After an outbreak in algae, most of my plant leaves went from a lush green to a plagued brown colour.
I blame the newly added fertilisers for this. So I stopped dosing fertilisers. I tried to cut off as many leaves as I could but after a few weeks the tank really started to annoy me with its dying brown leaf look.
So I pulled out all the plants that had gone brown. This was a bucket load of plants. The good thing with plants though is that they will always grow back and propagate.
Even though half my plants had been ripped out, the tank was still very heavily planted. A week or two later I had to get my net involved. I must have scooped out about 3 nets full of dead leaves that were either clogging up in the intakes of my filters, or swirling around the tank.
The leaves were all from my tangled mess of Hygrophillia. This plant ran all across the back to hide the back of the tank. However the leaves that kept coming off it were really annoying, so I ripped them all out. Also dead leaves can pollute the water if not removed, and water quality should be everyone’s main priority.
A big decision and a scary one when I seen how empty my tank looked afterwards. But I did it, and I rearranged the whole plant and rock scape. I even managed to get a bit of driftwood I had in there (Driftwood is from my 30L Dennerle tank).
I kind of split the tank into two main sections of foliage. Making sure there was plenty of empty space near the filter intakes so there won’t be any blockage. The plants now that are mainly in the tank are Vallis, dwarf chain swords, anubias and crypts. I even removed my huge Amazon Sword.
I’m hoping now that all the Hygrophilla and Amazon Sword has been removed the remaining Vallis and Crypts will get a lot more light, and grow a lot faster.
Even though iv rearranged the tank so much, there’s a lot more swimming area, yet still very densely planted areas for the Panda Corys to hide in. A refreshing rescape, and no more dead leaves!