Showing posts with label Aquarium Plants. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Aquarium Plants. Show all posts


WATER LETTUCE - Pistia Stratiotes

WATER LETTUCE - Pistia Stratiotes


LESSER JOYWEED - Alternathera denticulata

Lesser Joyweed - Alternathera denticulata


DUCKWEED - Lemna minor

Duckweed - Lemna minor



Anubias barteri var. nana, one of the easiest ...
Anubias barteri - (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Live aquarium plants and fish have a beautiful and subtle relationship, with each meeting the other's needs. Extra oxygen, protection and food are just a few of the benefits plants can offer to your fish and aquarium. It's not always easy to decide where to begin when you have decided that you want to plant in your aquarium. just like your fish, live aquarium plants have needs of their own, which can vary widely from species to species. So just what constitutes an easily kept aquarium plant? If you are looking for a kind of plant that will not be too demanding, then try to find plants which do not need too much heat, light and nutrient supplementation. At the other end of the scale, a heavily planted and exotic tank can begin to take as much work as an exotic tropical marine aquarium.

or Java Fern, one of only a few ferns capable ...
Java Fern (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The first step is to identify which plants you could use in your tank or aquarium. Your fish will have specific needs for temperature for example and so will the plants, the two must be similar or the plants will die. Most plants can take variations in temperature, how much will depend on how widely conditions tended to vary in the world where that plant evolved. Lighting is also important to consider and is perhaps the most crucial aspect of plant keeping, without the right level of light plants will become sick in the same way they do when they do not have all the nutrients they need.

It does pay to do your research. Fortunately, lighting and heating are normally expressed in watts per gallon, so with this in mind, it is normally possible to work out if there is any "common ground" for both the plants and the fish. With lighting in mind, it is helpful to look for bulbs that have an output of 400-450 and 600-650 nanometres; this provides red and blue light needed in photosynthesis. You may find it helpful to use two or more different kinds of lighting to provide both.

Java Fern, Java Moss, Live Mushroom Plant, Anubias, Vallisneria Spiralis are all good example of plants which are easily kept and are ideal for beginners. Try to pick a plant you like the look of and believe you would be comfortable with at the start. When you have found your feet, you can always introduce some more.



Deutsch: Anubias barteri und Anubias heterophy...
Anubias barteri and Anubias heterophylla (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Buying a plant for your goldfish aquarium is a great idea. Your aquarium will look more beautiful and it makes a good meal for the fish. The bad side is that you have to keep buying plants for your tank if your goldfish keep eating it.

There are two types of plants: real and artificial. Any plant can be part of fully submerged. It is your decision on what type of plant you want. It is best not to place it near the filter intake.

If you are a beginner it is recommended to buy an artificial plant. These will last longer than real ones, give your goldfish shelter and most importantly look good. The silk artificial plants could be better than the plastic ones. A goldfish like the Black Moor or Bubble Eye can get their sensitive parts scratched by the plant. So the most important lesson is to decide what kind of plant you want to have in your tank depending on what varieties of goldfish you have.

The real plants are the ones your goldfish eat. If you decide to add a real plant to your aquarium then you should add one at the time so that the ecosystem can adapt to the changes easily. They will also cause changes in Ph levels and if you add too much the Nitrogen Cycle will be affected and you may experience fluctuations in oxygen levels.

Best tips to help you keep algae under control

1. Keep nitrates low by doing 20-30% water changes every week
2. Keep the tank out of direct sunlight
3. Do not leave the UV light more than 8 hours per day
4. Keep phosphates low by removing uneaten food from the tank
5. Buy some snails from the pet shop

You can go now and buy any plant you like from the pet shop with keeping in mind what you have learned. Do not do mistakes or the plant in your aquarium can cause problems for your goldfish.

