Something Eating My Healthy Plants

SLeroux
  • #1
My planted tank has been set up for about six months now and I have been learning as I go along. I did have a bit of persistent algae as part of that learning and loved the look of shrimp so purchased 10 amano shrimp for my 60G. One unfortunately passed so I have 9 (although I can only ever count max of 7).

Recently I noticed some of my brand new plants (traded some snails for some clippings) have holes in the leaves. Now it looks to me like something has chewed them although please correct me if this is actually pointing to a deficiency. Could this be the number of shrimp don't have enough to eat from the algae in the tank and supplemented wafers? I really hate to see healthy plants this way, the smaller bacopa in the back of these pictures has gotten the worst of it, although they have been around much longer. Maybe I am crazy and they aren't healthy and that's the problem!

Any suggestions on how to fix would be great!


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penguin02
  • #2
What is your stocking? I would guess snails.

EDIT: I'm not really a plant expert, so it could definitely be a deficiency as well. Let's see if we can rule out snails, though.
 
SLeroux
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
What is your stocking? I would guess snails.

EDIT: I'm not really a plant expert, so it could definitely be a deficiency as well. Let's see if we can rule out snails, though.
2 Platy (soon to be 5)
11 harlequins
7 pristella tetra
9 amano shrimp
8 peppered cory

I do have a very minor rams horn infestation but I remove them before they get bigger thank a few milimeters. Just took out about 5 actually but that's all we could see. Could it be them?
 
penguin02
  • #4
Hmmmm... It's possible, but I would wait for someone that can confirm it's not some sort of problem with your plants.
 
SLeroux
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
Hmmmm... It's possible, but I would wait for someone that can confirm it's not some sort of problem with your plants.
Thank you! Hoping for some plant experts to chime in as well.
 
EbiAqua
  • #6
What is your fertilizer dosing schedule?

These look like deficiencies. Snails and shrimp generally won't attack healthy plants, but if a plant begins to develop deficiencies they can exacerbate the issue by eating the damaged and decaying parts.
 
SLeroux
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
I dose three pumps of macros on Mondays and three pumps of micro on thursdays, water changes are Saturday or Sundays. Liquid CO2 is everyday.
 
EbiAqua
  • #8
The holes in the leaves and dying tips point to a deficiency, looks like potassium to me. Is your substrate plain sand? Plants absorb a lot more nutrients through their roots than through their leaves and stems.

-Mak- is really good with plants as well, maybe she can provide some input.
 
SLeroux
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
It is plain sand but I do place DIY osmocote tabs in the sand, mostly towards the roots feeders than the stems but I'm open to placing them a bit more liberally. Or I can get actual flourish tabs if those will be more consistent nutrients. Looking forward to your opinion Mak!
 
Inactive User
  • #10
Plants absorb a lot more nutrients through their roots than through their leaves and stems.

Tom Barr (developer of EI dosing) mentioned in another forum that plants are fairly indifferent to root vs water column feeding: they'll seek out nutrients whereever they are.

That was his rationale in dosing ferts directly into the water column, rather than creating fert pellets to bury into the substrate.

But I do agree that it looks like a potassium deficiency given the pinholes in the leaves.
 
SLeroux
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
Tom Barr (developer of EI dosing) mentioned in another forum that plants are fairly indifferent to root vs water column feeding: they'll seek out nutrients whereever they are.

That was his rationale in dosing ferts directly into the water column, rather than creating fert pellets to bury into the substrate.

But I do agree that it looks like a potassium deficiency given the pinholes in the leaves.
Here is the breakdown of what I use to dose. Not sure if that helps!


Screen%20Shot%202018-07-26%20at%206.44.17%20PM.jpg
 
EbiAqua
  • #12
Here is the breakdown of what I use to dose. Not sure if that helps!

View attachment 460089

Green Leaf Aquariums? I use their dry ferts.

However, I slightly overdose what is suggested. I have noticed recently after a couple of weeks of neglecting to dose at all or just once a week, my crypts are getting dead ends and pinholes, similar to your plants. Plants seem to utilize a LOT of potassium, so I would dose your macros twice a week instead of once. I trim fewer dead leaves and see healthier, greener growth when I up the potassium.
 
SLeroux
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Green Leaf Aquariums? I use their dry ferts.

