Aquatic plants can help produce oxygen, improve water quality, and keep your tank clean by mitigating algae growth. Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to take care of aquatic plants, spend a lot of money on quality plants, and let them wither and die. Luckily, taking care of aquatic plants is easy once you know what to do. Here’s what you need to know about caring for your live aquarium plants so that you don’t waste money while giving your fish the environment they deserve.
Make Sure Your Plants and Tankmates Match
Freshwater plants need a freshwater tank, so make sure the salinity of your water matches the needs of your chosen plants to prevent killing them before they have a chance to settle their roots. In addition, each aquatic plant has its own set of needs, so be sure to understand its care requirements before planting. For example, Parrot Feathers are beautifully vibrant plants that make excellent hiding spots for skittish, tiny fish. However, it needs six to eight hours of sunlight daily and can spread quickly, meaning they require consistent care and trimming.
It’s important to take into consideration the temperaments and habits of your fish. Some fish love to dig up and nibble on plants, so you may need to plant something sturdy or adjust your feeding schedule so that they’re less likely to have a salad buffet.
Use the Right Substrate and Fertilizer
To promote root development, it’s best to plant your pots directly into an iron-rich substrate. To ensure the substrate is set up correctly, give it two to three inches of laterite, covered with another inch of a bulkier substrate. This will give the plant’s root system something to anchor onto and gain nutrients from.
You’ll need a fertilizer that is iron-rich, but fish safe. While your plants will feed from the nutrients in your fishes’ waste, aquatic plants need iron to promote photosynthesis. Remember to keep an eye on plant growth as you don’t want to run the risk of overcrowding or blocking out much-needed light sources.
Keep Up With Your Aquarium’s Water Quality
As mentioned previously, you want to check the salinity of your aquarium’s water to make sure your plants don’t wither, but there’s more to it. While your plants will help mitigate algae, they can’t do all of the work on their own, and can end up competing with algae for essential nutrients. Utilizing herbivores and tank cleaners can help if algae growth becomes a problem. In addition, make sure to pay attention to the pH and phosphate levels in your tank, as algae grows rapidly with high phosphate levels. Your plants need a pH level of about 6.5 to 7.8. Cleaning your tank consistently also mitigates algae growth.
With this quick guide on caring for your aquatic plants, your fish and greenery will surely thrive in their tank. At Natural Environment Aquatix, we offer many live aquatic plants for sale so that you can aquascape your aquarium to your heart’s desire and give your fish the environment they need to live long and healthy lives.