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Useful Plant Diagnosis Charts

Author Topic: Useful plant diagnosis charts  (Read 6064 times)

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Offline Extreme_One

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Useful plant diagnosis charts
« on: March 20, 2016, 03:37:58 PM »
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Offline Fiona

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Re: Useful plant diagnosis charts
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2016, 03:41:27 PM »
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I'd pin this if I were you Simon or it'll disappear. Tell you what else would be nice, a guide to common plants

Offline Richard W

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Re: Useful plant diagnosis charts
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2016, 04:13:20 PM »
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Plant nutrient deficiencies are actually very uncommon, whether in tanks or in gardens. In tanks, if you have a decent number of fish and are not too obsessed with gravel cleaning, they will provide enough nutrients. The only difference between plants and animals is one trace element which plants need (I think it's Boron??) but animals don't. Fish food is itself made of animal material and will contain all of the elements necessary for plant growth, every time you feed your fish you are fertilising the plants. If you have very few fish, or are determined to keep your substrate totally pristine, then you may need to add fertilisers. But I reckon most plant failures are down to not enough light for the plant in question, a poor rooting substrate (e.g. fairly coarse gravel)  or the allelopathic behaviour of some plants where the plant produces a chemical which inhibits the growth of another plant species, a phenomenon well established experimentally. So don't assume that if your plants don't grow well that it is necessarily down to a nutrient problem. Also, algae need exactly the same nutrients as your plants and so if you add fertiliser when it is not needed you may merely encourage algal growth. If I were to use fertilisers (which I've never needed) then I'd choose root tabs rather than something added to the water as they would feed the plants but not the algae.
Also, remember one of the major plant nutrients is nitrogen, which they generally obtain from nitrates, so there is little point in changing your water all the time to reduce nitrates and then adding fertiliser to replace the nitrogen source.

Offline Extreme_One

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Re: Useful plant diagnosis charts
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2016, 04:18:51 PM »
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I'd pin this if I were you Simon or it'll disappear. Tell you what else would be nice, a guide to common plants

Good idea Fiona. I'll pin the post.

Are you volunteering to write something? ;)




Offline Extreme_One

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Re: Useful plant diagnosis charts
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2016, 04:33:39 PM »
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Richard most of what you've said makes perfect sense for most aquarium keepers.

The best philosophy is, usually, to keep it simple.

Fill with water, add plants, add fish, feed fish.

However, some people want to try and do things in a more controlled manner.

High light, CO² injection, fertilisers etc are all part of this hobby, for those that want it, for good reason.



You wont acheive something like the above (not my tank) by purchasing a mixed bunch of plants for a fiver and hoping for the best.

I have a low-tech tank with A LOT of plants and early on realised that I wouldn't succeed with the 'hope for the best' approach.

Some of my plants developed nutrient deficiencies. They became yellow and leggy with holes in the leaves.

So, I read lots and lots, and much contradictory information is out there.

So, after weighing everything up, I decided to use EasyLife ProFito, at the recommended dose, but split into a daily dose instead of weekly.
I also add root-tabs every six months or so.
I use EasyLife Carbo daily too.

I noticed an almost immediate improvement. The leaves remained green, and plant growth was phenomenal.

I'm glad you've found success with the 'hope for the best' approach, however, depending on the number and type of plants, and the nutritional quality of our tap water, it may be useful to refer to the charts above and do something to improve things.

Offline Fiona

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Re: Useful plant diagnosis charts
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2016, 04:40:38 PM »
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Are you volunteering to write something? ;)
Sure  :) but it won't be until the Easter break, I've got a 3k word psychology assignment to write before Thursday  :(

Offline Extreme_One

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Re: Useful plant diagnosis charts
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2016, 04:46:07 PM »
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Are you volunteering to write something? ;)
Sure  :) but it won't be until the Easter break, I've got a 3k word psychology assignment to write before Thursday  :(

Brilliant.  :cheers: No hurry of course.

I'd be happy to help proof-read or source images or anything you need. Let me know.

Offline Fiona

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Re: Useful plant diagnosis charts
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2016, 05:09:41 PM »
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I'd be happy to help proof-read or source images or anything you need. Let me know.

My psychology assignment? :o Brave man!  :rotfl:

Seriously though, I'll try and figure out the best way to do it. Start with a beginners guide to easy plants first and go from there. We could do a few different threads even.

Offline Extreme_One

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Re: Useful plant diagnosis charts
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2016, 05:16:58 PM »
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I'd be happy to help proof-read or source images or anything you need. Let me know.

My psychology assignment? :o Brave man!  :rotfl:

ROFL.  :rotfl:

Seriously though, I'll try and figure out the best way to do it. Start with a beginners guide to easy plants first and go from there. We could do a few different threads even.

