Deficiency Or Light Issue?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Plants' started by Celestialgirl, Aug 6, 2017.

  1. CelestialgirlWell Known MemberMember

    Background: I have a 37 gallon tank that is 22" high with the lighting that came with my tank, which is maybe a 12" long LED (45 watts). I change the water typically 25% twice per week. My lights are on about 10 hours per day. I planted some small plants maybe 5 weeks ago (all low light plants).

    Issue: I suspected that my light wasn't strong enough but I wanted to see what would happen. My Anubis, cryptocoryne becketti and staurogyne repens are doing well with no yellowing. My helathium quadricostatus has some bottom leaves melting, has some small holes but it is growing. My java fern has brown spots all over it. I'm assuming this is a lack of light problem, but could it be a deficiency issue instead?

    I have no CO2 and I just ran out of Flourish. I had bought a replace the bottle but realized I got Flourish Excel instead. I do have a new light on order.

    Edit: I'm also using root tabs. The Java fern was free floating but I stuck it in A pail and put it outside for the day to get some light.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 6, 2017
  2. Cricket lynn mcleanWell Known MemberMember

    Your annubias is so pretty :)

  3. CelestialgirlWell Known MemberMember

    Thanks! I think they're lovely plants. Mine are super slow growing (like... not even sure if they are growing lol) but still so nice. :)

  4. jmaldoWell Known MemberMember

    If generic kit light, its mainly to light the tank for viewing and maybe some low light plants I see you have growing. Mind if I ask what type light did you order.
  5. CelestialgirlWell Known MemberMember

    Well... I'm finding I'm wasting money starting with something then upgrading later (started with gravel, switched to sand... started with fake plants, switched to live ones), so I decided to get a good one. I got the Fluval Fresh & Plant 2.0. I read that I can turn it down so that it isn't too strong for my low light plants, but hopefully it should reach to the bottom of my 22" high tank. I need to get a glass lid now though too.
  6. jmaldoWell Known MemberMember

    Good Luck. I get my glass tops from Drs Foster & Smith. the lowest price I have found.  
  7. CelestialgirlWell Known MemberMember

    Thanks! I'm Canadian so shipping would get nasty fast, I'm sure. :)

    So you figure it's a light issue with my plants? It's what I originally assumed but then started to second guess myself.
  8. Cricket lynn mcleanWell Known MemberMember

    Oh boy do I understand that problem !-
  9. Dr.WilfordBrimleyValued MemberMember

    It looks like potassium or phosphate deficiency. If you dose with Excel it will make the problem worse. When you get your hands on more Flourish Comprehensive, do a double dose (it's fine, I've dosed my tanks up to 4 times the amount the bottle says) then see what happens.

    Some people are going to try to tell you to buy iron and all this other stuff, but just wait to do that until you can see what comprehensive does.
  10. CelestialgirlWell Known MemberMember

    Oh thank you! I'll try that. I've been increasing my water changes to twice per week and often don't dose after the mid-week water change... So I'll switch things up.
  11. Dr.WilfordBrimleyValued MemberMember

    Water changes can either hurt or help depending on your water conditions from the tap and how quickly your water is becoming dirty. I'll read this thread more closely later and give more rounded advice then.
  12. vikingkirkenWell Known MemberMember

    I use Flourish regularly, and my plants are beginning to show signs of potassium deficiency. I just ordered a potassium supplement. Pinholes on the leaves is a classic sign.

    The amount of potassium and iron in Flourish is negligible, in Seachem's own words.
  13. Dr.WilfordBrimleyValued MemberMember

    What brand is your light? LED generally are no good for plants unless you spend big money (usually more than $100 for) This wouldn't effect your nutrient level, though, just amount of growth (weak lights = little growth)

    Not being rude so please don't take it as such, but Seachem also says Flourish Tabs won't lower pH, but my pH from the tap is 7.8. My tank is 6.6 - 6.8. I have driftwood, but not enough to drop the tank a full degree. I use about 8 flourish tabs at a time though and they say on the package that they have the same effect as peat moss, or can - In short... What seachem claims and what a tank actually needs are two different things.

    Seachem is out to make money more than anything else. We as consumers need to keep that in mind. I also recommend ordering all these products off amazon. They are literally double the price in my LFS

    The key to all of this is patients and unless your plants are just melting I wouldn't rush it. Wait for your Flourish to get in, double dose, see what it looks like in the morning, double dose again, wait a few days. Definitely don't use excel until you figure out your nutrients.
  14. vikingkirkenWell Known MemberMember

    I don't wish to deviate from the OP's questions, but there are other things that effect pH, you are being rather simplistic about that. Whether or not the tabs change it will depend on what your kH and gH is too, for example.

    Quadruple-dosing Flourish is a whole lot more expensive and less efficient than just buying the macronutrients separately.

    Seachem is out to money. We can both agree on that. If they sold products that didn't work, or misinformed people about how to use them, they would go out of business very quickly.

    There are also very good LED lights for well under $100 that work fine for plants.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2017
  15. CelestialgirlWell Known MemberMember

    I change the water twice per week to maintain stable pH, not because it's so dirty it needs twice per week changes.

    The light I'm currently using is just a plain Marineland one that came with my aquarium. I suspect it's not strong enough to go through 22" of water, so I ordered a Fluval Fresh and Plant 2.0 (not here yet).
  16. Cricket lynn mcleanWell Known MemberMember

    I'd love to know which? I'm in need of a new light.
  17. vikingkirkenWell Known MemberMember

  18. el337Fishlore LegendMember

    Just wanted to chime in about this light - I just got the same one 3 weeks ago and I also have a 21" high tank. I'm seeing a huge difference in plant growth so I'm very happy with it so far. :)
  19. CelestialgirlWell Known MemberMember

    Great to hear! Do you have a glass lid or are you topless?
  20. el337Fishlore LegendMember

    Glass lid and it's not that clean either although I try to wipe it off weekly lol (calcium buildup, etc). I don't know if you read this review about it but it's the one that convinced me to buy it. I was going back and forth between the Finnex 24/7 SE and this one but after my old Finnex Planted+ died on me after only 1.5 years, I decided on the Fluval. I figured the water seal and 3 year warranty couldn't be beat.


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