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  • Deficiencies

    Here’s some pics of my problem plants. Even though I have read up on a lot of deficiencies, I’m still a bit perplexed by the possible causes. The coffeefolia I’m thinking maybe Mg or K, but the little guy has me beat! I’m really leaning towards a mix of problems due to softness (Ca Mg) but the intertwined or overlapping symptoms in the charts and explanations are taking some working out. Could I please grab an opinion to guide me ?? Cheers heaps!! P.s the small anubias that seems a bit ‘stunted’ had larger leaves when I first got it, it died back then fought back a bit. Up until recent dosings, water change,gravel vac and clarity addition it was perfectly green, though I have used flourish comprehensive I haven’t had any K to add as I’m out??? That’s partly why I’m questioning overdosing ... just unsure now!!!

  • #2
    That looks like carbon, calcium, magnesium, and potassium deficiency to me. Luckily Excel and Equilibrium will help quite a bit with those. I'd make sure the Anubias are attached to rocks to maximize flow to their roots and use Excel and Equilibrium and see how they respond after a month. Normally a few weeks is enough with faster growing plants, but Anubias take longer to respond. Adding Excel and Equilibrium along with the other fertilizers as we've been talking about in your other thread should help out a lot.

    For ease of reference, would you please post all future questions in your larger thread?

    Kind regards,


    • #3
      Hello again and also thanks again for the awesome feedback!!! Really beginning to compile some great info to help get things cruising. I’ve had the API kit since I first set up, then as I progressed and found the seachem line of products, well there’s just no substitute for quality so I’ll definitely be looking at upgrading all testing gear and also stocking some meds to have handy.
      Upon purchase of my filters I found the media to be a bit light on so was thinking of just adding the matrix to them to bump er all up a bit ! Please let me know if you have a better idea!!! Also would really appreciate a ‘general’ list of what seachem meds would be good for me to stock under tank, and finally was wondering your views on advance? Does it have a big benefit too? I used it for quite some time and am happy to restock it if you think its beneficial.
      That’s pretty much my current issues summed up so thanks very much again, the info is terrific, and my apologies for spreading so many questions throughout multiple posts!!! I’m very new to all this internet bizzo and am still fumbling my way through all this stuff like a turtle on it’s back with a new phone (much to the entertainment of my better half lol)
      So it’s out of quarantine tomorrow, then back to sea to earn some bucks for some more seachem goodies!!! Hope to catch up soon


      • #4
        1. Filter media- I've used just about every biological medium in my planted tanks over the years and haven't found anything to be as effective as Matrix. I'm a firm believer that there's no such thing as too much biological filtration as it's the foundation of a stable ecosystem that can handle the occasional blip if something bad happens. Chemical filtration has its place and is a powerful tool to have in your kit to handle things your biofilter can't, but a robust and well-established biological system and proper, consistent, maintenance are fundamental to a healthy aquarium ecosystem. My recommendation would therefore be to add as much Matrix as possible on top of the stuff that's in there now then slowly replace the existing media with Matrix to ensure integrity of the biofilter.

        Also, I strongly suggest adding Purigen to your filter. I haven't found a more effective means of controlling dissolved organic compounds (DOC), a significant contributor to algae issues, than that and I always run it in every tank I have going. Matrix + Purigen are an unbeatable combination for maintaining high water quality.

        Regarding medications; ParaGuard and MetroPlex are solid broad spectrum medications that are my first responders, so to speak, when I need to treat sick fish.

        Flourish Advance is a good tool for your arsenal. The phytohormones it contains are awesome for stimulating plant growth, but it can cover up problems too. If your plants aren't growing well when not using it then you know something's not right and will be able to address it. Stimulating growth may make it look like everything's ok when it's not so make sure your plants are healthy and growing well before using it consistently. That being said, I treat my plants with it every time I trim and replant stems, when uprooting things like Swords and Crypts, or do a significant rearrangement of the planting. I prefer to make a 1:10 Advance:water solution to soak any disturbed plants in for 30 minutes prior to replanting to make sure they get the hormones to increase new root growth. I'll start dosing the aquarium as directed a couple days later for a week to keep that new root growth going. A 1:2:10 Advance:Envy:water solution/soak is even better as it provides both the hormones and a good dose of essential vitamins and amino acids which will help reduce the plants' energy cost of making them, letting them put that extra energy into re-establishing. Envy's also an excellent supplement to add in addition to your regular fertilizers for this reason.