    Florin Iusan is a goldfish enthusiast. He has been keeping and caring for goldfish for over 16 years and he loves doing it. To learn more about getting a Goldfish Plant and how to set up your aquarium visit
    Article Directory: EzineArticles


RED NESAEA - Ammannia gracillis

Red nesaea - Ammannia gracillis


TIGER LOTUS - A Little Bit of Egypt in Your Tank

Photo  by Shashank Mhasawade 
Tiger Lotus is a fairly uncommon aquarium plant by comparison to some of the other kinds available on the market. Its full latin name is Nymphaea Lotus, a member of the Nymphaeaceae family. It is normally found growing in East Africa and South East Asian.

The ancient Egyptians used to extract perfume from the flower of this plant and it is popular for aquarium use. The white lotus of the flower is very beautiful, normally pure white although it may also be tinged with pink. The Egyptians used the lotus as a temple offering, funerals and were also commonly worn by women. Given decent lighting and good conditions, it will grow visibly daily although some sources regard it is a slow grower when compared to alternatives. It is normally found on ponds and marshes.

There is nothing special that is really needed to be successful with this plant in your aquarium. Co2 injections or liquid fertilizers should not be needed, although it will grow slightly faster under stronger lighting. Keep in mind the plant will grow to roughly forty-five centimeters and prefers warm, slightly acidic water. For the sake of the Tiger Lotus and your fish, it is important to make sure you keep on top of regular water changes. It is possible to trim the lily pads and just keep the underwater foliage without any negative effect on the health of the lotus if this would be easier in your aquarium.

Planted aquariums generally do better than non-planted ones for the simple reason that plants contribute to keeping the water quality at a high standard. They also compete with algae and cyanobacteria for nutrients which means they can aid you in keeping your aquarium clean. Many species of fish feel safer in a planted aquarium as it gives them somewhere to hide and is a closer resemblance to the natural ecosystem they evolved in. These factors contribute to the overall health of your fish.

Given the right conditions and loving care, Tiger Lotus is a good alternative to more common plants. One of the main reasons to consider using it in your aquarium is that it will offer the same benefits as other plants, but also grows some beautiful flowers. As long as you are attentive to any problems that may develop and choose a nutrient rich substrate your Tiger Lotus will reward you for a long time.

With live aquarium plants, you can overcome all the problems of a non-planted aquarium. You can improve the quality of your aeration, filtration, food and algae control. You can improve the lives of your fish.

    By Sean Norman
    Sean Norman is an environmental science student and freelance writer with a deep love of ecology.
    Article Source: EzineArticles


Why the Hysteria About WATER WISTERIA ?

Hygrophila difformis.jpg
"Hygrophila difformis"
Licensed under Public Domain via 
Wikimedia Commons.
Water Wisteria is very easy to grow a plant for a beginner but has more demanding needs than that of other aquarium plants such as Java Fern, Java Moss or Anubias. However, many people grow Water Wisteria successfully with little or no experience of planted aquariums previously.

Water Wisteria is from the Acanthus family and is known by the Latin name of "Hygrophila difformis". It is widely regarded as being very easy to grow and prefers an environment where it can get a large amount of light, but will grow slowly under less favourable conditions. In natural environments, it is normally found in marshy habitats on the Indian subcontinent where it can easily be identified by finely branched light green leaves and flowering above water. The temperature of the water also serves to determine the shape of the leaves, when the temperature is higher they will grow larger with more space between them than they would do in colder temperatures.

Although lighting conditions have to be more intense than of other easy to keep plants such as the previously mentioned Java Fern, Water Wisteria is still very easy to keep. High light conditions do have the effect of encouraging cyanobacteria and algae growth in aquariums, but this is offset by Water Wisteria's high uptake of nutrients. The effect this has on bacteria and algae is to deprive them of much of the nutrients they need for growth, even though they will have plenty of light for photosynthesis, starving them to death before they can become an annoyance.

Nutrient-rich water and substrate are important for this plant to get the best results from it, as it will uptake nutrients through its roots and from the water column. Although they are not strictly necessary, Water Wisteria should benefit from Co2 injections and liquid water fertilizers. Applying a liquid water fertilizer, particularly one containing Iron, would only be necessary roughly once a week. It is a good idea to note that regular pruning may be necessary if conditions are very good for this plant to keep it from overtaking the aquarium.

