All plants need a diverse range of different nutrients in order to grow and flourish. The absence of only one vital element is enough to stunt plant growth. They may develop visible symptoms such as poor growth and pale, yellow leaves. Their natural resistance to infection declines, and algae will start to form on the leaves. The situation with regard to nutrients in an aquarium is quite an unusual one: some nutrients, introduced in the form of fish food, are present in excess quantities (phosphates & nitrates). Other nutrients are either consumed rapidly, or are not present at all. For example, tap water contains no iron – one of the most important trace elements for plants to thrive. A good aquarium fertilizer will fill these nutrient gaps exactly as required. To ensure lush growth, aquarium plants need a whole series of different nutrients. Deficiency symptoms will arise if even just one element is missing.
Top signs of nutrient deficiencies in aquatic plants:
• Yellow leaves or leaf veins
• Pale leave colors
• Yellowed shoot tips (= beginning of nutrient deficiency)
• Stunted growth
• Leaves covered in algae (Black spotted leaves)
• Leaves die early
• Dying plants
You may notice throughout this site that our company doesn't sell tons of chemicals, supplements, medications, or fertilizers. This is our attempt at doing things as naturally as possible and work with Mother Nature, not fight her! She always knows best, but we as men, although our intentions may be good, usually end up messing her up. All Aquarium or Pond additives need to be used with care. Here's a couple tips that we practice ourselves that may also help you build your aquarium or pond in a better way.
Try adding fertilizers at water changes only. Never add fertilizers to your tank because you think your plants look bad! Naturally planted tanks should be well-balanced. To get this balance you must have the right amount of fish, snails, plants, light, filtration, etc. These things all work together to create HARMONY, not imbalance.
Okay, so maybe you have one brand of liquid fertilizer that's your favorite? That's fine, most of us do, but down the road your plants may not look as sweet as they used to. Of course, there are many factors why plants wither away. Here’s a simple tip that may actually give your plants a boost. Try switching your fertilizer brands from time to time, and watch how your plants respond. Alternate between a couple brands. Plants are living organisms, they need changes in their diet, just like we do. When you switch back to your favorite fertilizer, it may work better, or like you remembered it.