Although aquarium keeping in general has seen a steady increase in its popularity increasing over the last couple of years, the number of people keeping planted tanks or trying their hands at aquascaping has skyrocketed!
Due to the hardy nature of hornwort making it a beginner friendly plant, a large number of people have chosen to add it to their aquariums as a one of their live plants of choice.
Still, even though hornwort is a hardy plant, we still see some people who are new to keeping the plant in their aquarium having problems with it so we have decided to publish this article on the topic.
We hope that we will be able to help as many of our readers as possible who are having issues with their own hornwort dying in their tanks and help you recover your plants as quickly as possible!
Why Is My Hornwort Plant Dying?
There are a number of different reasons why your hornwort plant may be dying in your aquarium but the majority of the common reasons are all related to issues with water parameters.
We will be taking a look at the more common causes though so you are able to get a better idea of what you need to look out for in your own tank to try and make sure that you are able to help your hornwort recover.
Issues With pH Level!
One of the more common issues we see with hornwort dying is that people are not paying attention to the pH level in their tank and as a result, the hornwort is slowly being killed off.
Hornwort is a plant that prefers to live in water that has a pH of 6-7.5 and although it can live in water outside of these parameters, it really does thrive with a 6-7.5 pH.
If you are not sure what the pH level is in your tank, we would highly recommend that you invest in a test kit so you are able to keep an eye on it and make sure that it does not drop too low or rise too high.
If you do find that the pH level in your tank is out of the ideal range for hornwort, we recommend making gradual changes to it until you are able to get it back into the ideal range for hornwort.
Make sure that you are also keeping an eye on the other inhabitants of your tank as well as some fish and invertebrates are not able to tolerate sudden changes in pH level.
Not Enough Nutrition!
Another common reason that hornwort plants may start to die off in an aquarium is because they are not getting enough nutrition and as a result, they are slowly starving to death.
Hornwort is a plant that gets the majority of the nutrients it needs from the water column but there are still some essential nutrients that it needs in order to stay healthy and to grow.
The main nutrients that hornwort needs are Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium but it also needs smaller amounts of other essential nutrients such as iron.
If you find that your hornwort is slowly dying off and you are not sure why, we recommend checking the levels of these essential nutrients in your tank and if you find that they are low, we recommend dosing your tank with a quality fertilizer.
You can also try adding hornwort to a nutrient-rich substrate such as clay pellets as this can help to provide the plant with the nutrients it needs to stay healthy.
Problems With Water Temperature!
Another common issue that can cause hornwort to start dying off in an aquarium is if the water temperature in the tank drops too low for the plant.
Hornwort is a plant that prefers to live in water that has a temperature of 72-82 degrees Fahrenheit and although it can live outside of this range, it really does best within this temperature range.
If you find that the water temperature in your tank is too low for hornwort, we recommend slowly raising the temperature until it is within the ideal range for the plant.
It is also important to make sure that you are not sudden changes in water temperature as this can shock the plant and cause even more problems.
Water Flow Problems In The Tank!
Another common issue that can cause hornwort to start dying off is problems with water flow.
Now, depending if your hornwort is seated into the substrate or free floating, the level of water flow the plant is able to take can change. Seated hornwort can do find in some medium water flow setups but it definitely does better in lower water flow tank.
Correcting any water flow problems or potentially re-seating your hornwort to an areas of your tank with less waterflow may be the best option for some people.
A Sudden Change In Water Parameters!
One of the biggest issues that can occur and will almost certainly cause hornwort to start dying off is a sudden change in water parameters.
A full water change or anything over a 50% water change in your hornworts tank can cause these issues and put the plant into a state of toxic shock for a couple of days.
Although this is not good for the plant and should be avoided if possible, the majority of people who keep hornwort in their tank will usually notice that their plant bounces back within days of the treatment.
Issues With Light Intensity!
If you find that your hornwort is slowly dying off and you are not sure why, another common issue could be the light intensity in your tank.
Hornwort does best in aquariums that have a moderate level of light but it can also do well in lower light levels as well too. The hardy nature of hornwort can make it suitable for some higher light intensity tank setups too but it will usually be more susceptible to other potential problems when in high light intensity.
If you find that the edges of your hornwort are starting to go yellow or brown then it is a good indication that your lighting intensity is too high for the plant.
A Tank Mate Eating The Plant!
One final issue that can cause hornwort to start dying off is if a tank mate is eating the plant.
This usually only happens in situations where the fish are very hungry or there is not enough food in the tank for them to eat.
If you think that this might be the case, we recommend checking your feeding schedule for your fish as most fish will leave hornwort alone and eat other plants unless they are very hungry.
Please also note that some fish may appear to be eating your hornwort when they are actually just eating algae growing on the hornwort of the detritus falling off it.
How Long Does It Take For Hornwort To Recover?
Now that we have gone over some of the most common issues that can cause hornwort to start dying off, it is time to answer the question of how long does it take for hornwort to recover?
In most cases, hornwort will start to recover within a few days to a week after the initial problem has been corrected.
For example, if you have a hornwort that is dying off because of a sudden change in water parameters, the plant will usually start to recover within a few days after the water has been stabilized.
The same can be said for hornwort that is dying off because of issues with light intensity or water flow.
Once the problem has been corrected, the hornwort will usually start to recover within a few days.
However, there are some cases where hornwort may not recover.
For example, if the plant has been completely eaten by a fish or other aquatic creature, it is unlikely that the plant will be able to recover.
In these situations, the best course of action is to remove the hornwort from the tank and dispose of it properly.
Summary Of Why Your Hornwort Is Dying!
- Issues With pH Level!
- Not Enough Nutrition!
- Problems With Water Temperature!
- Water Flow Problems In The Tank!
- A Sudden Change In Water Parameters!
- Issues With Light Intensity!
- A Tank Mate Eating The Plant!
- Water Hardness!
In conclusion, hornwort is a very hardy plant that can recover from a variety of problems. However, in some cases, the plant may not be able to recover and will need to be removed from the tank.