Nutrient deficiency? 20 Gallon Tank

Discussion in 'Aquarium Plants' started by outlaw, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. outlaw

    outlawWell Known MemberMember

    First time attempting planted with anything. And to top it off, it is a DIY led.

    20Gal Cube
    Light- DIY LED- 6x Cool White, 6x Royal Blue, 4x Warm White, 2x Neutral White, 2x Moon
    Filter- Eheim 2211
    Plant Stock- 3x Normal Val, 3x Corkscrew Val, 3x "Assorted" Crypts
    Fish Stock- 3 Bloodfin Tetra, 3 Harlequin Rasbora, 2 Purple Rasbora, 1 Blue Ram

    From what I can tell, I have plenty of light. Running on the "quarter setting" on the pot, I was seeing plant growth but had some melting after getting them home. This lasted about a week. They seem to have stabilized for the most part now.

    Val Issues:
    The Vals have hairline cracks in them and near the base is white/clear and some of the leaves have/are brown.

    Crypt Issues:
    I have what looks to be 2 different types of crypts (2 Green, 1 redish/green). They appear to be doing OK but there is a couple thin spots and holes in the leaves.

    Positive Outlook:
    Both have shown signs of growth.
    Vals; 2 of the Vals have sent out runners and are growing. One of the runners is actually bigger than the original plant. It wasn't very large to begin with. Also, has new root growth.
    Crypts; 2 of them have multiple new leaves. Also has new root growth.

    There is small amounts of algae on the glass/gravel and plants. Possibly a hair algae on the vals and a darker green/brown on the glass near the gravel as well as some on the gravel.

    I've looked up some of the deficiencies and it appears to be:
    Potassium (holes in leaves)
    ?? Not sure what the yellow/clear from the root up be.

    Some pics.

    Corkscrew Val. Runner (left) next to original (right)

    Algae on Crypt leaf.

  2. OP

    outlawWell Known MemberMember


    Val- New roots

    Large Val- New roots and runner

    Val with brown and white. New roots are white

    Small Corkscrew Val

    Small Corkscrew Val 2

    Small Corkscrew Val 3 with new roots and runner (right)

    Crypt- New roots

    I was looking to get some root tabs or? but didn't want to keep messing with parameters. Also, i'm trying not to use CO2. I was hoping I wasn't going to need ferts, but that doesnt look to be the case either.

    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  3. AlyeskaGirl

    AlyeskaGirlFishlore VIPMember

    Welcome to the world of aquatic plants. :)

    Your lighting stands out to me. Reading your aquarium info you've got 460nm which is for growing Corals and does nothing for aquatic plants. You also have color temperatures outside the 5000k-10000k or you have them below 5000k. I'm just saying. Hopefully someone else with LED experience can chime in but they are not the best for plants. Some are, some aren't. :)

    Vals and Crypts are root feeders. They would like root tabs. :)

    Potassium deficiency are pinholes in leaves.
    The other issues you mentioned may be a lighting issue; white/clear/browning. Vals need moderate light.

    Is there any yellowing of leaves?

    Do you have a KH/GH test kit?
  4. Butterfly

    ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    How long have they been in the tank? some of this may be old leaves dying off as many aquarium plants are grown emersed then when they are submerged they will lose their leaves and grow new ones.

    The roots look really healthy, they are suppose to be white like that.
    Could the holes be from your snails?

  5. OP

    outlawWell Known MemberMember

    Due to the LED's, they do not have full spectrum "bulbs" as they do with standard florescent. A 6500K florescent is rated such because that is what you see, but still produces colors outside of the 6500K range. To get the colors with LEDs, you need specific colors. The cool whites produce very little on the red side of the Kelvin scale which the plants use. This is where the 4000K and 2700K come in. The 460nm blue is used by the plants but the blue that is in the 6500K is enough. They are included because the fixture is not mine and had to be able to accommodate SW if the switch is made.

    The 2700 spikes on the red side and the 4000 is a neutral white to help balance the warm white and still give as much "full spectrum" as possible.

    I did not see a difference between "low" and "high" settings of the leds other than extra algae growth.

    Aside from the base of the leaves being white/brown, there is no noticeable yellowing.

    I did try to do as much research as I could before making the switch to LEDs for FW.

    I do not have a KH/GH test kit

    They have been in the tank since Sunday Dec 23rd. I did get melting of some of the leaves on both the vals and crypts. There is new growth on both but I still wanted to make sure everything was being done that can be to make them thrive.

    The plants were at the LFS maybe a couple weeks so it was possible they hadn't fully adjusted to the original move. That is good to hear the roots look healthy. It looks like the root tabs I will get per AlyeskaGirl with hopefully make them stronger.

    I should have clarified too. There is just snail shells in the tank from the kids. There is no actual snails in the tank. Some reason, I have no luck with them.

    New pics taken yesterday.

    This is one of the large straight vals. The runner didn't exist when I purchased them and the leaves coming out of the gravel to the left of the main plaint has doubled in size over the last few days.

    Above, you can also see the clear of the main leaf on the left of the plant, you can also see the redish/brown in the middle/right of the main plant.

    From 1/4/13. After the pic was taken, the leaves barely stuck through the gravel when replanted.

    On the right is the original corckscrew val. The left is the runner which also didn't exist when I purchased. As you can see, it is the same size as the original.

    I want to say the plants overall are doing well or they wouldn't be sending out runners that appear to be doing OK?

    There is just the few concerns with the colors/holes.

    Thank you for the replies! Any other input and tips is much appreciated.
  6. Aquarist

    AquaristFishlore LegendMember

  7. OP

    outlawWell Known MemberMember

    Thanks. I did see both of those links which is why I posted.

    I couldn't put a finger on where to start for the deficiency. The fishlore link and second link didn't cover the issues I have been seeing except for the potassium which is where I found that being a problem :D.

    Thanks again,
  8. AlyeskaGirl

    AlyeskaGirlFishlore VIPMember

    You know what you are doing with they lights. :) that's very cool!
  9. OP

    outlawWell Known MemberMember

    Picked up API root tabs today. 5 of them will be going in tomorrow with WC. (I know it recommends 6 per 10gal.)

    My plan, since it is lightly planted, is to place the tabs near the plants.


    Oh and sorry if my reply came off somewhat rude. After I re-read it, i was like what a..... and definitely didn't mean it that way.
  10. Butterfly

    ButterflyModeratorModerator Member

    Try to stick a tab under the root system of each plant. That way your plants will get full benefit of the tab.
  11. OP

    outlawWell Known MemberMember

    2 things.

    1. Looks like the vals with the red/brown are possibly the "red jungle val"


    2. I didn't want to use all 10 tabs. I think I did the next best thing. I placed the tabs between the plants using 5 tabs.

    Brown = wood
    Green = plants
    Blue = root tabs


    Large Val update (please see all pics in my blog)

    Last picture from above taken 1/4.

    Today 1/11