Plants are as susceptible to disease as any other complex living organism, but luckily, plant diseases in the aquarium are very rare except in one case: cryptocoryne rot. Cryptocoryne rot is a disease that affects mostly the cryptocoryne family of plants. Its cause is not entirely understood, but it is often triggered by changes in environmental conditions. The symptoms include holes or perforated patches in the leaves, followed by a complete degradation of the leaf tissue, sometimes resulting in the death of the plant. If aquarium conditions are good in terms of water quality and nutrients, most plants recover once they become established.
Like fish and other living organisms, plants can be adversely affected by a number of chemicals, and poisoning can easily occur in plants. The symptoms of poisoning often show as a random degeneration of leaf tissue, holes, or generally ill or weak-looking plants. Sometimes the symptoms are very similar to those produced as a result of nutrient deficiencies, although in cases of poisoning, the symptoms appear much more quickly. Poisoning can occur as a result of using chemical treatments in the aquarium. Disease treatments and algae treatments, as well as snail-killers all contain strong chemicals, so always check that a particular treatment is safe to use with plants, particularly in the case of algae treatments.
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