Salvinia turning white is a common issue for many aquarists as the leaves of this plant start to turn white and eventually die off.
While this is not a cause for immediate alarm, you should keep an eye on it as it could be a sign of a problem with your water quality or lack of nutrients.
Many aquarists choose to grow Salvinia or Water Spangles in their aquariums because of their greenish color and fast growth rate.
Since this is a floating fern, the maintenance is minimal as you just have to make sure there is enough light, water, and nutrition. In case of overgrowing the plant, you only have to remove some of them, which is easy as pie.
Reasons for Salvinia turning white
There are several reasons why Salvinia leaves may turn white. These include;
Covering the tank with a lid
Salvinia is an aquatic plant that thrives in moderate to high lighting conditions.
Covering the tank with a lid will restrict the amount of light that can reach the plant and cause the leaves to turn white.
While this may be aesthetically pleasing to some, it is not ideal for the plant’s health. Salvinia requires high light levels to photosynthesize effectively, and white discoloration of the leaves is a sign of stress.
If you consider an aquatic plant that will thrive under these conditions, Salvinia is a good option. However, if you cannot provide adequate lighting, it is best to choose another plant species.
High humidity levels
Salvinia is a genus of aquatic fern native to tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. The plants typically have floating leaves covered in tiny hairs, which give them a velvety texture.
Salvinia is often used as an ornamental plant in aquariums and ponds, but it can also be a problematic weed.
The plants tend to thrive in humid environments, but the leaves can begin to rot if the humidity levels get too high.
This can cause the leaves to turn white and eventually fall off the plant. In extreme cases, the plant may die.
Salvinia is also susceptible to fungal infections, further damaging the leaves. For these reasons, it is essential to carefully monitor the humidity levels in your aquarium or pond if you have Salvinia plants.
Exposure to red light
Salvinia is known for its ability to tolerate a wide range of conditions, but it is not resilient to all forms of light.
In particular, Salvinia leaves can be damaged by red light. If the leaves are exposed to too much red light, they will start to turn white.
This process is irreversible, and it can eventually lead to the death of the plant. If you notice that the leaves of your Salvinia are turning white, make sure to remove any red light sources from the tank. By doing so, you will help ensure the health and longevity of your plant.
Higher aquarium temperature
Salvinia is native to warm temperate and tropical regions around the world. Under ideal conditions, Salvinia leaves are green, but the leaves can turn white if the temperature rises too high.
This process is known as bleaching, and it is thought to be a way for Salvinia to regulate its temperature.
While Salvinia can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, the ideal temperature for Salvinia is between 72-79 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you notice the leaves of your Salvinia turning white, it is best to check your aquarium’s temperature and make sure it is within the ideal range.
One striking feature of Salvinia is their leaves, which are covered in tiny hairs that give them a velvety appearance.
However, Salvinia leaves are prone to mold growth because of these tiny hairs, especially when the humidity is high.
The mold can cause the leaves to turn white, and if left unchecked, it can eventually kill the plant. While Salvinia is generally resistant to mold growth, it is essential to keep an eye on the leaves and take action if they start to turn white. Otherwise, the plant may not be able to recover.
Lack of chlorophyll
Salvinia is a common aquarium plant known for its ability to grow and spread rapidly. However, Salvinia can sometimes turn white due to a lack of chlorophyll.
Chlorophyll is essential for the photosynthesis of your plant, and without it, Salvinia will not be able to produce the food it needs to survive.
This often happens due to a lack of nutrients such as iron and nitrogen. Salvinia can sometimes recover if it is provided with the necessary nutrients, but the plant may die in severe cases.
How to prevent Salvinia from turning white
As you see, white coloration in Salvinia can be caused by many different factors. It is essential to provide the proper care and conditions to prevent your plant from turning white.
Fortunately, there is a fix for each cause of Salvinia turning white. Let’s discuss each one in more detail.
Monitor the humidity levels
As we mentioned before, Salvinia thrives in humid environments, but if the humidity gets too high, the leaves can begin to rot.
It’s necessary to keep an eye on the humidity levels in your aquarium or pond to avoid this from happening. Measure the humidity using a hygrometer and ensure it stays within the optimal range of 60-70 percent.
If your tank remains closed for a long time, make sure to keep an opening to release the humidity inside the tank. If that’s not possible, you can use a screen lid instead.