Due to its size, it makes an excellent place for fry to hide, growing to be anywhere between twenty to fifty centimetres with a width of roughly fifteen to twenty-five centimetres. In less than optimum lighting conditions it can still do very well, depending on exposure, in a nutrient high environment even in low light it may be necessary to prune once a month. Cuttings which are taken at this time are normally easily propagated into new plants.

Although Water Wisteria is somewhat more demanding than other plants, it is still a very easily kept aquarium plant, particularly beneficial for live-bearing fish. Providing the water quality is high and a decent amount of light is available it should do extremely well in most aquariums.


AQUARIUM PLANTS: Importance of natural plants Part 2

This image shows a Parrotfeather (Myriophyllum...
This image shows a Parrotfeather (Myriophyllum aquaticum). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Follows are other importance of using natural plants in modern aquarium…

·         The first obvious importance lies in the value of DECORATOR for the aquarium. A thickly planted aquarium needs no plastic or paper background (as is common with most aquariums around the country). Since the real stuff is right there in your tank, an aquarium would look rather bare without the addition of plants much like a soccer pitch without grass!

·         Natural Aquarium plants also serve as food (mineral) SUPPLEMENT for fishes that require occasional variety to their monotonous flake meals. They also serve as CONDITIONER AND INDICATOR of water quality. Many plants, especially the Myriophyllum special water milfoils break into pieces when hard water is added into the tank, this could be an indication of the unsuitability of the water for fishes.

·         Many large leafed plants help reduce the need for cleaning the aquarium front glass because of their role as INHIBITORS to the growth of the smaller plants especially the green and brown algae by shading, thus starving them and reducing their proliferation on the front glass. The large leafed plants also provide shelter and hiding places for the smaller and less aggressive fishes.

·         Egg-laying fishes can only spawn when there is a spawning medium in form of a bunch of feathery plants.

·         On the whole, plants provide a SECURITY FACTOR which is one vital attribute of fish looks out for before setting in as pets in your aquarium. They prefer a place that looks more like “home” to them.


AQUARIUM PLANTS: Importance of natural plants Part 1

A small amateur aquarium – tank for 100 liters.
A small amateur aquarium – tank for 100 liters. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Use of aquarium plants in a modern-day aquarium is very important but some people don’t really value the importance, thus they are still using plastic plants. Today I will discuss the importance of having natural aquarium plants.

Natural aquarium plants among others help to….

  • Aids fish breathing and as a result the aquarium can thrive comfortably without the use of artificial aeration and electric light! 

  • Reduction of the toxic carbon-dioxide level (Co2 level) which happens to be a critical factor causing constant fish deaths. The plants use up the Co2 in the process of food formation. The nature of the carbon dioxide gas is such that, once it is produced inside the water (e.g. by the fish), it stays put in the aquarium no matter the amount of aeration, because the Co2 gas is about three times more miscible with water than oxygen. The resultant effect of this is that there is a gradual build-up of this waste gas leading eventually to suffocating of the fish unless there is a practical or complete removal of the aquarium water which could be rather cumbersome.

  • Natural aquarium plants also serve the most important functions of CONVERTING WASTE into harmless and useful products. In this way, they generate a self-recycling process (the NITROGEN CYCLE) that automatically converts the waste produced by the fish and the excess food into fertilizer which the plants utilize for rapid growth.
  • They hidding and spawning areas for fish.

  • Natural plants in aquarium shelters aquatic insects.


AQUARIUM PLANT: importance and how to plant them in aquarium

240 litres aquarium with different fishes, pla...
240 liters aquarium with different fishes, plants, and a big roo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Aquarium plant is very important to the aquarium as water is to fish. It adds more life to an aquarium and makes it look beautiful while completing the aquarium community structure. The main object to bear in mind when planting is to form an attractive background, leaving ample space in from where the fishes can swim undisturbed and be seen. The tall, grassy type is best planted at intervals in rows, while the feathery ones look better when they are bunched into small clumps, which makes them appear like branching bushes.

