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Re: Complaint about Flourite

Sylvia wrote:

"Mainly it was the bottom leaves of the r. macranda which had developed
and appeared to be rotting. I don't know why the tops would be so healthy,
red and vibrant, and the lower half of the stem (leaves only) would be
rotted, especially with such a massive root system. It could be that
and (water column) fertilization regiment changed halfway throughout the
growth of the entire stem, but I have no answers. I just wondered how a
can appear unhealthy when the roots are obviously grown out enough to be
taking in the nutrients the plant needs, _directly from the substrate_."

Sorry Silvia - I totally missed the smiley......

I'm not brave enough (or foolhardy enough) to attempt to diagnose specific
problems via email without having seen your tank, but remember that most
plants have the ability to move certain nutrients from older leaves to newer
ones should their environment not provide enough for their ongoing needs. It
could be that you are seeing the effects of a slight deficiency in your

Steve Pushak's web site has some great links to plant nutrition sites and
information which might help you. You have to make sure that _all_ nutrients
are present in the correct proportions and in some tanks with a mix of plant
species this can sometimes take a while and a bit of fiddling. Erik Olson
also has some excellent material on the KRIB
(http://www.thekrib.com/Plants/Fertilizer/nutrient-deficiency.html) which
might help you.

Flourite is a wonderful substrate material but I wonder how "available" the
nutrients within it are. I have seen that when using Profile for regular
terrestrial plants that you need to add fertilizer to avoid deficiencies -
the Profile alone won't provide the needed nutrients by itself. Profile and
Flourite are not the same thing, but they are "cousins" in that they are
both fired, fracted clay materials and I would expect that what I observed
in my Coffee plants would appear in plants grown in pure Flourite.

(I have been growing Coffee plants in pure Profile, Half Profile and Half
Soil, and Pure Soil. Without the addition of fertilizer, the plants in pure
Profile have severe problems with their lower leaves discoloring, twisting
and generally not doing well. The problems go away with fertilization and
were never there to begin with in those pots containing soil.)

So you probably just need to work on balancing out your liquid fertilizer
scheme or perhaps try some Flourish Tabs buried in the substrate.

James Purchase