Putting in various aquarium decor and creating awesome themes depicting the ruins of Greece or an underwater shipwreck scene can be fun at first but there might come a time when what you want your tank to have is a natural look. There are many ways to achieve this. You can use natural rocks, driftwood or corals but the one item that will not just make your aquarium look natural but that will also greatly benefit the fish is using aquatic plants.
Using these aquatic plants in your aquarium is more than just plopping them in the water like you would with static tank ornaments. There are a number of considerations you have to take first and they do require some care.
Aquatic plants that are meant for fish tank com in numerous varieties. The most common would be the ones that you plant into the substrate and that grows upright such as Amazon Swords. Then you have the low growing type clings to the surfaces of the ornaments such as Java Moss. Also you will have those that merely float at the top of the tank with their roots hanging in the water. Regardless of which you choose, they would definitely be of great benefit to your fish as well as be pleasing to the eye.
Benefits Of Using Real Aquatic Plants
One of the biggest benefit that plants provide inside the aquarium is aeration. Like every single plant on the planet, these aquatic plants consume Carbon Dioxide in the day and give off Oxygen. Having plants in your tank ensures that the water is always well aerated for the fish.
The next benefit of having aquatic plants is for cycling the water. The tank water is a stagnant ecosystem that does not benefit from nature’s cleansing. Each day after feeding the fish, they would excrete in there, and any excess food that is not removed will sink to the bottom and rot. There is also dead leaves that will decay if not removed in time. While this may cause he tank water to eventually become too polluted for the fish, it is in fact nutritious for the plants and they aid in consume the organic matter so that the tank water remains healthy for the fish.
Plants also provide competition for algae growth. With your plants competing for nutrients in the water, algae has a less chance of growing in your tank and if handled well, will leave your aquarium algae free.
Disadvantages Of Using Aquatic Plants
While plants definitely provide a big benefit, they also need some extra care or they may become a disadvantage instead.
The leaves of the aquatic plants will eventually wither. When they do, you must ensure that they are removed as quickly as possible before they decay. Left too long, the decayed leaves will pollute the water and open it up for bacterial bloom.
Like all other plants, aquatic ones also need natural sunlight, you have to ensure that they are placed in a location that gets sufficient light each day, or they will wither and die. The other alternative is to use aquarium lights that are meant for plant life.
While having some plants is good, having too many plants is not. Plants produce Oxygen by day but at night they work the other way round, by consuming the Oxygen and releasing Carbon Dioxide. You will know that you have too many plants and improper aeration if you see your fish gulping at the surface of the water when you wake up in the morning.
But the benefits of using aquatic plants far outweighs the minor inconveniences. Having at least some of them in your aquarium will greatly benefit the health of your fish.