Avoid exposure to red light
Red light can damage Salvinia leaves and cause them to turn white. To avoid damage, keep your plant out of direct sunlight as much as possible.
If you have an aquarium with a glass top, cover it with a dark cloth to block out the light. You can also use an aquarium hood to protect your plant from direct sunlight.
Maintain proper temperature
As we mentioned before, Salvinia is a tropical plant that prefers warm temperatures.
To prevent the leaves from turning white, make sure the temperature in your aquarium or pond stays within the ideal range of 72-79 degrees Fahrenheit.
Use a thermometer to check the temperature and ensure it does not get too high or too low.
Add nutrients to the water
If you notice the leaves of your Salvinia turning white, it could be due to a lack of nutrients. Salvinia requires iron and nitrogen to produce chlorophyll, so make sure to add these nutrients to the water.
You can use a fertilizer made specifically for aquarium plants. For this, we recommend using Seachem Equilibrium as it is a proven product that will help maintain proper nutrient levels in your aquarium.
Use a CO2 source
Another way to prevent Salvinia from turning white is to use a CO2 source.
This will provide the plant with the carbon dioxide it needs for photosynthesis. You can use a CO2 diffuser or inject CO2 into the water with a pressurized system.
Change the water regularly
Finally, it is essential to change the water regularly to prevent the build-up of toxins that can damage Salvinia leaves.
We recommend changing the tank water every two weeks or every week if you have a large aquarium. When changing the water, use dechlorinated water to prevent the plant from being harmed.
You can prevent Salvinia from turning white and keep your plant healthy and vibrant by following these tips.
How to care for Salvinia Minima?
Salvinia minima is a fast-growing plant that prefers to grow in humid environments.
The plant can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, but it prefers warm temperatures between 72-79 degrees Fahrenheit.
These plants grow on warm, stagnant, or slow-moving freshwater ponds, lakes, streams, and canals in the wild. So, for the optimum growth of this plant, you should keep it in an aquarium with similar conditions.
Salvinia is easy to care for and does not require much attention. However, you should keep a few things in mind to ensure the plant remains healthy.
- Salvinia requires moderate to high lighting levels to thrive
- It needs a gentle water flow or no water flow to thrive
- The water should be between 72 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The water pH level should be between 6 to 8
- The plant prefers soft to medium hardness water
- To promote faster growth, you can add nutrients to the water. You can use an aquarium plant fertilizer. However, it is not required.
- CO2 injection is not required, but if you want to promote faster growth, you can add a CO2 source.
- Salvinia can tolerate low salinity levels between 4 to 7ppt (1.003 – 1.005 SG). So, it is possible to grow this plant in brackish water tanks.
- Change the water regularly to prevent the build-up of toxins. We recommend changing the water in your tank every two weeks.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your Salvinia minima plant remains healthy and continues to grow.
Benefits of Salvinia Minima
Salvinia minima is a fast-growing aquatic plant that provides many benefits to an aquarium or pond.
Here are some of the benefits of Salvinia minima:
- It helps to keep the water clean by absorbing nutrients and toxins.
- It provides shelter and hiding places for fish and other aquatic animals.
- It oxygenates the water and helps to create a healthy environment.
- It controls algae growth by competing for nutrients.
- It is a beautiful plant that adds color and interest to an aquarium or pond.
- It penetrates the light and helps reduce algae growth.
- It is easy to grow and control
Salvinia minima is a versatile plant used in both fresh and saltwater aquariums or ponds. It is easy to care for and does not require much attention.
What do I do with extra Salvinia?
If you have extra Salvinia, you can place it in another aquarium or pond.
You can also give it to a friend or family member. But, NEVER throw it into a drain, toilet, or any water body as it will spread and become a weed in those areas.
Is Salvinia good for fish?
Yes, Salvinia is good for fish. It provides food and hiding places for them and also helps to keep the water clean.
Do goldfish like Salvinia?
Yes, goldfish like Salvinia. It provides them with food and shelter.
If Salvinia turning white is not treated early, it will cause the plant to die. To avoid this, you should change the water regularly and add nutrients to the water.
You should also keep the plant in a warm environment with high lighting levels. You can prevent Salvinia from turning white and keep your plant healthy and vibrant by following these tips.