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Re: calcium deficiency

     adeana bishop wrote:
     >> 30 gallon, 30 watts fluorescent light, CO2 injection, sand over, 
     laterite/sand substrate, GH 60 ppm, alkalinity 80 ppm, iron 0.05 
     The sags(dwarf) are showing new growth that is very pale, nearly 
     white. The older leaves are still green.  The new leaves are beginning 
     to turn translucent at the base.  The new leaves on H. polysperma 
     appear slightly crinkled.  None of the other plants, crypts, sword, 
     ludwigia evidence any problems.  Can this be attributed entirely to 
     Ca, or am I Fe deficient as well? <<
     I don't think it's likely that you are low in Fe. 0.05ppm Fe is 
     adequate. I presume that you are maintaining a regular dosing schedule 
     for Dupla Drops or whatever micro-nutrient supplement you are using 
     (since you've gone to the expense of a LaMotte test kit & CO2 
     It is normal for the new leaves of many types of plants to be quite 
     pale since they are still actively growing. I wouldn't necesarily take 
     that as a symptom of trouble unless there is no evidence of any growth 
     at all after several days. Your light levels are low and clear leaves 
     could be rotting. If that is the case, the clear leaves should start 
     to disintegrate in a few days so either way, you should be able to 
     notice a difference. Can you see new leaves forming on any of your 
     other plants?
     The deformed leaves of H. poly however could be a symptom of Calcium 
     or Boron deficiency. Try dissolving a teaspoon of calcium carbonate 
     powder in your tank and see if the H. poly growth becomes normal after 
     a week or so. Since your light is not strong, I wouldn't expect to see 
     much growth (or deficiency symptoms) in the other plants in a short 
     time frame. Boron is provided in most nutrient mixes so should not be 
     a problem. Lack of Ca is the most likely cause of the deformed new 
     A lack of iron can be seen if you have floating plants like Salvinia 
     or Frogbit by a lack of new growth and small pale leaves on the 
     Salvinia. In the H. poly look for pale new leaves especially with 
     yellow veins. You can validate the accuracy of your test kit by 
     comparing your aquarium water results with distilled water. You don't 
     want to overdose your iron.
     Steve P. in Vancouver where it's Hot and Windy (for a change!)