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Re: Rotala frustrations

> From: Ryan Mills <millsman7 at yahoo_com>
> Subject: Rotala Frustrations
> 30 gallons
> PH: 6.8
> GH: 90ppm
> KH: 4ppm
> Phosphates: .1-.2ppm
> Nitrates: 4-5ppm with addition of nitrate of soda
> 1.5 ml Flourish divided over the week
> .5 ml of Flourish iron per day
> 50 milligrams potassium gluconate per week
> - -small ammount of boric acid added per week
> - -normal gravel substrate containing some Flourish tabs
> and old laterite covered with flourite

	I think that you are adding an inadequate amount of potassium.
That 50 mg of potassium gluconate contains only about 8 mg of potassium,
and the 1.5 mL of Flourish probably contains less than 50 mg (what is the
concentration of K in it?).

	I have to add a lot more than that to keep _some_ plants happy,
and the effect of adding more K2SO4 to a tank can be quite dramatic
for plants that are doing really badly.  Rotala is one plant that will
not grow in my 160 L tank unless I add it.

> I got some Rotala macrandra at an auction a
> bit over a month ago, and while it took awhile to get
> going, it did well for a month or so, growing much
> larger and wavier leaves, even though the lower leaves
> would and still will not stay red.  I finally trimmed
> it, and the cuttings continue to grow; sort of.  The
> lower leaves of the cuttings have rotted away, with
> the tops growing and roots growing strongly.  The
> original patch has not kept growing, and like some of
> the cuttings, shows incredibly small and puny
> distorted leaves.

	That sounds consistent with my experience.

>  I followed some list people's
> advice on adding potassium, and this has worked to
> rapidly fix the Bacopa, but still not the Rotala.

	I'm pretty sure the plants compete for nutrients.
Some cope better than others with short supply of a nutrient.

	Add a gram or so of K2SO4.

Paul Sears        Ottawa, Canada