This section of the articles library aim to help those interested in planted aquariums, and also discus the pros and cons of plants in the aquarium. This section has two subcategories; the “Care” category contains more general information about plants and their maintenance, while the “Species profiles” is where you find detailed information regarding popular aquarium plant species. Please note that we also have a larger species database for plants, with basic information about more than 300 different aquatic plants. You will find this plant species database in the menu to the left.
Some fish species will require plants to do well, while others will harm the plants and are best kept in an unplanted aquarium or with artificial plants. With a number of fish species it doesn’t really matter and keeping plants is instead an aesthetical choice or a way of keeping the water quality up. In order to find out what is best for your particular species it is always a good idea to visit the articles library here at AC Tropical fish or look up your fish species in the species database.
A planted aquarium will usually require more light than a fish only aquarium, since plants depend on photosynthesis in order to produce their own energy. Some plants have developed in waters where light is scarce and will survive even in a poorly lightened aquarium, while other have extremely high demands and require the very strongest forms of aquarium lighting. Generally speaking, a planted aquarium with moderately demanding plant species will require twice as much light than a fish only aquarium. A commonly used rule of thumb is 20W for each square foot of tank surface area. Another guideline is 2W per gallon. In order to provide their plants with enough light, many aquarists use fluorescent lighting instead of ordinary aquarium lights. If you want to have a densely planted aquarium or keep very demanding plant species, metal halide lights or mercury vapour lights is an even better solution. These types of light are stronger and will penetrate the water better. If your aquarium is deeper than 24 inches, these forms of stronger light are almost always required.
Your plants will also need nutrients and CO2 in order to live and thrive in the aquarium. Balancing light, CO2 and nutrients can be a complicated task at first, but you will soon get the hang of it. Nutrients are seldom a problem in the aquarium since nutrients will be present in the substrate and produced by the fishes. Some aquarists prefer to add extra nutrients to the aquarium, but this is a risky choice since excess nutrients can pollute the water. Before you add any extra nutrients to your planted aquarium you should ideally read more about it in order to provide your plants with exact amounts. You will find more information in the articles library. CO2 on the other hand is frequently added to heavily planted aquariums in order to promote plant growth. You can by a special CO2 injector or use the so called yeast method.
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Aquatic Plant Articles
ACORUS GRAMINEUS - Information about how to care for Acorus gramineus
Algae in Aquariums - An introduction to Algae.
Anubias - Information about how to care for anubias species.
Aponogeton crispus - Information about how to care for A. crispus.
Aquarium Plant Nutrition - Information about plant nutrition and how to fertalize your aquarium plants.
Aquarium stem plants - Information on stem plants and how to care for them
Aquarium bulb plants - An article about how to grow bulb plants in your aquarium.
The Balanced Planted Aquarium - Information about how to keep and planted tank flourishing.
Caring for plants - An introduction on how to best care for your plants.
Ceratopteris thalictroides - Watersprite - Information about how to care for watersprite.
Choosing plants for your aquarium - An article about Choosing plants for your aquarium
Cryptocoryne blassi - Information about how to keep and reproduce this species.
Cryptocoryne plants - Information about how to keep Cryptocoryne in aquariums.
Echinodorus amazonicus - Information about how to care for E. amazonicus.
Echinodorus bleheri - Information about how to care for E. bleheri
Hygrophila corymbosa - Information about the flowering of Hygrophila corymbosa.
Aquarium Ferns - Information about how to care for fern species.
Keeping Aquarium Plants - Information about how to keep aquarium plants successfully.
Light requirements of plants - Information about the light requirements of some common plants.
Plant growth - An article about the different factors that affect plant growth.
Plants to be aware of - An article about different aquatic plants that aquarists in the US should be aware of as they are on the Federal Noxious Weeds list.
Propagating Aponogeton crispus - A short article on propagating Aponogeton crispus
Propagating plants - An introduction to propagating plants.
Riccia fluitans (Crystalwort) - This floating plant can be anchored to wood or rock to form a beautiful "lawn” and hide fry.
Rotalla macrandra - It can be a real showpiece with a little effort and care, if you can find it
Setting Up a Planted Aquarium - Information about how to prepare and setup a planted aquarium.
Sword plant care - Information about how to keep sowrd plants in aquariums.
How to grow & care for aquarium plants - Information about how to care for plants in aquariums.
Stargrass, Heteranthera zosterifolia - A detailed article about the care of this plant.
Suitable aquarium plants for beginners - A guide to help beginners choose the best plants for their aquarium.
Vesicularia dubayana - Java Moss - keeping Vesicularia dubayana – Java moss
Water hyacinth - Information on the water hyacinth
Central American Cichlids
Frogs and Turtles
Lake Victoria Cichlids
Marine Aquarium Fish
Responsible Fish Keeping
South American Cichlids
Tropical Fish Food