What is unbalanced or lacking for my plants?

tabbycatfish

Hi,

Wondering if someone with more experience with plants can help me identify what can be done to improve my plants.

Issues
*Brown algae in leaves edges
*Presence of spot green algae
*Yellowing leaves with holes
*Overall, plants look with intense green in some parts but also at the same time look like they're in an eternal struggle.

Substrate: inert, i use seachem
root tabs

Ferts: N, P, K, Fe, Flourish and Trace. Dosing per Seachem table.

CO2: no CO2, not sure if start buying a DIY kit. I don't use Excel or "liquid carbon" since read that is not that helpful.

Lightning: 7 hrs but not sure about intensity, is just a random aquarium lamp.

Water parameters
pH: 7.4
dGH: 9
dKH: 4
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 10



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Cherryshrimp420

Do you have hard water or soft water?
 
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tabbycatfish

Do you have hard water or soft water?

I think is considered moderately hard

Last reading was dGH: 9 (161.1ppm) and dKH: 4 (71.6 ppm)
 
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awilkinson871

I know the green spot algae is often due to too much light.
 
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Cherryshrimp420

I think is considered moderately hard

Last reading was dGH: 9 (161.1ppm) and dKH: 4 (71.6 ppm)

Your plants seem to be soft water plants. Have you tried hard water plants like hygrophila corymbosa?
 
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tabbycatfish

Your plants seem to be soft water plants. Have you tried hard water plants like hygrophila corymbosa?
I think somebody recommended that plant previously. Not sure if it was you. Tried to search it in my local pet stores but is not available.

So you think that I need softer water? Maybe CO2 can turn the water more acidic.
I know the green spot algae is often due to too much light.
Yes, also read that but is 7 hours a lot? Or maybe the issue is the intensity or brightness of the light. If I decrease more to 5 o 6 hrs, isn't it too little?
 
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Pfrozen

The sword looks like K deficiency, I'm not sure about the others

How much K are you dosing per week?
 
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Cherryshrimp420

I think somebody recommended that plant previously. Not sure if it was you. Tried to search it in my local pet stores but is not available.

So you think that I need softer water? Maybe CO2 can turn the water more acidic.

Yes, also read that but is 7 hours a lot? Or maybe the issue is the intensity or brightness of the light. If I decrease more to 5 o 6 hrs, isn't it too little?

I would just find plants that match your current water rather than adjusting the water. Java moss, duckweed, guppy grass are some other good choices
 
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tabbycatfish

The sword looks like K deficiency, I'm not sure about the others

How much K are you dosing per week?

20ml/week for 55 gl, divided in two separate doses of 10ml.

I'm kind of confused what is the deficiency base on images. I'm guessing it maybe is K, N or magnesium base on the pictures I found on internet.
 
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Pfrozen

20ml/week for 55 gl, divided in two separate doses of 10ml.

I'm kind of confused what is the deficiency base on images. I'm guessing it maybe is K, N or magnesium base on the pictures I found on internet.

What is that in ppm per week? ml doesn't give me any information considering there are so many different varieties of fertilizers. I don't know which one you use
 
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Wrona0306

Probobly you have too much phosphate in the tank and not enough iron.
you havtu test your water mate
 
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tabbycatfish

What is that in ppm per week? ml doesn't give me any information considering there are so many different varieties of fertilizers. I don't know which one you use

Hmm I don't have tests for macros and micros.

Only tests for water quality.
 
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Pfrozen

Hmm I don't have tests for macros and micros.

Only tests for water quality.

You don't need to test lol. It will tell you on the bottle

What brand do you use? I can figure it out no prob if I know the brand
 
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Wrona0306

High phosphate is one from main reason you get green spot algae , second resson can be strong lights. I was experience similar things to much phosphate and not enough iron.
 
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tabbycatfish

You don't need to test lol. It will tell you on the bottle

What brand do you use? I can figure it out no prob if I know the brand

Oh, ok. I use Seachem

"Use 1 capful (5 mL) for every 125 L (30 US gallons). This dose raises potassium by 2 mg/L."

Mine is 55 gl. So I round up and dose 10ml 2 days in a week. So, total 20 ml/week.
 
