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


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. 


AQUARIUM PLANTS: One Of The Best Ornaments In An Aquarium

English: An aquatic garden with mostly Cryptoc...
An aquatic garden with mostly Cryptocoryne species.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Everybody understands the reason why most plants can be seen in many aquariums. Healthy plants and their lush are beautiful to look at when they are in an aquarium. They also create a natural setting in the aquarium.

Most of the fishes feel secure, less stressed and safe whenever they have plants to hide in. Some species of fish do not survive in an aquarium without any plants.

Aquarium plants will not only give the fishes a helpful shelter and make your aquarium look attractive but they can maintain the quality of the water as well. Plants and fish both exist in the wild and they will surely match well in your aquarium.

The wastes discharged by the fish contain compounds that are useful for the plant’s nutrition. Therefore, the organic wastes can be contained in the plants instead of seeing them float in the water. The plants must be pruned regularly and the dead parts must be eliminated from the aquarium ASAP.

Not only that, the aquarium plants will also provide a shelter to many microorganisms which are useful for the ecology and environment of the aquarium. In addition, plants have also the capacity to inhibit the growth of ugly algae since algae and plants compete for similar nutrients.

Most species of fish will never reproduce in an aquarium without plants. This is because some species need plants for them to feel secure enough to reproduce, while other species need the leaves of the plants to place their eggs in. An abundantly planted aquarium will also enhance the survival growth of the fry especially if you want to increase the number of fry in a similar aquarium like with the adult fish.

However, we all know that plants rely too much on to light and photosynthesis. An aquarium with no plants will only need little. But if you are planning to have an abundant number of plants in your aquarium, you will be required to put new lights. A fluorescent light will be better for your planted aquarium, make sure that they are made especially for aquariums.

If you are a beginner, the plant species that will be suitable for you are the Java Moss and the Java Fern. These are strong plants that can survive in water hardness and pH values. They can even be placed in a brackish aquarium like the Molly aquarium.

Aquarium plants are very important to the survival of most fishes in the aquarium. It does not matter what aquarium plant you choose, the important thing is you know how to maintain your aquarium as naturally as the fishes and plants habitat.


Artificial Freshwater AQUARIUM PLANTS

There is always a certain amount of joy and fun in putting decorations in your freshwater aquarium. In fact, adding artificial plants to your aquarium can cost a little less than the money you spend on maintaining your aquarium. As we all know, artificial plants are reasonably priced and they require very little care and maintenance once they are placed in the aquarium. The idea of placing them in your freshwater aquarium was introduced rather late. There was a time when artificial plants were looked upon as eyesores by many 'newbies' in the aquarium community.

Today, however, their appearance is very similar to real plants and you have to actually touch them to tell that they are made of plastic materials. In fact, the majority, if not all artificial plants used in freshwater aquariums, are made from silk allowing them to freely move in the water.

One of the greatest benefits of using artificial plants in aquariums is the fact that they shine in all their glory the moment you place them in your aquarium. This has a glorious effect that live plants can never provide since they need time to grow and blossom. As a rule, however, it is necessary that before you add artificial plants to your aquarium you must ensure that they are thoroughly cleaned and that they are free from any contaminants that can harm the fish. A little trick to make your the plants appear more realistic: soak them in warm water for thirty minutes. This is good for softening the fabric.

What's more, artificial plants do not require additional care and maintenance. They can stay as they are whether or not the aquarium is lighted. There are no problems when adding special nutrients and you can basically place them on any aquarium substrate. In fact, you can execute the most daring design when it comes to arranging them in the aquarium. By choosing your favorite artificial plants, you can easily place them anywhere you wish. If the time comes when you decide to remove them, you can easily do so without the worry of hurting the fish or damaging the tank.

In fact, you cannot kill your artificial freshwater aquarium plants, and so you do not have to worry about pruning or feeding them to them to make them grow. They will always be what they are-artificial plants. But if well chosen, they are not ordinary plants and though they are lifeless, they bring about the appearance of life to both the fish and spectators. Moneywise, they are way cheaper than live plants because you only need to purchase them once, and you can continue to enjoy their beauty for as long as you desire. They only cease giving life to your freshwater aquarium once you decide to throw them away.

Finally, artificial plants can significantly add life and beauty to your freshwater aquarium without causing any danger to the fish. Aside from the fact that they are very easy to care for, you do not need to monitor them very closely as they will never invite algae to grow on them. Maintenance is also inexpensive and cost-effective.


Transparent Leaves on AMAZON SWORDS

Echinodorus bleheri (Amazon sword plant, altho...
Echinodorus bleheri (Amazon sword plant, although other plants are
also known under this common name). The plant is cultivated for and used
in freshwater aquariums. The species is native to the Amazon Basin.
(Photo credit: 
A common experience with Amazon Sword plants is that you will find them growing well, otherwise completely healthy, but with almost transparent leaves. Over time, the general health of the plant begins to degenerate.

