Why Do Aquarium Plants Die?
Freshwater aquariums have untold value as both a living, breathing ecosystem in your own home for educational purposes as well as a gorgeous home decor item for your pleasure. There are a vast array of decorations you can put in your aquarium ranging from store-bought ceramic statues to driftwood, but the favored addition for many are plants. Beginning aquarists frequently opt for plastic or silk aquarium plants because they have a beauty similar to nature and are presumably easier to take care of than live plants. However, many have found that hardy live aquarium plants rarely require more maintenance than fake plants, and they really aren’t that difficult to keep. Having trouble with plants dying and don’t know what’s causing it? There are a number of common, easy-to-fix causes of plant death.
By far the most common affliction for live plants in a freshwater aquarium is the light level. When selecting your plants, make sure that they all have similar lighting requirements, and that your aquarium can provide the ideal light level. In general, most low-light plants still grow in higher lighting — although many can grow out of control — so your best bet is to increase the lighting. If the style of your light fixture allows, this could be as easy as lining the bulb housing with aluminum foil to increase the amount of light reflected into the water.
The next concern is the nutrient level and water quality. Plants require nitrates as well as various trace nutrients in order to grow. They may also require CO2 injection into the tank, especially if your aquarium is well-aerated and has quite a bit of surface agitation as this will help the CO2 gas off quickly. Poor water quality (in general) can have a detrimental effect on aquarium plants; if the water isn’t within healthy parameters for the fish living in the aquarium. It’s not healthy for the plants either. Water quality can be ensured through regular water changes and/or with a high-quality water maintenance product such as EcoBio-Block. EcoBio-Block contains beneficial bacteria to break down ammonia and nitrites into plant-usable nitrates as well as essential trace minerals to ensure the water stays at an optimal level between water changes.
Medications may also be to blame for plant problems. Many aquatic treatments and medications are harmful to invertebrates such as shrimp and snails as well as any live plants in the aquarium as they contain copper; these include any kind of algae destroyer as well as many ich medications, fungicide, and antibiotics. EcoBio-Planter or a similar water maintenance product may reduce or eliminate the need for any of these treatments, as high water quality is critical for healthy fish. However, if you must use medications to treat the water, EcoBio-Block should be removed during the process as the live bacteria could also be harmed.
There is a lot that can be learned about what conditions might be ailing a particular plant by the color and pattern of blemishes and the way in which it dies that can help diagnose the issue; however, in the majority of cases the problem is one of the above which can easily be corrected.
January 10, 2009 at 2:35 PM