How to Choose your Aquarium Plants


Beautiful planted aquarium with rocks and fish
Choosing live plants for your aquarium might sound as simple as heading to your local fish store and picking out a couple of bundles.

But, if you would like your plants to thrive, you’ve got to place the maximum amount thought into choosing them as you probably did for your fish and your other tank decorations.

Aquarium Plants

There are many various live aquarium plants to settle on from and that they each have their own unique requirements for care.

So before you stock your tank with aquarium plants, you ought to take a moment to believe why you would like them, which types would best fit your tank, and the way you’ll look after them.

Let’s discuss how you’ll do that .

Think About Why you would like Aquarium Plants
Your initiative in choosing live plants for your aquarium is to spend a flash brooding about why you would like aquarium plants within the first place.

Live plants can provide a spread of helpful benefits, but you continue to got to consider how you would like to use them and why.

Here are the benefits live plants can provide in your aquarium:

Convert CO2 into breathable oxygen for your fish.
Live plants use nitrates and other chemical waste products, helping remove them from the water column in order that they don’t harm your fish.
Saturates your tank water with oxygen which helps aerate the tank.
You achieve a natural look.
Provide shelter and security for fish and hack sightlines which may be beneficial for territorial fish.
Can be wont to conceal aquarium fixtures to enhance aesthetics.
In addition to those benefits, aquarium plants help improve and maintain the standard of your tank water.

High water quality is important for the health and wellness of your fish. When water quality is low, your fish become stressed which makes them more vulnerable to illness.

PRO-TIP

Pro Tip: Frequent water changes are essential for maintaining high water quality in your aquarium. Change 10% to fifteen of your tank’s volume once every week or every fortnight . And keep an eye fixed on your filter to form sure it’s not clogged.

When brooding about why you would like aquarium plants in your tank, the explanations listed above are important to think about .

The benefits of live plants are obvious, however, so you’ll want to spend a touch longer brooding about the small print – how you would like your tank to seem once you add the plants.

Live plants are available a good sort of shapes, sizes, and colours .

Depending on the dimensions and shape you select , you’ll use aquarium plants to make a lush carpet along rock bottom of your tank or a living backdrop to your aquarium.

The Different sorts of Aquarium Plants
Now that you simply have a far better understanding of the role aquarium plants play in your tank environment, you’re able to start brooding about which plants you would like to use.

Aquarium plants are often divided into three different categories supported their placement within the tank:

Foreground plants
Mid-ground plants
Background plants
Foreground plants are the plants you place at the front of the tank – they’re generally shorter and grow fairly slowly.

Some foreground plants are called carpet plants because they have a tendency to spread outward instead of upward, covering rock bottom of the tank with a green carpet-like layer.

Mid-ground plants are taller than foreground plants and may be used along the edges of your tank and within the middle.

They can increase the aesthetics of your tank without removing an excessive amount of valuable swimming space.

Background plants are the larger plants you employ within the back of your aquarium – they will create a natural backdrop for your tank also as an area for your fish to cover .

What’s in Your Tank?
Something else you ought to believe when considering what quite aquarium plants to urge is that the substrate in your tank.

Again, live plants require certain nutrients so as to thrive. And while they’ll absorb some nutrients from the water column, most of their nutrition are going to be absorbed through the roots – this is often where your substrate comes into play.

Substrate is just the fabric that lines rock bottom of your tank and it’s where you’ll root your plants.

Sand and gravel substrates are fine for fish-only tanks but a planted tank would require an entire substrate that gives nutrients.

If your tank is already found out , you’ll got to take your substrate under consideration when choosing which live plants you would like to feature and the way many of them.

PRO TIP
Pro Tip: Though light is that the primary source of energy for live aquarium plants, they also require certain nutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and micronutrients like iron, manganese, and boron.

If you’re employing a complete substrate like CaribSea Eco-Complete or ADA aqua soil, you’ve got many options – these substrates are designed specifically for planted tanks.

If you’ve got sand or gravel substrate, you’ll still be ready to add live plants, but you’ll got to fertilize them occasionally to form sure they get the nutrients they have .

Another sort of substrate you’ll be using is Seachem Flourite.

This substrate is high in iron but lacking in other nutrients – it’s also very dense and porous and not a perfect choice for plants with delicate roots.

If you’ve got soil substrate, most plants are likely to try to to well but you ought to confine mind that it’s going to cloud the water in your tank if you disturb it to root your plants.

