How to Plant an Aquarium

Planting an aquarium provides a more natural, healthier environment for aquatic life. However, to beginners, planting an aquarium can seem like a daunting task. In this article I'll give you a step by step guide to planting your aquarium.

Steps

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    First determine how much lighting you have. Most plants need at least 2 watts per gallon to grow properly. If necessary, upgrade your lighting.
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    Next, figure out what plants you would like to grow. Beginners are recommended to start with easy plants that do not need a lot of light and do not require CO2. Here is a list of some very basic plants:
    • Water wisteria
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    • Java moss
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    • Anubias
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    • Cryptocoryne wendtii
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    • Amazon Sword
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    Substrate is vital for successful plant growth. Plants can be grown in normal gravel, but your choices will be limited, as most plants do much better in a sand substrate. Whatever you choose, make sure you layer at least 3 inches (7.6 cm) thick and it is advisable to put a 1 inch (2.5 cm) layer of eco complete or a similar plant substrate underneath. This will provide nutrients for the plants.
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    Plants are notorious snail carriers, so when you bring your plants home, check the leaves and stems thoroughly for snails or snail egg cases.
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    Most plants will come in small containers when you buy them. Gently remove the plant from the container and use a toothpick to untangle the roots if the plant has become root bound.
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    Use a pencil or wooden dowel to make a depression in the substrate. Gently place the plant in the depression and cover its roots with substrate. Some plants will die if you accidentally cover the crown of the plant with substrate, so be careful.
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    Do not fertilize your plants during the start up faze (the first 3-4 weeks). After that, you can start fertilizing with a liquid or tablet fertilizer. Make sure you choose one that contains essential micro nutrients like iron. If you are on well water, the water will contain many of these micro-nutrients already.
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    Enjoy your planted tank!

Tips

  • Buy your plants from a reputable dealer and check to make sure they are healthy before you buy.

Warnings

  • Do not ever buy plants from a tank that has ich or parasites. Parasites can be transported on the plant into your tank.

Article Info

Categories: Aquariums