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Pet Fish Tank Plants

Adding some attractive, and useful, plants to your tropical fish aquarium can be a good idea for several reasons.

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Adding some attractive, and useful, plants to your tropical fish aquarium can be a good idea for several reasons.

For one thing, they are aesthetically pleasing and provide a healthier environment for fish, since they aid in creating a complementary ecosystem within the aquarium.  Live plants will help provide oxygen for the fish and other creatures in your aquarium by converting carbon dioxide to oxygen through a process known as photosynthesis.

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They also can absorb the ammonia that comes from fish waste, which helps prevent ammonia levels from becoming too high in your pet fish tank. Also, plants will compete with algae for nutrients in the water, which will help keep algae growth in control.

Live plants are also a useful source of food and shelter for fish.

The plants you should add to your aquarium will generally depend on the water's characteristics and the species of fish that will live in the tank. You will need to do a bit of pet fish research before you buy plants to figure out which plants are best suited in your aquarium.

The growth and health of the plant will depend on the water's hardness, pH level and temperature.  Most tropical plants prefer softer water, but can also adapt to harder water.  The majority of plants do well in water with pH levels between 6.5 and 7.5.  Since the temperature of the water in your aquarium should be between 60 to 85°F (16 to 29°C) for the health of most fish, the plants you choose must be able to do well within this temperature range.

The lighting of your aquarium has to be just right to prevent the plants from having any difficulty with photosynthesis.  Your plants should receive about ten to twelve hours of light each day for maximum health.  If the aquarium receives too much light, algae will grow too quickly and become a nuisance.  If excess algae growth occurs, it may be a good idea to purchase algae-eating fish for your aquarium.

You will need to purchase substrates for the tank, as these will help the plants to grow quickly and easily.  Good substrates for live plants include Laterite and Flourite.

Fertilzer which is safe for use in your aquarium or fish tank is needed to provide food for the plants. Depending on the needs of the plants in your pet fish aquarium, you'll need to purchase tablets or liquid fertilizers.

TIP: Tablets are great for root-feeding plants while liquid fertilizers are ideal for leaf-feeding plants.

When adding fish to your planted aquarium, avoid herbivorous fish, they just end up grazing on the live plants.  To figure out where to place the plants in your pet fish tank, you should be aware of their mature heights.  Based on that information, you should easily figure out which ones will be best in the foreground, mid-ground and background of the aquarium.

You should always put the plants into your aquarium before adding fish because adding anything to the tank may change the levels of pH, water hardness and other elements in the water.  Before adding the plants to the aquarium, add some water, but not enough to completely submerge the plants.  You will then have to anchor the plants securely. Fill the tank the rest of the way and turn on the filters.  Check the temperature and run water level tests.

Finally, be sure to only add a few pet fish to the tank until the plants are established.  Otherwise, the fish may destroy the plants before they can grow strong enough to withstand the occasional nibble.

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Aquarium Plants - Copyright 2014 by Donovan Baldwin
Page Updated 8:12 PM Wednesday 8/27/2014