Aquatic Plant Care

Aquatic Plant Care

This section of the articles library contains information about the proper care of aquatic plants. Some of the information that you find in this section can be useful not only for planted aquariums, but for planted ponds as well. The opinions regarding how to care for planted aquariums and planted ponds varies between different aquarists, and it is advisable to obtain advice from more than one person before you make any decisions regarding your planted aquarium or pond. If you want to find out more about the requirements for a certain plant species, you can go to the subcategory named “Species profiles”. We also have a large database for aquatic plant species where you will find basic information about more than 300 popular aquarium plants. You will find this larger database in the main menu at the left side of this page.

One of the most important things when caring for aquatic plants, is to find the perfect balance between light, CO2 and nutrients. Some aquarium plants have adapted to a life in murky and low-light waters, but most aquarium plants will require plenty of light to thrive. All plants relay on photosynthesis, and without sufficient amounts of light they can stop growing or even rotten away and die. Fluorescent lights are common in planted aquariums since they provide a more potent light than the standard aquarium lighting. Two even stronger options are the halide and mercury vapour lights. These are typically found in densely planted aquariums or in aquariums that contain plants that require very large amounts of strong light. They are also a good choice for deeper aquariums, since their strong light will be able to penetrate the water all the way down to the bottom.

Additional CO2 is often added to planted aquariums in order to promote plant growth. CO2 is an essential part of the photosynthetic process. Fish, bacteria and any other animals that inhabit the aquarium will produce small amounts of CO2, but these amounts can be too small to promote truly flourishing plant growth. If you provide your plants with strong light without simultaneously giving them more CO2, they will not be able to benefit from all the new light. There are several ways of increasing the CO2 levels in the aquarium. You can purchase a CO2 tank and let it release its bubbles into the water. A common way is to connect the CO2 tank to a canister filter. Another method that does not involve any CO2 tank is the yeast method, where yeast is used to produce CO2.     

In addition to light, oxygen and CO2 your plants will require small amounts of other compounds, just like a human needs small amounts of vitamins. Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Iron, Hydrogen, Magnesium, Calcium and Sulfur are all examples of compounds necessary for plant growth. Most plants will also need even smaller amounts of Chlorine, Molybdenum, Manganese, Zinc, Cupper and Boron. A lot of plant species will thrive in an aquarium even if you do not add any extra nutrients via commercial fertilizers since the plants will be able to obtain nutrients form the substrate and from the waste products excreted by the fish. Some aquarists choose to use fertilizers, but before you add any extra nutrients to your aquarium you should ideally read more about the subject in order to add the proper amounts and avoid disturbing the delicate balance in the aquarium.

Aquatic Plant Care Articles

Aquarium Plant Nutrition - Information about plant nutrition and how to fertalize your aquarium plants.
Caring for plants - An introduction on how to best care for your plants.
Keeping Aquarium Plants - Information about how to keep aquarium plants successfully.
Plant growth - An article about the different factors that affect plant growth.
Propagating plants - An introduction to propagating plants.
Setting Up a Planted Aquarium - Information about how to prepare and setup a planted aquarium.
How to grow & care for aquarium plants - Information about how to care for plants in aquariums.
Suitable aquarium plants for beginners - A guide to help beginners choose the best plants for their aquarium.