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Old 04-17-2007, 04:40 AM   #1
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Neglected plants

Ok. I have been neglecting my tank a bit of late as my CO2 diffusor (powerhead for mist) broke and I have simply not had the time to make another one. I also slacked off on ferts. I think I am incredibly lucky that the only algae I have developed is a little bit of BBA on the underside (?!) of my driftwood. My DIY CO2 is back up and running, and I plan on doing some testing and resuming ferts (not EI, just as needed, as I am not high light).

Since everything has stopped, my plants have effectively stopped growing, with the tips of the H. polysperma and stricta curling, and in the polysperma, getting pin-holes in all the older leaves. They also tend to fall off a lot. The swords (amazon and osiris, in different tanks but same situation) also have their older leaves going yellow/brown/transparent in areas, rotting away, leaving the veins and then disintegrating.

Now, I am led to believe this is a K deficiency. But my question is: if I have stopped adding C, and growth has all but stopped, why do I have a K deficiency? Surely they are using significantly less K now that they are C-limited?

I have actually continued dosing K (in the form of Yates "Sulfate of Potassium", a gardening fertilizer that other aquarists I know use) every few days to try and keep on top of this, but nothing has changed at all, and I'm wondering if it's not K related at all. Could these symptoms be C-related instead? Oh how I wish there was a decent hobby test for K!

Thoughts?
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Old 04-17-2007, 07:55 PM   #2
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IME pinholes can definately be caused by K deficiency. That being said, they won't fill in by resuming K dosing and it will take a week or two for new growth to be healthy.

The old growth of your swords disintegrating seems like N deficiency to me and the brittle leaves and stems are usually a symptom of P deficiency.

Your lighting will cause the plants to continue to TRY to grow and K as well as N are "mobile" nutrients. The plants will pull them from old growth to supply the needs of new growth which is limited by low CO2.
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