When planting rooted plants, hold the tips of the bunch of roots between the thumb and second finger and rest them on the sand. Now with the first finger push the upper part of the roots (where they join the stem) about 2cm into the sand. Without moving this finger scrape with the thumb and second finger some sand over any uncovered portion of the root.

When putting in rootless plants in bunches, the method explained above is repeated, but this time the lower ends of the stems are placed together and treated exactly as if they were roots.

It is important that the water surface should be right up to the lower edge of the top angle iron of the tank so that looking from the front the water surface cannot be seen and the viewer gets the impression that there is no water in the aquarium. If the level is allowed to fall below the top angle iron the tank looks like a container holding water.


ALGAE Problems in aquarium tank: simple and effective solutions

Photo: Wikimedia
Eradication of encrusting algae could be done simply by periodically scraping the sides of the aquarium or scrubbing the rocks.

For those with plastic plants and a completely white gravel bed, the situation could be more tasking as it would be necessary to bleach the rocks to remove all traces of algae.

However, if you do this, do make sure that you rinse the gravel thoroughly afterwards. Bleach is highly toxic, and even small amounts can have a drastic effect on the aquarium fish.

Since the primary cause of green algae is too much light. The first step in the treatment schedule should be light reduction then partial water changes and an adequate stocking of natural aquarium plants. A final treatment with an algal remedy should ensure that the problem is eradicated and is at least kept at bay for some time.

One of the factors mentioned above is the use of natural aquatic plants as a means of control. This is really more effective than many people think.

For a start, luxuriant plant growth will filter out some of the light keeping algae in check. In addition, plants absorb a large variety of chemicals from the water, thereby starving algae of some of their essential nutrients e.g. nitrates (not nitrites).

Surprising though it may seem, and adequate plant stocking level is approximately 50 small plants per square root of available space. The last treatment mentioned is the use of an algaecide. I must stress the word "use:" - it is very different to "abuse"!

Yet despite this difference, I know that some people will still persist in pouring the chemical remedy into their aquarium and expect the problem to disappear overnight, even though they have done absolutely nothing to alter the conditions in the tank that brought about the problem in the first place.

The conditions I stated above have to be adhering to for any lasting effect to occur! Now that we know how to curb the menace of the green algae, we shall discuss its "sister" - the brown encrusting algae whose case is the reverse of the green.


Choosing AQUARIUM PLANTS - Fake Or Real For Your Freshwater Aquarium?

Artificial Aquarium Plant
When setting up your new aquarium, you will soon realize that it looks bare without decorations or plants. These additions, besides serving a decorative function, are a necessary addition for the health of your fish. Plants make your fish more comfortable in their home by providing hiding spots.

When it comes to aquarium plants, there are two main choices: real or fake. Live would require care, just like houseplants. They will need to be chosen wish your fish species in mind and will require more of your time than fake plants, which require little effort and are easy to care for even if you're not an experienced fishkeeper. While fresh may die if the water quality is not monitored closely, fake plants can withstand everything. The only care required is an occasional cleaning in the sink.

Plastic plants are also available in a wide array of styles and colors, including neon shades, that simply isn't achievable if you choose to plant your aquarium with real aquatic plants. However, neon plants do not create a very natural setting and may stress out your fish. Many have found that plastic, even those with natural colors, simply do not have the realistic appearance they are after.

If you're looking for aquarium plants that are realistic, yet easy to care for, consider silk. These are just as easy to care for as plastic plants but lend a more natural appearance to the tank. Always purchase silk plants designed for aquariums, because they will not contain any chemicals that could leach into the water and harm your fish.

There are advantages to using real plants in an aquarium. If you are interested in breeding fish, you should know that some fish species will only breed in an environment with live plants. Fresh plants also add oxygen to the water and use nitrates, becoming a beneficial part of the nitrogen cycle and helping to clean your tank. Live plants are eaten by many species of fish, and in fact are one of the healthiest and most natural food sources you can provide for the herbivores in your tank.

Despite the benefits of using real plants, they can require specialized care. If you do choose to plant your aquarium with fresh plants, be sure that you understand their care requirements. Plants also require specialized aquatic fertilizers and lighting; no plant can grow without lights, which are required for photosynthesis. Many varieties of aquatic plants require specific pH levels or water temperatures. If these are incompatible with the needs of your fish, one or the other will suffer. You'll need to choose plant varieties that are compatible with the fish in your aquarium.

