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Re: Nutrient Deficiency

On Thu, 24 Jun 1999, Jennifer Glover wrote:

> I have observed what may be a potassium deficiency in my sword plants and I was
> wondering if someone could help me out with a verdict.

Elsewhere in this digest Mr. Purchase suggests that simply adding
potassium and waiting for a response is probably the best way to find out
whether the problem is a potassium deficiency.  I agree with him on that.

If it does turn out to be a potassium deficiency then there are a couple
differences between your plants' symptoms and those shown by my plants.

I have several plants that got over all or some of their possible
deficiency problems after I started adding potassium, and a few that
weren't in the tank at the time I treated that I believe probably were
damaged by the same deficiency.  In all cases, the distinctive holes
appeared in the middle of the leaves, not on the end or margins of the
leaves.  This was true for two crypt. species, hygrophilla corymbosa,
barklaya longifolia, and probably anubia barteri var. nana and java fern.
No echinodorus.

Which brings me to the second difference.  I had two species of
echinodorus (amazonicus or bleheri and osiris) growing in the tank and
neither of them showed potassium deficiency while the other plants were
struggling to maintain growth.  This may mean that some other species that
you are growing (I'm thinking of the crypts and hygrophilla) are more
sensitive to potassium and should show potassium deficiency before the
echinodorus, or it could just mean that the echinodorus in my tank were
more sensitive to some other limiting factor, so potassium problems never

As an alternative to potassium deficiency, do you think the damage might
be caused by your pleco rasping the leaves?

Roger Miller