Aquarium Plants For Beginners
Before you start planting your aquarium, it is a good idea to have a rough sketch of what kinds of plants you will put in. Plants can be categorized depending upon how tall they grow.
Foreground plants are species that are quite short and small. They mostly form carpet-like matting at the bottom. They do this by producing numerous runner plants. These plants are often used in shallow aquariums because they need plenty of strong light. Glossostigma sp. is one of the most popular carpet plants around. It is not very easy to grow but looks absolutely stunning. Water Wisteria can be used a carpet plant too, if you put some stones on the stems till they catch root. The middle ground plants are taller than the foreground plants. Their main use is in hiding the stems of the background plants that are much taller. The background plants grow quite fast and can be used effectively to hide all the accessories in your aquarium. They usually need lesser sunlight too.
Bunch plants – plants that look good in a group – are usually middle ground or background plants. Some plants, called the specimen plants, are large decorative species that are usually highlighted at the center. Floating plants are an attractive option, but care must be taken to place floating plants away from the heat of the light bulb. Floating plants also propagate very quickly and may block out all the light in your aquarium.
Java Moss and Java Fern are some of the most common aquatic plants and they are very suitable for beginners. Initially, Java Fern should be attached to a piece of driftwood or rock. After the roots are formed it will stick to its surface. Java Moss and Java Fern are very hardy plants that can thrive in a wide range of soft and hard waters and even do well in a brackish aquarium. These plants will also tolerate a lot of different pH-values. New plants form on the older leaves of existing plants. The new plants will break themselves off from the original plant, but can also be cut away. These shoots can then be replanted. They grow quickly and give a very lush appearance to your aquarium.
The Amazon Sword is another very popular aquatic plant. Just like Java Moss and Java Fern, the Amazon Sword is a very hardy plant that is popular both among beginners and expert aquarists. Amazon Sword grows pretty fast and therefore prevents algae formation.
Wisteria is yet another example of a beautiful and undemanding plant that is suitable for your first aquarium. The plant grows quickly and also helps to inhibit algae growth. But Wisteria also sucks a lot of nutrients from the water. Pale leaves indicate that there is a shortage of nutrients in the aquarium, and that fertilizers need to be added to the substrate. The Anubias Nana plant is also popular among beginners, since this plant thrives in virtually all conditions. Best results are obtained by tying the plant to a tree root or stone. This plant often flowers in water and is usually left alone by herbivorous fish. If your aquarium is provided with strong light, you can keep Lillaeopsis. Lillaeopsis looks more or less like grass. It grows fast, but does need bright lighting and can therefore be an unsuitable choice for your very first aquarium before you have learned how to control the algae. If you want to keep an amphibious plant, you can try the Cryptocoryne Beckettii. It is a popular plant among aquarists and it grows really well when it is submerged.
Beginners must take some factors into mind when they select plants. Since you are new to the whole concept, it is best to stick with plants that are not very exotic or pricey. As a rule of thumb, very colorful plants are unsuitable for beginners and green plants are a better choice. This is mainly because colorful plants typically require more direct light. Providing this light may play havoc with the temperature and algae levels in your aquarium. If you are not equipped with enough know-how and experience in dealing with these situations, you will find that your aquarium will turn green with algae in no time. Availability is another matter to consider. Some plants propagate themselves and give off shoots that will develop into new plants. Such plants are usually available in most pet shops since they are easy to grow. You will also be able to plant new shoots without spending more money. Plants that are not easily eaten by fish are also good for the beginner.
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