This problem is caused by the chloroplasts in the leaves beginning to die, how badly the plant is affected depends on how advanced this has become. Unfortunately, there are a number of causes of this particular problem so it may be necessary to try a number of different approaches before a remedy can be found. If the plants in your tank are overall generally healthy, then do not worry too much, it is most likely that there will be no serious long-term damage you need to be concerned about. The most likely causes are a lack of soft, slightly acidic water, lighting conditions, and either an iron or potassium deficiency.

One of the most important aspects of plant keeping, outside of maintenance needed to keep water chemistry balanced, is ensuring that plants have the correct level of lighting. It is particularly helpful if lighting used is in the red or blue spectrum, as it is this wavelength that is used for photosynthesis. Amazon Swords will need roughly 2 to 3 watts per gallon of light to grow properly, if you have a tank greater than 18 inches in depth you will need a little more to penetrate to the bottom. If your tap water is hard and alkaline, consider using distilled water for water changes. A decent fertilizer with Iron and Potassium as some of the macronutrients it provides should eliminate any deficiencies.

It is advisable to make sure that everything in your aquarium has very similar needs and the closer this is, the better! It is always important to strike this balance, particularly if things begin to go wrong with one or more aspects of the aquarium. This is the point where you may change lighting intensity, the balance of water chemistry and other factors of the aquarium. Providing that you have done your research beforehand, trying to treat problems with your Amazon Swords should go smoothly, just make sure to be vigilant on how the aquarium fares with changes in water chemistry, lighting, hardness, and acidity.

Keeping Amazon Swords can be very rewarding. If you begin to have this problem with them, once you have worked out what you believe has gone wrong or may be causing the issue, you are well on the way to treating them successfully.

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.


ELODEA - An Excellent Oxygenator Plant For Your Pond

Elodea canadensis2 ies.jpg
"Elodea canadensis2 ies" by Frank Vincentz Licensed via Wikimedia Commons.
Elodea is a genus of aquatic plant known to be a fine oxygenator for ponds and aquariums. Elodea in the Greek literally means marshy. Also known as waterweeds (American or Canadian) or water weed, Elodea is native to North America and is found in ponds and slow streams. The only place it is not found is in the extreme northern parts of the continent. It has also been introduced to many other parts of the world.

Some species of Elodea, introduced in England in 1841, clogged up canals and waterways. It is considered a problem plant in many areas of the world. However, in the United States, the Elodea is considered an excellent plant for use in ponds and aquariums.

Elodea is a slender plant that grows from 4 inches to 3 feet depending on the depth of the water. The American waterweed (Elodea Canadensis) lives entirely underwater except for delicate white pistillate flowers that bloom at the surface and float on the surface of the water. Staminate flowers rise to the surface and release their pollen. The fruit of the Elodea ripens below the surface. Elodea produces heavy buds in the Fall that fall off and drop to the bottom and then begin to grow in the Spring; relying little on seed production.

Geese, ducks, and swans like to eat Elodea plants so don't be surprised if growing it in your pond attracts some of these visitors. Elodea is also an excellent plant for the protection of fish fry. Gold fish will lay their eggs so that they attach to the stalks and the fry use the stalks for cover.

Elodea can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, PH levels, and growth mediums. Before introducing new plants, it might be wise to keep them in quarantine or run the plants through a plant dip/bath to rid them of unwanted snails or algae. If you want a hardy, low-maintenance oxygenator plant for your pond, the Elodea is an excellent choice.


Five Main Types of Freshwater AQUARIUM PLANTS

[WATER PLANTS] - Pogostemom Stellata - Nesaea Pedicellata - Staurogyne repens - Echinodorus Radicans - Cryptocoryne Undalatus Kasselman - Nomaphila Stricta Thay - Anubias Barteri var. Petitte - Anubias Minima - Bolbitis Heudelotii - Crinum Calamistratum - Cryptocoryne Beckettii 'petchii' - Cryptocoryne Wendtii 'Tropica' - Alternanthera Reineckii 'Purple' (lilacina) - Echinodorus 'Ozelot' - Hemianthus Micranthemoides - Proserpinaca Paulustris 'Cuba' - Hemianthus Callitrichoides 'Cuba' - Cyperus Helferi - Vesicularia Dubyana - Hydrocotyle Sibthorpioides (maritima) - Hygrophila Pinnatifida - Microsorum Pteropus 'Narrow' - Microsorum Pteropus 'Petit' - Microsorum Pteropus - Microsorum Pteropus 'Windelov' [FISH] - Otocinclus Affinis - Crossocheilus Siamensis - Paracheirodon Axelrodi - Hyphessobrycon Amandae - Corydoras Aeneus (Albino) - Corydoras Aeneus (Red Fin) [SUBSTRATE] Dupla Substrate [FILTER] Eheim Classic 2260 [LIGHT] Arcadia OT2 Freshwater 1000mm 4x39w T5 [CO2] Dupla Armatur PRO, Dupla Magnetventil and GLA Atomic diffuser [COMMENTS] The tank was setup in a way that would bring back memories of my summer holidays in Portugal, Lisbon. There is a strong light from the left side that will enhance the reds of the Cryptocorynes, Proserpinaca and Alternanthera right underneath it. The layout and color gives the illusion that the sun is rising from between the plants, with the red hues being the sun itself.
Photo: Wikimedia
Yes, you can actually grow live plants in your freshwater aquarium! In fact, it's better to landscape your aquarium with live plants. For one, they offer nutrients to your fish. They also offer hiding places, especially for babies, "fry", as they are called. And they make the aquarium healthier, often adding more oxygen and cleaning the water of toxins. So even if you prefer plastic plants, you might want to give live plants a try. They're more interesting and aren't hard at all to grow.

