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Stunted Bolbitis and fert dosing tweaks ideas.

Konsa

Member
Joined
20 Nov 2010
Messages
1,015
Location
Lostock Hall
Hi all
I am running a mature well planted 120 ish litters low tech tank. Dimensions 80x35x45H in cm.
Tank is few years old.
Filtration :JBL CrtistalProfi 1501 with sponge prefilter cleaned weekly. Filter clean every 6 ish months .Eheim surface skimmer.
CO2 :None
Lights.2 x60cm T8 18w 6500K tubes 8 ish hours a day.(I know very retro right!! ;) )
Substrate: moler clay and Polario fine gravel.
Hardscape.Maple leaf rock and Redmoor root
Fertilizer:APFUK EI starter kit as per their recipe.Dosed on alternative days macro and micro 45ml dose weekly .Micro supplemented with Fe DPTA and Fe EDDHA.
More details on it below.
Live stock:
3 SAP Puffers
11Amano shrimp
4 Corries
Various Snails
Plant list:
Floaters
Various Cryptocoryne sp
Anubias pettite
Various Java ferns
Bolbitis
Pogostemon Quadrifolius
Hygrophila polisperma
Potamogeton Gayi
Various Bucephalandra
Few other bits and bobs.
Maintenance:
Weekly water change 50-70%
TDS of tank : ~260
Algae: little BBA berely noticeable
Latest tank pic how it looks atm.
20220222_130409.jpg

Tank journal found here:
In general tank doing well.
Slow steady growth on almost all plants.
However the Bolbitis is always struggling with BBA and lately the new growth is deformed some stems have developed black patches on them,and some leaves doesn't develop fully.Some plants are not looking as lush as I like them.
A little bit more about my relaxed approach.
I am not one to micro manage and test water.
Basically winging it based on overall system condition.
Anyway thought to go a little in depth in my nutrient dosing as while I am thinking that my ferts are sufficient(Probably on the rich side for low tech even)its possible that ratios or sth else can be optimised so will do a little test and use branded product(Tropica specialised)that is supposed to be well balanced to see how tank responds over few months.
I am unsure what initial dose to start with tho and this is where I need your help as haven't used this product before and it seems rather lean compared to what Im putting in atm and I do not want to shock the system.
Below some figures of my tap water report on 18th February 2022
Alkalinity as CaCO3 -69.9 ppm
Hardness Total as CaCO3 -117ppm
Hardness: Slightly hard -8.19 Hardness clarke
Ca - 34.2ppm
Mg-7.64ppm
Cloride- 7.91ppm
NO3 -<2.02 ppm
Sodium-18.8ppm
Sulphate-32.8ppm
No PO4 on water report
Below my weekly fert dose breakdown using Rottala butterfly calculator:
NO3 -12.51ppm
N-2.83ppm
K-9.10ppm
PO4-2.93ppm
P-0.96ppm
Mg -2.96ppm
S-2.99ppm
dGH -0.57
FeEDTA -0.37ppm
FeDPTA~0.02ppm
FeEDDHA ~0.02ppm
Due to the type of live stock (Puffers are dirty fish) and there diet its likely that there is quite a bit NO3 and some PO4 coming in with waste and food but I will ignore those .I feed frozen foods (1 cube ish daily) and supplement with live when Im going to LFS now and them.
To wrap it up.
Its possible that plants are suffering from CO2 shortage due to high plant mass and that is where my issue comes from.Not that I can do anything about that.Is there sth else that may impact nutrient absorbing that I need to look into.
Based on the above information how much Tropica specialised will you advise to start adding weekly(Although I give /ask weekly targets I am doing daily doses so will split that over 6 days).
If I don't like how tank responds over a month or two to Tropica specialised and I will revert back to DIY ferts mixes and see what can I tweak in my current dosing.I was thinking I can up K but no idea what is best chemical to use for that.
Hope I managed to word myself properly(a bit early and just having my first coffee .lol) and Im looking forward to your thoughts
Regards Konstantin
 
Last edited:

tam

Member
Joined
5 May 2011
Messages
1,255
Is it attached to wood or touching the substrate? For me it has always done a lot better with it's roots in the substrate. Obviously don't bury a rhizome but it has a preference for growing along the gravel surface with quite long roots into it.
 

