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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Main question: Can you use API leaf zone more frequently than directed?

I'm new here and wondering if I can get some insight. I've switched to having live plants in my tank for my Betta fish, Moon. By the end of a couple months they started dying.
My full bundle of Anacharis were the ones to start perishing first til I had tiny strands left. Apart from those I had Aunbias nana that seemed to be doing better though they would get yellow at the tips. Both were planted under the gravel. At this time I wasn't putting anything in the tank but the conditioner and doing water changes every two weeks.
After this happened I decided to try again with only having the Anubis in the tank since the Anacharis rotted so quickly. This time I've decided to let them float rather than plant them because maybe the gravel was hurting the plants in the first place. Well these started to get yellow then brown spots throughout the leafs and finally start to turn transparent.
I went ahead and did research and picked up the API leaf zone and also changed the aquarium conditioner from Top Fin(basic starter conditioner) to the Seachem Prime. The API says to dose every week but within 4 days of starting the first dose with a water change, they continue to get worse so I'm wondering if I can dose a couple times a week instead?
The plants are also producing "brown rust" (algae, I read online) so I've started to do weekly water changes or else that brown algae gets somewhat bad and the plants seem to get worse if I wait to do water changes every two weeks like I used to. I don't know what to do, didn't think it would be so hard to keep aquarium plants alive.
Side note(I've also tried Seachem Flourish by dosing alone in another tank since I wasn't sure if it was safe to use with my Betta but it did absolutely nothing- that was the final straw for the Anacharis. API leaf zone would be my second product to try)
My Moonie is in a 5 gallon tank with a filter system and a heater. Thanks for any help you can give me!

Premium Member
706 Posts

I personally would not use more ferts than directed. This might be what is causing the algae. My plants are doing really well with Aquarium Co-op’s Easy Green, Easy Iron and Easy Carb as directed.

Is your tank fully cycled? You might have brown diatom algae which is very common in newly cycled New plants do go through a melting period. The best thing you could do for your Anubias is trim off any dead or dying leaves and if the roots are real long, you could give them a trim to promote new growth. It’s a low light plant so it does not need strong direct light. If it’s floating, this could be why.

I think Anacharis does better floating. Are you running a bubbler or diffuser to add more circulation. This could help with algae. Or you could put a few snails in to eat it. If the algae is coating your plants, this could inhibit growth if they are being starved for nutrients or lights. How long are you running your lights?

There’s this fine line when it comes to the right lighting and ferts. Too much light can cause issues and too little the same. Same with ferts. Sometimes you just have to adjust as you go until you find that perfect balance.

So, for the sake of your bettas health, I wouldn’t overdose any ferts. I’ve never used Leaf Zone but I think the same would apply.

Nerite snails - I love the horned nerites, do an excellent job eating algae and fast. I have a newly cycled 10 gallon planted and had an algae explosion. I think I started dosing ferts too soon. But, I put 5 horned nerites in the tank, no betta in there yet, and they literally ate all of the algae within 2 days. It makes cleaning much easier - they do poop alot so definitely clean weekly.

If you don’t want to do snails, I would just keep up with trimming plants and pulling off algae you see -you can use a toothbrush or tweezers. Your plants will be happier! If you have plants buried with roots, using root tabs are great, I like Seachem’s Flourish tabs.

If I can think of anything else I will let you know! Also, if you notice your water is evaporating, top it off with conditioned water.

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930 Posts
Depending on your water parameters it could take a while to find out what works in your tank (and then it will still be a constant evolution).

Anacharis, for example, prefers more alkaline water (higher pH) and needs quite a lot of nutrients as it (usually) grows fast.

Unless you don‘t have some more faster growing plants (like water sprite, frog bit or guppy grass) I would even use less or no fertilizer at all. Otherwise you will be feeding the Algae!

Anubias can be attached/glued to any hardscape or planted into the substrate/gravel unless you don‘t burry the rhizome (thicker root stem from where the thinner roots grow) but just the roots (a stone can help to hold it down until the roots get a firmer grip).

You could always divide a week‘s dose into daily smaller doses (using a syringe). But as said, I‘d wait until you get more plants.

I know it can be frustrating but it‘s also worth finding out what thrives and how it influences the tank. So no to overdosing but yes to experimenting☺.
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