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Nutrient deficiencies and Stunted Growth

Roger wrote:

>I recently pulled out and pitched a 13-year old stand of A. barteri nana
>that fit that description pretty well.  It was in a low-light tank that I
>maintain mostly for keeping botias that habitually tear up more delicate
>plants.  I tested the tank water a few days ago when this thread started
>and found 30 mg/l of nitrate.
>It appears to me that this sort of stunted growth can't be diagnostic of
>nitrogen deficiency.

I don't think it _always_ is.  I think it _sometimes_ is.   I have also
seen cases of stunted growth of slow growing species in strongly lit.high
growth tanks where N&K were being supplemented regularly.  In those cases,
P seemed to be the nutrient lack that was stunting the growth.  Some
nutrient deficiencies produce specific symptoms, others, and I think that N
and P often fall in this category, often just produce stunted growth.  Of
course, all of this can be confounded by deficiencies and/or excesses of

In the case of Steve's tank, I did what we have talked about... I didn't
get out the test kits, I looked at the plants and made an educated guess.
I was lucky this time ;-)