The general rule of thumb is to landscape your aquarium with plants that would probably be native to your fish's original environment. Even if your fish have never actually been in his native habitat, this is true. The following is a quick course in some of the live plant trade secrets of successful aquarists that you'll need to know to accessorize your freshwater aquarium. There are several main types of aquarium plants that have been found to be successful in tanks. Each group has different planting methods that will be best for them to grow healthily.

  • Bulbs
  • Floating plants
  • Rhizomes
  • Stem plants
  • Other types of freshwater plants

I'll go over a few of these types here. 

Bulbs will usually grow rather large plants and will not be for all aquariums. You'll probably want to grow them in larger tanks. There are more and more bulb-type plants appearing on the market today. You can find some at your local fish store, but be sure to check the internet for a wider variety. And live plants, in general, are not very expensive. To plant bulbs, you'll need to leave the top half of the bulb exposed, the bottom half will be buried in the substrate. Usually, bulbs will grow more little bulbs and form groups, which can later be separated and spread around your aquarium.

Floating plants are really wonderful and require zero care. They just float on the surface of the tank, and in the water, too. Fish love to hide in them and eat in them, and you don't have to plant them. A lot of floaters will resemble ferns or even moss. Great to have around for the "fry" (baby fish) and for your other shy fish. If you're wanting to make your tank a little dimmer, if it seems too bright, floating plants might be a good answer because they'll filter the light and also keep your aquarium cooler.

Rhizomes are similar to bulbs, but the bulb-like root area needs to be planted totally under the substrate. The leaves will grow above the rhizome. These plants are also easy to grow. I've just gone over a couple of types of live aquarium plants here. These are easy to keep, and require almost no care, and will add a more "live" environment for your fish to live in, and they'll be happier and healthier.


FANWORT - Bacomba aquatica

FANWORT - Bacomba aquatica - Photo: Wikimedia


How to AQUASCAPE - Dutch Style

A 58g aquascape by
A 58g aquascape by (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Aquascaping allows you to create a visually impressive aquarium and there a range of different aquascaping styles to choose from for you to create this effect. The style you choose should be based on your personal preference and how confident you are keeping plants generally.

A Dutch style aquascape is a lush arrangement of plants, often containing a diverse arrangement of leaf colors, sizes, and textures. This can be compared to how terrestrial plants are shown in a flower garden and is immediately striking to the beholder. This style attempts to emphasize plants situated at different heights and on different terraces in the tank. When a strong contrast is used, such as prominent red leaves with green, this can be exceptionally striking. Particularly, this style of aquascape may be useful to consider if you are keeping an aquarium where 80% or more of the bottom of the tank will be covered with plants.

Aquascaping like this was developed in the Netherlands in the 1930s, where it became popular elsewhere in the world rapidly, particularly with the growth of commercially available freshwater equipment. Straight rows of plants are commonly called "Dutch streets" and there is a wide range of plant types which can be used in them and the planted aquarium generally. The most commonly used plants are groupings which can be neatly trimmed, plants that have contrasting leaf colorations and also plants which have a feathery foliage. Members of the Hygrophila family are common in Dutch aquariums.

The most important aspects of keeping plants successfully when you are keeping different species is to understand their individual needs and ensure they are similar. If you are keeping two different species of plants which need extremely different water conditions, one or both of them will grow sick and in the worst case scenario, will die. Try to ensure that the plants you wish to keep grow successfully with a similar composition of nutrients, lighting, water hardness, heating, and PH. It may take time to do the research on the individual species, especially in this style of aquascape where many kinds are used, but it is worth it for the long term.

t may be advisable to have a good amount of experience keeping quite a few different kinds of species before trying to create a Dutch aquascape. You may end up wanting to use a wide variety of plants to create the desired effects.

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.

Find out how live aquarium plants can help you, help them.

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