, it seems a lot to me
    i dont add any phosphate, because(and i have been learning so dont believe the hype anymore) i have naturally higher measuremwnts of phosphate in my tapwater and had hugh problems with algae growth when using a phosphate based buffer to reduce my ph... then read the internet and joined the 'high phosphats cause algae gang'

    your suggestions for reading have helped me through this
    in fact i think i still have half a pot of that old phosphate buffer... would it be ok for a source of phosphate.. or just keep up the water changes

    i use chempak trace elements and in the last 500mls that i made up i added 1 ml of baby bio to increase the nitrogen levels as i though i was slowly things down there , as you guys anticipated and i have experienced too much of this and i get algae
    so i have been adding less of that and more dry powder to make up the trace quantities

    what level of KNO3 would you guess at and do you think phosphate may be required aswell

    thanks again
     
  8. fishgeek

    fishgeek Member

    Messages:
    117
    Location:
    west sussex
    oh also can anyone suggest a good source of supplemental iron, or is the chempak trace level of 3.35 enough to not limit red colours?

    andrew
     
  9. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,937
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi Andrew,
    I suspect that a sword that big might be a bit much for most peoples 'scapes. It prbably weighs ton as well so I'd probably break it up into individual sizes and as you say, reduce much of the leaves. As long as the rootstock is nice and white it should transplant well.

    According to nutricalc a 200 liter tank gets a baseline scheme as follows:

    3X Weekly
    =========
    5/8 teaspoon (3 grams) KNO3
    1/8 teaspoon (1 gram) KH2PO4

    On Alternate days
    ==============
    1/4 teaspoon (0.5 gram) CSM +B or 11 ml Tropica Plant Nutrition

    Judging from your sword size I would say you have plenty of plant mass and you could easily double these figures. Personally, the only data I pay attention to in my water company report is the Calcium and Magnesium levels. I totally ignore the nitrate and phosphate readings and assume they are both zero. This is part of the EI philosophy because you simply can't harm the plants or the inhabitants by overdosing. I would definitely recommend buying the KH2PO4. Although I would NOT use the Phosphate buffer as a Phosphate source, I'm fairly certain that it was not the cause of algae when you were using it. You should use the CO2 as your defacto method of lowering your pH. At the same time you need to be certain why you want the pH lowered. It's better to focus more on CO2 saturation and accept whatever pH that results in. If there is a more specific reason for wanting to lower pH, such as breeding certain fish, you can accomplish that by first lowering the kH by mixing in RO or distilled water into your tap. At lower kH's the pH will be lower at your target 30 ppm CO2 concentration.

    For traces, I'm not familiar with Chempak, but it ought to be OK. Tropica Plant Nutrition is recognized around the world as an excellent trace mix. It's very difficult to judge one trace mix versus another because the effects are subtle, if perceptable at all. The Seachem line have excellent, if expensive products. Their "Flourish" is their trace element mix. You may also want to try their "Flourish Excel" which is a pretty good carbon supplement to tide you over while sorting out your CO2.
    I've never been able to get wallichi pink when it's in a subdued area of the tank (it mostly goes dirty brown). If I move it to the brighter area of the tank it stays more or less pink (at least in the upper half) and the growing tips turn orange. Other may have a different opinion, but I'm not one to try N starvation in order to bring out red colors because it requires too much monitoring or the consequences are dire. I dose like crazy and find plants that turn red with lots of dosing. The theory driving the N starvation to bring out red is that Chlorophyl, being mostly made of Nitrogen is abundant in the leaf when dosed properly. The green of the Chlorophyl tends to overshadow the red pigment in the leaf if the plant is well fed. By restricting the Nitrogen dosing Chlorophyl production is lowered and the red pigment can "outshine" the lowered green. I would rather have plants that produce more red pigment when they are more well fed. That way you aren't playing with fire. There are enough red plants that respond to good feeding, Alternanthera Reineckii for example, or some Echinodorus Cultivars, that I don't bother trying to induce red by marginal feeding.

    Have you ever seen a red sword? This fellow sells Echinodorus Imperial which starts out green and turns red.
    http://www.aquarium-gardening.com/individual_plants.php


    Cheers,
     
  10. fishgeek

    fishgeek Member

    Messages:
    117
    Location:
    west sussex
    the pH things started because i didnt know much, had hard water, got interested in dwarf cichlids , needed soft acidic water, got told a story and sold a product as seems the way
    have r/o and now enough about that side of things though having to reduce fish and though i would play at gardening more

    so soft acidic water not that important now

    thanks for the schedule, what is nutricalc? do you have a link or is n toms subscriber site?

    i will look at potassium phosphate , i still need to get the bromo blue

    any thoughts on upping iron? the chempak is a terrestrial fertiliser line, 6£ for 500g and no nitrogen or other probs, i got it at the nursery


    the sword certainly looks intersting
    how do you guys work out whether you are adding too much or to little? i know you are not that convinced by test kits validty or accuracy for most plant nutrients

    andrew
     
  11. ceg4048

    ceg4048 Expert/Global Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,937
    Location:
    Chicago, USA
    Hi Andrew,
    Nutricalc is an EI based calculator for figuring out the dosing scheme based on tank size. I forgot where I downloaded it from but I think this link sitll works: http://www.cherniaksoftware.com/homepag ... riCalc.exe

    Any CO2 test kit reagent will work. The JBL package includes a drop checker. http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.p ... Path=9_226

    In fact, I'll wager that any pH test kit reagent will work as long as the color range is blue to green to yellow. You don't need to specifically hunt for bromoblue. http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.p ... Path=9_224

    I tried to track down "Chempak" on the web and I found a product with the following listing:
    Trace Elements
    500g £5.50

    I assume this is the one you have but I couldn't read the package contents. I imagine it has iron in it as well (trace mixes normally have mostly iron) but it's hard to tell and I wouldn't be able to tell how to dose this. It is almost exactly 5 times cheaper than the trace mix we normally buy here: http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.p ... cts_id=546

    It's also a heck of a lot cheaper than the commercial liquids, the most prestigious of which is Tropica Plant Nutrition (for years was known as Tropica Master Grow, or TMG) http://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/index.p ... lter_id=48

    I'm just guessing, but I know the trace element mix CSM+B was originally a terrestial/hydroponic fertilizer. It was not an original aquatic product so if that is the case the Chempak dosing may work the same as if you were dosing the CSM, i.e 1/8 of a teaspoon per 100L twice or thrice weekly.

    As far as knowing whether you are over or underdosing, I'm not one for test kits so I just look at the plants. I dose per EI and If they grow at a reasonable pace for the amount of light + CO2, then I know that I'm OK. If I start to see algae or color loss, stunting/rotting then I know I have insufficient ferts and/or CO2. I never actually worry about adding too much but I'm always worried about adding too little. Remember also that insufficient and/or unstable CO2 can cause a lot of problems which will masquerade as underdosing so one should pay close attention to CO2 generation as well as distribution.

    Cheers,
     
  12. JamesC

    JamesC Member

    Messages:
    1,276
    Location:
    Bexley, Kent

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