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TypeYourTextHere
03-22-2011, 12:32 AM
I just noticed that i have huge holes in most the leaves in my plants.
I know I have read why this is happening, but I can't find it again. I have not done a WC yet.

Here are my readings:

Ammonia - .25
Nitrites - 2.0
Nitrates - ~ 60

Edit: still cycling with fish.

http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aquariumforum/images/attach/jpg.gif

AbbeyRanda
03-23-2011, 02:53 AM
Let me preface this with--I am still a noob at the planted tank! However, I had this problem myself recently, and my understanding is it's a postassium deficiency problem. Does that sound right?

TypeYourTextHere
03-23-2011, 02:56 AM
Let me preface this with--I am still a noob at the planted tank! However, I had this problem myself recently, and my understanding is it's a postassium deficiency problem. Does that sound right?

Honestly i have no clue. I did however notice my platys Munching on the few plants that i do have, so i am not sure anymore.
How do i check the potassium levels?

Brhino
03-23-2011, 02:57 AM
Nutrient deficiencies can cause holes in plants (not sure what exactly, I too am not that schooled in the science of planted tanks), but the first thing I thought when I saw those is that something's eating them. What fish and invertebrates do you have in the tank?

AbbeyRanda
03-23-2011, 03:00 AM
Just checked the Caring for your plants:Nutrition sticky-- I was right! :11:
Potassium deficiency can indeed cause holes.

TypeYourTextHere
03-23-2011, 03:00 AM
What fish and invertebrates do you have in the tank?

I have

4 - Platys
4 - Tetras
1 - Pleco
1 - Betta

AbbeyRanda
03-23-2011, 03:06 AM
Honestly i have no clue. I did however notice my platys Munching on the few plants that i do have, so i am not sure anymore.
How do i check the potassium levels?

I imagine there must be a test kit for it somewhere, but I've not seen one. I think usually you just go by whether or not you see symptoms. I have a liquid potassium supplement that I started using 3 times a week. My LFS plant guy said that it's almost impossible to overdose it. He actually said he adds a quadruple dose, but that sounds terrifying to me! I just do the reccomended dose for my tank. I've definitely seen improvement!

TypeYourTextHere
03-23-2011, 03:10 AM
I have been dosing my tank with Florish by Seachem. I have only done it twice now tho. I will see if they deteriorate any more before i start dosing with potassium.

Brhino
03-23-2011, 03:18 AM
what kind of pleco?

TypeYourTextHere
03-23-2011, 03:21 AM
what kind of pleco?

The common kind... I forgot to write down all the names when i bought the fish. I got them at Petsmart.

Brhino
03-23-2011, 03:30 AM
Common plecos are trouble for planted tanks. If they're not eating the plants, they're digging around and uprooting them just for fun. I don't know that it's the culprit right now, it could be potassium like Abbey is saying, but sooner or later it's going to be trouble.

AbbeyRanda
03-23-2011, 03:42 AM
I have been dosing my tank with Florish by Seachem. I have only done it twice now tho. I will see if they deteriorate any more before i start dosing with potassium.

Which kind of Flourish? They've got an entire line--in fact the potassium I use is flourish too! Ususally the instructions suggest dosing 2-3 times a week, but with low light and slow growing plants I think you can get away with less.
I can say in my experience that once I really started dosing regularly, I got some almost immediate results. It's getting a little pricey though--I've heard it cheaper to go with powdered ferts... Think I'll have to look into that :hmm3grin2orange:.

TypeYourTextHere
03-23-2011, 03:47 AM
The bottle says it's the "comprehensive supplement for planted aquariums". This is not going to be my primary tank after all is said and done, so I am not to worried about the Pleco in there, at least not right now.

