Best Live Aquarium Plants

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Pros and Cons of Using Soil in the Aquarium

If you want to grow live plants in your aquarium it seems like a no-brainer to use soil. Although it seems like an obvious choice as a substrate for your fish tank plants, soil can be a messy affair. If you do it right though you can have a lush garden of plants in your tank.

Aqua soil is it is called is very popular among hobby aquarium circles. This expensive, pre-bagged and sterilized soil is ideal because it maintains many positive nutrients that assist in the optimal growth of aquatic plants.

Why Aquarium Soil is Good for Your Tank

The greatest benefit of having aqua soil in your tank is that it releases carbon dioxide during respiration which your plants can absorb as a food source. Carbon dioxide is not necessarily required for fish tank plants but it is required for photosynthesis. If you want your plants to grow tall, strong, and healthy carbon dioxide is a must.

The alternative is carbon dioxide fertilization which can be very difficult to set up. Attaching CO2 gas tanks to your aquarium is expensive, troublesome and arguably messy. Even dosing with CO2 tablets can get expensive really fast.

Another added benefit of aquarium soil is the high iron content. This eliminates the need to supplement your fish tank with iron fertilizers which can be more expensive long term.

The Problems with Using Aquarium Soil in Your Tank

For the beginner, aqua soil is very expensive. In the United States it can be found on Amazon for an affordable price, but definitely far more than the cost of gravel and sand at a pet store. Internationally it can be very expensive, often $20-40 for a 4-8 pound bag.

Another issue to consider with aqua soil is that it can be just a downright mess. If you shift the water too much or intend to clean it often (which you should) it creates dust clouds and mud in the tank that can last for days and take weeks to settle.

Friday, June 7, 2013

How to Trim your Aquarium Plants when you Bring them Home from the Store

When you get your aquarium plants from the store they should look like this: healthy, bright leaves, in a substrate with a black plastic container, rooting shooting out every which way. Should you trim the roots of your aquatic plants to promote growth? Absolutely! It is recommended from tank plants and required for pond plants.

Sometimes when you bring a plant home from the store, the change in water is shocking to their growth. You will want to reinvigorate them. You can do this by carefully removing them from the plastic pots they are in and trimming the roots.

Trimming the roots sounds counter productive but it is a great way to promote growth in the plant. Look at the longer roots, not the main one but, those that appear to be older with little to no growth on them. These are the ones you want to cut. Never cut more than 1/2 of the overall roots. You want to snip the ones that appear to be dull in color, mushy and old.

To cut them, simply use a small pair of medical scissors from your home. Make sure they blades are sharp and clean of any debris. A quick dip in alcohol or the light of a match over them will kill any bacteria. You should do the same thing once done.

Remove any of the roots and do the same thing with any leaves that appear to be dead so that the energy is diverted to growth. Make your cuts smooth and quick, no ripping or pulling and the plant will be just fine.

If you have rooting hormone that can be helpful but not necessary. Cut off the plastic container it was in if you would like and bury the plant in your substrate. The crown of the plant, just between the stem and start of the roots should be just underneith the substrate with no roots exposed.

Finally it may take a few days but, you should be all set to having a healthy plant in your tank.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Fish Abuse and Neglect at Walmart

This video may seem too critical because, let's be honest, Wal-Mart does not have the best of employees or really care about the money made from fish and the animal department in general. However, these conditions should tell hobbysts that we need to support our local stores instead.

Make the trip to a local aquarium store or animal supply store. At least they will support their fish stocks and support humanity for any and all animals. They may even have some knowledge about what they are doing.

Finally, when you buy any fish or aquarium product from a Wal-Mart, know what you're getting into. Disease and death are likely to follow. Whatever you bring home, will bring with it nasty stuff that will invade the rest of your tank.