Many aquarium enthusiasts use plastic plants to create aesthetically pleasing and decorative aquarium environments for their freshwater fish. This practice stems from a common misconception that plants are only added for decorative purposes. Live plants are a vital and significant element of an aquarium as they create an ecosystem that allows the freshwater fish to thrive.
Live plants most closely imitate a natural environment, allowing freshwater fish a more holistic and nurturing environment. Live plants purify the habitat, produce oxygen and eliminate harmful substances, such as nitrate, nitrite, ammonia and phosphate from the water. Freshwater fish are often scared from glaring lights, and they seek privacy. Live plants allow them to build natural sanctuaries where they can hide whenever startled.
If you need some help maintaining live plants in an aquarium, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we will walk you through some simple tips that will prove immensely helpful.
Here, take a look:
Sufficient light is essential for plants to survive and maintain healthy growth. Be sure to allow the live plants to obtain substantial lighting that stimulates the properties of sunlight needed for plant photosynthesis. If your tank is deep, you will need a stronger lighting system as compared to a shallow tank.
Plant with Care
It is crucial to ensure that the live plants are anchored with a solid substrate, and root growth is encouraged with a fertile area. Sand, fine gravel and terracotta gravel are considered the ideal environment for planting live plants. Be sure to avoid adding dirt, loam soil or even pond mud to your freshwater aquarium as they will pollute the environment by breeding harmful bacteria.
Live aquarium plants require sufficient food and essential nutrients, which must be added to the substrate of a freshwater aquarium community. You will most likely require a new aquarium that is nicely supplemented with live aquarium plant food. You can obtain this food from your closest pet store or supermarket. Seasoned aquarium enthusiasts understand the importance of supplementing the community aquarium with additional plant nutrients to benefit the entire ecosystem.
Handling Ground Cover Plants
Handling ground cover plants, such as Vallisneria, can be challenging as they often dispatch runners will grow into separate rooted plants. These plants can be easily broken off once they mature, and you can relocate them elsewhere in the aquarium or even plant them in a new environment. They need to be planted near the rear of the aquarium as they enjoy great length. However, these plants tend to die in dry conditions as they are ‘true aquatic’ plants that cannot survive outside the aquarium. Ground cover plants will die if they dry out, which is why it is crucial to be extra careful while planting and replanting them.
A well-planted aquarium creates a natural sanctuary for the fish so they can hide away from things that intimidate and startle them. Live plants also allow smaller and vulnerable fish to hide away from aggressive breeding partners or harsh tank mates.