However, I slightly overdose what is suggested. I have noticed recently after a couple of weeks of neglecting to dose at all or just once a week, my crypts are getting dead ends and pinholes, similar to your plants. Plants seem to utilize a LOT of potassium, so I would dose your macros twice a week instead of once. I trim fewer dead leaves and see healthier, greener growth when I up the potassium.
Actually a hobbyist in my city mixes his own and sells them. Uses them in all his planted tanks he uses to sell plants but sounds like same problem in mind. I will dose macros twice a week then and go from there! Thank you!
 
Inactive User
  • #14
Just to clarify, do you pump 3 times of each KNO3, KH2PO4 and K2SO4 (for a total of 15ml each) on Monday?
 
SLeroux
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
Just to clarify, do you pump 3 times of each KNO3, KH2PO4 and K2SO4 (for a total of 15ml each) on Monday?
The macros are combined in one bottle so I pump that bottle three times and the same for micros.
 
Inactive User
  • #16
The macros are combined in one bottle so I pump that bottle three times and the same for micros.

I'm just trying to calculate your potassium ppm using your chart, and being somewhat foggyheaded in the morning without my coffee, this is what I arrived at assuming that 1 pump = 5 ml, and 5ml = 0.650 g KNO3, 0.175 g KH2PO4 and 0.0583 g K2SO4, and you pumped 3 times:

([(650*0.3867) + (175*0.2873) + (58.3*0.2244)]*3)/227.125 = 4.160 mg/L (ppm).

If I misinterpreted your post and you meant to imply that 3 pumps = 5 ml = 0.650 g KN03, 0.175 g KH2po4 and 0.0583 K2SO4, then you'd have a potassium ppm of 1.386.

In either case, the potassium concentration is rather low (and in the latter case, very low). I'd try doubling up the pumps as Fahn said.

Because the macros are contained in one bottle, you might run the risk of dosing excess nitrates/phosphates and that (in some cases) can be linked to particular algae outbreaks. Usually the EI resources (that I've read) recommend using potassium sulphate (KSO4) separately to increase potassium as there is no possibility for excess nitrates/phosphates.
 
SLeroux
  • Thread Starter
  • #17
I'm just trying to calculate your potassium ppm using your chart, and being somewhat foggyheaded in the morning without my coffee, this is what I arrived at assuming that 1 pump = 5 ml, and 5ml = 0.650 g KNO3, 0.175 g KH2PO4 and 0.0583 g K2SO4, and you pumped 3 times:

([(650*0.3867) + (175*0.2873) + (58.3*0.2244)]*3)/227.125 = 4.160 mg/L (ppm).

If I misinterpreted your post and you meant to imply that 3 pumps = 5 ml = 0.650 g KN03, 0.175 g KH2po4 and 0.0583 K2SO4, then you'd have a potassium ppm of 1.386.

In either case, the potassium concentration is rather low (and in the latter case, very low). I'd try doubling up the pumps as Fahn said.

Because the macros are contained in one bottle, you might run the risk of dosing excess nitrates/phosphates and that (in some cases) can be linked to particular algae outbreaks. Usually the EI resources (that I've read) recommend using potassium sulphate (KSO4) separately to increase potassium as there is no possibility for excess nitrates/phosphates.
Wow this is very helpful! I think three pumps is about 5 - 10 mls. I can try to find a way to measure. Could I use seachem potassium on another day to help bring that up but avoid over dosing other elements?
 
Inactive User
  • #18
Seachem Potassium will be fine! It's quite a concentrated solution of potassium oxide: about 50,000 mg of potassium per litre. Per the instructions on the bottle, dose 5 ml per 125 litres of tank water, and that'll be enough to bump up potassium ppm by 2.
 
SLeroux
  • Thread Starter
  • #19
Seachem Potassium will be fine! It's quite a concentrated solution of potassium oxide: about 50,000 mg of potassium per litre. Per the instructions on the bottle, dose 5 ml per 125 litres of tank water, and that'll be enough to bump up potassium ppm by 2.
Great! I'll pick that up this weekend. Thank you so much for your help!
 
Inactive User
  • #20
You're very welcome! Here's an example of some hygro that I rejuvenated with 8 ppm over 10 days after it was terribly starved of potassium at the LFS.


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You can see traces of old growth (which I haven't yet trimmed), and upon further inspection at home after I had bought it, the old leaves were like a colander given the innumerable pinholes. It's doing much better now with lush green new growth.
 
-Mak-
  • #21
A little late, but it does seem like potassium to me as well. Dry potassium is also an option
 

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