View Full Version : will rotting plants affect water quality?

02-08-2011, 04:32 PM
I have a few plants I got from Petsmart (don't remember the name of them)- most of them are doing well. The bottom leaves have started getting spots on them in symetrical places and then the whole leaf dies. I also have a piece of rotting stem in the substrate from another plant that I moved during a gravel vac. My nitrates have been on the higher side since this weekend (10-20ppm - trying to get level down with PWC's). If I don't pick the dying leaves right away will this cause an increase in nitrates? I suppose I should be removing those leaves anyway once they're in bad shape.

02-08-2011, 04:51 PM
Absolutely!! Any time you have any kind of rotting organic matter, whether it is plant, food, dead fish, waste, it is going to affect your water quality. You are already seeing it in your high nitrate levels. Always make sure to remove extra food, dying or dead leaves, dead fish, etc, as soon as possible. Then do your water change to catch as much debris floating around in the water, then your filter will do the rest. Hope that helps.

02-08-2011, 04:52 PM
Yes...they will affect water quality...but unless you have a massive die-off...it won't be quick or huge. Not an emergency by any means...

I remove dying leaves as they happen...

02-08-2011, 04:52 PM
It certain can effect it your water quality. Removing the dead plant material right away is always a good idea

You would need a lot of rotting leaves in order to see a difference tho. You might have something else effecting your water quality as well.

02-08-2011, 05:46 PM
I plan to remove all the stuff I mentioned when I get home today and do a water change as well because the last one I did brought down the nitrates to about 5ppm and I don't want it to go up again. I saw the increase after I did a gravel vac over the weekend following a round of medicating - I always go in with my fish net & scoop all the bigger debris I see floating after I clean the gravel, however, I started wondering about the plant material now that I am seeing more leaves start to die. Thanks everyone!

02-08-2011, 07:26 PM
Dead plants can bring down your PH to a more acid tank. Some people like that, depending on the fish.