How to Care for Aquarium Plants
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How to Care for Aquarium Plants

Aquarium plant care is often an overlooked yet critical part in taking care of pet fishes. Aside from enhancing the aesthetic value of the tank and provide fishes with a refuge, most aquarium plants also perform important functions like oxygenating the water and ensuring that there is a balanced chemistry inside the tank. Plants also provide bacteria with an extra place to form their colonies.

About Saltwater Aquarium Plants

Aquarium plant care is often an overlooked yet critical part in taking care of pet fishes. Aside from enhancing the aesthetic value of the tank and provide fishes with a refuge, most aquarium plants also perform important functions like oxygenating the water and ensuring that there is a balanced chemistry inside the tank. Plants also provide bacteria with an extra place to form their colonies.

Examples of Aquarium Plants

There are different kinds of aquatic plant types which can be placed in saltwater tanks. Examples include aquarium bulbs, saltwater fern plants, turle grass, halimeda plants and shaving hair brush.

Carbon Dioxide

Most aquarium plants need the presence of carbon dioxide in the water in order to survive, as it is plays a key role in photosynthesis. Inhabitants in the tank may release carbon dioxide, but these can be in small amounts, and may not be adequate for healthy plant growth. To remedy this, some fish owners use a carbon dioxide tank which releases bubbles of carbon dioxide into the water, while others use yeast which also produces carbon dioxide.

Water and Lighting

Light is one requirement of aquarium plants in order to live and stay healthy. This is why, water inside the aquarium ought to be free from particles which may block the entry of light. Likewise, lighting inside the aquarium may be improved by putting lamps like fluorescent and mercury vapor types. Deep tank aquariums may also require halide lamps or mercury vapor types to provide maximum lighting.

Nutrients

Aquatic plants usually need nutrients to sustain their growth. Such nutrients are available in different forms such as zinc, phosphates, calcium, sulfur, nitrates, carbonates and sulphates. These are usually sourced from fishes and water inside the aquarium, but some fish owners also use fertilizers for additional nutrients. Use of fertilizers, however, must be done with care as this can disturb the balance inside the tank. Deficiency of the said nutrients can result in plant diseases. Chlorosis in the leaves of aquatic plants is often a result of nitrogen and sulfur deficiency, while lack of iron results in the yellowed tips of the leaves.

Pruning

Aquarium plant care also includes pruning and propagations, since some aquatic plant species are known for their rapid growth while others require propagation. Some aquatic plants such as sword plants have runners, or small protuberances that grow along with its mother plant. Some plants have nodules that when cut into pieces, result in new roots. Pruning should be made frequently to control plant overgrowth. Meanwhile leafy plants require thinning in order to give way for the development of the other plant species. In essence, trimming helps keep the aquatic plants in their proper shapes.

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