Would you like us to stock Tropica plants again?

We’re always looking for feedback from our customers and would like to hear your thoughts on this matter:

Would you like us to stock Tropica plants again?

It would be great to hear your opinion if you would like Aqua Essentials to stock their plants again. As you well know Tropica are a premium product and attached to that is a premium price tag. We love to sell quality but would you pay more for them?

We currently sell Aquafleur, and have no intentions of stopping their range, but we are certainly interested in your thoughts on the matter.

Aquatics Live – how was it for you?

So Aquatics Live took place over the weekend and by all accounts is was a success. Sadly I was not able to attend but have been interested to hear the thoughts of other hobbyists, what they thought of it and why they enjoyed it.

I also noticed a few negative comments which I was very surprised to read, in the respect that some felt shops should either display their stand from an aquascaping point of view or sell products (not both). My thoughts of this is that you can’t please everyone…

So what did you go to Aquatics Live for? Was is for meeting up with fellow hobbyists or maybe you just fancied seeing what was going on and what other shops had to offer? What would you like to see next year that wasn’t available this year? And more importantly, if you went last year would you go again next year?

Were there enough plants for sale, and what about the aquascaping contest – did you have a go?

Fill me in as I would love to hear your thoughts


Sagittaria Subulata

This is a tasty looking foreground plant that I thought you might like. Foreground types are always the most popular for reasons I’ve mentioned in previous posts. However, they can be rather tricky sometimes but this one won’t cause any problems.

Sagittaria Subulata is a small yet elegant plant that has a lovely vivid green colour to it. It reproduces easily via runners (see the picture below) and will grow in medium to high light. Like most plants it does better with pressurised CO2, but will be fine is a low tech planted tank (i.e. one without CO2) – it just grows slower that’s all.

Each pot can be split into 6 different plantlets and place them into a nutrient rich substrate for the best effect (try Colombo Flora Base). Position them about 25mm apart from each other (use tweesers for this) and in no time you’ll see new runners. Don’t forget if you start to see your plant going yellow, then you need more nutrients! Add AE Design Aqua Nourish.

Lastly with all our Aquafleur plants we offer deals for multiple purchases so if you invest in 5 or more, we offer it to you for £3.59 per plant.

2 New Echinodorus Plants

Always on the look out for some different plants, we’ve got a couple of Echinodorus’ that I think you will like. Definitely not new to the market, but certainly new to us. So what are they?

Aquafleur Echinodorus Ozelot Red – stunning shaped oval leaves make this plant a real beauty. Similar in appearance and size to Ozelot Green, it’s not a demanding plant and looks great in medium sized plant. When established this plant will grow quickly and will become a real focal point.

Aquafleur Echinodorus Rubra – a rather neat and tidy plant, its leaves are slightly larger than the Ozelot Red. It flourishes in a wide range of conditions and is unlikely to cause you any problems in your planted aquarium. Young leaves start off a pinky colour and as they mature, turn green. Suitable for mid to background you will be very happy with this plant.

For a range of all our fully rooted potted plants you can follow this link.

Top 3 most popular foreground plants

What’s the easiest, what’s the best, what’s the quickest, what’s the nicest…?

We get asked all sorts of things regarding foreground plants and the answer is always the same “it depends!!”….

it depends on what you are trying to achieve, what your skills as a hobbyists are, if you’re using CO2, what your lighting levels are etc etc. So there’s no easy answer but here’s my personal top 3:

Pogostemon Helferi – probably the easiest foreground plant to grow as it will happily flourish in CO2 and non CO2 tanks. Lighting wise it’s not too fussy either and again likes low and high light. Great for beginners and upwards.

Eleocharis Acicularis – a long term favourite amongst planted aquarium hobbyists you can see why this plant became so popular so quickly. Relatively easy to grow, it looks great and reproduces quickly by throwing out runners pretty much everywhere. In a CO2 infused aquarium, it really motors and you will have a lushous carpet in no time.

Echinodorus Tenellus – a cracking plant that has been in the hobby since the mid 80s. A plant with lovely shaped leaves which when submersed become slimline and grass like so it sways in the current (very relaxing to watch). Suitable for non CO2 tanks, however if you’re looking to create a carpet effect (which most are with foreground plants) then CO2 would be necessary along with a decent fertiliser such as AE Design Aqua Nourish and Aqua Nourish+.


Easy Life AlgExit – it tackles algae

Algae is a pain, we all know this and we all try and deal with it in a variety of ways. Some people try and starve algae, others physically remove it. The real answer is to ensure you have good CO2 levels, good nutrients and good water movement. But we also know this is easier said than done.

However, sometimes the balance in a planted aquarium is changed or upset and algae grows. This is both unsightly and frustrating and whilst a quick fix is not the answer (you have to get to the root of the problem), sometimes it needs to be done. Introducing Easy Life AlgExit. I’ve not seen anything on the market before quite like it and it’s made by Easy Life who already have a fantastic range of fertilisers that are very effective. AlgExit eradicates:

  1. BBA (black beard algae)
  2. String algae
  3. Thread algae
  4. Hair algae
  5. Green algae

It’s quite an impressive line up I think you’ll agree!! I’m sure everyone of you out there have struggled with one of the above algae at some time, and I bet you would have found a bottle of AlgExit rather handy, even if it was using it for occasionally 😉

2 More Aquascaping Rocks

We’ve managed to source some more aquascaping rocks which are perfect for planted aquariums and wanted to introduce them to your immediately. Like all the rocks that we sell, they look great, easy to work with and you can create a great looking set up in no time.

Canyon Rock is fantastic looking and will create immediate impact and you’ll be surprised how easy it is to work with these rocks. Take a look at it below:













You can see by the colour that the red and white flecs look amazing and under water there’s a slight glimmer to them. The contrast with green plants makes them look even more enticing and if you look at them up close you see this:













the detail is superb as I am sure you will agree. Imagine it in your aquarium and at only £3.50 per kg, you don’t have to spend much either. But we’ve got another rock we want to share with you which is equally as nice…it’s called Maple Leaf Rock. A lot lighter in comparison to Canyon Rock – when you pick a piece up it feels a little like Lava Rock (i.e. porous). Here’s a picture of 5kgs below:

The texture is as detailed as some other rock we have, but the resemblance to its name is what makes it so special. Here’s a close up:

I’ve never seen anything quite like it before either. Just imagine this in your planted aquarium with the green leaves swaying behind it in the CO2 enriched current. Pretty special heh? At £3.50 per kg, you get a lot of rock for your money…

Clean your substrate and glass at the same time!

This is the sort of tool that we like to see here at Aqua Essentials, something that does more than one job at a time. With planted aquariums, water changes are an absolute must and they need to be done in reasonably large volume too (especially if you are running CO2 where weekly 50% water changes are not unusual). Most of you will be using all sorts of devices to remove water from your tank but have you seen one that cleans glass at the same time?

Introducing you the Superfish Gravel and Glass Cleaner. So how does it work? The gravel cleaner itself is no different from the standard type but it’s the fitting on the end which is unique. It has a flat edge to it which means that you can scrape any algae off your glass at the same time as performing a water change. This will really save you time as you will be doing 2 jobs at the same time. Not only that but the sieve on the cleaner means that if you do suck any gravel or substrate up by mistake, it won’t go very far. Soon as the water pressure if released, so will be the gravel.

This piece of equipment can be used on any sized aquarium from 50L and up and once you’ve tried it, you’ll wonder why it hadn’t been invented before!