Cleaning a planted tank is more difficult than cleaning one with fake plants because real plants should not be uprooted for cleaning. As the plants naturally decay, there will be more waste material at the bottom of the tank, which can reduce water quality over time. While healthy plants will improve the aquarium habitat, those that are not cared for properly have the potential to harm your fish. Aquatic plants require pruning, just like your houseplants.

Only you decide whether planting your tank with real ones is worth the additional maintenance. If it is your first time ever having fish, choose fake ones. The complicated care of real ones can get quickly become overwhelming if you're not used to caring for an aquatic habitat.


12 Tropical Aquarium Plants From the Cuttings and Floating Types Are Recommended

Rotala macranda
Rotala macranda (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Recommendations are given for a selection of tropical aquarium plants from the cuttings and floating plant types available. 12 are recommended with four described in detail.

A cutting, the Red Rotala (Rotala macandra) has soft delicate leaves that could easily be damaged if they are situated in strong water currents. In order to maintain the red color, this plant needs a bright light on a regular basis.

A temperature range of 22 to 28 degrees centigrade and pH range of 5 to 6.5 is suitable. Fast growing, the Rotala likes to go up to the surface and then goes on to grow with leaves floating at the surface. The leaves appear to get bigger and redder the nearer they get to the light.

A cutting, the Giant Hygrophila (Nomaphila stricta) is also known as the Indian Water Star. It has broad lance-shaped leaves, is great for fish to shelter in and is also useful as sites for spawning. Prefers slightly hard water and a strong light.

It appears that snails like this plant so look out for them. A temperature range of 20 to 28 degrees centigrade and pH range of 5 to 7 is suitable. Another plant that grows fast and will need trimming regularly.

A floater, the Butterfly Fern (Salvinia auriculata) is also known as the Eared Watermoss and is really easy to keep and grow. Bubble nesters can use the plant for their nest and fry can shelter and hide underneath in the roots that dangle down in the water.

But remember that, as with all floating plants, do not let them cover too much surface area as this will restrict light getting to plants lower down the tank and they will die off.

It is related to the Salvinia molesta which out in the wild can grow like mad and cause lots of problems in waterways as it doubles its size over a few days. In fact, they are prohibited from entry into Tasmania and cannot be sold or distributed there as they have been declared weeds under a Weed Management Act (1999).

Java moss
Java moss (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A floater, the Java Moss (Vesicularia dubyana) is very common in freshwater aquariums. Like Riccia, it attaches itself to driftwood, rocks, and roots. Java Moss has no onerous requirements or any special attention as it will survive in varying water conditions, even weakly brackish, and under all sorts of light levels.

But it thrives better under low to moderate light conditions and a temperature range of 21 to 24 degrees centigrade but it can survive temperatures of up to 29 to 32 degrees centigrade.

As you do not plant the Java Moss, you will need to fix it temporarily, for example, to a rock with some fishing line. Then, when it has used its own tiny roots to adhere to the rock you can remove the fishing line. You can also produce a moss wall effect by adding the moss to a net which is fixed to the tank wall by suction devices and nylon string.

It is an excellent plant in which spawning can take place and in which the hatched fry can shelter and hide. Egg-laying fish that scatter their eggs would benefit most from this plant. From a maintenance point of view, you need to keep it clean of algae which will have a detrimental effect on it.

Other recommended cuttings plants are;
* Cabomba caroliniana 
* Bacopa caroliniana 
* Hygrophila salicifolia 
* Ludwiga repens
Other recommended floating plants are;
* Ceratophyllum spp.
* Ceratopteris thalictroides
* Pistia stratiatos
* Riccia fluitans


Live AQUARIUM PLANTS - Background Plants

In an aquarium, background plants refer to those plants that are normally placed at the rear of the aquarium. These aquarium plants are usually taller plants with longer stems or leaves. They are placed at the rear of the aquarium for mainly two reasons. Firstly, they enhance the appearance of the aquarium background scene. Secondly, they help to conceal unsightly items such as filter tubes and heaters at the rear of the fish tank. Sometimes, these aquarium plants are placed at the front corners of the fish tank to the further enhance the overall appearance. Some common background plants are described below.

