Nutrient deficiency? Also suspected diatoms.
So it's been a couple weeks since I've planted my new 30 gallon. At present there is no fish load, and there is no intention of adding any until I'm back from vacation in August. I'm using fertiliser that doesn't contain any N or P, intended for use in typical tanks where both of those macro nutrients are in sufficient supply from fish waste/fish food. There was plenty of nitrate in the tank up till a week ago because I had (misguidedly perhaps) went through the trouble of doing a fishless cycle - I've been told later that this was probably not necessary when the tank is heavily enough planted. Also, this was before my decision to not introduce fish until after the holidays.
Attached is a pic of my pygmy chain sword, showing browning, dying leaves. Right now there are 0 nitrates measurable in the tank, and as I said, no ammonia source as there are no fish in there. Common sense has led me to order a liquid nitrogen supplement as well as a phosphorus supplement, but please advise me if my thinking is correct in that these macro nutrients may be deficient at the moment.
Also attached is a pic of brown dusty growth on my H. polysperma - does this look like diatoms? The stuff rubs off fairly easily, feels a bit sandy and hard when rubbing the leaf.
Diatoms will dissappear on their own so no worries there.
With regards to nutrient's, without fishes,fish food,all nutrient's will be lacking while you are away until you return.
I would do as Byron mentioned in another thread,reduce lighting to maybe four or five hours a day.
This will decrease the demand from plant's and maybe ,(I fear not) plant's will remain salvageable when you return.
Like Byron,, I would not maybe start a new tank and then leave it, but without too much light,,then plant's won't need much and maybe some will survive.
Ok, but I'm here for another month or so to take care of the plants - any thoughts on providing N and P supplements in addition to the fertilizer I'm using (which is nitrate and phosphate-free)? I could leave a pre-dosed amount of fertilizer in a test tube or something (from a liquid test kit) and have a neighbour throw it in 2 weeks into my holiday so they don't starve, for example.
Might even do as Byron mentioned in another thread and toss some trumpet snails in the tank (maybe a dozen) and also leave a measured amount ,of fish food for the neighbor to add to the tank while you are away.
What fertilizer are you using now?
I use Flourish Comprehensive Supplement, which contains all nutrients (except oxygen, hydrogen and carbon) and even when I have had plant-only tanks with no fish, they have run well for months with just one dose of Flourish Comp weekly. I do have Malaysian Livebearing snails too, tons of them.:lol:
If you get the plants going now with this regime, they would likely be fine while you are away if not more than a couple weeks or so. And as 1077 said, when yo are gone, reduce the light period to 5 or 6 hours max. This is to prevent excess algae which will otherwise be bound to smother the plants.
The dying leaves on the swords in the photo are to be expected, they are terrestrial leaves that will naturally die off when the plant is fully submersed. The brown on the other leaves is diatoms, not an issue as 1077 said, but here some snails would help as you want to keep it off the leaves.
I'm using Dennerle V30 Complete because I couldn't find either of the brands you recommended locally. Seachem products seem only available online. Anyway here's an english page about the fert: Dennerle V30 Complete - the professional fertilizer
As you see it's guaranteed phosphate and nitrate free.
I'll be gone a bit over 3 weeks so I'm probably pushing it, but hopefully I can get somebody to throw in a pre-dosed amount of ferts to keep them going.
I'll look around to see where I can get Malaysian livebearing snails - I've read that some shops give them away (they just arrive with plants without them particularly wanting them, I take it?) so hopefully I can grab some freebies. :D
And ah, I hadn't thought of that possibility that they are emersed leaves on the swords! That's certainly comforting to hear.
Hmm couldn't find it online so here is the data for the Dennerle fert:
K-fertilizer solution 1 for fertilizing ornamental plants in aquaria
1% K20 water-soluble potassium oxide
trace nutrients: 0.3% MgO, 0.02% B, 0.006% Cu, 0.306% Fe, 0.122% Mn, 0.012 Mo, 0.006% Zn, 0.002% Co, 0.002% Ni, 0.0003% Li, 0.002% Al, 0.0015% Va
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