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Re: Ca uptake - leaf probs

Dave Morris wrote:

> >In response to Tom Barrs list of good nutrient ranges, Neil Frank
> >mentioned that high levels of Potasium can block Ca uptake . As
> >someone who doses K liberally, and has seen the odd contorted leaf
> >even after dosing Ca I would be interested in knowing more .

And Neil Frank responded:

>I have seen poor growth when I had 50ppm K with much lower Ca. I speculate
>this may be due to poor Ca uptake.... but in my case, I did not see the
>symptoms you describe. I am basing my speculation in part on a plants
>ability to use K in lieu of Ca, when the Ca is very low. A little more on
>this in my response to T.Barr (next message on NPK).

I've been having trouble with symptoms similar to those Dave describes in a 
20-gallon lit by 55W PCF and a reflector.  The most effected plant seems to 
be E. parviflorus x Tropica which twists its leaves to the point it 
resembles spiralis, but other "generic" swords have also been twisting and 
cupping leaves.  My water's GH is 6 but I'm unsure of the Ca:Mg 
ratio.  I've been keeping K in the vicinity of 20 ppm.

Recently, I had to leave town unexpectedly and I was gone for over a 
week.  While I was away, the NO3, PO4, and CO2 levels (DIY) bottomed 
out.  Algae has taken advantage, but what is more interesting is that the 
generic swords now have young leaves which are perfectly normal.  The parv. 
Tropica is still trying to twist leaves but to a lesser degree than 
before.  I added some Kent R/O Right (a hardness builder) to the last water 
change I made before leaving town -- but only a small amount -- probably no 
more than 1dGH worth.  It's unclear at this point whether the additional 
hardness helped or not since I wasn't able to maintain the usual dosing 
routine during my absence.  I plan on continuing the experiment with 
hardness embellishment after I spank the algae down for a few days.

Also of interest and possible importance is the fact that snails which had 
lived for some time with transparent shells now seem to be filling them in 
with opaque material.  Coincidence?  Maybe, maybe not.
Chuck Huffine
Knoxville, Tennessee