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Why do yellow plants in an aquarium

maintenance, care, compatibility

In the modern interior of any housing aquarium is not only an element of design, but also the pride of the tenant and the owner of the room. Sometimes, when a person gets tired of everyday worries and work, he may come home to watch the carefree fish and algae – it calms and relaxes the nervous system.

But an aquarium is one design item that needs care. Sometimes the plants in the tank start to rot.

Below, an attempt will be made to answer the question of why the plants in the aquarium turn yellow.

The reason for this phenomenon may be the ground or lack of light. For those plants that need to be rooted in the ground, the soil needs a fraction of a half to three millimeters. But some plants can do without soil.

For lighting it is worth using fluorescent lamps, the power of which should not be below 30 watts. The second reason for this trouble is the quality of the water, since some of the plants are very sensitive to various chemicals that are found in the water.

To do this, the water from the aquarium should be cleaned, filtered, etc.

Strange as it may sound, fertilizers can have a negative effect on both plants and fish. But, since the need for fertilizer plants are scanty, manure provided by the fish themselves may be suitable as fertilizer.

Although it is also possible to use clay balls or liquid complex fertilizers.

There may be problems with carbon dioxide content, which can be eliminated by installing appropriate equipment. All living organisms are subject to disease, and plants are no exception.

If the plants in the aquarium have lost their beautiful appearance, started to turn yellow and drooped, then the diagnosis is one, and it is very simple – the plants are sick.

To save the root system, it is enough to cut off the rotten parts of the plant, change the water, and also remove the dead parts of the plants from it. If the leaves are yellowed, it is not necessary to assume that the plants are rotting in the aquarium – maybe they were just damaged by the fish, which turned out to be somewhat voracious.

Therefore, in the process of determining the disease of a plant, attention should be paid to whether the inhabitants of the aquarium themselves are not related to this. Moreover, in many cases, the signs are very similar to each other.

To do this, just need to follow the behavior of their pets in the aquarium.

Diseases of aquarium plants and their treatment

Plants play an important role in building biological balance in an aquarium; they absorb nitrates and phosphates, which can accumulate in the aquarium, thereby reducing their concentration. In the process of photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, which contributes to the normalization of the processes of oxidation of fish waste products and dead organics.

There are other advantages that bring plants to the aquarium world, more details are written about them. here.

At the same time, you need to understand that aquarium plants are an additional link in the chain of biological equilibrium, which requires attention, care and proper maintenance.

Every aquarist and novice, and professional, one way or another, are faced with the problems of growing aquarium plants, with their diseases and treatment. Yes, of course, each of us has different aquariums: someone just contains vallisneria and cryptocorynes, and someone is engaged aquascaping.

In this connection, it is rather problematic to issue a recommendation “for all occasions”, however, in this article, relying on the postulates of the maintenance of aquarium plants, we will try to give a basic scheme and action plan that will help correct the situation.

To begin with, let’s pay attention to the “basis of the maintenance of aquarium plants – the process of photosynthesis.

Photosynthesis – the process of converting the energy of light into the energy of chemical bonds of organic substances in the light by photo autotrophs with the participation of photosynthetic pigments (chlorophyll in plants, bacteriochlorophyll and bacteriorhodopsin in bacteria). In modern plant physiology, photosynthesis is more often understood as a photoautotrophic function — a combination of the processes of absorption, transformation, and use of the energy of light quanta in various energonic reactions, including the conversion of carbon dioxide into organic matter.

Simply put, in plants in the light, the process of water (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2) conversion occurs under the action of sunlight, into an energy-rich organic compound — glucose (C6H12O6). The formula of photosynthesis can be represented as follows:

6СO2 + 6H2O = С6Н12O6 (glucose) + 6O2

In the dark there is a reverse process:

C6H12O6 + 6O2 = 6CO2 + 6H2O

For clarity, the process of photosynthesis of plants and respiration at night.

From the above information we can make the main conclusion that for healthy growth of plants you need:

First of all – the proper level of lighting.

Further, the proper concentration of CO2.

Further macro fertilizers and micro fertilizers.

