Friday, October 4, 2013

Aquarium Plant Care


Today's article was contributed by Greg Sowers. Greg is also the owner of www.fintastic.us, dealers of custom made fish aquariums. Find Greg on Google as well: https://plus.google.com/105234131842259957366



How to Grow and Care for Aquarium Plants





Have you ever wondered about the level of care involved in growing aquarium plants? The fact is that various species of plants have varied requirements when it comes to light. Doing research about the plants you are interested in is of importance for this reason.



Light

Generally, plants in an aquarium need between half to one fluorescent light watt per water liter. It is also common to use incandescent light but in the long run you may save more by purchasing and installing fluorescent light. Attempting to mimic the natural length of day in the plant environment is recommended. Aquarium plants that are popular are usually species that are tropical and need twelve light hours daily. For species that are temperate, at least fourteen light hours per day is recommended in the summer and ten hours in the winter should suffice. When you keep the aquarium light on twenty four hours seven days a week, this could be a disturbance to your fish and will aid the growth of algae.



Substrate

Plants in an aquarium need to be planted in pots or substrate while others grow attached to driftwood and rocks. There are also plants that grow in different fashion and those that float. If you want to keep substrate for plants to grow in, select the kinds where the particles are between one-and-a-half to three millimeters. Naturally, there are exceptions to these rules but most are unable to tolerate substrate which is fine since the roots are unable to handle conditions that are anaerobic with efficiency. It is easier for water to circulate when particles are one-and-a-half millimeters or larger.



Nutrients

Just like regular plants, aquarium plants need potassium, phosphate and nitrogen. Other essential nutrients include zinc, nickel, iron and boron. Besides these, trace elements are also necessary. If you are unable to provide this, you might soon notice yellow leaves on your plants and stunted growth. You can introduce nutrients to plants in your aquarium by buying aquarium fertilizers for plants. Nutrients are also present in aquarium substrate and potting soil, fish food, and fish excretion and in well as well as tap water. Ensure that once you do introduce fertilizers, these need to be balanced with carbon dioxide and light. Purchase special fertilizers for aquarium because regular types contain excessive nitrogen which injures fish and cause the growth of algae.



Buying Plants

Only purchase healthy-looking plants. Don’t buy those where the fish seem less than healthy. Plants are able to bring microorganisms with them and malicious ones may cause your fish to become infected. Sterilize plants before introducing them into your aquarium. Use a solution of diluted potassium permanganate for ten minutes to make them safe for your aquarium.



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