Aquarium Plants

Planted aquariums, also known as aquascapes are becoming increasingly popular. Not only do we stock a fantastic range of plants, we also offer an extensive range of equipment to help you to achieve truly luxuriant plant growth.

the aquatic habitat aquarium plants

Although not necessary for the successful maintenance of tropical fish, aquarium plants can add considerably to the overall appearance of an aquarium.

We stock a wide range of aquarium plants from a number of different suppliers. New stocks arrive most weeks, so you can be sure of a good selection.

There are three main things to consider if you wish to achieve a successful planted aquarium, lighting, carbon dioxide & nutrients. The secret to a successful planted aquarium is to provide all three in reasonable balance, too much, or too little of any one, and you run the risk of encouraging algae growth.

Aquarium lights should be on for 10-12 hours per day if the plants are to grow well. Many older aquariums use fluorescent lights and these are perfectly acceptable for good plant growth, however, the output from fluorescent bulbs will reduce as they age, after 18 months use the output is likely to have fallen by 50%. For this reason we recommend that bulbs are replaced on an annual basis. If you have more than one tube, try to stagger the replacement interval so that your plants receive a more consistent light level. Different fluorescent tubes are designed for different purposes, some are intended to highlight the colour of the fish, others have high levels of blue in their output and are good for coral growth. For planted tanks we particularly recommend the Dennerle Trocal bulbs, these are optimised to encourage plant growth whilst minimising algae growth. Unlike fluorescent bulbs, modern LED lighting should give many years of reliable service with very little drop off in performance.

the aquatic habitat aquarium plants

Plants need carbon dioxide (CO2) to grow, all water contains some carbon dioxide, but many aquariums are quite deficient. You can improve the natural CO2 levels in your aquarium by using an inert substrate such as quartz gravel, and keeping water movement at the surface to a minimum. For small, moderately lit aquariums the natural level of CO2 can be boosted by the regular addition of “liquid CO2” in the form of “Easy Carbo” or the use of a fermentation system such as the Dennerle “Bio set”.More sophisticated systems involve the use of a pressurised cylinder of CO2 with regulator and fine control needle valve. We were one of the first shops in the UK to advocate this now widely accepted & highly effective method of boosting plant growth. We particularly recommend the Dennerle systems because of their quality and ease of use.

Plants use light to convert carbon dioxide & water into sugars, in the process they give off oxygen. However they also need other minerals & trace elements so that they can produce the other chemical compounds that they need to thrive. Rapidly growing plants will clearly need more of these nutrients than will be the case in aquariums where the plants are growing more steadily. In most cases the regular addition of liquid and/or tablet fertilisers is perfectly adequate, but for brightly lit tanks with optimum CO2 levels and rapidly growing plants, the use of a sub gravel heater and nutrient mix is recommended.