AbbeyRanda
03-23-2011, 04:06 AM
Cool, yeah the "comprehensive" is what it claims to be, a broad range of nutrients. Unfortunately the one thing it doesn't have is potassium! Funny, this is almost exactly the conversation I had with my LFS guy!
I was using that same product by itself.
He couldn't tell me what causes the potassium deficiency, but he did say that the function of potassium was to "open the cells of the roots and leaves to be able to use other nutrients"... not sure how scientific that is but I can't argue with results!

I just saw you had put a pic in the original post, and I'd put my money on potassium deficiency.

Maybe some of the long time aquatic gardeners could weigh in on that too?

Trillianne
03-23-2011, 04:15 AM
I have potassium issues myself.... the holes should start out as very small and you will notice they grow larger and look yellowed and dying around them as they deteriorate.

Your plants didn't appear to have any yellowing around the edges from what I could see.

How long have they been holey?

BrandonBCA
03-23-2011, 09:25 AM
I'd suspect something eating them over nutrient deficiency. The leaves seem to lack any chlorosis(yellowing/dull coloration) and actually appear pretty healthy other than the holes. The stems also appear healthy, which is another reason to suspect it's not potassium deficiency. Are there snails in the tank? Do you see the pleco spending a lot of time around the plants?

The trouble with trying to treat nutrient deficiencies based on single symptoms is you often end up creating problems trying to fix something that doesn't really exist. Oh, and fluorish complete has potassium in it. What it lacks is phosphorous, because usually phosphorous is already in excess in aquariums unless they are fairly heavily planted.

Lady Hobbs
03-23-2011, 11:04 AM
Sounds like my anubius and java ferns. I haven't been able to get them to do anything. I use Flourish Comp, too.

Lady Hobbs
03-23-2011, 11:11 AM
Cool, yeah the "comprehensive" is what it claims to be, a broad range of nutrients. Unfortunately the one thing it doesn't have is potassium!

Flourish™ is rich in gluconate iron, manganese, calcium, magnesium, potassium, inositol, choline B12, biotin, and other factors that have been determined to be beneficial to aquatic plants.

What it does not have is phosphates.

TypeYourTextHere
03-23-2011, 03:07 PM
I'd suspect something eating them over nutrient deficiency. The leaves seem to lack any chlorosis(yellowing/dull coloration) and actually appear pretty healthy other than the holes. The stems also appear healthy, which is another reason to suspect it's not potassium deficiency. Are there snails in the tank? Do you see the pleco spending a lot of time around the plants? .

No, there are no snails in the tank. The Pleco has left the plants alone. The only thing I have seen is the Platys nipping it the leaves with holes in them. This pic is not very clear, but this is what it starts out as looking like. there are little brown spots in the middle of the leaves, and the look slightly wilted.
sorry for the blurry pic. I can't get the camera to focus on things inside the tank for my life.

AbbeyRanda
03-23-2011, 04:51 PM
Flourish™ is rich in gluconate iron, manganese, calcium, magnesium, potassium, inositol, choline B12, biotin, and other factors that have been determined to be beneficial to aquatic plants.

What it does not have is phosphates.


Maybe we have different products LH--the one I have: " Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium" Doesn't have postassium, but does have phosphates.

Here's the info from the Seachem website:

"Flourish™ is a comprehensive plant supplement for the natural freshwater aquarium. It contains a rich assortment of important micro elements, trace elements and other nutrients. These include calcium, magnesium, iron and other important elements that have been shown to be beneficial to aquatic plants. View a chart of Flourish™ constituents and signs of their deficiency. For macro element (NPK) fertilization, use Flourish Nitrogen™, Flourish Phosphorus™ or Flourish Potassium™ as needed."

And the Guaranteed Analysis:

Total Nitrogen 0.07%
Available Phosphate ( P2O5) 0.01%
Soluble Potash 0.37%
Calcium (Ca) 0.14%
Magnesium (Mg) 0.11%
Sulfur (S) 0.2773%
Boron (B) 0.009%
Chlorine (Cl) 1.15%
Cobalt (Co) 0.0004%
Copper (Cu) 0.0001%
Iron (Fe) 0.32%
Manganese (Mn) 0.0118%
Molybdenum (Mo) 0.0009%
Sodium (Na) 0.13%
Zinc (Zn) 0.0007%

I think TYTH (gotta shorten it bud) has the same stuff. What do you have?

