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Planted fish tank Aqua Plants Care

Why and how to choose plants for the aquarium

Why is it worth to use live plants in an aquarium?

Living plants in the aquarium perform various functions, both aesthetic and useful:

  • stabilize the aquatic environment
  • they produce oxygen
  • use waste products – CO 2
  • break down the harmful substance containing nitrogen (harmful ammonia is decomposed to nitrites and nitrates)
  • they are alimentary competitors for algae – they indirectly inhibit their development
  • they serve as food
  • create a microclimate for the development of various beneficial living organisms, e.g. plankton, beneficial bacteria
  • they create natural hiding places for spawn, fry and more timid fish
  • they can act antibiotically
  • they purify water by, for example, removing sulfur compounds
  • they diperse lighting
  • they create places where fish can reproduce, they are a spawning carrier
  • they are a decorative element
  • they have a calming and relaxing effect
  • they are used to reflect the natural environment – they imitate a fragment of nature

When purchasing aquarium plants, pay attention to:

  • condition of plants – we do not buy ill ones (healthy plants are characterized by lush green and strong leaves, stems and roots should not rot or be broken), we can not count only on the integrity of the seller,
  • we must also pay attention to the temperature of the water in which the tropical plants were stored in the pet shop – if they were kept in too cold water, they probably do not survive for too long in our aquarium after the purchase,
  • the presence of plants in the aquarium is just as important as the presence of fish, so buying them we must pay attention to their requirements in terms of lighting, temperature, care or way of planting (individually, in groups, behind, in the middle, in front),
  • an important parameter in the selection of plants is their height, up to which they can grow – plants growing above water lose their leaves and even die out,
  • before buying plants it is a good idea to prepare a plan for arranging them in our aquarium, taking into account the collocation of all the decorations,
  • too many plants in the aquarium are not beneficial, therefore it is assumed that each 40 cm² of the bottom area should be devoted to one plant,
  • plants can also be obtained from the natural environment, but care must be taken not to introduce diseases, pests (e.g. snails) or parasites into the aquarium. Therefore, they should always be thoroughly cleaned and rinsed in clean, cool water.

Plant species for a novice aquarist

To the beginning aquarists I recommend plants that are not very delicate, with low requirements and cheap. This category includes, among others:

  • Dwarf sedge (Acorus gramineus)
  • Aponogeton Rigidifolius
  • Bacopa Monnieri, Caroliniana
  • Hornwort (Ceratophyllum Demersum)
  • Tropica (Cryptocoryne Wendtii)
  • Amazon sword plant (Echinodorus Parviflorus)
  • Helanthium bolivianum (Echinodorus Latifolius/Tenellus)
  • Carolina fanwort (Cabomba Caroliniana)
  • Java fern (Microsorum Pteropus)
  • Hygrophila Corymbosa
  • Water wisteria also Synemma triflorum (Hygrophila Dfformis)
  • Needle spikerush (Eleocharis Acicularis)
  • Cardinal flower (Lobelia Cardinalis)
  • Brazilian bibrier (Myriophyllum Aquaticum) Gossipede (Myriophyllum spicatum)
  • Parrot feather (Myriophyllum verticillatum)
  • Red myriophyllum (Myriophyllum Tuberculatum)
  • Floating crystalwort (Riccia fluitans)
  • Straight vallisneria (Vallisneria spiralis)
  • Wild celery (Vallisneria americana)

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