Fanwort (Cabomba caroliniana)
Cabomba caroliniana is a fine-feathered plant which is light green in colour. This aquarium plant looks stunning when planted in groups of three or more. It grows fast and lives well in bright lighting. It can grow up to a maximum height of about 50cm. Cabomba caroliniana is one of the most common species available and fairly easy to keep. An advantage of having this plant in the fish tank is that it is good for filling up spaces and hiding areas in the background. Another advantage is that it can be used to capture the eggs scattered by fishes. The majority of community fish kept in aquariums uses the egg-scattering method for their reproduction. The disadvantage with this aquarium plant is that fish loves to nibble on it and its leaves come off very easily. Thus, you will often find many leaves floating around in your planted aquarium.

Elodea (Egeria densa)
Elodea is a popular aquatic plant. It is fast-growing and can grow to a height of about 50cm. It is a suitable plant for beginners. Growing the Elodea has many benefits. Firstly, it is easy to keep as it survives well in a wide range of conditions. Secondly, it grows very thick if kept in bright lighting and thus, is an excellent plant for filling up spaces. Thirdly, it secretes substances that help to prevent algae growth. Fourthly, Elodea is known to remove great amounts of nitrates. Hence, it helps to purify the water. Lastly, a small piece of the plant can actually regenerate to become a new plant within a short period of time.

Amazon Sword (Echinodorus bleheri)
The plant derives its name 'Amazon Sword' from the fact that it grows in Amazon and the shape of its leaves is similar to that of the blade of a sword. This beautiful plant can greatly enhance your aquarium decor, especially when it blooms. Echinodorus bleheri lives well in moderate lighting. However, a point you need to note is that Echinodorus bleheri has large roots and thus, it needs additional fertilizers for it to grow well. Also, if you placed this plant in your aquarium, you need to ensure that the large roots of the plant do not choke out other plants.

The above are some common background plants you can consider placing in your aquarium. These plants can certainly help to make your aquarium decor more stunning. They can help to conceal unsightly items at the rear of the fish tank and fill up the spaces. As described above, each plant has its own benefits as well.


AQUARIUM PLANTS - Different Aspects of Aquarium Plants

or Java Fern, one of only a few ferns capable ...
Java Fern, one of only a few ferns capable of growing underwater.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It is suggested that people should keep aquarium plants at their places because these are really very important in creating a balance in the environment via exchange of gases required in the respiration process. As such these are very helpful in maintaining a proper gaseous exchange balance in their surroundings. However, these plants also require special attention in the sense of supply of enough CO2, proper lighting, and algae for their regulation.

Aquariums plants, as already mentioned require a proper supply of gases, lightning, and food with appropriate minerals, and care and attention. The most important requirement of it is the proper supply of light, which is in most cases the dilemma due to which such plants die early. The reason is that the artificial lighting system that is present in houses is not strong enough to provide with the amount of light parallel to their needs. Hence, these plants suffer weak health and die at an early stage of life without prospering much.

It is suggested to provide yellow-green light spectrum in houses so that the requirement of their lightning needs is fulfilled. Still, one must also know how much time the light should be provided that is well according to the needs and requirements of the plants.

One must also note that the light intensity must not be very high that it burns the plants, or very low that the plants can not fulfill their needs. Aquarium plants' specialists suggest that the lightning time for such plants should be 12 hours per day with a normal light intensity.

Well- known aquarium plants include the Hornwort, Java Moss, Dwarf Anubis, Java Fern, Water Sprite, Anacharis/Elodea, Amazon Sword, Dwarf Lily, Wendi, Banana Plant, and Rotala Macrandra. However, it is not recommended to keep plants such as Mondo Grass, Purple Waffle, Aluminum Plant or Peace Lilies as they require vast open area and will die if planted in aquariums.