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Pfrozen

Oh, ok. I use Seachem

"Use 1 capful (5 mL) for every 125 L (30 US gallons). This dose raises potassium by 2 mg/L."

Mine is 55 gl. So I round up and dose 10ml 2 days in a week. So, total 20 ml/week.

You're only dosing 4-5 ppm K per week so its more than likely K deficiency

Looking closer your other plants look similar to that sword

I would dose at least 10-15 ppm weekly for that tank but Seachem Nitrogen also has some K in it

Double your K for now. Dose at least 40 ml/week and report back after some time has passed

Seachem ferts are expensive for this reason. I recommend Easy Green as an all-in-one if you want the best price/performance ratio. It'll save you money as well as it contains everything you dose in one bottle.

Seachem ferts tend to be far too weak in general. There's no reason why you should have to dose 40 ml per week but alas, here we are. 2 ppm of K isn't enough to sustain anything aside from maybe Anubias or Susswassertang. Even Java Fern needs more than that
 
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tabbycatfish

You're only dosing 4-5 ppm K per week so its more than likely K deficiency

Looking closer your other plants look similar to that sword

I would dose at least 10-15 ppm weekly for that tank but Seachem Nitrogen also has some K in it

Double your K for now. Dose at least 40 ml/week and report back after some time has passed

Seachem ferts are expensive for this reason. I recommend Easy Green as an all-in-one if you want the best price/performance ratio. It'll save you money as well as it contains everything you dose in one bottle.

Seachem ferts tend to be far too weak in general. There's no reason why you should have to dose 40 ml per week but alas, here we are. 2 ppm of K isn't enough to sustain anything aside from maybe Anubias or Susswassertang. Even Java Fern needs more than that

Oh, many thanks. Will try that. Regarding kind of ferts, I use what I have available in my country. For Easy Green will need to import it and the price difference will end up as just buying locally.

How do you calculate ppm base on those numbers?

Do you think CO2 is necessary? Or water surface exchange and co2 produced by fish is enough?
 
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Fishstery

Oh, many thanks. Will try that. Regarding kind of ferts, I use what I have available in my country. For Easy Green will need to import it and the price difference will end up as just buying locally.

How do you calculate ppm base on those numbers?

Do you think CO2 is necessary? Or water surface exchange and co2 produced by fish is enough?
Adding an airstone or sponge filter can pump small amounts of co2 into your tank. My non co2 tanks do better when there is a sponge versus the tanks that don't. I agree with the other members regarding the potassium deficiency. I was balancing out my ferts on my first co2 tank after dealing with algae/cyano and bad growth with holes in the old leaves. The moment I upped the potassium my plants turned a nice lush color and exploded with growth. I will however disagree with the member stating high phosphate will cause green spot. It is the opposite, low phosphate will cause green spot. Ideally you want phosphate to be between 1-2ppm, with a 10 to 1 ratio of nitrogen to phosphate. High phosphate and low nitrogen will cause cyano bacteria and green sheet algae. When you up the nitrogen to get a proper ratio with phosphate, algae issues should die down. I would suggest buying a phosphate kit, api makes one. Test for phosphates, then dose to aim for 1ppm phosphate 10 ppm nitrate, or 2 ppm phosphate and 20ppm nitrate. Then dial your lighting back to 5 or 6 hours. Also, you didn't mention how newly this tank was set up. Is it mature or new? How new are your plants?
 
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Pfrozen

Oh, many thanks. Will try that. Regarding kind of ferts, I use what I have available in my country. For Easy Green will need to import it and the price difference will end up as just buying locally.

How do you calculate ppm base on those numbers?

