HOLES IN LEAVES and Do I Need CO2???


> Hi,  Great timing for this question because I have holes develop
> leaves when I do a trimming.  The only reasons I have read that 
> holes are snails, fish, or a lack of a nutrient.  My swords howe
> holes in the leaves if I pull some of the older leaves off.  Thi
> happens to new leaves, not to the mature leaves.  What happens i
> new emerging leaves come out with holes in them.  The only reaso
> think of is shock.  I pulled some old leaves off my sword 4 days
> the new leaves that are emerging have holes in them.  This will 
> time I do this.  Other than this, I never get holes in my leaves
> common?  I did not see this cause in the FAQ.  Maybe it should b

I don't know enough about your tank to hazard a guess as to why 
your Echinodorus develop holes in the new leaves, but it is _not_ 
from trimming old leaves.  This is a necessary part of plant 
maintenance in the aquarium, and it is _not_ usual for the plant 
to respond by producing holey leaves.  Most people trim the thier 
Swords regularly by removing older outside leaves, and the plants 
show no negative response.

My _guess_ is that perhaps you are deficient in one of the 
moveable (re-useable) trace elements, and that when you remove 
older leaves, you are depriving the plant of the opportunity to 
"scavange this mineral out of the dying plant material.

Again, it is not a normal response for plants to produce holey 
leaves because they have been trimmed.

Subject: Do I Need CO2???

> Hi,  I do not inject CO2.  I wanted to try the yeast-sugar metho
> did some water tests over the weekend before I made my weekly wa
> I want to know do I really need CO2?  According to my test resul
> chart in "The Optimum Aquarium"  I do not need it.  I think I do
> it. <G>  Here is what I got.  Water temperature was 84.  It has 
> if I do not have to use the air conditioner I won't. My pH is 6.
> tank.  From the tap 7.0 is the pH. Using a Tetra test kit I got 
> 1dh of KH and 6dh of GH.  I got the same readings from the tank 
> tap water when testing for hardness.  According to the chart in 
> Aquarium" which determines CO2 levels according to pH and KH rea
> a CO2 level of 30mg/l.  Is this chart accurate?  Do I have CO2 i
> of 30mg/l?  The chart says I have too much CO2.  I then used the
> test kit I have and got a reading of 2, 5, - 15 mg/l.  For those
> not familar with this kit, that is all the higher it will go.  I
> you if you have enough, or not enough CO2.  It does not give an 
> reading. I do regular water changes once a week.  One quarter of
> in removed and I lightly hover my Python water changer over the 
> the places I can.  For the first time I bought an alkalinity tes
> got a reading of 10 for alkalinity/buffering capacity.  To get a
> precise idea if my water chemisty I requested a water report for
> water.  I should have got it Monday.  I hope it will get here to
> readings will match their readings.  Tetras O2 test kit gave me 
> 8 mg/l.  Nitrate was 25 mg/l.  I made the same tests before and 
> water change and got the same readings each time.  I have 120 wa
> tank which is 55 gallons.  Hygrophila I know isn't hard to grow.
> you tell me when I say my Hygrophila has as red color in the top
> veins and the top leaves are reaching up?  They want more light,
> much light, or just enough? The lower leaves are green.  

Your nitrate level is a bit on the high side, but unless you are 
having algae problems, I wouldn't be too concerned.  Unless you 
have used something other than CO2 to lower your pH, You _do_ have 
enough CO2 in your tank.  As a double check, check the pH of your 
tank in the early morning, before the lights come on, and late in 
the afternoon when they've been running most of the day.  If your 
pH is substantially higher in the later afternoon, you are running 
short of CO2.

If you _wanted_ to add supplemental CO2, you would have to raise 
your KH.  With your very soft water, the pH would just be too 

I have not found the Tetra CO2 kit to be very useful.  The charts 
are quite accurate _if_ your KH test and pH test are accurate, and 
_if_ you are not using other buffers in your tank.

Finally, a nice rosey glow on the top leaves of Hygro is a sign 
that the plants are happy and healthy.

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Assoc.
Boston, MA