Freshwater AQUARIUM PLANTS - Spotting Plant Problems

Aquatic Plants - Photo: Pixabay
Even the best of us are going to have some problems with aquarium plants at some time or another. The good news is that plant disease in aquariums is a rare occurrence. But if it does occur, it's a good thing to know what to look for and what to do about it. Don't spend a lot of time worrying about it. If the plants look good and are growing new shoots or buds, they are more than likely in good shape.

Knowing what to look for and what to do if something happens will go a long way in helping you not lose all your live aquatic plants. So get smart and learn the early telltale signs of trouble and know what to do to correct the problem.

If your plants develop holes in the leaves, it might be caused by fish nibbling on them. If your fish are vegetarians then you have provided them with a good food source. Just be ready to keep replacing the plants as a food supply. Your fish will be grateful. If the plants begin to fall apart after the holes form, it may be due to rot. This is probably the result of too many nitrates in the water. Changing the water should correct this problem.

If you see your plant's leaves turning brown or black, this can indicate decay. The likely culprit of this is too much iron. Again, water changes can help reduce this problem. If the leaves are turning yellow they may be suffering from an iron deficiency. Get some aquatic plant fertilizer with iron at your pet or aquarium store and the problem should clear up.

If you find that some plants are doing fine and others are dying you could have a CO2 problem. Some plants have a harder time extracting CO2 than others. Make sure you have enough CO2 in the water. 

You can add CO2 through water changes or by adding pressurized CO2 equipment. These systems are nice but they can be expensive.

    John Stoner is an author and a freshwater aquarium enthusiast.
    Article Directory: EzineArticles


Choosing PLANTS for Your BETTA FISH Tank

Clouds in the air
Photo by Joel Carnat
Betta fish use plants as a defensive strategy in their natural environments.  This allows them to avoid contact with predators and other male Bettas  Nervous or threatened-feeling Bettas will squeeze through close together plants to escape danger.  Because of this, it is important to include some kind of plant in your Betta's tank, to reduce stress and allow it to feel that it can hide.

While some people prefer artificial plants in their aquariums, live plants help to take care of harmful chemical byproducts in the tank, such as ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates.  They also perform the important function of gas exchange, keeping the water more oxygenated than an environment without plants or with artificial plants.  Soft and leafy plants are preferred, to prevent damage to the Betta's scales should it squeeze between leaves or branches.

Plants do require light, however.  An aquarium with live plants should have either access to sunlight or a light built into the hood.  Some plants which are recommended for use with Betta fish are the floating Water Sprite, Hornwort, and Elodea.  Tiger Lotus is considered good for use in tanks with breeding Bettas since it puts out a lily-pad-like leaf that sits on the surface of the water.  Male Bettas use this leaf to shelter their bubble nests.  Be sure to keep an eye on your Betta tank's plants, since dead and rotting vegetation can be bad for the water quality.  Java Moss and Java Ferns can thrive in uncycled bowls without any filtration.  They also require low to medium light and are thus suitable for aquariums or enclosures that cannot be put close to a window.

Live plants for your Betta tank can be found locally from some aquarium stores or ordered from the Internet.  All plants should be bright green and very healthy looking.  They should also be quarantined before placing them in with the fish, to make sure that they do not carry diseases or parasites that could harm your Betta  Be sure to acquire plants from a reputable source.  It is wise to do some research on your supplier before purchasing live plants for your Betta tank.  Bettas tend to interact more with live plants than with artificial plants.  Many types of artificial plants are also rough and could damage fins and scales.  Unlike fake plants, real ones will also sway attractively in the water as the fish swims through them.  When the time comes to clean the tank, some plants can be gently removed and rinsed if this is desired.  This is particularly easy when using free-floating plants like the Java fern.


Aquatic Plants - JAVA MOSS

Java Moss
Photo  by AJC 
Many fish species from all over the world like to spawn among Java moss plants in the aquarium even when Java moss cannot be found in their native habitat. Java moss will also provide fry with an ideal hiding place where they can avoid being eaten by adult fish. Since infusoria appreciate the moss as a home, the really small fry will have access to tiny food that they can feed on until they are large enough to eat bigger food types. 