Trillianne
03-23-2011, 05:12 PM
Soluble Potash 0.37%


The formula of which is K2O. K = Potassium

Now just because it HAS Potassium, doesn't mean your plants are getting enough. So you may need to add additional supplementation to your ferts to ensure they are getting enough.

AbbeyRanda
03-23-2011, 05:33 PM
Thanks, I didn't realize that was the case!
Still, it does sounds like LH and I have different products, the description isn't even the same. Maybe she has an older formulation?

My theory is Seachem decided they could sell more if they split 'em up into seperate formulas! :hmm3grin2orange:

Now instead of just one bottle of comrehensive, they can sell Comp, Potassium, Nitrogen, and phosphorous at 6 bucks a pop! Or 13 for the bigger bottles :)...

TypeYourTextHere
03-23-2011, 10:16 PM
Should I prune the leaves off that are really bad or allow them to fall off on their own?

BrandonBCA
03-23-2011, 11:40 PM
The comprehensive ferts are low in macronutrients because macronutrients need to be more vigorously controlled than micronutrients and have a greater variance of need from tank to tank. If seachem were to pile all their macronutrient supplements into one bottle, it'd be very difficult to dose and achieve a balanced aquarium.

Cutting the leaves is somewhat optional. There no need to keep them, and they won't heal so if it's an eyesore than go ahead. It's probably best to cut them off so the remaining leaves use more of the available nutrients rather than sending energy to the holey leaves.

Now that you've described the nature of the holes appearing(necrotic rather than sporadic) it does sound more like potassium deficiency. If you choose to start dosing potassium, start with a very small amount then increase as needed. A lot of garden centers carry K2SO4 salt that can be used for the aquarium, and KCl(NoSalt and other NaCl alternatives) can also be used so long as it's not iodized and is pure KCl rather than buying seachem potassium(which is just ~ 5% K2SO4 dissolved in 95% distilled water which you can make yourself from the salt and distilled water).

TypeYourTextHere
03-24-2011, 01:29 AM
@Brandon, TY i will definitely try that.

BrandonBCA
03-24-2011, 10:59 AM
Just remember to be extra careful when dosing K since it affects cellular pressure and overdose can be fatal. The best stores to try to find the salts would be a lawn specialty store or rose specialty store. Big box stores tend not to carry much variety for fertilizers. It will be sold as sulfate of potash(K2SO4) or muriate of potash(KCL). Either works, but sulfate is better since sulfate is a macro-micronutrient(like Mg and Ca) while Cl is a micro-micronutrient(like B, Mn, Mo, Fe, Cu, and Zn).

Checking out the ingredients of NoSalt I would feel comfortable using that specific brand, not just KCl sodium alternatives since the non-KCl ingredients are so minute that they can be ignored. This might even be the best option since it's probably the most readily available(most grocery stores will carry it). Dissolving 6-8 tsp in 250mL(or 12-15 tsp to 20 ounce soda bottle) should give you a good liquid fert to dose.

AbbeyRanda
03-24-2011, 03:00 PM
Hi Brandon,

Don't mean to hi-jack the thread but when you say an overdose can be fatal, do you mean fatal to plants, fauna, or both?

Again, it made me nervous when my LFS guy said he quadruples the dose when using flourish potassium. I understand it is greatly diluted but I still want to be careful. I'm willing to lose a few plants to this kind of mistake but I wouldn't want to harm my fish and inverts.

Thanks!

TypeYourTextHere
04-12-2011, 09:04 PM
Just an update... I really did not do anything different to my tank since i started this thread. After about 3 weeks of watching and waiting I have seen an explosion of growth. I am almost ready to start pruning and replanting the plants.