Aquarium plants transform your aquarium from a plain tank with fish to a world of underwater creatures and anemones. Not only does it increase the beauty of your tank but it improves your fishes living environment.
Your first decision will need to be whether you want live or artificial plants. The only benefit to artificial plants is that they don’t die and require no maintenance on your part. Live plants have many beneficial qualities which affect the health of your fish and your fish tank. Live plants provide a source of food for your fish and improve your water quality. Simply put, they create a more natural environment for your fish. They also come in a large selection of exquisite colors unmatched by artificial plants.
The next step will be to purchase a material that your plants can grow in. We call this substrate. This can include a multitude of items such as gravel, sand, dirt or kitty litter. Your plants will anchor to the substrate, allowing them to grow.
Lighting will also affect your plants as it affects their growth. Built in lighting at the top of your tank is always a good idea. However, too much light can goes algae growth so it’s best to periodically turn of the lights.
The other two important qualities of healthy plant life are nutrients and CO2. Plants need plenty of both to survive. Some nutrients can actually be incurred naturally through the fish life while other plants will need to be fertilized. The same thing applies with CO2. Some of it is derived naturally from such things as the respiration of the fish while some of it may need to be added.
Keep in mind that certain plants work better with other plants and certain fish thrive better with specific plants. After you have purchased your fish, do some quick research on which plants your breed of fish will like best.
Adding aquarium plants to your tank will add to the beauty of your tank whether you pick plain green artificial plants or live exotic plants. Plants provide a source of food, keep your fish happier and healthier, and will take you one step closer to looking like you have a piece of the ocean right there in your home.