Aquarium Pests and Diseases

Pests and diseases are a part of any horticultural practice whether the plants are grown above or below water. There are many types of pest and diseases from viruses, bacterial diseases and fungal diseases to aphids, snails and many other varieties of insects worms and larvae.

In the Aquarium

The most common pests in the aquarium are snails. Unfortunately most snails breed very fast and can cause some significant damage to plants. Snail eating fish and removing them by hand is generally the best defense.

Other diseases are fungal and bacterial diseases which normally stem from poor water quality, regular water changes and being careful not to overstock with fish are best to prevent this.

The wrong kinds of fish can also be a pest, damaging, digging up or eating the plants.

Other diseases like chlorosis, nutrient deficiencies and poor growth of plants is normally due to either fertilization, CO2 or lighting conditions. These can lead to other problems like bacterial rots etc. because the plants are weak. It is normally better to try not treat with any chemicals, it is very easy to make mistakes with these in a small environment like an aquarium. There are also not many chemicals that can be used in combination with fish.

Out of the Aquarium

Amatikulu has covered greenhouses to keep out the majority of pests physically and because it is a small and intensive hydroponics system it is easy to see infestations and bring them into control quickly. W have the advantage of a subtropical climate where most plants thrive so they are strong and able to resist disease more easily than a weaker plant.

We also have natural predators which have made their ways into our green houses. These include animals like tree frogs, lizards and geckos which are always present somewhere. With these and generally good clean and healthily conditions pests and diseases are kept to a minimum with the application of insecticides and other chemical sprays only needed in serious outbreaks in Amatikulu.

A pair of snails on plant leaf
Snail eggs on the underside of a leaf
Fungal infestation
Cryptocoryne rot

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