Aquarium plants – Grow show quality aquarium plants!
While anyone can do away with plastic and artificial plants when it comes to aquariums, nothing still beats the natural beauty of live aquarium plants for many reasons. They help in providing a more balanced and stable aquarium environment. Aside from that, they are more colorful and vibrant than artificial plants. Also, they help in providing oxygen to, and removing carbon dioxide from the water in your fish tank.
It is not surprising that, unlike artificial aquarium plants, real ones have more requirements. Because they are alive, they are prone to the effects of nutrient deficiencies, imperfect growing conditions, inadequate temperature, and diseases. Artificial plants can be set up and then practically left alone except during major cleaning. To be kept in peak health, any live plants must have the minimum requirements looked after. This article will outline those requirements that are absolutely necessary to keep your aquarium plants in tip-top shape!
First, plants need light. This can be supplied with the use of a proper bulb that is placed on top of the aquarium. Choosing the right one is essential as some aquarium plants need a specific spectrum of light for optimal growth. This may prove to be difficult at first, but this can be easily solved by quick research before you buy your plants. For most beginner aquarium plants, either incandescent bulbs or compact fluorescent (CF) bulbs will provide the proper light spectrum. If you try to keep such plants alive without a proper source of light, you will soon see your plants turning brown and rotting away.
Aquarium plants also need the right kind of substrate for proper growth. Two inches is usually an adequate depth of gravel substrate (I don’t recommend sand) to provide anchorage for the plants. Also, the plants must have the sufficient amount of nutrients which can be acquired either through the water or the substrate they are grown in. Nutrients for plants can be provided via liquid aquarium fertilizer, root tabs, or as enriched soil-like substrate such as Flourite or Eco Complete.
Finally, the carbon dioxide in the water should be around 30ppm. This can be achieved with injection systems or by using a home-made yeast reactor which produces CO2 as a byproduct! You can probably make a do it yourself (DIY) CO2 reactor with materials you already have at home! Adding supplemental carbon dioxide to 30 “parts per million” will definitely enhance the growth of your aquarium plants.
If you remember to supply your plants with fish tank supplies such as incandescent light bulbs or compact fluorescent bulbs, proper substrate at two inches depth, some liquid aquarium plant fertilizer, and add some carbon dioxide then you will almost certainly be rewarded with quality healthy aquarium plants in your fish tank!