How To Grow Live Plants In An Aquarium?

Plants help get rid of harmful chemicals and keep your aquarium water clean. Always wait a week before adding fish to a planted fish tank. Here’s how to grow live plants in an aquarium:

Choose Easy To Grow Plants

To start, choose one of the easy-to-grow aquarium plants like java moss, java fern, Amazon Sword, or Anubias. Amazon Sword is easy and fast to grow. It’s useful for hiding things like your filter or exposed wiring. Java fern’s long leaves offer hiding spots for fish and fry.

For the bottom of the tank, java moss or water wisteria are perfect for decorating and adding a bit of green.
Some fish and other aquatic animals also feed on moss from time to time. But, you still need to feed them so that they get the right amount of nutrients.

You can use different types of aquarium plants to fit various parts. It’s up to you to research and decide which plants best suit your needs. You can choose to grow the plants from scratch, or you can buy full-grown plants.

Aquarium Components

Light is essential if you want your plants to thrive. Plants need light to carry out photosynthesis, which gives them energy and nutrients. It also provides oxygen for your fish.

Full-spectrum fluorescent and LED tank lights are best suited for aquatic plants. Be sure to research how much light each specific plant needs before setting up.

The substrate in your aquarium also plays a role in your plants’ growth. The substrate is the substance used to cover the bottom of your fish tank. There are different types of substrate, and each has its benefits or lack thereof.

For growing plants, nutrient-rich substrates are best. They cost a bit more than other substrates but are essential for plants. Unless, of course, you’re using floating plants.

You can use the nutrient-rich substrate as the bottom layer and place a layer of gravel above to prevent cloudy or murky water.

Seachem Flourite, clays, and laterite are all excellent choices for substrates. You can usually buy them at online fish stores or brick & mortar shops.

You need to anchor some plants in the substrate. When doing so, place the roots of these plants under the substrate. Try not to bury the rhizome, the thick green part above the roots, or the plant will die. And, avoid anchoring one plant on top of another.

You can root plants like moss, Java Fern, or Anubias Nana on logs or rocks. Tie them to a stone or wood, and they will grow. You can use Driftwood or lava rock for rooting such plants.

Plant Care

Once your planted aquarium is up and thriving, take care of your aquatic plants on an ongoing basis. For example, prune tall leaves/plants, scrape algae from the glass/walls, do weekly water changes, add fertilizers, etc.

Things To Consider

  • Use foreground plants in the front of the tank.
  • Use middle-ground plants along the sides and leave an open swimming area in the center of the aquarium.
  • Use the tall plants to cover the aquarium’s filter tubes and heaters.
  • Change 10% of the water each week, or 25% each month.