PRO TIP
Pro Tip: Some plants are column feeders, meaning they’ll get most of their nutrients from your tank water. If this is often the case, you’ll haven’t any problem keeping plants with a substrate that gives no nutritional value.

Aquarium Plants and Lighting
Light’s a key source of energy for your aquarium plants – it allows them to finish the method of photosynthesis through which they convert CO2 into energy.

There are many various options for aquarium lighting but not all of them are ideal for live plants.

Your plants will need about 8 hours of full-spectrum light per day – full-spectrum light mimics natural sunlight and it’s the simplest for photosynthesis.

Be careful about using natural light, however, (such as placing your tank next to a window) because an excessive amount of light could contribute to algae growth.

The best sort of lighting for a planted tank is LED aquarium lighting. LED lighting is very efficient in terms of energy consumption and therefore the bulbs last an extended time.

These fixtures also don’t produce heat like some fixtures (such as VHO or metal halide) so you don’t need to worry about overheating your tank. They’re also less expensive to run.

The Top 11 Aquarium Plants for Beginners Reviewed
Now you’ve got a deeper understanding on aquarium plants, you’ll use the subsequent information to form an informed buying decision.

How I even have structured this section:

To make things easier for you, I’ve split this into two section for you: foreground and mid/background plants.

The Best Carpet (Foreground) Plants for Beginners
foregrund freshwater aquarium plant rooted in gravel
Remember, foreground or carpet plants are those that grow slowly and have a limited height – they have a tendency to spread outward instead of upward and that they can create a lush carpet of green along rock bottom of your tank.

Here are the simplest foreground plants for beginner aquarists:

  1. Java Moss
    Java Moss grows best in clean, well-circulated water and it’ll grow faster in bright lighting. it’s a superb carpet plant because it spreads quickly and is straightforward to trim.

Light Required: Moderate
Growth Rate: Fast
Ideal Water Parameters: 74-82°F, KH 3-8, pH 6.5-7.5
Difficulty: Very easy
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  1. Lilaeopsis
    Also referred to as Brazilian Micro Swords, Lilaeopsis may be a short-stemmed plant that does well as a carpet plant. It can grow fully or partially submerged and it forms a dense carpet with the proper combination of lighting, CO2, and other nutrients.

Light Required: High
Growth Rate: Moderate
Ideal Water Parameters: 70 to 83°F, pH 6.8 to 7.5, soft to moderately hard
Difficulty: Moderate
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  1. Dwarf baby’s tears
    This plant produces clusters of small leaves and it’s ideal for breeding tanks. Dwarf baby’s tears form a dense carpet with proper lighting, and it’s generally easy to worry for once established.

Light Required: High
Growth Rate: Moderate
Ideal Water Parameters: 68 to 82°F, KH 0-10, pH 5.0-7.5
Difficulty: Moderate
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The Best Plants for the center or Background of Your Tank
lots of bright green freshwater plants in an aquarium
Remember, middle ground plants are low to moderately high and that they should be used because the focus for your tank.

Background plants are taller and may be used along the rear and sides of the tank to supply shelter for your fish.

Here are the simplest mid to background plants:

  1. Water Wisteria
    This plant produces lace-like leaves that change in size consistent with the water temperature. Water wisteria are often easily propagated by taking cuttings from the lower leaves.

Light Required: Moderate
Growth Rate: Fast
Ideal Water Parameters: 74-82°F, KH 3-8, pH 6.5-7.5
Difficulty: Easy
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6 Water Wisteria (Hygrophila Difformis), Live Aquarium/Aquatic/Stem Plant
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  1. Amazon Sword
    One of the foremost recognizable aquarium plants, Amazon sword is a perfect background plant that produces large, broad leaves. it’s easy to worry for and prefers loose substrate.

Light Required: Moderate
Growth Rate: Moderate
Ideal Water Parameters: 72 to 82°F, pH 6.5-7.5, soft to moderately hard
Difficulty: Easy
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  1. African aquatic fern
    This plant grows fairly slowly, even in ideal conditions, and it’s best anchored to a bit of driftwood rather than rooted in substrate. Once established, it’s easy to take care of .

Light Required: High
Growth Rate: Slow
Ideal Water Parameters: 74 to 84°F, KH 5-15, pH 6.0-8.5
Difficulty: Easy
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Last update on 2021-08-31 / Commissions Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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