As opposed to sharp-edged plastic plants, live plants are great because they help keep water conditions optimal by converting harmful chemicals into oxygen and they also reduce algae growth. Realize that there are many benefits to having live plants in your fish tank besides looking fantastic and being gentler to your fish’s fins as they happily swim around in your aquarium. Having live plants does not have to be difficult so don’t let anyone fool you into thinking that it is too much trouble to install and maintain live plants in your aquarium. In fact, there are many easy to care for aquarium plants which will be the primary focus of this article.
Which Live Plants Should I Choose?
Some great beginner aquarium plants include foreground plants, midground plants, Anubias, Bacopa Carolina, java fern, the amazon sword plant, Cryptocoryne Beckettii, and the anchors’ plant. If you wish to delve deeper into some advanced plants realize it will require adding additional CO2 to the water and high voltage lighting. However, if you pick the right live plants you will have a great-looking tank and not have to deal with these additional requirements. Make sure to ask for suggestions at your local reputable dealer or you can get more information online from AquariumStoreDepot.com or your local pet shop. While at the pet store make sure you examine the plants in the shop before buying. You should never buy old-looking plants with yellow or rotting sections instead, look for healthy green sturdy leaves to purchase and add to your aquarium to ensure creating a healthy environment for your fish to thrive in.
Prepare Your Tank Properly Before Inserting Plants
Add plant growth substrate about half-an-inch thick across the bottom of the fish tank. The plant growth substrate is used as a means to absorb nutrients from the water thus making the nutrients available to the plants’ roots which in turn allows for long-term growth. After that, add about one and a half inches of aquarium gravel on top of the substrate. The aquarium gravel will be used to hold the plants in place and it comes in many different colors so feel free to choose the color that best complements your personal style and surrounding fish tank decor. A good suggestion is that you use medium or fine gravel instead of using large gravel pieces which often allow for fish waste and uneaten food to slip between the stones which ultimately means you get dirtier water in your fish tank and nobody wants that to happen.
Prepare Plants Properly Before Installation
When you buy live plants, they are often provided to you in a pot wherein the roots have been kept in fiber wool or rock wool. Make sure to carefully remove the fiber wool and rock wool before inserting plants into the tank realizing all the while that it will be attached to the roots of your plant which obviously are vital for the plant’s survival.
Planting Your Plants
Start by creating a gap in the gravel with your finger. This gap should not reach all the way to the substrate but it should be close enough to it. Then, using aquarium tweezers, place the roots into the gap and cover the roots in the gravel. Remember, the gravel is there to keep your plant roots and stem stable. Adding larger plants towards the back of the tank while putting smaller plants towards the front will not only look more aesthetically pleasing, it will also allow for a better overall aquarium viewing experience.
Ongoing Live Plant Aquarium Care
For easy to care for plants, your standard aquarium light, substrate, and natural fish waste should be enough to keep your plants alive but it is also recommended that you add a drop of aquarium plant fertilizer during water changes while making sure to check the back of the bottle for the correct amount to add because the larger the tank the more drops you will need to add.
Now that you have plants in your fish tank realize that they can grow up to twelve inches tall and live from one to five years. Some fish species will eat plants or uproot them but most tropical community fish will not harm them, in fact, overall aquatic plants thrive in a tropical community and help to regulate the aquarium ecosystem by removing harmful chemicals from the water.