Aquarium plants are not just decoration!

aquarium plants

Every aquarium has aquarium plants.

They not only enhance the appearance of a tank, but also provide very special services that are important for maintaining the biological system in an aquarium.

When it comes to choosing the best plants for an aquarium, every aquarist has to answer the following 4 questions:

  1. How do I go about choosing the right plants for my aquarium?
  2. How do I structure and design a tank with the help of the plants
  3. What requirements doe aquarium plants have?
  4. How do I maintain aquarium plants?

In this article we will:

How useful are aquarium plants?

For you to set up to set up an aquarium that is stable and provide a good habitat for fish, snails or invertebrates, you will have to understand aquarium plants.

aquarium plants

4 reasons why aquarium plants play a critical role

1. Protection and tranquility

For a multi species aquarium, plants offer a range of retreat options to fish. Finely feathered aquarium plants in particular offer protection and tranquility to smaller aquarium inhabitants. This range of retreat options can be particularly important if you keep different species in an aquarium.

2. Spawning ground

The second reason why it makes sense to have the right plants an aquarium is closely related to the first reason: Plants are also the perfect spawning ground for many aquarium inhabitants. The eggs laid by the fish are well protected in a thicket of plants, so there is sufficient planting can also have a positive effect on breeding efforts.

3. Good source of food

The third reason that makes aquarium plants important might confuse some aquarists: aquarium plants are also a good source of food in the aquarium especially if you have other aquarium inhabitants that feed on plants.

Normally, most fish species do not feed on the plants themselves. They will however feed on the microorganisms that can accumulate in fine-feathered plants.

Aquarium inhabitants who like to use aquarium plants as a source of food in this context are, for example, shrimp.

IMPORTANT:  There are also aquarium animals that can be very harmful to the plants in the aquarium. Here it is important that the aquarist gets to know the behavior of such animals in advance and sets up the aquarium accordingly.

4. Oxygen levels in the water and ecological balance

Aquarium plants have a very positive effect on water values.

Aquarium plants break down various pollutants that accumulate in every aquarium and are particularly important when it comes to oxygen production.

Additionally, they can also help to maintain the ecological balance in an aquarium. With enough aquarium plants in a tank, you can prevent the unchecked and unwanted spread of algae in the aquarium.

Structuring and selecting aquarium plants

Just as there is a seemingly endless selection of garden plants, there is also an enormous variety of plants that the aquarist can use to design and keep his aquarium stable.

Important factors to consider when selecting and structuring aquarium plants

  • The size of the plants
  • The growth rate of the plants
  • The requirements of the individual aquarium plants
  • Check whether the selected plants are really suitable for the intended purposes

Selecting aquarium plants

When choosing the right aquarium plants, it is always important that the aquarist understands the following:

  • foreground plant
  • middle ground plant
  • background plant
  • specimen plant

These terms are used to determine the nature and structure to be considered when getting the aquarium plans.

Structuring aquarium plants

Placement of plants for optical depth

It is optically advantageous to

  • place smaller or remaining small plants in the foreground
  • and to assign medium and large plants to the middle and background

This type of planting gives the aquarium an optical depth and the plants do not block the view into the tank.

Placement of plants for depth

Plant some aquarium plants in groups. Such a structure results in a dense carpet of plants in the aquarium, which is particularly pretty to look at.

Placement of an eye catching plant

Other plants, on the other hand, are used as solitary plants in the aquarium.

They are mostly relatively large. They are more often placed in the right or left background and serve as a special eye-catcher there.

5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Buying New Aquarium Plants

Requirements of aquarium plants

Aquarium plants are also living things that need to be well cared for in order to stay healthy.

Here are some of the important aquarium plants requirements

  • Light – Some plants thrive with light while others need very little to no light. Take care that when floating plants float on the surface of the water, they do not prevent a lot of light from penetrating the substrate.
  • Nutrient – Some plants thrive splendidly without the aquarist having to intervene on a large scale, others require regular fertilization.
  • Pruning – a lot plants also have to be pruned or thinned out regularly so that they develop a handsome growth and remain strong. Newcomers should first choose aquarium plants that are quite undemanding in order to avoid being overwhelmed. In addition, the selection of plants should also match the planned stocking with animals.
  • water levels and values  

Designing an aquarium using aquarium plants

As indicated above, a sensible aquarium structure can be implemented through the clever combination of foreground, middle and background plants as well as solitary plants.

This structuring is not uncommon for the aquarium inhabitants, who divide the aquarium among themselves into different areas.

Features to consider when designing an aquarium with plants

  • The size and growth of the plants (as discussed above)
  • The color design

Not all aquariums are completely green.

When it comes to color, you can combine different shades of green shades to create attractive contrasts.

Alternatively, you can choose reddish aquarium plants.  They are eye-catchers in the aquarium.

Planting aquarium plants

Aquarium plants cannot / do not always have to be planted in the classic way.

Some plants have no roots, so they have to be attached if they are to stay on the ground. Sometimes such plants can also be used as floating plants.

Some aquarium plants are also ideal for tying onto decorative items such as stones and roots. Design measures of this kind are usually relatively easy to implement, but create a very complex and demanding impression.

How many plants do you need in one aquarium?

Every plant in an aquarium performs many important roles in the artificial ecological system.

It is therefore very hard to overdo when it comes to the number of plants.

However, please do not make the mistake of buying as many different plants as possible from specialist shops.

Although you might be tempted, there are also some arguments in favor of being moderate with the number of different types of plants. The maintenance of the plants can ruin your experience when it comes to owning an aquarium.

Every plant has its own requirements: Creating an ecological climate in the aquarium that corresponds to different plants is extremely difficult. It is not uncommon for individual aquarium plants to be suffocated and not thrive at all.

It is advisable to choose a small selection of different plants, especially at the beginning, which have similar requirements and can therefore be kept relatively uncomplicated in a shared aquarium. You can always to switch to other plants or upgrade your aquarium with additional plants once you understand how to maintain the current structure.