19-07-2018, 17:26
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Live plants can dramatically change the appearance of your aquarium. In this article, we will try to explain the basics on planting and anchoring plants in an aquarium, and give some tips on trimming and propagation.

No matter how realistic artificial plants look, nothing compares to live plants. In addition, live plants do a lot of good by releasing oxygen and recycling harmful substances in the water.

An aquarium planted with living plants looks very nice, but for this to be the case, it needs constant care. In addition to choosing the right type of substrate, you also need to decide where you want to place your plants. You need to consider the fact that some fish often swarm in the substrate and pull the bushes out of the ground along with the roots, as well as other factors, such as strong water currents, where maintaining the appearance of many plants will be problematic.

Different kinds of aquarium plants

When you first start shopping around for aquarium plants, you will find that they are sold in several ways. Popular options, such as cryptocorinas, are usually sold in small pots. Anubias are usually sold with a long rhizome with leaf nodes. Other plants, such as mosses and stem plants, may be sold in bundles.

Depending on the characteristics of the aquarium, you need to select the right plants for the conditions. While floating plants will simply float on the surface of the aquarium water, other plants need to be rooted or anchored in the ground. This is fairly easy to do with potted plants, as you can simply place them where you want them and then cover the pot with substrate to camouflage them. However, when it comes to rhizomatous plants, mosses, and stem plants, you may need a snag or rock to tie the stems to.

Simple tricks for securing live plants

If you plan to plant the aquarium densely, you can put a frame under the substrate, which covers the entire bottom of the aquarium. It is a kind of plastic embroidery mesh, which will not interfere with the circulation of water, and it will be possible to place plants where you want. Just lay the netting down, and then use cotton thread to tie the root bundles to the netting where you want them, and then fill it with the substrate of your choice. If you don't plan to plant the entire aquarium, you can use smaller pieces of plastic mesh.

Another option for securing aquarium plants is to attach them to a rock or driftwood, for example. Smooth river rocks are usually the best, just make sure you clean them well before placing them in the aquarium. You can purchase an aquarium snag from your local pet store, or you can make one yourself. Once you place the snag in the aquarium, you need to attach bundles of plants to it with cotton thread.

Plants in the aquarium

Trimming the plants

If the conditions in the aquarium are right for the plants, they will begin to grow quickly and you will soon run into the problem of pruning them.

While some plants can be cut anywhere without affecting their growth, others need to be trimmed in a certain way, otherwise the plant will be in a depressed state and may die.

Here are some general tips for pruning plants:

  • Stem plants. These plants will need to be trimmed more often than any other plants. You can trim them by cutting the top 5 cm, as long as it is no more than 50% of the total length of the shrub. To propagate the bush, place the cut stems in the substrate and they will soon begin to grow.
  • Potted plants. These plants usually need to be cut much less often because they grow much more slowly. If the stem becomes too thick, simply cut a few leaves off at the root base. If it is too tall, remove the leaves which are too long and allow the young shoots to grow.
  • Mosses. Many species of mosses grow well, especially when nitrate levels are high. Pruning them is a fairly easy task, although you may have to remove them from the tank to do so.
  • Plants with strong rhizomes. Plants like anubias are easy to prune and propagate - you just have to cut off part of the rhizome with a few leaves and plant it in a new location.

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