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nutrient symptoms

Shmuel Silinsky wrote:

> My Valisnaria has very green old growth, but lots of pale new growth. No
> darker veins, just pale.  My Amazon sword in same tank and Cryptocoryne
> are doing well, but new growth is very red-bronze.  I know there are red
> new growth varieties of swordplant, and have seen on the list
> some discussion of reddish as normal for Cryptos, but perhaps a
> nutrient may be needed.
> The tank is 4 months old, 7 happy fish (zebras and black neons), Ph 7,
> based on RO water, no measureable ammonia and no measureable Gh.
> I have not done water changes as yet.  Undergravel filter.

A few more items would make it easier to help you.  For instance, how large
a tank do you have?  How much lighting and what kind?  Do you supplement
with CO2?  Do you have any information on your source water?  What are you
adding to your aquarium water, and how often?

It sounds like there might be at least two things going on.  First, RO water
is pretty well stripped of the good stuff as well as the bad, and some of it
has to be put back.  If you have 0.0dGH then you're probably missing Calcium
and perhaps Magnesium.  Second your plants would love a little Nitrogen, and
they prefer it in the form of ammonia.  Pale green color in some plants,
such as Valisnaria, is often a symptom associated with Nitrogen deficit.

It's probably not a bad idea to start changing your water on a regular
basis.  I usually change between 25% and 50% of my 50 gallon's water every
week, even with no visible problems.  Although your fish seem happy (no NO2
or NO3), your plants have probably sucked up all the nutrients that your
water contained a long time ago!

michael rubin
michael at rubinworld_com