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Symptoms of an overdose of aquarium fertilizers for plants

Hello, dear friends! Every more or less experienced aquarist uses mineral supplements for their plants. Fertilizer dose calculation is carried out only by their weight, but it is possible to control the concentration only for iron, phosphorus and nitrogen.

To check the concentration of trace elements, the necessary tests, which, in fact, no. In this case, an aquarist can easily get an excess of mineral supplements in his brainchild.

In general, an excess of minerals is very similar to their lack. The aquarist sees these symptoms and begins to pour more grass feeding, which causes a worsening of the overall picture.

The lack and excess of nutrients disrupts the flow of biochemical processes, which causes a slowdown in plant growth, its death and tissue death.

Unfortunately, in modern aquarium literature, the topic of feeding on aquarium plants is hardly affected, only in passing. And it is extremely difficult to find more comprehensive information at all.

To make a small contribution to our common cause, I will give the main signs of overdosing with some nutrients, thanks to which you will begin to determine in your aquariums an excess or lack of mineral fertilizers in your aquarium.


When the phosphorus concentration is excessive, the plants turn yellow, dark spots form on the leaves, and they eventually die off. Plants begin to age quickly and die, especially in seasonal grass.

With an excess of phosphorus, some plants may experience symptoms of potassium deficiency, while others may show symptoms of excess nitrogen.

The fact is that salts of phosphoric acid are rather difficult to dissolve, and an excessive concentration of phosphates leads to the fact that a certain part of microelements will settle in the aquarium in the form of sediments of slightly soluble salts. As a result, plants consuming them will become even more problematic, leading to symptoms of a deficiency in these elements.

These trace elements include iron, manganese, copper, zinc, magnesium and cobalt. The degree of solubility of these salts is affected by the pH.

In an acidic environment, these trace elements dissolve better and faster.


With an excess of nitrogenous compounds, aquarium plants can linger with flowering and maturation. Aquarium plants overfed with nitrogenous compounds have dark green tops and thick stems. In addition, the growing season is greatly increased.

As a result of the accumulation of organic nitrogenous compounds, in particular proteins, grass tissues become soft and juicy.

Some aquarian plants show signs of excess nitrogen, which are superficially reminiscent of potassium deficiency. Along the edges of the leaves of hydrophytes, chlorosis develops, which smoothly flows into the interstitial space and turns into brown necrosis.

As a result of this, the leaves at the edges begin to curl and the stalks are bent. There were cases when, as a result of severe poisoning, hydrophytes died in just a couple of days.

Ammonia poisoning in aquarium hydrophytes may occur as a result of an overdose of saltpeter. If your plants have received a similar dressing, then they will eventually begin to rot the stems and they suspend growth.

After a couple of days, the necrosis will switch to the main veins, and the leaves will look perfectly healthy. Ultimately, the leaves will fall off or die directly on the stem of the plant itself.

When ammonia poisoning, the plants, as a rule, die.


An overdose of magnesium leads to the fact that the leaves on the plants darken and curl. In some cases, young and old leaves can be greatly reduced in size.


With an excess of calcium, aquarium plants suffer from intervex tissue chlorosis. Pale necrotic spots with concentric circles may appear on the leaves.

Some plant species may begin to actively produce leaves, but soon the young shoots die. According to the symptoms of calcium overdose, you might think that there is a lack of iron or magnesium in the aquarium.


Excessive potassium content in aquarium water contributes to the delay in the entry of nitrogen into the plant, which may eventually lead to a cessation of growth of the hydrophyte. Then the leaves will begin to lengthen and brighten, and then quickly wither and fall.

The degree of damage to the local nature, on the hydrophyte appears necrotic tissue.


Symptom of an excess of manganese in water is the appearance of inter-vein chlorosis in young leaves, which subsequently begin to turn pale and turn yellow. A little later on the plant necrotic white spots are formed.

Small brown spots may also appear on damaged sheets. Only with an excess of manganese, unlike its deficiency, can the leaves of a hydrophyte shrink.


With an excess of copper on the lower leaves may appear chlorosis, which is accompanied by the appearance of dark brown spots with the subsequent fall of all the leaves.


As a result of an excess of boron, the leaves of the hydrophyte are deformed and turn yellow, can wrap down and take a dome-shaped form. As a result of chemical analysis of the state of plants, it was found that boron accumulates in large quantities mainly in old leaves.

First, the top of the hydrophyte looks healthy, but a little later it will start to curl.


The bulk of aquarium plants are well adapted to a wide range of this ion. In the natural habitats of all aquatic plants, the concentration of sodium never reaches toxic levels. Under aquarium conditions, an overdose of sodium can be earned as a result of the frequent and uncontrolled use of ion exchange resins, which are used to reduce the overall hardness of the water in the aquarium.

In addition, an overdose of sodium can appear in aquariums that use chemicals to treat aquarium fish, which includes Na.

You must understand that the symptoms of an excess of any chemical element are very often similar to their shortcomings. Of course, this does not mean that some of the elements are antagonists. If one or another chemical element is in solution and has the same charge sign, then such elements will mutually suppress each other.

These antagonistic pairs include potassium and sodium, manganese and iron, magnesium and calcium ions.

The easiest way to reduce the concentration of mineral elements for plants is to make large water changes under one condition: so that there is no excess of these elements in the substitute water. But this method is not always effective.

This may be due to several reasons: plants can very quickly consume fertilizers or form complex insoluble compounds in the aquarium soil. In addition, difficultly soluble phosphates can accumulate in the aquarium substrate.

Therefore, as for me, the most reliable way to avoid any overdose is to strictly follow the instructions for the use of a drug, as well as constant supervision of aquarium plants.

О admin


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