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 Post subject: Chronic Mg Deficiency?
PostPosted: Apr 16th, '17, 23:17 
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Summary:
I've had what I believe to be a Mg deficiency for almost a year and a half. I've stopped K dosing, removed the egg grit in my sump, and have been dosing Epsom salt. None of these have helped. At this point any advice on what/how to fix this problem would be greatly appreciated.

At this point I believe there's some issue with water chemistry. I've heard K, Mg and Ca can interact in ways that make them unavailable. But I've found little information on how this works or what to do to fix it.

Symptoms:
It seems to effective everything that's planted directly in the grow bed. Plants left in soil pots as wicking beds seems to have no deficiency. The newest growth is the greenest with older growth being yellow. All leaves exhibit upward cupping. The plant is extremely brittle. In the process of taking pictures I accidentally broke off a large end.

Pictures:
There are two plants pictured. The first is a basil that's been in place for over 6 months. The second is a ghost pepper plant that was planted about two weeks ago.

Background:
The system is about two years old. It's a small 30 gallon system that doubles as a planted aquarium and plant grow out sump. The pH was running 7.4-7.6, with a KH of 5, GH of 18 (2 weeks ago). It's currently at 6.5 with a KH of 3, GH of 23.

Initially the system was set up with egg grit in the sump. After a month I noticed an Fe deficiency and corrected it with iron. Next was a K deficiency, I dosed (200 ppm target) some Pot ash and it corrected the problem.

Then the Mg deficiency began. I began to dose Epsom salt and do Epsom salt foliar sprays. The sprays seemed to have some small effect but it never corrected the deficiency. At no point has dosing Epsom seemed to help the problem.

I recently (2 weeks ago) removed​ the egg grit in the sump. At the same time I began dosing Epsom salt (10ppm target) twice a week. This has dramatically raised the GH but has done little to alleviate the plants symptoms.

It's also worth noting that the aquatic plants I keep in my FT are doing fine and show no such signs of extreme deficiency.

Thanks for your help. ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

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PostPosted: Apr 17th, '17, 05:27 
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Don't have much time at this moment but I'm seeing some things that could indicate a spider mite problem so you may want to check the underside of the leaves. They are very hard to see and like the temp in the mid seventies and above. They give the leaves a sandpaper look (sorry tough to describe). Hope this helps.


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PostPosted: Apr 17th, '17, 06:02 
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Why not foliar feed with a complete soluble fertiliser rather than individual nutrients ?
That may sort out your nutrient deficiencies .
Plants that are nutrient deficient for a long time may not recover .

Your pH seems good for plant growth .


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PostPosted: Apr 17th, '17, 07:22 
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Too much potassium can lock out magnesium, but if it's only around 200ppm, I don't think it'd be an issue. I'm going to go with Scotty, check for mites.

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PostPosted: Apr 17th, '17, 07:59 
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I'm nowhere near the expert Scotty is but I also thought mites - they cause cupped/scrunched leaves like that, and very fine tiny 'freckles'. The picture before the one with your hand on the gravel shows the 'freckling' quite well (the 'sandpaper look' Scotty mentioned).

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PostPosted: Apr 19th, '17, 09:39 
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I definitely have spider mites. I'm going to pull the basil and wipe down the other plants. What else can I use to help control them?

I was thinking of doing an Epsom salt foilar spray again. It keeps the plants wet (I was reading spider mites like it dry) and helps kick them some extra Mg in the process.

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PostPosted: Apr 19th, '17, 11:17 
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fel wrote:
Summary:
I've had what I believe to be a Mg deficiency for almost a year and a half. I've stopped K dosing, removed the egg grit in my sump, and have been dosing Epsom salt. None of these have helped. At this point any advice on what/how to fix this problem would be greatly appreciated.

At this point I believe there's some issue with water chemistry. I've heard K, Mg and Ca can interact in ways that make them unavailable. But I've found little information on how this works or what to do to fix it.

Symptoms:
It seems to effective everything that's planted directly in the grow bed. Plants left in soil pots as wicking beds seems to have no deficiency. The newest growth is the greenest with older growth being yellow. All leaves exhibit upward cupping. The plant is extremely brittle. In the process of taking pictures I accidentally broke off a large end.

Pictures:
There are two plants pictured. The first is a basil that's been in place for over 6 months. The second is a ghost pepper plant that was planted about two weeks ago.

Background:
The system is about two years old. It's a small 30 gallon system that doubles as a planted aquarium and plant grow out sump. The pH was running 7.4-7.6, with a KH of 5, GH of 18 (2 weeks ago). It's currently at 6.5 with a KH of 3, GH of 23.

Initially the system was set up with egg grit in the sump. After a month I noticed an Fe deficiency and corrected it with iron. Next was a K deficiency, I dosed (200 ppm target) some Pot ash and it corrected the problem.

Then the Mg deficiency began. I began to dose Epsom salt and do Epsom salt foliar sprays. The sprays seemed to have some small effect but it never corrected the deficiency. At no point has dosing Epsom seemed to help the problem.

I recently (2 weeks ago) removed​ the egg grit in the sump. At the same time I began dosing Epsom salt (10ppm target) twice a week. This has dramatically raised the GH but has done little to alleviate the plants symptoms.

It's also worth noting that the aquatic plants I keep in my FT are doing fine and show no such signs of extreme deficiency.


When you state "Plants left in soil pots as wicking beds seems to have no deficiency." and "It's also worth noting that the aquatic plants I keep in my FT are doing fine and show no such signs of extreme deficiency"

Everything that is In balance Bio wise, is the soil in the pots, and the aquatic plants, but your gravel is not Bio-Lodgical balanced yet.


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PostPosted: Apr 20th, '17, 17:55 
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fel wrote:
I definitely have spider mites. I'm going to pull the basil and wipe down the other plants. What else can I use to help control them?

I was thinking of doing an Epsom salt foilar spray again. It keeps the plants wet (I was reading spider mites like it dry) and helps kick them some extra Mg in the process.

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Spider mites are an arachnid ( 8 legs , two body segments ) as opposed to insects which have 6 legs and 3 body segments , therefore insecticides may not work . You need an arachnicide

Kelthane or Plictran is the top shelf killer for mites .

But for stuff you want to eat and a minor infestation- as I think you have from the pictures you could try a spray with wettable sulphur, this is of course organic .

Just buy it at any garden centre / hardware etc . Mix up a litre in a small hand sprayer and wet down all over the plants . Repeat after a week and again after that . That should sort them out .

The sulphur dries and gets under and between the spiders limb joints , acting as an abrasive . It also forms a weak sulphuric acid which burns em .
:flower:

Wear PPE and wash up after

Brian


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PostPosted: Apr 21st, '17, 02:20 
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I wouldn't use the Kelthane or the Plictran without taking a really good look at the hazards. Just reading this summary on Kelthane was enough to suggest it might not be a good idea. http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles/insect-mite/ddt-famphur/dicofol/insect-prof-dicofol.html

Kelthane (aka dicofol) is highly toxic to aquatic organisms. Causes problems with fish reproduction...

---------

I think some people may have used neem oil (Do a search here to check, I'm just going by memory). Horticultural spray oil may be another option, it smothers them so you have to thoroughly spray the plants that have mites. You need to be careful since the oil can coat the water and reduce oxygen transfer and that can cause problems for the fish.

Sometimes the best option is to just pull the plants. I do this with beans each year and then replant in a week or two for a fall crop.


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