        Kind regards,


        • #5
          That’s wicked help thanks, I had wondered about purigen too and now my minds made up! Love the bathing trick too, makes sense. Once I establish these new materials and practices I’ll be sure to write back soon to share my progress and no doubt some questions too!!! Hahaha Our fish and plants thank you very much ;)


          • #6
            You're very welcome and thank you too. I'm both a teacher and planted tank enthusiast so it's a pleasure to help people like you. Don't be surprised if you encounter some bumps along the way. When you do, reach out and I'll do what I can to help.

            Please do keep us updated. Pictures are always appreciated!


            • #7
              Hi again, I’ll soon be commencing the addition of some equilibrium to my previously mentioned rainwater, discus/community planted tank to combat the plant deficiencies. The well-being of the fish is of course paramount over the plants so lm just a little nervous about the initial dosing and each water change dose too. As the tank has ran nicely for around 3years without major problems I don’t want to tip any balances negatively.
              I’m planing to do a very gradual light build up over a week or so, adding each pre mixed lot bit by bit during the day until I reach a gh of about 4. Should this be ok for the fish???
              as for each w/c I’ve measured the tank dimensions and pre set my syphon depth so each dump is 200lt and the tank is 600lt . I use a hose from a warm mixed tap to fill for convenience and don’t mess around with buckets So is it ok to slowly add the equilibrium dose straight into tank as I fill it back up???? Being that I’m not chasing a huge lift in gh I’m hoping this will be ok! I think it’s 40grams per 200lt of new water ( each week).
              does the equilibrium also benefit the fish via osmoregulation or would that be more Kh or electrolyte related. From what I’ve read plants don’t like salts so what balance seems right???. As stated things have been good but I sense that this area could be perfected. Any advice on this area would be awesome, and please tell me if I’m approaching anything in an ill manner!!! Thanks in advance


              • #8
                Hello again Gwokky,

                It sounds to me like you're thinking the right way; it's better to increase things slowly than all at once. You absolutely can add Equilibrium directly to the tank. I normally add it when refilling the tank after a water change to make sure it mixes as well as possible. Not only will this benefit the plants, but the additional minerals will help your fish with osmoregulation, just like you said. I'd avoid adding any salt products (usually NaCl) as they're not good for plants and aren't necessary for fish when you're remineralizing for plants. As a point of clarification; in chemistry lingo a salt is a combination of a metal and gas, not simply the sodium chloride we think of as "salt". You can find a number of products that use (chemical lingo) salts, such as CaCl2 or MgCl2, calcium chloride and magnesium chloride, and may have ingredient derivations listed as something like "derived from calcium salts" to meet regulatory requirements. Always make sure to check ingredient lists/guaranteed analysis on the products you use to make sure NaCl/sodium chloride/table salt isn't high on the list. A small amount as a trace is ok, but a lot is bad.

                Maintaining the necessary mineral nutrient concentrations your plants need is all you'll need to do for your fish too. From this point forward you're adding minerals and nutrients for plant health and not to chase water parameters for your fish. Remember, "healthy plants equals healthy fish". Slowly increasing supplementation/concentration like you're planning on doing is exactly the right thing to do as the increased concentration will still benefit plants while also giving your fish time to adjust to the changes in water chemistry.

                One thing I'd not do would be to increase light yet. Make sure you've got your plant supplementation concentrations and routine down rock-solid before increasing light. Boosting light too much is the first, and worst, mistake people make when keeping plants. If what you've got in there right now is doing well, there's no need to increase light as it only increases the likelihood of problems; especially if you're not going to be around for extended periods once shelter in place rules are lifted. The other benefits of moderating light input are you don't have to supplement as much, the plants won't grow as fast so you won't have to trim/groom as often, and you'll have a lower chance of having algae problems.

                Keep it up, you're doing things right.