Aquatic plants are a great ally for aquariums, since beyond the aesthetic factor, they help eliminate toxic compounds for fish, provide them with oxygen and give them shelter, simulating their natural habitat. How to grow aquatic plants for your aquarium depends mainly on the type of fish you have or will have and the size of the aquarium, so it is important to consider the following aspects.
Fish and aquatic plants
Although aquatic plants offer great benefits to fish, they need to be treated with care. The plants chosen must be compatible with the fish that live in the aquarium and the size of the aquarium, so the characteristics of both must be studied to ensure that there are no complications.
Some fish like to eat aquatic plants or pull them up, just as some of these can be toxic to them. This is an important and sensitive issue that a person should consider before placing aquatic plants in their aquarium.
To grow aquatic plants in an aquarium, it is important to get lighting equipment, a good filtration system and a substrate suitable for both plants and fish. Similarly, water temperature plays a crucial role in the care of aquatic plants.
The illumination, according to the characteristics of the plants, should be maintained between 8 and 12 hours a day. Full spectrum fluorescent lights or LED lights designed for aquariums are recommended. The placement of these should be done in balance with the aquarium, details such as the amount of water in the aquarium and the previous lighting are important. If using fluorescent lights, it is best to opt for less than 2.5 watts per 4 liters (1 gallon) of water.
The substrate is a fundamental material for growing aquatic plants. A substrate rich in nutrients and suitable for plants and fish should be used, silt, sand or clay substrate are good choices. When burying the plants in the substrate, be sure to bury only the roots, avoiding covering the rhizome of the plant (the thick green part above the roots).
The temperature factor depends entirely on the fish in the aquarium, so the aquatic plants chosen for the aquarium must be compatible with the usual temperature level of the aquarium.
Cleaning and quarantine stage
When purchasing aquatic plants, it is necessary to keep them in “quarantine” and check them properly during the first few days, without bringing them into the aquarium for a week. Checking for snails or bacteria before putting them in the aquarium water is essential.
It is recommended to wait one week after adding the plants before putting the fish back into the aquarium. This is important because during that time, the aquarium will go through a process called “cycling”, which stabilizes the water conditions so that it is safe for fish.
A cleaning routine should be maintained according to the needs of the aquarium, carefully cleaning plants and other decorative elements. Avoid draining the water completely and only do it partially every two or three weeks.
It is necessary that aquatic plants be pruned so that they do not affect the aquarium and their own vitality.
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