22-06-2021, 20:32
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Freshwater aquariums have an indescribable value as a living, breathing ecosystem in your own home for educational purposes as well as a great piece of home decor for your enjoyment. You can put a huge number of decorations in your aquarium, from store-bought ceramic figurines to driftwood, but for many the favourite addition is plants. Beginner aquarists often choose plastic or silk aquarium plants because they are similar to natural ones in beauty and apparently easier to look after than live plants. However, many have found that hardy live aquarium plants rarely require more care than artificial ones, and they are actually not that difficult to maintain. Having problems with plant die-off and not sure what is causing them? There are a number of common, easily correctable causes for plant death.

By far the most common shortcoming of living plants in a freshwater aquarium is the light level. When choosing plants, make sure they all have the same lighting requirements and that your aquarium can provide ideal light levels for their development. In general, most plants can grow in low light, but it's still best to provide them with the right level of light. If the design of your light fixture allows it, you can place aluminum foil on top of it, which will act as a reflector and increase the amount of light reflected into the water.

The next concern is nutrient levels and water quality. Plants need nitrates as well as various trace elements to grow. They may also need a CO2 feed, especially if your aquarium is well aerated, as this considerably lowers the CO2 level in the water. A poor water quality (in general) may be detrimental to aquarium plants. Water quality can be assured by regular water changes.

Medicines may also be to blame for problems with the plants. Many water treatments and medicines are harmful to invertebrates, such as shrimps and snails, and to any living plants in the aquarium because they contain copper. This includes all types of algae killers as well as many types of medicines, fungicides and antibiotics.

Why aquarium plants die

The plants' leaf colour and spots can be used to diagnose their condition and determine the correct treatment.

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