Freshwater Plants: Nutrient Deficiencies



How to Correct Freshwater Plant Nutrient Deficiencies?

Diagnose the Problem

The key to eliminating a deficiency is by finding the culprit. Using the guide above it is your job to diagnose and identify what deficiency you are experiencing in your planted tank.

Experiencing stunted growth and misshapen leaves? Probably a calcium deficiency.

Experiencing an unexplained loss of healthy leaves? Definitely a phosphate deficiency.

Understand what your Deficiency Means

A deficient tank is not a happy or healthy tank. Something in your planted tank or aquascape isn’t living in harmony with everything else. Because of this you find unhappy plants with stunted growth, holes and maybe some algae. But you’re on the right path, you are here to diagnose your problem and the solution is easy. But preventing the problem from reoccurring will be a daily battle – for your plants lights, nutrients and CO2 are a daily necessity and a deficient tank is usually missing one of those necessities.

plant growth

Make your Plants Happy and Healthy Again

So we understand that the solution to a deficient plant isn’t going to be a one time fix, it will require a change in your daily aquarium maintenance habits.
Solving the deficiencies is as simple as supplementing the deficient nutrient – daily.


Deficiency ——— Supplement

Iron ————————-Trace Elements (CSM+B)

Manganese —————Trace Elements (CSM+B)

Potassium —————–Potassium Nitrate (KNO3) or Potassium Sulphate (K2SO4)

Phosphate —————–Monopotassium Phosphate (KH2PO4)

Calcium ——————–Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3) and Trace Elements (CSM+B)

Nitrogen ——————-Nitrate (NO3)

Magnesium —————Magnesium Sulfate (MgSO4)

Carbon Dioxide ———-Liquid (Seachem Excel) or DIY or Pressurized CO2


Solving the Deficiency and Preventing One in the Future

So first we diagnosed the deficiency in our plants, then we realized that our deficiency require a supplementation of nutrients to correct. The final step is implementing that supplement. Luckily this step is just as easy.

After selecting the necessary supplement we must implement it into our tanks. Remember to follow a strict dosing regiment to prevent further deficiencies and algal problems.



Estimative Index E.I. Fertilizer Package

500ml of Seachem Flourish

500ml Flourish Trace Elements

CO2 Supplement:

Seachem Flourish Excel – Liquid Carbon


For an in depth analysis of the various aquarium fertilizers you can click here.





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