We often get this question, “why are my aquarium plants dying?”. Often many new aquarists find their plants get brown leaves or they start to ‘melt’ and don’t know why. Unfortunately there could be a number a reasons for this, but the main reason aquarium plants die is down to a lack of Co2 and nutrients. When this occurs your plants start to perform poorly because you are effectively starving them of the vital ingredients for them to grow. 9 times out of ten this leads to an algae outbreak and before you know you you’ve lost half your plants.
How do I fix this, I hear you ask. Firstly you need to start getting your plants to grow properly. If your plants are growing well, algae stays away. Whatever you do, DO NOT stop dosing nutrients or plant food. Many people will tell you to stop dosing to starve the algae. This is a myth and by doing this you are also starving your plants! So your algae troubles and plant loss will only get worse.
What I recommend is looking at your nutrient dosing regime. Are you providing enough nutrients? Or are not you dosing at all!? If so start dosing now, or increase your dosing. Don’t forgot, as your plant mass increases, so should your nutrient dosing.
Secondly I would recommend you to look into Co2 injection, especially if you have high light levels. Carbon is the backbone to growth and life with your aquarium plants. When your lights are on the plants need the carbon to photosynthesise. If you are doing this already and your plants are still dying, consider increasing the rate of Co2. Buy a drop checker and make sure you have the correct levels of Co2.
If you are not injecting co2 already, or you have no idea where to start with co2 injection, consider liquid carbon as an alternative.Liquid carbon is great for beginners and a great way to provide carbon for your plants to grow. It just requires a simple daily dose before your lights come on. With more nutrients and carbon in the water your plants will start performing better and algae will gradually go away.
Lastly, do not forget about water changes. Water changes help reduce the amount of organic waste (fish waste, uneaten fish food, plant waste). This will help reduce the amount of undesirable nutrients in your aquarium (namely ammonia, the one algae love!). We suggest a minimum of 50% per week initially, you can gradually reduce this to 30% once your tank is established. Dose your nutrients and liquid carbon after each water change.
If you need further assistance feel free to reply to this post and we will get back to you with further guidance.