Aquariums – Why Aquarium Plants, Types And Their Care
By J W Chase
If you are getting ready to establish an aquarium or already have one, then you should consider putting live plants in. My experience with live plants has been very rewarding. Here is why you should consider them, the types of plants I have and how I care for them.
Why Live Plants
Live plants are important for your aquarium for several reasons. First and most important is that they remove nitrates from your aquarium. Nitrates in low concentrations are not toxic to your fish, but they will promote the growth of algae. The other way nitrates are removed is when you change out the water in your aquarium.
Second reason is it makes your aquarium look more natural with live plants rather than with plastic plants. With that natural look, your fish will also feel more comfortable in these natural surroundings.
I have several different types of aquatic plants in my 75-gallon aquarium. For example, I have bamboo that grows in the water and extends itself above the surface of the water. It makes for a good background and complements my seven Tiger Barbs who come from the same area of the world where the bamboo comes from, Southeast Asia. Using plants that come from the area as your fish make them feel more at home.
Another plant I have is Water Wisteria. I have some planted in the substrate and others I let float on the surface of the aquarium. My fish like the floating Water Wisteria since they like to swim in the roots and leaves.
Another plant that I have is Echinodorus Amazonicus or Amazon Sword. These plants are easy to grow and but need to be pruned back periodically since they will grow fast and take over your tank if you let them. It is not recommended for small aquariums since they grow very large.
Care For The Plants
Care for an aquarium plant is relatively easy. I replace 10% of my water weekly and when I do this, I also take the time to care for my aquatic plants. This care consists mainly of trimming the dead parts or cutting back those that have grown excessively.
The ones I cut back because they have grown too much I replant in the substrate, where they take root and continue to grow.
When I refill the tank, I also add some fertilizer to add additional nutrients for the plants to feed on.
Every aquarium should have live plants for that natural look and to help remove nitrates. There are many different types to choose from and they are very easy to care for.
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