Live aquarium plants can be a beautiful addition to an aquarium, whether you have it stocked with fish or not. But many aquarium owners who have trouble keeping their plants alive finally give up populate their aquarium with artificial plants. But keeping your plants alive and healthy is not really that difficult if you know what they like and need. Here are some of the main reasons that aquarium plants end up dying or not thriving well.
Failing to provide enough light for your plant. Light is extremely important for a plant. You can provide a plant with buckets of food and nutrients, but if you don’t give it enough light, it won’t last long. Now these days, most of the tanks that you find will come with a light attached to the tank top. Alternatively, it will come with pre-drilled holes that have been setup to allow you to install a light relatively easily. If not, most acrylic tanks will allow you to drill your own holes and set up your own lighting. Of course, another perfectly good alternative is simply to place your aquarium on the south side of your apartment or house, near a window where it will be sure to get plenty of light.
Not paying attention to your plant’s roots. If the plant is a new one, the brown leaves may be nothing more than the plant adjusting to it’s new home. Most plants experience some sort of shock when transplanted from one place to another. It’s nothing unusual. Just give it a bit of time to adjust and it should do fine. However, if your plant is an established plant and has been doing fine for a long time but suddenly the leaves start to turn brown and fall off – the roots may simply have come loose from the soil or gravel. It’s not unusual for roots to come loose in aquariums, especially if you have fish that love to dig. In this case, simply replant or reposition the plant making sure that the roots are well covered and secure.
Too many plants for the space. Plants are alive and need room to grow. In the closed confines of an aquarium, it’s easy to have a crowded aquarium. You have too many plants fighting for too few resources. Give your plants plenty of room to grow by providing it with a large enough aquarium to accommodate it’s future growth spurts. If it starts to get a bit unwieldy, it also helps to trim it every once in a while to control it’s growth.
The wrong plant in the wrong environment. Plants are living things. And like all living things they do better in some environments than in others. You may have fallen in love with the most perfect, beautiful tropical plant to your eyes. But, if you live in the northern part of Alaska, chances are your plant is not going to survive. Many times the cause of a dying plant can be traced directly back to it not being right for the environment it has been moved to.
Many times the poor performance of a plant is where it was purchased. It’s not unusual to discover that most animal and fish stores are set up to deal with animals, not plants. To many of them, plants are simply a side line. If you notice that a store has only a few types of plants for sale and a rather small stock, it’s a good guess that they aren’t very knowledgeable about the types of plants that will do well in your environment. Also, if most of the store’s plants are yellowing or brown, or if the plants seem to be not well cared for, it’s probably best to continue to look elsewhere. The last thing that you want to do is to introduce a diseased plant into your aquarium.