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Ask Dr Richard - The Aquarium Plant Blog

Ask Dr Richard


29 thoughts on “Ask Dr Richard”

  1. I have decided to go back to a spray bar instead of a lily pipe, as the side where the lily pipe is the plants do well, but the other side of tank plants do not do as well. I purchased a wave machine from you, is it alright to use this with a spray bar and where should I put it, where should I put the co2 diffuser is it under the spray bar or under the wave machine

  2. Hi,
    I started a nano hemianthus cuba planted tank 7 gallon.I hav 36 watt pll light with 2700 lumens in it.a light brown/black coat is. getting formed on the plants and the plants are not growing.I have pressurised co2 with 1 bps diffused through a small internaal filter with a sponge on the outlet of the filter, which diffuses really good,saw it online and did it.I aam doing ei dosing.ada bllack sand.but still not getting results.wat changes should I make.thanks for ur suggestions.

  3. Hello Richard
    I bought a piece of redmoor wood from you which has what looks like fungus on it, I have tried boiling the wood to no effect.
    Is there any thing I can do to remove it ?
    Hope you can help.
    Thanks Les

    1. Hi Les that is Biofilm which is perfectly normal to form on a new piece of wood. The film will be consumed by plecos and shrimp. Perfectly safe for your fish and plants. Emiel

  4. Hi Richard, I am looking to create an overgrown, dense jungle style aqua scape. I’ve got seachem black, seachem black sand and seachem red as a substrate. What plants do you recommend I choose to create a jungle style aquarium? Thankyou, Emiel

  5. hello richard
    i am using the neutro+ on my 180 gal planted tank with neutro carbon with fantastic results i might add, can you confirm that the neutro+ is 10 ml per 100lts, as on the product page it states 5ml per 100lts for neutro t and plus but on youtube you state 10ml for the plus and 5ml for the t.
    many thanks.

  6. Hi Richard ,on the oliver knott fluval edge aquascape i know that the background plant is juncus repens,could you please tell me what the midground plant is please
    regards graham turley

  7. Hi
    Just purchased plants for my aquarium. Just wondered is it ok to plant them in the fine gravel that I have in the tank. And if I need to anchor them down what would you recommend i use. Always had potted plants or just top cover plants but wish now to go for a more natural looking scape for my discus. Thank you, Maddrs

    1. Hi Maddrs, yes you can plant them straight into the fine gravel so I would take them out of the pots and rock wool and then using tweesers push them in so all of the root is under the gravel. As a rule we would recommend that you use a nutrient rich substrate before a layer of gravel so that the roots gain plenty of nutrients however that is not a problem if you do not have substrate, just make sure you fertilise to feed your plants. If you plant using the tweesers you wont need to anchor them down as the gravel will do that for you. Following this method will create the natural look you are after 🙂

      1. Hi
        Thank you for your advice. Just received my plants and about to plant them. They look really healthy stock and I am looking forward to seeing how my discus react to them.
        Many thanks.

        Yours, Maddrs

        1. Great, feel free to share your planted aquarium on our facebook page should you wish :). If you need any further help, please do not hesitate to contact us.

  8. Hi Richard

    Thank you for your advice. Plants arrived today and they look really healthy. My tank is planted up and the discuss are shoaling and shimmering well.


  9. what is the benefits of aquascaping ? does it have any differences between the normal aquarium ? please answer this asap tq 🙂

  10. Hi richard

    I cant seem to get any groth from my plants. I have been using neutro plus and liquid co2. How much should i be dosing for a 350litre tank. I have a juwel highlite that has 2 daylight t5 tubes.

  11. Hello dear,
    I have some java ferns which are growing out of control but lately I found out there is blackning of the leaves old one as well as new ones, and not the baby plant dots, its more like patches and there is browning of the new uncurled baby leaves from the rhizomes and I am desperate to make it all right please help asap!!!!

  12. I had the same issue it turns out I got some professional advice and that was to increase the lighting and increase the c02 to make sure the c02 is on 1 hour before your lights and finishes one hour before the lights go off. Add fertz once a week and always 50% water change every 7 days. Do not use Any algy chemicals.

  13. I have some green hair algea growing on my plant which has only started over the past 2 weeks. I use your liquid carbon and liquid fertiliser as stated and nitrate is 67mg/l and nitrite 0.48mg/l. Light is on for 6 hours a day any ideas or help. Cheers.

  14. I’d just like the say how wonderful I think your website it. There isn’t anything like it in terms of the knowledge base and frequency of posts. Thank you! I’m just sad I didn’t find your site before setting up my planted aquarium. I would still like some further advice on further planting (as I have only just started and know it could be so much better!) and ongoing maintenence so I have joined your Facebook discussion group. Thank you again, I’m so glad I found your site/shop!

  15. Hello Dr.
    My 1-2 grow plants turned brown and transparent after 48 hours of being planted.
    Is it possible that they will grow back again?
    What could be the problem? It says that i should not add nutrients in the beginning.
    I am using ADA Amzonia Gen 2
    CO2 in the tank
    NICREW light
    Water TDS 147 (reminilized RO)
    PH – 6.5
    GH – 4.4
    KH – 0.4
    here’s the list of the ones that are melting:
    Pogostemon erectus
    Micranthemum ‘Monte Carlo’

    Thank you

  16. Hi,

    I am a bit stuck! I have a 360 litre tank that is well very established. All my water parameters are stable. I have a hi-tech CO2 system to maintain Ph and support plant growth. I inject fertilizer on a daily basis. There are regular filtered water changes. And I still can’t grow anything! I can’t even grow plants which apparently are almost impossible to kill – Java Fern! Any ideas would be gratefully received! Kindest regards, Martin Taylor.

  17. Hello, i received a lovely aquarium pack from yourselves early June, the plants were perfect. Tank is Fluval 57 (probably has about 50L in it).

    They have gone the way of the other (Dobbies) sourced plants from when the tank was new in Feb and the leaves have a dirty look to then, see photos via the link.

    They are growing, in fact the red one on the right is now about 20mm out the water! (Can i cut them and replant the cuttings?)

    Ive been using Interpet Liquid Aquarium Plant Food and dosing for 60L (3 pumps).

    I run the tank light fully on with the colour so the red & blue LEDs are on full for a bit more plant relevant light.

    Using teat sticks, the water is good from a fish perspective, even after being away 2 weeks, there was not even any hint showing of excess nitrates.

    Do i need to add light or CO2 perhaps or different feeding?

    Thanks for amy help you can provide.

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