Many aquarium hobbyists underestimate the amount of time and effort it takes to set up and maintain a thriving planted tank. Not only do you need to think carefully about which plants you want to grow, but you have to consider the right substrate, the filtration system, the water temperature, water chemistry, and even the arrangement of your plants. By the time you get all of those details figured out, you have probably forgotten all about your fish!
While it is true that there are some species of freshwater aquarium fish which are voracious plant-eaters and not recommended for planted tanks, there are just as many (or more) species which can do very well in a planted tank. Keep reading to learn more about the challenges associated with a planted tank and to receive recommendations for plant-friendly species and tips for their care.
What are the Challenges of Keeping a Planted Tank?
When you visit the pet store or see pictures of beautiful planted aquariums online, you may be amazed at the lush green color of the plants and the density in which they have grown. Tanks like these make it look easy, but keeping a planted tank healthy and thriving is not as simple as you might think. Aquarium plants are living things so they require certain nutrients in order to grow and thrive. The main nutrients that aquatic plants need are water (of course), light, and food. Plants are photosynthetic organisms which means that they use light as a source...read more
When it comes to cultivating a thriving freshwater aquarium, many hobbyists like the look of a planted tank. There is just something about an aquarium filled with beautiful green plants that enhances the overall appearance of the tank. Unfortunately, many aquarium hobbyists do not realize the work that goes into cultivating a successful planted tank. Live aquarium plants require a delicate balance of nutrients as well as adequate lighting in order to grow and thrive – if you do not provide for the needs of your plants, they will end up dying and you won’t have the beautiful planted tank you desire.
Though you have the freedom to arrange your planted tank in any way you like, there is a right and a wrong way to go about setting up the tank. In this article you will receive tips for planning your planted tank as well as a step-by-step guide for setting it up.
Top Nutrients Required for a Planted Tank
Before you set up your planted tank, it may help for you to learn about the nutrients that your plants will require in order to grow and thrive. Having this information in mind will help to make the process of selecting the right substrate and water chemistry for your tank make more sense. The most important nutrients for live aquarium plants are as follows:
- Nitrogen – This macronutrient is essential for the formation of protein, amino acids, and DNA – it also plays a role in nutrient uptake. Deficiencies of nitrogen may...
Many hobbyists with fish tanks are naturally drawn to having plants within their tanks. Keeping plants in your tank just seems to make common sense. But real plants or fake? As you'll read on, you'll discover that it's not as straight forward as it may first seem.
This article will first give you an overview of the different styles of planted aquariums, go over different types of plants you could use, including plastic plants, and then go over in detail the pros and cons of keeping live plants in your aquarium. We'll conclude this article with a list of popular plants for either freshwater or saltwater tanks.
Note that most of this article focuses on freshwater plants. That's because there aren't really the same type of plants for saltwater tanks. Most "plants" in saltwater tanks are limited to macro-algae. They don't provide the same look or purpose that freshwater plants do. Instead, you'll find more invertebrates in the saltwater tank taking the place of plants, such as corals and anemones. Many reef tank owners will grow algae in a refugium beneath the tank (located with the sump) which is used to feed invertebrates.
Overview of Different Planted Aquarium Styles
You may be surprised to know that freshwater aquariums with plants have been categorized into different styles of planting! At a high level, you'll find that tanks are either divided into either Dutch style or Natural style:
Natural style is pretty wide open. Even though the appearance may appear unplanned, often times, nothing can be further from the...read more
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