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Re: Confused

Mike Laflamme wrote:

> Tom Barr tells me I should use my Hygro's as measuring tools.  The tops grow
> great, even turning red near the surface, but the bottoms are barren of
> leaves.  My sword plants are good size, but all new leaf growth is thin, NOT
> wide and oval as it should be.  I figure something is missing from the
> nutrient department, or is it the low amount of lighting.  The few crypts I
> have in there seem perfect, but they get no bigger or smaller.

Early leaf drop by the hygro's and other plants can be attributed to
shortage of pretty much any mobile nutrient.  There is a discussion on the
Krib that breaks down the nutrients as mobile or immobile.

Several species of "sword plants" produce oval leaves with distinct
petioles when grown emersed, then when grown under water they produce
narrower, pointed leaves with reduced petioles.  This isn't a problem.

Crypts grow more slowly then many aquatic plants.  If they were about
their natural full size when you bought them then it's no surprise that
they wouldn't change.

> I see alot posted about KNO3 and KS04.  What are these?

Potassium nitrate and potassium sulfate (K2SO4).  These are chemicals you
can add to provide potassium.  Potassium nitrate also adds nitrate,
which you don't seem to need.

> Dave Gomberg informs me that Tropica Mastergrow does not have these
> nutrients in it.

Were I to pick on the basis of no information a reason why your
hygrophilla are dropping their lower leaves I'd pick a potassium shortage.
If none is being added via the TMG, then you might try adding some.  The
Krib (again) provides a wealth of information.

> I had written Dave the other day with these concerns and his reply is
> written below:
> >The main thing for you to watch would be nitrate.   You need 1-3ppm >to
> >have any success with plants.   Otherwise your plants are >nitrogen
> >starved.   If you keep discus, you only get 100ppm total >dissolved solids,
> >so you have a real balancing act.  Say 10ppm NO3, >5ppm K, 25ppm Ca, 10ppm
> >Mg, 20ppm SO4, 1ppm misc.
> I believe my Nitrate is in an acceptable range.  What exactly is Dave
> breaking down for me there...I am confused.

It looks like Dave is giving you some target levels for other constituents
in your water, adjusted so the total is acceptably low for your discus.
The 5ppm level of potassium that Dave recommends should be fine.

> The algae in the tank is restricted to the driftwood, and to the lowest
> portion of the tank nearest the roots of my smaller plants.
> I am hoping someone can give me more specific instructions to follow.  Thank
> you all.  Feel free to e-mail me privately if you wish.  Sorry for the long
> post.

Hmmm.  I don't see that you have any specific problems.  So no specific

Roger Miller