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Crinkled leaves and odd spots

KirstyF

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25 Jul 2021
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467
Location
Kidderminster
Hi All

Got a few plant issues I could do with some advice on.

I have some crinkled leaves on Alternanthera as well as some ‘spots’ on both these and anubias.

Had lots of Co2 issues, as many of you will know, but this has now been pretty stable for about two weeks since the new regulator arrived. The very latest new leaves seem to be in better condition.

I’ve also had a small amount of algae which I believe is/was staghorn but this is starting to clear.

I’m assuming the crinkled leaves and the algae is likely to be a Co2 issue? Lights are only at 50% (fluval plant 3, 46W on this side)
Dosing full EI. Tank is 7 weeks old.

Would you say that the newer leaves indicate an improvement and if so, should I now trim the tops as i should imagine the distorted growth won’t straighten out, or should I leave for a while to settle? The stem is only 5-6” tall

Also the spots look like surface damage. Could this be snails or is there another explanation?

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John q

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6 Jan 2021
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1,222
Location
Lancashire
Hi kirsty, those spots are green spot algae and could well be a result of the co2 issues you were having, I'd also guess the crinkled Alternanthera leaves are also co2 related. You may have fixed the issue already and the new growth looks good to me.
I'd probably wait till you get a good few inches of decent new growth and then cut and replant the tops.

If the green spots start appearing on the newer growth then the obvious answer would be to review the co2 distribution around the tank and lower the light intensity. Also any badly infested leaves with gsa are unlikely to recover and should be removed.

I'm sure you've already read this thread but just incase you haven't phosphate with EI - higher than 3 ppm?

How much phosphate are you dosing?

I also think I can see the early onset of diatoms on some of hygrophila difformis leaves?

Good news is its all part of the learning curve.
 
Last edited:

KirstyF

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Thread starter
Joined
25 Jul 2021
Messages
467
Location
Kidderminster
Good news is its all part of the learning curve

It certainly is!!

That’s great!

I’m dosing 3ppm with KH2Po4 at the moment. Splitting into 3 doses per week (every other day with micro’s) so ‘standard’ EI really.

I’ve had some diatoms for sure, although not too bad to be fair, and mostly cleared up now. The worst was actually on the sand early on but this is almost entirely gone so hoping this is the tail end of it now. (Pretty sure the Otto’s have helped this along too)

I also did a re-plumb (to make my fish happy) so flow completely changed just a couple of weeks back but seems to be reaching all areas.

There have certainly been some unexpected challenges, so I’ve not scored a lot of points on consistency so far 😂

I’ll try increasing the phosphate a little to see if it helps to clear the GSA, will keep an eye out for any new spots and will wait on some good growth before topping.😊

Many thanks
 

Geoffrey Rea

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27 May 2017
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Cambridgeshire
Hey @KirstyF

have some crinkled leaves on Alternanthera

Aye, they are ‘done for’ leaves that are probably a result of the unfortunate regulator issues. History of the past with each node as you go up. Newest growth looks promising.

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Pinch those leaves off with your thumb and index finger close to the node, but don’t damage the stem. You’ll be asking the plant to start bushing out from those nodes thereafter. Create some new leaves lower down, making a nice set. Then if you wish you can do as @John q suggested with the healthy tops:

I'd probably wait till you get a good few inches of decent new growth and then cut and replant the tops.

If the rooting gets going, then plant health returns, you may even find it advantageous to keep the existing stem and just pinch further leaves off that aren’t up to scratch. More fresh growth from the nodes. Depends if you want it bushing out or not.
 

Geoffrey Rea

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Cambridgeshire
👍 Thanks for suggestions.

The top plant in particular has a lot of poor growth, is it ok to nip all of those leaves off at once?

Sorry for delayed reply @KirstyF

Consider what it is you are asking of the plant in doing this. Are conditions optimal currently?

The latter is likely related to timing, recent equipment failure and system methods chosen.

All this aside, focusing on plant husbandry with AR, you’ll find AR doesn’t enjoy too much being asked of it at once this early on.

With each leaf deliberately pinched off, an auxiliary bud will be triggered into action at the node.

With the greening of the lower leaves and their deterioration (attracting algae) the death throes of that leaf are taking place. Consider why dying leaves on AR go green… Green signifies chlorophyll, uptaking light and and using that energy to potentially draw nutrients back into the plant before jettisoning the leaf.

The plant is handling the situation on its own.

The trouble when we have a larger problem with the system, a lot of plant matter may be decaying in a closed system. This leads to the releasing of organics, giving algae an upper hand and making leaf fringes, where deterioration usually takes place first, prone to algae. If you weren’t on top of your Co2 right now, it is highly probable we would see BBA on those lower leaves currently.

If the AR is well rooted into aquarium soil you will find it can tolerate complete leaf removal, with the exception of the terminal bud at the tip. But this is an action you would take knowing it’s a dice role.

With complete removal you assume the terminal leaves can capture enough light and the meristematic tissue to grow new plants has what it needs. If you want to see what the plant wants to do ideally it looks like this:

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That is AR mini (not so mini) at over a foot and a half long with aerial access. Upper centre of the photo the AR has healthy leaves helping power new side growth. This growth will take prime position, make the old leaves redundant as the light is blocked and drop them. No action on the aquarists part required.

Above the surface we see this process hastened due to proximity of light and a switch to emersed tolerant leaves from the auxiliary buds at the nodes:

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Dennis Wong likes more compact forms, he cuts the tops and replants as another example. He also has low stocking, vacuum’s his soil and minimises organic breakdown. He is master of a high energy and clean setup, making decisions in service of this.

If you choose to do this too AR is always putting energy into rooting and you’ll get the aerial roots that folks complain about.

If you plant AR once and leave it alone you get a thick stem and up to two foot long roots under the soil, but rarely above.

The husbandry is the key to control the forms we get, the conditions are the backdrop needed to a certain degree. It can also determine the colouration we receive.

Hyptis Lorienzia under the same parameters but trimmed in different ways:

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Hope this helps.
 
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