If you are an aquarist, you know the hobby demands much care and attention. Even after all the painstaking efforts, problems will likely surface in your aquarium.

For instance, the plants might start changing color, or they might suffer stunted growth. When these issues occur, it’s time to figure out how to resolve them.

Given below are some common aquarium problems and their solutions:

1. Slow Growth / Fast Growth Rate In Plants


A typical problem is the slow growth of plants in the aquarium. Surprisingly, a fast growth rate is also a major problem.

You don’t want your plants growing like trees in a limited environment.

Three things, namely nutrients, lighting, and carbon dioxide, determine how fast or slow your plants will thrive in the aquarium. There must be a balanced availability to avoid overwhelming or under-supplying the plants.


enlighted-aquariumLight supply has to be balanced between a minimum of three and five watts per gallon of full-spectrum light.


Carbon dioxide is again crucial for plant survival and growth. The typical COconcentrations aquarist must achieve a range from 25-35 ppm.

A robust COinjection system goes a long way in achieving those concentrations.


green-aquariumNutrients such as Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Iron, and Calcium are the basic building blocks for plants. Different plants require these in varying proportions.

Interestingly, some aquarium plants (floating plants and stem plants) prefer to absorb nutrients directly from the water, whereas others take them up from their roots.

For plants of the first kind, a well-balanced liquid fertilizer usually does the job. However, the other type requires investment in a nutrient-rich substrate. They typically don’t come cheap.

Ensure not to oversaturate the aquarium with nutrients as this would lead to uncontrolled growth.

Controlling Fast Growth Rate

Regularly prune back fast-growing plants to control their growth. You could also introduce new fish species that feed on aquarium plants.

More lighting in the aquarium also promotes fast growth. Alter your setup to ensure your plants only receive the optimum amount of light.

2. Leaf Color Change

leaf-color-changeAnother prevalent problem of aquarium plants is the change in leaf color. While plants of varying shades may exist in an aquarium, green is the most common.

Aquarium Plants Turning Yellow

If you notice the leaves of your green plants have begun changing to yellow, check whether you’re providing enough lighting because light deficiency is usually the culprit.

Plants need light to make food in a process known as photosynthesis. Denying them enough light halts this process leading to leaf yellowing.

The other major cause of leaf yellowing is nutrient deficiency. Nutrients are vital to facilitate the healthy growth of your plants.

Ensure to use an excellent liquid fertilizer or a nutrient-rich substrate, as mentioned above.

Aquarium Plants Turning White

Aquarium plants usually turn white when something is wrong with the critical growth factors such as light, pH, CO2 levels, and nutrients.

Aquarium Plants Turning Transparent

The primary reason for aquarium plants turning transparent is a nutrient imbalance. Poor lighting or inadequate dissolved carbon dioxide levels could also be responsible.

Aquarium Plants Turning Black

Aquarium Plants turn black due to the overgrowth of algae, such as the black beard algae. Apart from that, there could be something wrong with the lighting, the dissolved carbon dioxide levels, or the availability of essential nutrients.

Aquarium Plants Turning To Mush

Aquarium plants may turn mushy when introduced to the tank for the first time. Lack of nutrients or CO2, improper substrate type, and higher tank temperatures could be the other factors involved.

3. Small Hole In Leaves

holes-in-leavesPlants growing underwater are not immune to diseases. You shouldn’t be surprised when you see holes in the leaves of your aquarium plants.

Aquarium plants usually develop holes due to potassium deficiency. Apart from that, some species of fish that consume plant parts could very well be the reason.

Crypt Rot

A prevalent disease is Crypt rot, caused by sudden changes in lighting, pH, dissolved CO2, or temperature.

However, Crypt rot primarily affects plants in the Cryptocoryne genus, so you should have no worries if you don’t have plants in that genus.

Crypt rot is eliminated by changing the aquarium water regularly to maintain its quality. You should also be able to keep the aquarium conditions as stable as possible, and in no time, your plants will come back to normalcy.

4. Algae Bloom

algea-bottomAlgae Bloom happens when there is a rapid growth of algae in your aquarium, imparting it with a green tint.

Algae do not pose any serious threat as such. However, problems arise when they start competing with your aquarium plants for food and light.

Over availability of nutrients and improper lighting are the two main factors behind algal blooms.

It’s also most likely that the levels of phosphates are high. To keep the phosphate levels in check, ensure to drain the aquarium weekly at 20% tank volume.

Also, get your tap water tested and use a DI/RO system to demineralize it.

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