How to Have a Attractive Planted Aquarium

Live plants were the normal back in the sixties when aquariums became famous. We’ve come a long way since then. The fish keeper of today can opt for very attractive plastic and silk plants that come close to passing for the real thing. There’s also some pretty neat things you can have in there, like the aquarium superman rhodactis mushroom for example. When it comes to actually plants however, nothing matches the pride one feels in displaying a well-crafted aquarium of live plants. Plants provide a more natural habitat for fish and offer benefits that cannot be duplicated by artificial plants. Unlike their plastic counterparts, live plants grow and respire. During daylight hours they take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen, thus contributing to a healthy habitat. Keep in mind that at night this process reverses. In heavily planted tanks carbon dioxide levels can rise significantly, while the oxygen levels drop off. If fish are observed hanging close to the top of the water and gasp for air, it may be necessary to run an air-stone at night.

SUBSTRATE: Just like your home plants, what you “plant” them in can be very important because that is where many varieties of plants draw their nutrients from. When choosing your substrate you must consider the types of plants you are interested in growing and know their needs. There are a few varieties of plants that could care less what the roots are in because they get very little nutrition from the roots and only use their roots to anchor them whereas other aquatic plants rely heavily on the root systems and a quality substrate for nutrients. Whatever you decide on for a substrate keep in mind that the depth should be about 3 inches. A common practice to save on the cost is to layer your substrates. By this we mean to set down 2 inches of an Iron enriched substrate (Fluorite, Eco-complete, etc.) and then cap it off with either fine gravel or even sand. Use sand in all my tanks through personal choice, in a small way we believe that there is a better nutrient uptake to the plants with sand mixed in due to root contact with the substrate. Sand mixed in also makes planting of smaller, delicate plants easier

LIGHTNING: The Aquarium Lighting supplied to you when you first purchase your tank is only intended for viewing your tank; the lighting is very much under powered to successfully grow a majority of plants in. There is a formula called “Watts per Gallon” that can get you close to the target amount of watts you will need to grow most plants but needs to be fine-tuned for some of the more demanding varieties of plants. Normally 2 1/2 – 3 watts per gallon will grow the majority of plants available that require “Moderate” light.

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Filed Under: Pets & Animals


About the Author: Jason Prickett loves to write about home maintenance and stuff you can do yourself instead of hiring any professional. His step by step guides will assist you in completing your home maintenance tasks.

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