Konsa

Member
Thread starter
Joined
20 Nov 2010
Messages
1,015
Location
Lostock Hall
Hi
Its attached to hardscape in various places and heights but some have contact with the substrate(In particular some of the moler clay)
I know what you are saying. Although I haven't noticed that with Bolbitis or Java ferns I have observed better growth on Anubias and Bucephalandra when you let the roots go into substrate.But they do have different types of root systems
There is sth else worth mentioning .
I also have the mini Bolbitis variety from @dw1305 and that is growing better without stunted growth and algae on it.Not sure if it is just location in the tank or what.
I am excluding location issues due to having the normal Bolbitis in multiple locations during the course of the tank development.I have reduced it now mainly in the middle and back parts of the tank due to its size. The leaves may be deformed but still push 30-40cm in lenght.
Pics below of some relatively new and still developing leaves.You can see deformation and blackened patches on the stems.
20220226_095747.jpg
20220226_095713.jpg
20220226_095700.jpg


Regards Konstantin
 
Last edited:

Garuf

Member
Joined
30 Oct 2007
Messages
5,606
Location
Copenhagen
Mini bolbitis you say? What’s this then?

In terms of my input, I have had best results with bolbitis when I cut all but the newest leaves from the rhizome and then planting it where it gets good gentleish flow and not a huge amount of light.

If it’s where there’s a tonne of light I find it tends to sulk for a few months before throwing out healthy leaves. It’s also fe hungry - the biggest jump in leaf health I got was when I started to dose more.
 

Garuf

Member
Joined
30 Oct 2007
Messages
5,606
Location
Copenhagen
Hi all,

It is just a smaller version of Bolbitis heudelotti. @George Farmer took some <"to Tropica">, but they decided that it wasn't small enough to be worth producing commercially . I don't have any spare at the moment but @Konrad Michalski has spare bits quite often.

cheers Darrel
I don’t think that it will survive being posted to Denmark unfortunately but if you’re ever lost you’re welcome to put some in the suitcase for me. ;)
 

Konsa

Member
Thread starter
Joined
20 Nov 2010
Messages
1,015
Location
Lostock Hall
Mini bolbitis you say? What’s this then?

In terms of my input, I have had best results with bolbitis when I cut all but the newest leaves from the rhizome and then planting it where it gets good gentleish flow and not a huge amount of light.

If it’s where there’s a tonne of light I find it tends to sulk for a few months before throwing out healthy leaves. It’s also fe hungry - the biggest jump in leaf health I got was when I started to dose more.
Hi
appreciate your imput.
In the case mine has been in the tank for few years now.It is the new growth that im bothered about.The plant seems to go though good and bad periods overal with pretty constant dosing and tank conditions .
Anyone that uses Tropica specialised and doesn't mind sharing their opinion in regards of how you dose your low tech tanks and what starting dose should I try with my system and plant mass.

Regards Konstantin
 

ceg4048

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UKAPS Team
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11 Jul 2007
Messages
9,599
Location
Chicago, USA
BBA and lately the new growth is deformed some stems have developed black patches on them,and some leaves doesn't develop fully.Some plants are not looking as lush as I like them.
Hello,
These are all symptoms of CO2 deficiency. In a low tech tank there is not much that can be done, other than placing the plant in shaded areas or reducing the overall lighting level.

Cheers,
 

Konsa

Member
Thread starter
Joined
20 Nov 2010
Messages
1,015
Location
Lostock Hall
Hello,
These are all symptoms of CO2 deficiency. In a low tech tank there is not much that can be done, other than placing the plant in shaded areas or reducing the overall lighting level.

Cheers,
Thanks for your thoughts.
Tbh that is what I think too but thought to post to solidify it as my aproach to keeping planted tanks is rather unscientific and as I said am winging it really and while some of the information on here has made its way into my head and have seen the benefits of it put to practice over the years.I am not a scientifically minded person.
As confirmation of the above in regards of CO2 deficiency my floating plants grow well,have good overall colour and leaf shape and relatively short root systems. According to @dw1305 's
Duckweed index short roots tells me there are plenty of nutrients in the water and the good colour and shape tells me there are no deficiencies present.
As you say not much I can do in regards of CO2.
Been thinking to let the stems to overgrow as much as I can and shade it a little while keep general good flow arround the tank.
Also will try the Tropica specialised fertilizer (once I figure what daily dose I need to start with so I don't crash the system) maybe with some Osmocote pearls in substrate to see if the plants will respond positively as with my current fert mixes while some plants grow relatively well I feel that they could do better.
I was using same DIY fert mixes(in higher doses)while running my last high tech and the overall plant vibrancy was lacking then too.
I am aware that the plants uptake ions and they doesn't care if those come from ADA ,Tropica or DIY fert bottles. But tank is relatively small and low tech so it won't hurt much on the wallet to burn a bit of cash on branded fert as an experiment for couple of months .
Regards Konstantin
 
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