The Planted Aquarium
A GUIDE TO THE PLANTED AQUARIUM
Welcome to the next step up in having an aquarium, the planted aquarium. "But wait.... I have had plants in my tank before?" Yes most people have, but a planted aquarium attempts to mimic a natural environment.
If you already believe you have a strong knowledge of planted tanks and how everything works, feel free to check out the more advanced techniques of aqua scaping in this guide:An Advanced Guide to Aquascaping
Creating a planted tank helps you to understand the chemistry within the water that allows the plants to grow and flourish if presented with the right environment. There are hundreds of types of plants that encompass different requirements, colours and sizes.
Steps to starting your planted Aquarium
Decide what type of plants you want in the tank. It is usually a good idea to stick with one central theme e.g. Stem plants, Anubais, Java Ferns and crypts. These are among the major types, moss is another plant that will grow in almost all conditions; it makes a fine addition to any planted aquarium.
Examples of Common Plants
- Stem plants will fill the back of the tank nicely and can be shaped very stemseasily through trimming. The trimmed stems can then be propagated into the substrate and grown again, meaning soon your tank will be full of lush plants. Try to avoid some plants like hygro and red coloured plants. Hygro will grow nicely but as it gets lager and stems become closer its lower leaves will drop off and pollute the tank. Red plants need very high lighting and should be avoided.
Anubais & Ferns
- Anubais and java ferns ARE NOT placed in the substrate, they are plants that feed directly on the water column and if placed into the gravel they will die. They grow quite slow but they look very nice if attached to driftwood or a rock.
- Crypts and potted plants can be placed in the gravel and they are attractive looking plants, because they are usually easy to keep they are incredibly popular and also fairly affordable; crypts are a good starter plant.
- Moss will grow fast or slow and display different structures depending on nutrients and lighting but is a great looking plant and perfect for the beginner. Java moss and Christmas are among two of the most abundant, only a little bit is needed to grow a whole lot more.
- Hair grass is a great looking plant that looks like underwater grass, why not have paddocks in your aquarium?
When the types of plants you are using have been decided we must think about what requirements the plants need to grow, a nutrient rich substrate will work but in this case is not entirely necessary.