Friday, August 13, 2010

Diagnosing Problems at Aquatic Plants

                 Symptom                  Treatment
Insufficient lightPlants weak and frail, leaves pale, stem plants have few leaves, or more leaves on tops. Stems rot, weak stalks on rosette plants.More light! Correct light intervals (10 to 12 hours).
Substrate problemsGas bubbles come out from the substrate when you poke it, burrowing snails aren't burrowing, poor root systems, roots turn black and rot.Substrate is too compact, loosen and vacuum. Can be caused by heavy amounts of decaying organics deep in the substrate.
Oxygen deficiencyFish are prone to disease, stressed, gulping for air at the surface. After long periods of this plants become stunted.Cause: insufficient light or nutrients, which slows down plant growth and production of O2, breakdown of nitrogen ceases. Over fertilization of CO2. Treatment: check lights, filter, CO2 system, increase circulation, fertilize if needed.
Potassium deficiencyYellowing of the margins of young leaves, iron chlorides, yellowing and curling of older leaves.Add more potassium!
Iron chloridesYellow leaves that become brittle: too little iron, too little potassium, also caused by very hard water. Add more iron!
Phosphorus deficiencyPremature fall off of older leaves.Add an NPK fertilizer containing phosphate.
Excess phosphorusAlgae blooms, dirty water.More frequent water changes, substrate cleaning, no overfeeding the fish, no over fertilization.
Calcium deficiencyNew leaves appear damaged and die off, yellow leaf edges.Add more calcium!
Magnesium deficiencyYellow spots on old leaves.
Symptoms do not appear until the deficiency is well established. The plant will be stunted. Leaf veins will stay green while the remainder of the leaf turns yellow. Brown spots will appear and the plant will dry out. Flowers will be slow to develop, if at all. Flowers that do grow will be lackluster.
Add more magnesium!
Nitrogen deficiencyOld Leaves turn yellowish. Small stunted plants with very large root systems; leaves smaller and lighter in color than normal; slow growth. Paleness will start at the tips of the lower leaves. If this deficiency continues, the foliage will continue to develop, but stems will be spindly, sappy and soft, flowering will be delayed, small fruit will grow and the plant will be more susceptible to disease.Add more nitrate!
Cryp rotA disease affecting cryptocorynes. Starts with small holes in leaves then disintegrating, and the whole plant above the root system melts away.Thought to be triggered by high nitrate levels, sudden drop in temperature, or sudden environmental changes, and frequent transplants. Do regular water changes and keep environmental stable. If left alone, plant will grow back after melt down.

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