Java moss does not have to be planted in the substrate; you can simply tie it to a piece of aquarium decoration or leave it floating around in the aquarium. A free-floating piece of Java moss can, however, be sucked into the filter, so most aquarists prefer to attach the Java moss to something or plant it in the substrate. It can actually do well even above the surface as long as the air is moist. It is, therefore, a great plant for open aquariums and paludariums.

When you attach the Java moss to rock, wood or any other type of aquarium decoration you can for instance use fishing wire. Be careful not to use materials that can pollute the water, e.g. copper wire. The moss will instantly start growing small roots (so-called rhizoids) and try to attach itself to the surface. After a while, the fishing wire is no longer needed since the plant will be secured by the rhizoids.

The moss is a very fast growing plant, and when you have purchased one plant you can easily use it to create new plants for other parts of the aquarium. It can be propagated by simply splitting the plant and moving one of the parts to another place. The moss will often propagate itself in the aquarium since small pieces will fall of the main plant and drift around in the water until they find a new place where they can attach themselves. The moss will also form red-brown sporocarps.

The moss will endure a wide range of different water conditions and temperatures. It is native to warm waters and the preferred temperature range is therefore 64°-86° F (18°-30° C). It will also appreciate a pH between 5.8 and 8.0 but can sometimes adapt to more acidic conditions. Unlike many other tropical plants, this moss does not require strong light and it will actually do best in low or medium strong light. Algae can be a problem for the moss since excessive algae growth on the leaves can harm and even kill the plant.


Freshwater AQUARIUM PLANTS - Aquatic Botanical Biodiversity

Planted Tank 02
Photo  by The Wandering Angel 
Aquatic plants do carry the other half of the marine ecosystem and are good additions to aquariums simply because they make the marine life equation complete. But there are good signs lately which indicate that these plants are now used for more than just equating the animal-plant balance in an aquatic community. If you are interested in purchasing freshwater aquarium plants for your aquarium, then you might find this information quite useful.


Floaters are a common choice in aquariums because they add that style and elegance aside from the balance that they provide in the entire aquarium. Floaters, as the name suggests, thrive at the surface of the aquarium with their roots "floating" in the water, and are, by technical name, floating plants. One good example of a floater is the Fairy Moss.


These plants are commonly described as having thick stems that stretch out inside the fish tank horizontally, with the leaves sprouting evenly at the stem. They are made to "run" over the substrate, much like how a normal plant grows on land. The Anubias and the African Fern are the commonly used rhizomes for aquariums. Aquarists start growing these plants by attaching them to the driftwood, and they spread along the substrate all by themselves.


These plants are characterized as looking like crowns, with roots that grow underneath them. These kinds of plants are very ornamental for a freshwater aquarium plant because they present a shortened stem axis that tends to spread over its leaves beautifully. The downside is that they tend to need a good amount of maintenance and care. Some good examples of Rosettes are the Amazon Sword and the Sagittaria.


They are called this way because of their general appearance, which basically looks like a stem that is firmly rooted in the substrate. The leaves that can come in paired and multiple varieties are found at the stem's nodes

Other Notable Aquatic Plants

The Java moss may well be considered as one of the most common aquatic plants. This is because it has a high tolerance rate for varying water pH levels, and can grow relatively fast, which makes it the ideal plant for beginners.

The Water Wisteria is a plant that can also grow quite quickly. It is a good plant to use in aquariums because aside from its aesthetic function as a plant, it also helps to keep the algae levels of the aquarium low. Be careful of the water nutrient sucking capability of this plant, though.

Cryptocoryne Becketti is a plant that can pose a challenge to the more experienced hobbyist. It is an amphibious plant, meaning it can grow well regardless if it is on land or underwater (but for its underwater survivability purposes, we shall still call this an aquatic plant). Like Rosettes, it's a very good ornamental plant, as it gives a dazzling array of different colors, but it only works for those who are able to raise it well.

    Sandra Gaffney is a freshwater aquarium expert.