Planted Aquarium Basics

In addition to adding color to your aquarium, plants also absorb excess nitrates from the fish tank.  A planted aquarium creates an ecosystem for the fish which is similar to their natural habitat. aquarium plants also convert CO2 into Oxygen for the fish to breathe. Last but not at all the least, they provide shelter for the fish. Availing all these benefits is a hard job as different plants need different care.  You need to figure out which would be suitable for your planted aquarium.  For this purpose, you need to know the basics of planted aquariums.  

Types of Substrate for Your Planted Aquarium

Substrates keep the plants in your aquarium growing at a good pace.  They are also used to improve the aesthetics of the tank. You have to choose the types of substrate that fits your needs.  Some of the common types include the following:


Gravel is available at most fish stores. It should have round edges. You can have this in different colors and sizes. If you only use gravel, remember to add laterite to provide an additional boost to plant growth.


Flourite is also one of the best choices for your tank.  It is so durable that you won’t need to change during the life of your aquarium.  It is black in color and has medium sized grains.  If you add fertilizer to the flourite, it will absorb it.  It is excellent for plant growth.


You can use any types of sand including play sand or black Tahitian Moon. It is preferred by many fish over gravel. However, it can clog the filters due to the small size of its particles.


Soil is the best substrate for plant growth. It doesn’t even need a bottom layer before adding it to the tank. Be aware that soil lowers the pH level in the water.

Crushed Coral

Crushed coral raises the pH level of the water. If you have the African cichlids, this is the perfect choice for you. A drawback of crushed coral is that many fish are not comfortable with it. You can use coral sand in its place.

Types of Plants

There are 3 types of plants that you can choose for your aquarium. Each of these 3 types is to be placed in different positions of the aquarium.  Foreground plants are planted in the front side of the tank. Foreground plants are also known as carpet plants. They are rather short and grow up slowly. They don’t hide the rest of the aquarium from view. Middle-ground plants are placed for sheltering the fish should they need any. Background plants   cover the entire back drop of the tank. These types of plants give the natural look of an ocean.

Plant Environmental Factors

Plants need a good environment to grow. Lighting is part of the environment. As a rule, bright green plants need bright light or heavy light. Aquatic plants grow faster in heavy lights. Medium light is between 2 and 4 watts per gallon. It is fluorescent. Many plants have no problems in growth with medium light. Low light comes with the aquarium. It is barely adequate for the aquarium. Many plants also need CO2 to grow properly. All plants grow at varying paces.

Planted Aquariums have their own set of requirements. You have to keep researching about their needs. Having a planted aquarium and maintaining it can be easy if you have correct guidance. Keep visiting FishTanksAndMore.Com to know about various plants for your aquarium. If you have any additional tips regarding aquarium plants, please feel free to share it with us in the comments section below! 




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