Aquarium Plants

Why Are My Red Root Floaters Dying?

One of the most preferred aquarium plants is the Red Root Floater. This plant is easily identified by its beautiful red color wherein it can get more prominent if exposed to intense light.

The reason why most aquarium enthusiasts prefer the plant is that aside from being aesthetically pleasing, it is also very functional.

Red Root Floaters are natural water filters. This is very helpful as you add more fish to your tank wherein more waste is expected.

Additionally, the roots of Red Root Floaters grow downward while the majority of the leaves and branches appear at the water surface only.

This means that the roots are highly responsible for keeping the water clean.

Though Red Root Floaters are easy to take care of, they have specific requirements to grow. If you cannot meet them, they may not live long enough.

The list below will pinpoint the reasons why your Red Root Floaters are dying.

Why Red Root Floaters Are Dying

Originally an Amazon plant, the Red Root Floater is hardy. This means that it can endure relatively harsh conditions.

However, you might be wondering why this plant can be dying easily if it is durable and easy to care for.

There are 3 main reasons for that: light, water, and movement inside the tank.

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1. Low Levels Of Light

As mentioned, the red colors of the Red Root Floaters can vary in brightness when exposed to different intensities of light.

Although it is already common knowledge that plants need light to grow, there is a range for tolerance. Too much light intensity can cause damage and too little received will stagnant a plant’s growth.

That is also the case for Red Root Floaters. If they are dying, that can mean that they are not receiving enough light.

All plants need light for photosynthesizing, wherein light energy is converted to chemical energy. In simple words, light is necessary for a plant to make its food.

Lack of it, in the case of Red Root Floaters, will lead to the deterioration of their red color.

If the leaves of the Red Root Floaters will turn further black, it signifies that the plants are dying.

Fortunately, you can still revive them by providing ample light. Red Root Floaters need to be exposed to light for at least 8 hours daily.

In absence of natural light, you can use artificial LEDs. They are efficient and provide tolerable intensity without compromising illumination.

Another thing to note is having too many Red Root Floaters. If the water surface is crowded with them, the energy from your light source will have many recipients.

If you have a light source enough for 2 Red Root Floaters only, don’t expect it will be the same situation if you add more plants.

2. Incorrect Water Parameters

The second reason why your Red Root Floaters are dying is that your fish tank may have incorrect water parameters.

The most common water parameters to watch out for are pH level, temperature, and water hardness.

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If the usual amounts of either one of those parameters are off, an imbalance will occur. Not only will the plant be affected but also the fish.

If you have Red Root Floaters in your fish tank, the recommended pH level of the water must be within 6.5 to 7.5 only.

Its temperature must be around 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit or 18 to 30 degrees Celsius. In terms of water hardness, the acceptable range is between 20 and 30 dHG.

Aside from the said water parameters, there are other things that you must be vigilant of. You need to make sure that your Red Root Floaters receive high levels of iron from supplements.

Another nutrient to watch for is the potassium level, wherein deficiency of such will be directly reflected in the leaves’ appearance.

A good fertilizer can be enough, given that it is also safe for other aquatic creatures.

Furthermore, you need to be careful about overfeeding supplements and fertilizers. Feeding in great quantities once in a while is recommended.

3. Too Much Movement Or Agitation Within The Tank

Red Root Floaters are quite the sensitive ones. They don’t like to be disturbed. Even the slightest movement of the water can be enough to bother these aquatic plants.

Given that their roots extend from top to bottom, there is a substantial amount of space consumed.

The more roots scattered, the more likely a collision with fish can happen.

Furthermore, as more fish are moving, the more agitated the water will be. Therefore, the quick fix for that is to select fishes that have a less aggressive temperament.

Selecting different fishes based on their compatibility with each other is also highly recommended.

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How To Prevent Or Lessen It

1. Provide Ample Lighting

The only way to secure that your Red Root Floaters live long enough for their purpose is to prevent the three situations mentioned above.

First, you need to provide ample lighting, wherein the aquatic plants are exposed to it at least 8 hours a day. The most practical way is to utilize sunlight during the day and artificial LED lights at nighttime.

2. Maintain Water Parameters

Now that you are informed of the usual water parameters, the hard part will be the execution. It can be tiring to measure the pH level of the tank water daily or to measure the water temperature every 10 minutes.

For efficiency, make a schedule for when to conduct measurements. You can do it in the morning so that if some parameter is off, you have the rest of the day to fix it.

Also, don’t forget to set a fixed schedule for providing supplements to prevent overfeeding.

3. Reduce Water Agitation

It is hard to avoid water agitation brought by the fish’s movements, but you can situate the plant wherein it will be least bothered.

You can add barriers like large rocks or decorative ones since they can help in reducing water agitation. Plus, they will serve as distractions for fast swimmers.


If you can avoid the factors that can hasten the death of Red Root Floaters, then your fish tank will remain bright from their vibrant red colors.

Monitoring this and that can be tasking, but when you witness the beauty of these aquatic plants, you can surely say that they are worth it.


Passionate fishkeeper. Nature lover. Creative thinker. Music junkie. Adventurer.

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