Water parameters.

Very often on aquarium forums, private issues related to plant diseases are discussed: yellowing of leaves, holes in the sheets, chlorosis, coating of the plant leaf with even, green, brown algae, etc. Moreover, the Internet provides a lot of information and pictures that tell and show what could be the problem.

For example, here is this picture.

However, the symptoms of the causes of plant diseases are very similar to each other. Even an experienced aquarist-skater difficult to immediately determine what exactly can be biased.

About novice aquarists and lovers talk at all is not necessary.

In this connection, in our opinion, in case of problems with plants, the aquarist should start working, going from simple to complex. What does it mean?

First of all, it turns out that there is enough light. for a specific aquarium and a specific aquarium plant. On our site there are two articles on this topic: Aquarium lighting lamp selection, DIY Aquarium Lighting, be sure to watch them.

Let’s pay attention to the fact that in each individual case this or that source of illumination, this or that power of illumination is chosen. In this case, first of all, it is necessary to take into account the height of the aquarium, as well as the nature of the plant – shade-loving or light-loving.

That is, you will not find clear specific recommendations. Find a middle ground you must yourself.

In the second place, it turns out the issue with CO2. Is it enough?

About 50% of the plants are carbon, so for an aquarium with plants, supplying a sufficient amount of CO2 is a top priority. CO2 enhances the growth of aquarium plants several times. Nothing improves plant growth like CO2, as carbon is the main building material of plant cells.

If the plants died, grew very slowly, or even grew at a moderate pace, the supply of CO2 will accelerate growth by 5 times! The optimal CO2 concentration in an aquarium with plants is 15-30mg / l.

The limit for fish is 30 mg / l.

Thirdly, the question of the ratio of the amount of light and CO2 is being addressed.

The intensity of illumination should correspond to the amount of CO2 supplied and vice versa. You can not compensate for the lack of CO2 powerful lighting – it is 100% will lead to algal outbreak.

Conversely, without proper lighting, a saturated concentration of CO2 is useless, at least this will lead to the suffocation of hydrobionts.

In this matter, you also need to take into account the total mass of plants in the aquarium – their number. If there are a small number of plants in the aquarium, a sharp increase in lighting and / or CO2 will result in the plants not being able to assimilate everything at once, which the algae will in turn use.

In this case, it is recommended to act as when starting a herbalist, that is, gradually and gradually increase both of these parameters.

Fourth, it is necessary to balance the daylight mode.

There are various recommendations regarding the mode of lighting a plant aquarium. There is a general method – the daylight should be 10-12 hours a day, there is a stepwise method of supplying lighting, that is, when dawn, zenith and sunset are simulated in an aquarium.

In either case, you need to understand that you can not compensate for the lack of lighting or anything else by increasing the length of the daylight hours.

Takashi Amano, recommends the use of a stepped method of illumination, while he says that the peak of illumination – “zenith” should be about three hours. This gap is enough for good growth and nutrition of plants.

The rest of the time is moderate lighting.

It should also be noted that if you use powerful lighting, the total daylight hours should not exceed 8 hours.

Fifthly, the issue with the concentration of macro and micro fertilizers in the aquarium is solved.

Perhaps this is the most scrupulous question. Indeed, the lack of fertilizers, as well as their surplus leads to depressing consequences.

At the same time, the symptoms of distortions in this regard can be very similar to one another. Moreover, this issue should be considered in the light of previously covered paragraphs 1-4.

So, with an excess of fertilizers, we get an algal outbreak in all its manifestations and, as a result, depletion and death of plants. With a lack of fertilizers, we first of all get depleted plants and as a result they are not able to live.

As a rule, the lack of fertilizers is also accompanied by an algal outbreak, this is due to a number of reasons, one of which is the ability of the algae to “catch crumbs of fertilizers” and the fact that the algae is better than plants to adapt to negative factors.

With that said, the tests check the concentration of macro fertilizers – NPK: nitrate, phosphate, potassium. We can say that these are the three basic elephants of the “universe of aquarium plants”.

