Displaying items by tag: Fake Plants

Why Do Aquarium Plants Die?

unhealthy aquarium plants Why my aquarium plants are dying?

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-Stone 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.



Safely Transferring Fish to a New Aquarium

discus fishWhen you are ready to purchase your first aquarium, one of the first things you learn is how to properly cycle the aquarium and how to slowly introduce new fish to avoid ammonia spikes while the colonies of beneficial bacteria are developing. That's easy enough to follow -- but what about when you have to move an existing community of fish to a new home? Maybe you moved and have to re-establish the aquarium, maybe you're moving to a larger or even a smaller tank; whatever the reason, there are ways to safely move the fish without as much risk of ammonia spikes.

A properly cycled tank contains a healthy colony of bacteria that breaks down ammonia from a fish's waste and uneaten food into nitrites and then into nitrates. In a healthy tank, there should be 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and less than 40ppm nitrates (20ppm if you have invertebrates such as snails or shrimp). Without sufficient amounts of beneficial bacteria, ammonia and nitrite in the water may be fatal to fish.

Beneficial bacteria live all through the water and on every underwater surface in the aquarium, but the water itself carries a very low concentration of bacteria so it's not very effective to simply transfer water from the old aquarium to the new in order to maintain bacteria levels. Ideally, you will be able to transfer some old filter media to the new aquarium, or even a handful of gravel or fake plants that will all have beneficial bacteria on them. Make sure that the materials of your choice stay wet with tank water until they can be placed in the new aquarium.

Alternatively, if you have EcoBio-Stone products in your aquarium, that will be sufficient to switch over to the new one. EcoBio-Block has a lot of beneficial bacteria living in its volcanic rock and has quite a bit of surface area so a lot of additional bacteria get transferred over from the established tank. It is not necessary to keep EcoBio-Block wet, but it may help eliminate any minor ammonia spikes that may occur after the transfer as there will be more active bacteria immediately if kept wet. EcoBio-Block will also allow you to wait a little bit longer before doing the first water change as it provides essential minerals that would otherwise have to be replenished through water changes, giving the fish extra time to de-stress after a big move without being bothered.

Make sure not to put whatever bacteria-containing materials you've chosen into the new aquarium until a de-chlorinator has been used in the water as chlorine will kill the bacteria. Keep close tabs on the water parameters for the first week after the transfer, doing minor water changes as needed to compensate for any ammonia in the system that may not be compensated for by the bacteria yet. Watch the fish closely for any clamped fins or red, puffy gills as these may be signs that the water parameters are off. If these simple guidelines are followed your fish should have a relatively effortless and healthy move.


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