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Keeping Aquarium Plants


An aquarium without plants is like a home without furniture. It is liveable but ugly, uncomfortable and inefficient. Live plants aid in displaying fish giving them shelter and security. They provide shelter for baby fish, shy fish, weak fish and females giving birth. They serve as food for vegetarian fish. They help prevent green water by competing with the algae for nutrients in water. Plants absorb carbon dioxide and wastes and add oxygen to the water. They increase the surface area for algae, tiny worms, rotifers and protozoa to grow and in turn provide live food for the fish in the tank.

The method of keeping aquarium plants is very simple, and does not take a lot of time or effort. First, you need some sort of pot. This could be the plastic pots that your garden plants come in, yoghurt containers, the bottom cut off a plastic pop bottle or small clay pots that you can buy at most nurseries. If it is a plastic container, make sure that it is not toxic to your plants or fish. Get a bucket and add some water to it. Add some potting soil into the bucket. The reason for mixing the soil and water together first is that if you do not saturate the soil and drop the pot into the aquarium, you take the chance of air in the soil exploding to the surface and making a real mess of the aquarium. Once the soil is moist, fill your potting container 2/3 full of soil. Push your finger into the soil to create a small planting hole. Insert the root system of your plant carefully into the hole. Carefully fill the holes from the sides and then add aquarium gravel to top up the container. Gently pull the plant upward until the crown of the root is just visible at the gravel surface. Submerse the potted plant for a few minutes in a bucket of aquarium water prior to adding it to the aquarium. This will allow any trapped air to escape. Now place the potted plant into the aquarium. The potting soil will give the plant that extra goodness and it shouldn’t be long before the plant begins to thrive and propagate.

Potted plants can be moved around easily without disturbing the root system. There will come a time very shortly that you will have to remove the plant, separate the runners and replant it in many other containers. Once the pot becomes root bound, the plant needs to be repotted.

Lighting is the most important prerequisite for successful plant growth. One and half watts of light per gallon of water is needed. You may use regular cool white tubes along with plant and aquarium tubes. Plants show good growth under compact fluorescent bulbs and par 20, 50 watt halogen bulbs.

Pruning your plants will also help them to grow healthy and strong. Carefully remove dead and dying leaves and any leaves that are damaged or have holes in them. The plant uses a lot of energy to try and repair these leaves, energy that could be used to produce new, lush growth.

Live plants are a must to keep a natural aquarium. You may decorate you aquarium nicely to aquascape your aquarium. Live plants can be used with plastic plants and rocks for this purpose. Patience is the key and you should provide the right conditions for the plants that you are keeping.