16-04-2018, 21:37
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HOW TO DIAGNOSE THE WELL-BEING OF PLANTS BY THEIR APPEARANCE



If you want to have a beautiful aquarium, it would be useful to familiarize yourself with the common problems you may encounter when cultivating plants in it. We will try to give examples of the most common problems with freshwater aquarium plants and tips for dealing with them.


Yellowing of the plant leaves

Live aquarium plants come in a variety of colors, but the most common color is green. If the plants in the aquarium begin to turn yellow, it could be a sign that there are problems with their conditions. Plants are photosynthetic organisms. Without proper light, plants will not be able to develop properly and their leaves begin to turn yellow. Newcomers often underestimate the lighting requirements of plants and are surprised to find, after a while, that the leaves start to turn yellow because they have been well lit in their previous environment.

Another reason for the yellowing of the leaves is the lack of nutrients for the normal development of the plant. In a densely planted aquarium, you should fertilize the substrate under the roots of the plants to provide them with nutrients.


Problems with growth rate

There are two options when it comes to problems with aquarium plants: Plants grow too slowly or too fast. The most common problems with slow growth are low light intensity, a lack of nutrients or carbon dioxide (CO2). Carefully examine all the parameters of your aquarium to determine which factor might be problematic. What light intensity does your light fixture have? Is there mineral fertilizer in the substrate? What is the CO2 level? Increasing the light level or adding more fertilizer is easy enough, but increasing the CO2 concentration will require a CO2 injector.

Another problem can be overly rapid plant growth. Fast-growing plant species will eventually take over all available space in the aquarium. Large quantities of plants can oxygenate the water, but at the same time they restrict the space available for the fish to swim in. In order to control the development of aquarium plants, it is necessary to thin them from time to time. You can also consider replacing fast-growing species with slow-growing ones, or keep a few herbivorous fish in the tank. You can also reduce the amount of food given to the fish, since uneaten food settling at the bottom supplies the plants with nutrients, thereby provoking their rapid growth.

How to diagnose plant symptoms by their external appearance

Black algae covering the leaves of the plants

Many aquarists encounter the problem of plants turning black on their leaves, but some do not realize that the problem may not be with the plants themselves - it is the dark sprouts of algae covering the plant leaves, not the leaves themselves turning black. This problem is encountered as a result of excess phosphate in the water. Three nutrients are required for normal plant growth: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium - if one or more of these nutrients are in excessive concentration, this can cause problems.

When phosphate is in excess, photosynthesis is much faster, which contributes to the growth of algae, often referred to as blackbeard. Very frequently, high phosphate concentrations occur in aquariums with low light intensity. Correct the situation with this problem by doing a nearly complete water change in the aquarium and a further weekly change of at least 1/5 of the aquarium water with fresh water. These measures will maintain the level of phosphate at appropriate levels, thereby limiting the growth of algae in the aquarium.

Holes in the leaves.

If holes appear in the leaves of the plants and then the leaf plate begins to disappear, then you are apparently dealing with cryptocorine disease. This disease primarily affects cryptocorinas, thanks to which this disease and got its name. In many cases this disease develops when the water parameters in the aquarium are subjected to drastic changes.


Symptoms of plant diseases

In many cases, problems with water parameters in the aquarium are easily diagnosed using the following information:

  • Leaves are yellow or red - Nitrogen deficiency
  • Leaves turning brown/black, plants die - Excessive phosphate
  • Old leaves, with yellow spots, new leaves yellow around edges - Potassium deficiency
  • Old leaves with yellow spots, veins remain green - Magnesium deficiency
  • Yellow spots developing on leaf veins, edges and tips - Zinc deficiency
  • Plants grow very slowly - Carbon dioxide deficiency
  • Leaves that turn yellow from tip to tip become translucent - Iron deficiency

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