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Why Do Aquarium Plants Die?

Aquarium plants are necessary additions to any attractive aquarium, apart from the soothing-green colors and relaxing effect. Aquarium plants are beneficial to the overall artificially-made ecosystem that your fish tank maintains. Some new aquarists may wonder about the causes of death surrounding their aquatic foliage installations.

Causes of Aquatic Plant Death

Aquarium plants are essential elements of every aquarium setting. They provide rich-nutrients vital to your marine creatures’ health and provide shelter for your volatile fishes. Aquatic plants can also filter out unwanted debris and solid-granules that may affect the balance of your aquarium.

Aquarium plant formations’ input may provide your fishes with a natural food source, enrichment, and shelter. You can inquire about aquatic plants presented by Aquarium Labs and learn about the particular type of plants well-suited for any marine container you want to assemble. Aquatic plants are great for your aquarium projects and the lives of your pet fishes since they help generate sufficient amounts of oxygen while absorbing ammonia and carbon dioxide emissions.

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Aquarium plants should always be considered when building any aquarium type as they can be a source of joy for your fishes for them to thrive, graze, and play around. Keeping your water plants from dying may be challenging, and they should be treated with the same amount of care as another living thing. You can always prevent your aquarium plants’ death by learning their proper care and procedures for maintenance.

It would help if you considered that aquatic plants are vulnerable to damages, diseases, and harmful substances that can easily contaminate your aquarium. Changes in a fish tank’s water composition, stress caused by other marine creatures, and sudden shift in fluid conditions may be primary causes of death for some aquatic plants. Aquarium plants assist in completing a healthy ecosystem for your fishes and marine inhabitants.

Aquatic Plants: Proper Care and Maintenance

The incorporation of aquatic plants within an aquarium is vital to your fishes and marine pets’ health. They can release sufficient oxygen amounts while getting rid of toxic substances, absorbing carbon dioxide, and ammonia. Keeping great care concerning your aquatic plants may result in a stabilized marine ecosystem.

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Nutrient Deficiencies

Like every other living thing, aquarium plants can weaken without the proper supply of nutrients essential for their growth and development. To successfully treat your plants, you should first monitor the symptoms that may cause weakening and death. They might be deficient with nutrients such as:


Signs of nitrogen deficiency show as most plant leaves turning yellow and translucent. The discoloration begins at the leaf tips gradually propagating to their whole form. It happens as the plant attempts to consume nutrients from its all leaves to sustain itself. Nitrogen deficiency can be prevented by increasing the amount of fertilizer dosage when the plants grow from their initial sizing.


Iron deficit plants often display themselves in new leaves instead of older ones. Typically yellow pale in color while the veins of the leaves remain darker in tone. The solution is to purchase and implement an high-iron content fertilizer rather than opting with all-in-one fertilizer supplements. Extra iron can also enhance the appearance of red leaf plants.

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Potassium deficiency shows itself with aquatic plants as numerous pin holes on the surface of most leaves. The holes are rimmed with brown and yellow and pierce through the layer of the leaves. It is recommended to acquire a potassium enriched supplement to treat aquatic plants suffering from potassium deficiency.


Phosphate is an element apart from nitrogen which plants consume in large quantities. Deficiency with phosphate levels may cause plant leaves to turn yellowish in color while exhibiting patches and dots of brown. It may happen when people apply phosphate absorbing pads to prevent the occurence of algae.

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Lack of magnesium may turn the leaves of aquatic plants to a lighter color than they naturally display. Most leaf edges may sag and droop alongside the paling of plant color. As a treatment, general-purpose fertilizers containing substantial amounts of magnesium may be implemented to the fertilizer supply.


Sometimes aquatic plants may develop into twisted structures with gnarled leaves. It is a common result of water-hardness and issues with calcium levels. The addition of specialized salts containing minerals that can assist with calcium levels should be added to treat aquatic plants with calcium deficiency. Crushed coral may also be installed to the substrate or filter of an aquarium to add more calcium content.

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Aquarium Conditions

When most of your plant-life turns yellow, it indicates that they are experiencing difficulties regarding your fish tank’s conditions. Aquatic plants are similar to solid-ground plants and may wither and display a yellow color when they lack exposure to proper lighting or the sun. It is best to consider your aquatic plants’ health when you choose and install aquarium lighting fixtures.


Another cause of withering or death of aquarium plants may be faulted for lack of nutrient supply. Apart from lack of lighting, marine plants may also turn yellow or brown when they give a limited supply of food. You can start reviving your weakened plants by giving them fertilizers containing various minerals and nutrients vital for their continuous development.

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Growth Rate

If you notice slow progress in the growth and flourishment of your aquatic plant formations, there might be issues with carbon dioxide intake, lighting, and nutrient supply. These three factors are the essential variables that your aquatic plants need for them to develop fully. It is best to modify and calibrate your lighting system that suits both your marine pets and plant life, add a sub-layer of fertilizer beneath your aquarium substrate, and measure the carbon dioxide levels of your marine container for possible adjustments.


Aquatic plants are essential additions to any aquarium for they enhance and improve its artificial ecosystem. They can provide shelter, oxygen, and food to your fishes and marine creatures while absorbing ammonia and carbon dioxide. Adjusting your aquarium lighting fixture, installing a layer of fertilizer, and carbon dioxide levels may result in healthy aquarium plant formations.