Sounds great. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

Offline Richard W

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Re: Useful plant diagnosis charts
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2016, 05:24:12 PM »
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I don't think it's "hope for the best", but the application of science. I'm a biologist and go on the evidence.

You are quite correct that I couldn't have a tank like the one you show, nor would I want one. For me, it's too artificial and controlled, I prefer the wilder look, as I do in my garden. I reckon my tanks are more of a jungle than yours. I started with a dozen or so different plant types, but made sure they were all easy ones, I still have all of them (I think) somewhere, but different ones have thrived in different tanks, taking over in some and dying out in others. However, all of the tanks are jam packed with healthy plants, but not the same ones in each tank, though they were all originally planted with much the same species. Apart from taking off the odd dead leaf, I don't trim anything except a couple of Amazon Swords which would otherwise take over the world. The Walstad method suits me very well, though it would hardly be suitable for aquascaping.

Everything is down to personal preference. You may not be surprised to hear that I don't care about colour coordination in the house either. Here in the sitting room I have mainly brown furniture but 4 of the 5 tanks have black bases and hoods, three of these black tanks are sitting on brown stands. I'm sure many people would throw up their hands in horror at my philistinism, but I reckon that anyone who frets over whether their tank and stand matches the rest of their furniture is someone who has no REAL problems to worry about.

I would have put various smilies and so on in this post, but I still can't do it.

Offline Extreme_One

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Re: Useful plant diagnosis charts
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2016, 05:31:13 PM »
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I reckon my tanks are more of a jungle than yours

Not sure if you've seen my jungle and that's why you chose that word. I certainly don't go for the aquascaped look.

#Invalid YouTube Link include https#

I'd be interested in seeing photos of your tanks if you've taken any lately.   
:cheers:

{EDIT} Just found this thread from February 2014  which shows some lovely photos of Richard's tanks.





I like them very much.

Funny how some people can have lush green tanks on fish poo alone and others need to feed their plants.

Offline Richard W

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Re: Useful plant diagnosis charts
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2016, 05:40:51 PM »
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I keep meaning to try taking photos but forget. I will have to clean the front glass first though, inside and out (would put a smiley there)

I have fairly low lighting and even at very high ISO it's impossible to stop the fish movement, plus all tanks are virtually covered by floating plants. I did put a couple of photos on here a year or so ago.

Tanks are due a spring clean soon so I'll try again after.

Offline Extreme_One

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Re: Useful plant diagnosis charts
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2016, 05:44:40 PM »
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I did put a couple of photos on here a year or so ago.

I found the thread and added to my previous post.

Very nice! :cheers:
Not to everyone's taste but like you I prefer the more natural look.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Useful plant diagnosis charts
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2016, 06:13:19 PM »
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That must be some fairly magic fish poo to grow those plants.  :)

Offline Richard W

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Re: Useful plant diagnosis charts
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2016, 06:29:31 PM »
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You can grow great veggies with cow or horse poo, so why not grow aquatic plants with fish poo ............
And don't forget I have about 5 cms of soil under the gravel. The theory is (and it seems to work) that the poo works its way down through the gravel and maintains nutrient levels in the soil.

One conclusion I have reached is that plants are much easier to grow with gravel under the soil than with sand. I'd always use gravel in any new tanks I set up and I might change some over from sand to gravel in future. I reckon sand alone would be very difficult without some other substrate under it.

Offline Sue

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Re: Useful plant diagnosis charts
« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2016, 06:39:33 PM »
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Everything is down to personal preference. You may not be surprised to hear that I don't care about colour coordination in the house either. Here in the sitting room I have mainly brown furniture but 4 of the 5 tanks have black bases and hoods, three of these black tanks are sitting on brown stands. I'm sure many people would throw up their hands in horror at my philistinism, but I reckon that anyone who frets over whether their tank and stand matches the rest of their furniture is someone who has no REAL problems to worry about.


You obviously don't have a partner to whom the looks of something are very important.

He wants to get some new small tables for the lounge that match the TV stand. If he can't find any that match we'll have to do without  ;D

Offline Fiona

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Re: Useful plant diagnosis charts
« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2016, 07:41:57 PM »
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Wow Richard, those tanks are beautiful  :)

Offline Richard W

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Re: Useful plant diagnosis charts
« Reply #17 on: March 21, 2016, 07:08:45 AM »
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Unfortunately those tanks don't look so nice now, definitely in need of a spring clean. They haven't been touched for two years. Some of the plants have grown and spread, others faded away. The gouramis came with one of the second hand tanks, all died out for no apparent reason over the following six months. Of course, I don't know how old they were. The Lake Kutubu Rainbowfish, also "second hand", is still thriving and is boss of the tank. It's still alone as the tank is too small for a shoal of them and I couldn't rehome it.

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