Live aquarium plants add a natural beauty and help clean the water, converting nitrates and other chemical waste into breathable oxygen. They also act as a food source, providing a more “natural” diet for fish and helping to remove toxins from the water. The best part is that they aren’t difficult to care for.
You can buy live aquarium plants in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors from your local pet shop or aquarium store or online. You can even find some that you can grow at home.
Live Aquarium Plants: Enhancing the Beauty and Health of Your Aquatic Environment
Plants require light to complete photosynthesis, converting carbon dioxide and other chemicals into energy. The plants will absorb nutrients through their roots but they also need some from the substrate. A sand or gravel substrate is fine for a fish-only tank but a planted aquarium requires a more complete and nutritious substrate like CaribSea Eco-Complete or ADA Aqua Soil.
Most of the time when you purchase a live plant it will come in a pot with rock wool on top. Before you add the plant to your aquarium, carefully remove this rock wool without damaging the roots. Next, make a hole in the substrate with your finger and place the root ball into it. You will then cover the roots in gravel, using your fingers or aquarium tweezers to help get the right amount of gravel over them. Some plants also require routine fertilization. These products usually come in tablet or liquid form and are applied to the substrate on a regular basis.