Do you think CO2 is necessary? Or water surface exchange and co2 produced by fish is enough?

ppm is the same as mg/l

I'm not sure how bad import fees are in Panama but a bottle of easy green or the 24H aquarist stuff costs 35 as opposed to 200+ for everything separate in Seachem bottles. Unless you have a 1000% tax I think you will be fine. Up to you though, nothing wrong with Seachem ferts at the end of the day, if you don't mind going through it quickly then no worries

CO2 is more up to you. It will make a big difference but you can also have a beautiful low tech tank
 
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tabbycatfish

Adding an airstone or sponge filter can pump small amounts of co2 into your tank. My non co2 tanks do better when there is a sponge versus the tanks that don't. I agree with the other members regarding the potassium deficiency. I was balancing out my ferts on my first co2 tank after dealing with algae/cyano and bad growth with holes in the old leaves. The moment I upped the potassium my plants turned a nice lush color and exploded with growth. I will however disagree with the member stating high phosphate will cause green spot. It is the opposite, low phosphate will cause green spot. Ideally you want phosphate to be between 1-2ppm, with a 10 to 1 ratio of nitrogen to phosphate. High phosphate and low nitrogen will cause cyano bacteria and green sheet algae. When you up the nitrogen to get a proper ratio with phosphate, algae issues should die down. I would suggest buying a phosphate kit, api makes one. Test for phosphates, then dose to aim for 1ppm phosphate 10 ppm nitrate, or 2 ppm phosphate and 20ppm nitrate. Then dial your lighting back to 5 or 6 hours. Also, you didn't mention how newly this tank was set up. Is it mature or new? How new are your plants?

The tank is relatively new. Started cycling in end of March. Plants were added around end of April and Fishes around end of May.

Just as you and others said, I was guessing an imbalance in NPK, but not sure how to tackle it with the data I need to understand. I just followed Seachem instructions but seems that that is very conservative and I need to considerate the actual needs of the plants. I will try to increase K first and see how it is goes. Seems more like a lack of macros issues rather than an excess.
ppm is the same as mg/l

I'm not sure how bad import fees are in Panama but a bottle of easy green or the 24H aquarist stuff costs 35 as opposed to 200+ for everything separate in Seachem bottles. Unless you have a 1000% tax I think you will be fine. Up to you though, nothing wrong with Seachem ferts at the end of the day, if you don't mind going through it quickly then no worries

CO2 is more up to you. It will make a big difference but you can also have a beautiful low tech tank

Well, checked the price in aquarium co op. It will be around $40 for a 2x500ml + internal US shipping and taxes to my PO box + intl. shipping + local taxes to here. I estimate around $60 in total. Seems that doesn't need to dose a lot base on their site (1ml/10gl*week) and looks like more concentrated.

If I need to increase the dose, suppose is better to give it a try since Seachem bottle will not last. Seachem 500ml bottles cost me like $10
 
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JavaMossMan

Adding an airstone or sponge filter can pump small amounts of co2 into your tank. My non co2 tanks do better when there is a sponge versus the tanks that don't. I agree with the other members regarding the potassium deficiency. I was balancing out my ferts on my first co2 tank after dealing with algae/cyano and bad growth with holes in the old leaves. The moment I upped the potassium my plants turned a nice lush color and exploded with growth. I will however disagree with the member stating high phosphate will cause green spot. It is the opposite, low phosphate will cause green spot. Ideally you want phosphate to be between 1-2ppm, with a 10 to 1 ratio of nitrogen to phosphate. High phosphate and low nitrogen will cause cyano bacteria and green sheet algae. When you up the nitrogen to get a proper ratio with phosphate, algae issues should die down. I would suggest buying a phosphate kit, api makes one. Test for phosphates, then dose to aim for 1ppm phosphate 10 ppm nitrate, or 2 ppm phosphate and 20ppm nitrate. Then dial your lighting back to 5 or 6 hours. Also, you didn't mention how newly this tank was set up. Is it mature or new? How new are your plants?
Hi Fishtery,

I recently added an airstone to my 10 gallon tank and I noticed that some of my plants like java fern are growing like crazy. I had always thought adding an airstone reduces the CO2 because of the surface agitation resulting from the airstone. My understanding is that CO2 escapes from surface agitation. Anyone else have thoughts on this?

Tabbycatfish, maybe try API Leaf Zone. I haven't tried it myself (wasn't available at my local fish stores) but it contains only two ingredients which I believe are potassium and iron (double check the iron). I read many people have good success with leaf zone because I think potassium is the deficiency most people have with their tanks.
 
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