Hi guys, It's been a while since the last episode of our myth-busting series. So it's high time to start the day with a new episode of JBL Aqua-Myths! Today we are looking at the following three myths from the world of aquaristics:
1. Your plants are wilting - so throw them away?
There are many reasons for plants wilting or not growing well. However, I would not immediately throw in the towel and get rid of the plants. There is a law that helps us deal with it - Liebig's law of the minimum. Certain factors are responsible for vigorous plant growth. If one of these factors is missing, deficiency symptoms can occur - in other words, the plant may grow without being healthy, or it may stop growing altogether. These factors include light, carbon dioxide, nitrate, phosphate, potassium and others. Liebig compared plants to a wooden barrel consisting of several panels or staves. Each stave represents a factor. If all the factors are present in sufficient quantities the plant will grow well. As soon as one factor, i.e. one stave stops fitting, the barrel will leak and the plant can no longer grow well. Accordingly, the growth of the plant is limited by the lowest stave.
You can find out more about fertilisation and Liebig's law of the minimum here:
De ene meststof is de andere niet - Deel 1
De ene meststof is de andere niet - Deel 2
JBL TV #3: How do I get my plants to grow well in the aquarium?
If aquatic plants are withering despite all the important resources being sufficiently available, it could be because the plants were grown above the water surface in greenhouses. Once they are planted in the aquarium, they first shed their old leaves and then grow new ones - this time under water.
The plants you bought in the pet shop may also have been kept under fluorescent tubes, so if you have an LED installed in your aquarium, dim it first to get the plants used to the stronger light. In other words, the plants just need to acclimatise.
2. Do only red plants need CO2?
Every plant needs CO2. Without it, growth is not possible. One species needs more, the other less. Without an active addition, 4-8 mg/l CO2 are naturally dissolved in the aquarium water. Furthermore, all important micro- and macronutrients (e.g. using JBL PROFLORA Ferropol ) and lighting with full spectrum and a PAR value of over 200 (e.g. JBL LED SOLAR NATUR ) should be present. Red plants tend to be among the more demanding ones. They need a lot of light, a lot of fertiliser and they definitely need CO2 fertilisation (e.g. using JBL PROFLORA CO2 BASIC SET M ) . Dark green plants, on the other hand, are usually among the less demanding ones. They get by with little light and little fertiliser.
You can find out more about plants and CO2 here: Plantensoorten & CO₂ plantenbemesting
3. Filter cleaning: The more thorough - the better?
This myth mostly comes up with beginners in aquaristics. For example, when something in our home is dirty, we clean it thoroughly until it is squeaky clean. You might think that it's the same with our filters in the aquarium. If it is very dirty, we clean it until it looks like new.
However, this is a great danger for the living organisms in your aquarium. Bacteria are constantly formed developing during the run-in phase, and they settle in our filter in particular. They ensure that pollutants are broken down and the biological balance is maintained. If you now clean the filter thoroughly, you’ll be killing all the important bacteria at the same time and the aquarium practically has to run in again from scratch. As a result, the nitrogen cycle in our aquarium will be disturbed and the nitrogen compounds, ammonia and nitrite, which are life-threatening for our fish, can no longer be sufficiently broken down.
You can find everything about bacteria in the aquarium here: Bacteriële startfase
However, this does not mean that you never have to clean your filter. In general, a rough cleaning of the filter should take place every three months - i.e. lightly squeeze out the filter materials and remove the coarse dirt. This keeps a good base of bacteria in the filter. However, if you notice that the performance of the filter is declining earlier, you should of course also clean it. After cleaning, we recommend you re-inoculate the filter with bacteria. Suitable for this purpose: JBL FilterStart & JBL Denitrol
You can read more about filter cleaning here: Reiniging
As always, you are welcome to write us more myths about aquaristics in the comments and we will go into them in more detail, as we have done the last few times elsewhere in our mini series!