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Re: nutrient deficiency?

Roger wrote:
> At any rate, if the test is right and there's nitrate present then it's
> unlikely to be a nitrogen deficiency.

I would recommend one of three courses:

a) You can always add doses of various nutrients to your tank until you
discover which one makes the difference. Egeria grows quickly, so it
should only take a few days before you might notice a difference.

b) If you don't want to add nitrate (or ammonia) to your tank, you can
remove one or more bits of Egeria and place them into jars and add
nutrients to those to observe the effects. That should quickly point you
in the right direction.

c) If you have only a bit of the plant left and are more concerned with
saving it than diagnosing the missing nutrient, shotgun it and add
several. Egeria can be put into a jar with adequate carbonate hardness
and will happily take CO2 from dissolved bicarbonates; no need for CO2
injection. You can put the jar right in the window in sunlight.

Unless you are positive you adding plenty of potassium on a regular
basis, I would suggest starting with a fairly good sized dose of that. I
don't know the symptoms of extreme deficiency would match what you
describe but poor growth is certainly an indicator.

It is easy to find rationales for thinking one nutrient is NOT the
lacking one but only one test is conclusive in my opinion; add some of
the nutrient. Adding moderate doses of most nutrients is not a problem
at all; only a few can cause complications. If the tank is well planted
and adequately supplied with a surplus of other nutrients, you can
easily add a dose of nitrogen (say 10 ppm), phosphorus (say 0.5 ppm) or
chelated iron and trace nutrients (say 0.5 ppm). The best way to ensure
adequate Ca, K and Mg is to practice regular water changes and dose with
any nutrient which is low in your water supply, especially potassium.

I would not wait for the "typical" symptom of senesce of older leaves
before suspecting potassium deficiency. We usually associate potassium
shortage with death of older leaves, but it might show differently with

Steve Pushak                              Vancouver, BC, CANADA 

Visit "Steve's Aquatic Page"      http://home.infinet.net/teban/
 for LOTS of pics, tips and links for aquatic gardening!!!