Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Aquatic Plant Diagnosis

Plants will suffer when there is a deficiency in the nutrients. A deficiency in nitrogen and sulfur is indicated when the leaves turn yellow faster than usual.

If the leaves seem to be very brittle, you probably need more iron in your aquarium. Over fertilization may lead to problems too. The leaves getting yellow spots can indicate an excess of iron, zinc or copper.

The first thing you must ascertain while looking for nutrient deficiency is to see whether the symptoms are showing up in the older leaves or in the younger, fresher leaves. This will help you narrow down the nutrient causing the problem. "Mobile" nutrients are those that the plant can re-claim from the older leaves and use while producing younger leaves.

Though analyzing nutrient deficiency using leaf changes is not an exact science, here are some symptoms and causes that will help you. Deficiency in Iron usually causes the leaves to become brittle and pale. If the older leaves show pinholes that gradually enlarge, it may be a Potassium deficiency. Twisted and bent or cupped leaves with yellowish to very pale edges are an indication of calcium deficiency. Withered edges and dead leaf tips show a deficiency in Copper.

Aquatic Plants For Beginners.

Some plants, like the Anubias, Java Fern and Java Moss, require only low to moderate lighting.

Java Moss and Java Fern are some of the most common aquatic plants and they are very suitable for beginners. Initially, Java Fern should be attached to a piece of driftwood or rock. After the roots are formed it will stick to its surface. Java Moss and Java Fern are very hardy plants that can thrive in a wide range of soft and hard waters and even do well in a brackish aquarium. These plants will also tolerate a lot of different pH-values. New plants form on the older leaves of existing plants. The new plants will break themselves
off from the original plant, but can also be cut away. These shoots can then be replanted.
They grow quickly and give a very lush appearance to your aquarium.

The Amazon Sword is another very popular aquatic plant. Just like Java Moss and Java Fern, the Amazon Sword is a very hardy plant that is popular both among beginners and expert aquarists. Amazon Sword grows pretty fast and therefore prevents algae formation.

Wisteria is yet another example of a beautiful and undemanding plant that is suitable for your first aquarium. The plant grows quickly and also helps to inhibit algae growth. But Wisteria also sucks a lot of nutrients from the water. Pale leaves indicate that there is a shortage of nutrients in the aquarium, and that fertilizers need to be added to the substrate.

The Anubias Nana plant is also popular among beginners, since this plant
thrives in virtually all conditions. Best results are obtained by tying the plant to a tree root or stone. This plant often flowers in water and is usually left alone by herbivorous fish.

The Cabomba, being a rapidly growing plant, requires to be pruned regularly. It is an excellent oxygenator and propagation takes place by replanting the lower leaves. Anubias do not grow enough to dominate any aquascape and they easily fall prey to algae infestation. Old leaves should be removed immediately after they show sighs of weakening.