Plants provide shelter and security for the fish. Because they compete with algae for nutrients, they can help to reduce algae growth. Live plants enhance the appearance and provide a much more natural environment for the fish. By improving water quality and reducing stress, live plants are a great way to improve your fishes' health. Adding live plants, however, does not reduce the need for water changes. When selecting live plants, make sure that you select species that are truly submersible
When first beginning to use live plants in your aquarium, it is wise to choose a large amount of hardy species Once your aquarium is balanced, you can start including the more sensitive plant species.
Plant Selection & Placement Tips:
- To create a natural-looking garden aquarium, add a broad variety of plant species. The visual effect is lush and beautiful.
- While foreground and background plants help define your composition, don't necessarily place only tall plants in back and short in front. Placing some shorter plants in back helps create the illusion of depth, like a tree viewed in the distance.
- Don't forget the reds! A bold splash of a red against varied shades of green creates a dramatic visual focus. Red varieties of Ludwigia and Rotala make great choices.
Caring for your maturing planted aquarium is both an art and a science. With the right technique and a creative eye, you too can enjoy the rewards of a beautifully sculpted garden. Here are some tips how:
- Tall stem plants like Rotala Indica will begin to bend over at the surface if not pruned back. While this surface growth is ideal for bubble-nesting gouramis, it also shades the plants below from precious light.
- Advantageous rooting plants can be pruned mid stem and replanted. Simply trim the bottom leaves of the cutting and place back into the substrate, using bendable plant weights if necessary to anchor. Replant with the same grouping for a fuller look, or experiment by interspersing these single cuttings among other established groupings.
- Sometimes, a young plant that starts out looking fine in one location soon outgrows its space. To thin out, either cut and toss individual leaves or carefully pull out half the cluster by the roots and replant the extra in another location.