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Hold out Anubias still curling!

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I'm stumped on this one. One Anubias (barteri, iirc) in my tank is still showing wavy leaves & curling on new growth. Every other Anubias is happy & putting out perfect growth.  This tank get csm+b and a gH booster that contains iron & magnesium. Per rotala butterfly, Fe (2 kinds) should be around 2ppm & Mg around 4ppm ( with balanced Ca). gH is 6, pH is 7, NO3 is 15-20ppm. This regimen has been running for almost a month now. So enough time for a couple new leaves. The suspect below:


1. Pale week old new leaf with curling edges & tip.

2. Old growth during neglect with obvious deficiency.

3.  Dark new leaf (to the left) with extreme curling.

4. New A. Nana leaf with no symptoms.

All leaves darken up as they mature. 

Does this guy just need more time, or am i missing something?


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Posted (edited)

Hi @Beach Cruiser

First of all glad to hear you are seeing improvement in your plant growth. 

Keep in mind that all the plant species we grow in our tanks come from different parts of the world with different water parameters so a parameter that is good for one plant (or the majority in may tank) may not be optimal for another species.  Sometimes a particular species just don't fit in with the water parameters I have and nutrient levels that I am dosing for a particular tank.  Some plants just need more (or less) of a particular nutrient than others.

That said, is this the first leaf that has shown these symptoms?  If so wait a week or so and check it again and see if it still looks the same.  If in a couple of weeks it is still showing the 'leaf hook' and scalloped leaf margins reach out to me and we can discuss.  Leaf tip 'hooking' and 'scalloped' leaf margins are a symptoms of a calcium issue.  In the meantime, if you want to be pro-active, order in a calcium test kit (I use Salifert but there are several out there) and do a measure of the calcium ppm in your tank.  Since dGH gives us the total ppm of calcium and magnesium in the tank then if we know the calcium ppm then we can compute the magnesium ppm (no it is not simple subtraction).


2. Necrosis occurs at tip and margin of leaves causing a definite hook at leaf tip.
Calcium is essential for the growth of shoot and root tips (meristems). Growing point dies. Margins of young leaves are scalloped and abnormally green and, due to inhibition of cell wall formation, the leaf tips may be "gelatinous" and stuck together inhibiting leaf unfolding. Downward curl of leaf tips (hooking) occurs near terminal bud. ammonium or magnesium excess may induce a calcium deficiency in plants... calcium deficiency

I am not saying at this time it is a calcium issue but the 'hook' at the leaf tip can be a symptom.  For my tanks (unless they are newly set-up) I check dKH, dGH, calcium, nitrates (NO3), phosphates and calculate the magnesium on a monthly basis (unless I see plant or fish issues).  Once a tank is stabilized doing it more often seems excessive to me.  Hope this helps! -Roy



Edited by Seattle_Aquarist
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On 5/29/2024 at 12:33 PM, Seattle_Aquarist said:

Hey @Seattle_Aquarist!  This is the second new leaf on this plant to show these symptoms. Mostly just curious, since chasing dosage for one plant seems a bit overkill. 

According to your last advice on the Java Fern post for the Equilibrium dosage:

"Thereafter, when you do your weekly water change, add two (2) teaspoons per 10 gallons of new water added to the tank. These doses should increase your dGH from 3.0 to 6.0 and will add but not effect your pH / dKH. It will increase your Ca by 17 ppm, your Mg by 5 ppm, your K by 41 ppm, and your usable iron by 0.23 ppm." 

I have followed this & dGH/pH are as expected. 

The only other added Mg known source is csm+b as such:


I do understand the importance of accurate testing, so I'll pick up a calcium kit. If it's not improved in a few weeks, that will be about the time to start mixing my own Booster w/ the DTPA iron added anyway & a good time to adjust what might be needed. I'll ping you for recipes when that rolls around. 

Thanks again for the insight! 

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