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Old 04-08-2021, 11:50 AM   #1
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So frustrated with my planted tanks - holes in leaves!

Hi there,

I am so frustrated with holes in my leaves! I have three planted tanks, and all of my Amazon swords, hygrophila, and java fern have leaves that are full of holes. There are so many holes that the leaves look like lace. The Amazon sword leaves are all disintegrated at the tips, as well.

I have well water. I do 25 to 35 percent water changes every week. I dose at recommended levels with the Macro-Micro nutrient mix that is recommended at the Tom Barr site (barrreport.com) and sold at aquariumfertilizer.com.

I have a 24/7 planted light fixture, which is kept at low light ("cloudy day" setting) for approximately 7 hours a day. Previously, I had it running the normal daylight cycle (including some periods of higher light) with a two-hour break in the middle of the day to prevent algae. Results were not much better then.

I have a play sand substrate that I know compacts too much for these plants, but I am reluctant to spend time and money I don't have to replace it right now unless there is no other way to address the problem. I dosed with osmocote root tabs a few months ago, but results were minimal and the process was frustrating, because I have diggers in my tanks. The little globules kept coming to the surface, and I was afraid the fish would eat them, so I have not re-dosed.

I do have snails, but it seems unlikely to me that they would cause this much damage?

Do I need to do comprehensive water testing? If so, what, exactly, do I test for?

Do I need to be using Flourish Excel?

I would be interested in anyone's input about what I can do to address this problem. I guess I'm not sure what I should try first.


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Old 04-09-2021, 05:39 PM   #2
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Update: I am starting a trial of Flourish Excel. I've used it in the past, but that was when I had a smaller variety of plants in my tanks, and they seemed to do fine when I discontinued it. Maybe the stopping is catching up with me, though...


If this does not work, I may proceed to a different substrate. Reading online, I am seeing some advise extra potassium for holes in leaves, and others advise more water changes. Still thinking all this over...
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Old 04-10-2021, 11:43 AM   #3
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Extra potassium would also be first one that springs to mind for me.
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