Yellow Spots On My Anubias - What Is It?

bmblsad

I am new to aquarium keeping. I have a 15-gallon that I started up in early May. I have eco-complete as substrate. It's planted with 1 anubia congensis, 1 anubia barterI or nana (can't remember and can't tell the difference), 1 cryptocoryne undulata, 2 java ferns, 2 marimo balls, and some very thin dwarf hair grass. The resident fish is a small oranda goldfish who constantly uproots the hair grass, but oh well.

Recently, very small yellow spots have started to appear on the anubia congensis. They appear to be spreading to just generalized yellowing areas. No leaves have died yet. Also, one leaf on the anubia barterI (?) or nana (?) is speckled with white dots.

We are on a well with softened water. My GH is 1 drop (barely) and my KH is 14 (API) (sorry don't know how to convert the drops to whatever the measurement is supposed to be). Ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates about 5, and pH a steady 8.2.

I fertilize about every 12 days with Seachem Flourish. My light is a Verilux full spectrum F15T8VLX.

I do about a 25-30% water change every 10 days. I do have some light growth of brown algae (diatoms?) that I clean off the plants, decor and walls with each water change. Thinking about getting a nirite snail to help.

For the first month or so everything was looking good, with new leaves sprouting. But now, small yellow spots are appearing and the tips of the anubias are turning yellow.

I've included some pics. Hope they help. Is this a phosphate or potassium deficiency? Something else?

Thanks for any help!
Beth
 

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-Mak-

Hi, welcome!
I see two problems. The first being flourish is a very dilute fertilizer that is highly lacking in NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) macronutrients, which plants need in higher amounts than other nutrients. You are also underdosing, should be a weekly dose. My data won’t allow me to load the full s on my phone, but from what I see in the thumbnails you may have a nitrogen or potassium deficiency or both. I recommend switching to Nilocg ThriveC or half dosing regular Thrive. I also recommend Nilocg’s root tabs, which are both cheaper per tab and more nutrient rich than Seachem’s or API’s. The crypt and dwarf hairgrass would appreciate the root feeding (eco complete is also very low in macros and arguably micros too). You may wonder why I suggest a complete switch in fertilizer and not just Seachem’s individual nutrient bottles, and it’s because Thrive is an all-in-one that is more likely to cover all nutrients so you don’t have to keep buying single bottles as defiencies pop up.

Also, are you anubias and java ferns planted in the substrate? They are rhizome plants and their rhizomes may possibly rot if buried. Rhizome plants do better and look great when tied or superglued to hardscape like rocks and wood. Luckily this is easy to solve and doesn’t require any purchasing!

Second problem is your GH. Plants don’t care much at all about KH, but in planted tanks GH is mostly composed of calcium and magnesium, which are also macronutrients. 1 drop on the test correlates to 1 degree hardness. The average planted tank should aI'm for at a minimum 5 degrees GH. Unfortunately no liquid fertilizer will bring it up that much. I think the creators sell them with the assumption that most people have moderately hard water already, and don’t want to make increase it more. Anyways, to increase GH, I use Nilocg’s GH booster, but Seachem’s Equilibium will also work well. Which one to get will just depend on if you’re also getting Thrive so you pay shipping together, otherwise equilibrium may be available in a store nearby
 

bmblsad

Hi, welcome!
I see two problems.

Thank you so much for the thorough response!

Re. ferts: I have read in other articles that flourish isn't so great, but sadly that was after I bought it. I will definitely check into your fertilizer recommendations.

Re. anubias: I had them partially planted with the rhizome above the soil line. But, because of the brown algae I have to pull them out to wipe off their leaves. It'd likely be better/easier if I just secured them to something moveable - so thanks for that recommendation.

Re. GH: I've read that my softened water is not the best for fish or plants, so thanks for confirming that, too. I am looking at some different options including having a plumber put a spigot in our mechanical room prior to the softener so I can pull unsoftened water from there year round. But our well water is super high in iron (turns your hair orange) so I may be trading problems. When I tested the water from our outdoors spigot (straight well water), it showed 8.2 pH (after degassing), 0.5 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 0 nitrates, 15 GH, and 14 KH. I don't have an iron tester but wonder if I should get one. I've read where people mix RO (we have an RO system, too) or bottled water with the softened water to try to remedy the low GH. Other articles say use chemicals like you recommended, and some say never use chemicals because they are hard to control. Fishlore is proving to be a godsend! There is SO much conflicting info on the internet. I could spend hours reading and end up more confused than I started.

Thanks again for the recommendations.

Beth
 

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