Nutrients for Aquarium Plants

Friday, July 22, 2011
Macro and Micro Nutrients of Aquascape Aquarium PlantsAquascaping as an isolated system requires a sustained supply of nutrients that are needed by aquatic plants, however in most time these nutrients are not available in sufficient quantities or unbalanced so that the plant began to get water deficiency by impaired growth characterized and even surely death slowly.

Is it the nutrients that necessary for plant?

Chemical analysis on plant prove that the body consists not only of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen, but also other substances such as nitrogen, chlorine, sulfur, phosphorus, potassium (potash), sodium, calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese, silicon, iodine, cuprum, zinc and boron. These substances are not only can be obtained on aquatic plants through the root system, but also through the hanging roots, leaves and stems.

Macro and micro nutrients of aquatic plants

Macro nutrients are essential, it means that a major component in metabolism. Shortage of one component will cause the plants have to compensate some extent and began to stop metabolized. Macro nutrients that plants needed in addition to water given to plants in closed systems can generally be classified into three kinds of substances:
1. N (nitrogen / Seachem Flourish Nitrogen)
2. P (phosphate)
3. K (Potassium / Seachem Flourish Potassium)

Micro-nutrients those plants need have the function to form complex compounds such as enzymes and it is necessary as a reaction catalyst or the building blocks of plant components. Like humans who need non-essential nutrients and vitamins.
The necessary micro nutrients and is usually given as a complement:
1. Fe (iron)
2. B (boron)
3. Mn (manganese)
4. Zn (zinc)
5. Cu (cuprum)
6. Mo (molybdenum)

Macro and Micro Nutrients for Aquascape Aquarium
Symptoms of nutrient deficiency in water plants:
  1. Nitrogen: old leaves appear to be yellowish. Slow growth.
  2. Phosphor: old leaves appear to be yellowish. Stunted growth. Leaves fall prematurely.
  3. Calcium: edge of the leaves turn yellow. Damage / death in the tops and leaves will be. Differentiate with damage due to attacks fauna.
  4. Magnesium: spots appeared in the old leaves or small holes with yellow color.
  5. Potassium: yellowish leaves. The edges of the leaves and shoots shrunken.
  6. Sulfur: similar to nitrogen deficiency.
  7. Iron: new leaf damage, especially in the yellow color, but green leaves for the bone system.
  8. Manganese: the meat leaves (the bone between the leaves) is yellow / off.
  9. Cuprum: leaf edges and shrunken / off.
  10. Zinc: the leaf yellowing starting from the shoots and leaves' edges.
  11. Boron: a new leaf will die. Seedling leaves will die.
  12. Molybdenum: yellowish spots on leaves meat, browned edges. Prevent the growth of flowers.

Macro and Micro Nutrients for Aquascape Aquarium Plants
Does conventional fertilizer suitable for aquascape?

In aquascape there will be many water biota such as fish, shrimp and other invertebrates are quite sensitive to changes in water chemistry parameters. When there is a sudden change that originates from fertilizers, among others, then this fauna will suffer from poisoning, which can effect in damage to a temporary or permanent, and even death.

Conventional fertilizers are created with good content for earthly plants, but such materials are not suitable to use in the aquascape because, they are:
- Poisoned water biota
- Besides it contains excessive concentrations in most time and cause to uncontrolled growth of algae
- Content and high levels of contaminants that are in a free atmosphere such as urea, cuprum, salt, heavy metals are some substances that need to be aware
- Frequently cause the turbidity in water

So it required a complementary source of nutrients in the form of specifically formulated fertilizer for the aquascape plant so it will not impact to the growth itself, while the fauna contained still remain healthy for long term period and aquascape display remains clear and relatively free of distractions algae.