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Aquarium Plants Yellowing — Best Plant Revival Tips!

Aquarium Plants Yellowing — Best Plant Revival Tips!

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Aquatic plants are added to the aquarium to provide a natural and green appearance. 

They also help in the absorption of ammonia, oxygenation of water and give the fish a natural habitat.

There are several invertebrates and fish that like to eat the aquatic plants to survive. These plants are used by hobbyists for aquascaping and adding aesthetics to the aquarium.

Since both fish and humans like these plants, it is essential to know why sometimes the stunning plants begin to show problems like yellowing.


Aquarium Plants Yellowing

Trying to adapt to the new environment and the lack of light are the first reasons why your aquarium plants are yellowing. Water quality, nutrient deficiency, and the aging of the plants are other causes of the yellowing of aquatic plants. Diseases and over-fertilizing also contribute to the problem.


Reasons For Aquarium Plants Yellowing


Adapting to New Environment

The first cause is that you bought a new aquarium where the aquatic plants have not yet adjusted to their new surroundings. 

It would help if you inspected their roots to see whether they have rotted.


Lack of Light

Aquarium plants are alive plants that need light for photosynthetic and other physiological activities. 

The foliage in your tank begins to change color from green to yellow when there is no or insufficient light.

Insufficient light can also cause fragile and tiny leaves, thin stems, stunted growth, and plant mortality.


Poor Water Quality

Water conditions influence plant survival and development, and bad water quality can cause plant yellowing. 

The pH of the water, its temperature, hardness, and other factors might cause the plant to degenerate, causing it to turn yellow.

You must keep the water temperature constant and change it depending on the needs of the plants in the aquarium. 

The leaves and stems begin to turn yellow as the temperature drops. These golden leaves will develop in color and turn brownish if the water temperature stays cold for a prolonged period.


Nutrient Deficiency

Flora and fauna both need nutrition to live and thrive, and plants can’t exist or develop if they don’t have enough of them. They begin to decay and turn yellow if you do not give them nourishment. 

It’s a nutrient shortage when you see a peculiar structure, such as the veins staying green while the tissues go yellow.



Aquatic plants require nitrogen and consume it in various ways, including urea, ammonia, and nitrate. 

Plant leaves can turn yellow if the nitrogen content isn’t kept at an appropriate level, particularly in old plants.



Magnesium is a component of the plant’s color agent chlorophyll and plays a part in photosynthesis. This element is required for the green color of foliage, and a lack of it causes them to turn light or yellow. 

The yellow coloring develops in the tissues, but the veins of the leaves stay green, and the leaf margins may curl.



Iron is required in reasonable concentrations by aquatic plants for proper development and chlorophyll synthesis. 

The plant would not be able to create enough chlorophyll in young shoots when it becomes deficient in iron. 

The absence of iron causes the foliage to fade and become pale, turning yellow to white in hue. 

Extreme iron shortage can cause plant development to be slowed and blackened leaves to perish, in addition to discoloration.


Aging of Plants

Aging is a normal phenomenon that results in a variety of degradation activities in the plant system, and it is irreversible.

Aquarium plants can become yellow as they get older since they lose their potential to take nutrition, and you can’t stop it.



Bacterial diseases can also cause changes in the color of aquarium plants. Microbes are the most prevalent diseases that induce yellowing in aquarium plants.

If you do not ensure basic cleanliness in your tank, bacteria and fungi gain entrance. The first symptom of these infections is yellowing foliage, which can cause the entire plant to die.



Fertilizers can help aquarium plants develop faster, but they aren’t always useful. 

Toxicity occurs when too many nutrients are added to the tank to help them grow quicker. This can cause the foliage to scorch and turn yellow.


How to Avoid the Yellowing of your Aquarium Plants


Proper Light

Because light is important for keeping plant color, make sure the tank has enough light. 

Aquarium plants, on average, need full light for 10 to 12 hours per day. A 4-5 Watt of light energy via LED strips and fluorescent lights will be ideal.


Appropriate Water Quality

Frequent water discharge and water replacement will help to maintain the water as pure and clean as necessary. 

Hygiene is crucial to maintaining your tank plants’ health and preventing color shifts.

Maintain a pH of 6.5 to 7 and a hardness of 50 to 100 ppm in your water. Keep an ideal water temperature for your tank plants according to their needs. 

The optimum temperature for an aquarium is about 74-80 degrees Fahrenheit.

To increase your water quality, introduce good living bacteria or another bio medium to your filters. It will stop algae from growing and accumulating.


Sufficient Nutrients

Provide the aquarium plant with the right and sufficient amount of nutrients. It needs about 10 to 25 mg of nitrogen per liter.

Magnesium quantity should be maintained at around 1100 to 1300 ppm. At the same time, the iron should be added at a rate of 0.5 mg per liter.


Eliminate Aging Plants

If you have an aquarium with old aquatic plants, eliminate them or chop off their yellowing foliage. 

Or else they’ll affect your aquarium’s quality of water.


Adequate Fertilizer

To keep your aquatic plants from becoming yellow, ensure they have access to all the minerals they need. 

Fertilizers are the greatest way to keep all nutrients at their optimal levels, and liquid or granular fertilizers are preferable for plants.


Frequently Asked Questions about Aquarium Plants Yellowing


What is the ideal pH and temperature for the aquatic plant when they start to turn yellow?

The ideal pH for aquatic plants should be maintained between 6.5 and 7. Optimal temperature ranges from 74-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Maintaining the right levels will avoid the discoloration of the plants.


Should you eliminate the old plants?

You must get rid of the aging and old plants in your aquarium. Leaving them in there for a long time will lead to yellowing of foliage and change in water quality.