The ratio of these parameters in each aquarium is different. We can only give a general recommendation: P to N in the proportion of 1: 10-15, that is, you need to keep the concentration of 1 mg / l P (phosphate) for 10-15 mg / l NO3 (nitrate). Concerning K (potassium) there are no definite recommendations for its concentration at all, why?

Here is a link to S. Yermolaev’s article explaining this –http://aquascape-promotion.com/kalii-v-akvariume.

But again and again, we note that the above proportions are not standard, too, everything is too individual in aquaristics.

Distortion of micro fertilizers: Mg, Fe, Mn, Cu, Mo, B, Zn, etc. is also dangerous, but easy to eliminate. Micro-fertilizer plants need in small quantities.

Their surplus is eliminated by changing the water, and the lack of a complex micro-Udo. Special attention should be paid to Fe (gland), perhaps these are the most important components of micro-fertilizers and its mono-composition is always desirable to have on hand.

And finally, the sixth item is water parameters.

Most aquarium plants prefer soft, slightly acidic water: pH 6.8-7.2, kN 3-4, gH 6-8. This is due to the following:

1. For good plant growth you need a lot of carbon (C). As mentioned earlier, the best carbon source (C) is CO2. However, in water, carbon exists in two forms: carbon dioxide CO2 dissolved in water, and bicarbonate (HCO3-).

Carbon dioxide is directly absorbed by plants by penetrating through the cell walls. Alas, bicarbonate contains chemically bound CO2 — that is, not available for direct consumption by plants.

Plants must first absorb bicarbonate and remove CO2 inside the cells. Far from all plants can do this complex process.

In mild and weakly acidic water with pH

2. The intensity of plant consumption of macro and micro fertilizers directly depends on the pH level. pH in the range of 6.0-7.0 is the most optimal.

What more should you pay attention to!

– Often, problems with plants start because of the “wrong ground”. See the article for more details. “Ground and substrate in the aquarium”.

– There are various recommendations regarding the condition of the aquarium with plants at night, i.e. when there is no photosynthesis. There are recommendations that say that you do not need to turn off CO2 for the night, because turning off causes pH drops, which negatively affects the aquarium.

However, taking into account the fact that at night CO2 is not needed by the plants and even on the contrary, at night the plants “breathe” we recommend turning off the CO2 at night, moreover we recommend turning on the “purge” at night – aeration.

– An important component of good plant growth is the quality filtration of the aquarium, but at the same time it should not create a strong flow.

– It is also important to pay attention to the ratio of fish and plants.

– In the aquarium it is desirable to contain seaweed.

This material is not exhaustive and, by and large, is aimed at the novice aquarist. This is just an attempt to reflect the main aspects of the proper maintenance of aquarium plants, which will avoid their diseases.

I remember the words of Takashi Amano, who said that there are no tricks and secrets of growing plants, just give them everything, and they will thank you.


On the Internet you can find a lot of information on plant diseases, millions of tin branches. However, we advise you not to take all the information at “face value”, often forum messages are only assumptions and the position of a particular person in an individually taken situation.

As well as tests of aquarium water are interpreted and do not always “say the truth.”

In our opinion, the most important qualification in the cultivation of a herbalist and the absence of diseases in plants is the aquarist’s reverent attitude to his hobby. Only a visual, “close” inspection of your aquarium, only an internal understanding of the processes that occur in the aquarium will help you.

In other words, you need to enthusiastically relate to aquarism, to love it and try to understand the patterns of Nature.

We want to recommend you site Amania – An old, good resource, on the pages of which are considered in more detail the numerous issues of this article.


We also recommend to look at the resource. Aquascape-promotion, where a specialist in aquarium plants S. Ermolaev gives useful calculations.


Aquarium plants are all for beginners with photos and video

Plants are an established aquarium biosystem, no harmful substances in the water, no algae.

Everything is simple! Aquarium plants are the primary indicator of the status of your aquarium.

If the plants “wither”, turn yellow and rot – this is a sure sign of the poor condition of the aquarium and conversely lush, beautiful spreads – this is a 100% indicator of the excellent state of the aquarium world.

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