Maintaining your planted aquarium like a pro

So I stumbled across this rather cool video that George Farmer did for Tropica and wanted to share. We’re often asked about maintaining a tank and what to do and what not to do, and there’s nothing like a video to demonstrate this.

A few things I picked up on:

  1. Notice how George hovers over the substrate – not plunging it. This keeps it clean enough.
  2. Use a toothbrush to keep the edges clean, the water line and the bottom of the tank where the substrate meets the glass. A toothbrush is unobtrusive and won’t stir your substrate up.
  3. Once he has trimmed the plants, he uses a net to remove the bits that float to the surface and siphons off any plants that haven’t floated anywhere. He also uses his finger to disturb the mosses where debris can get trapped.
  4. Lots of freshwater shrimp. I could see a combo of amano shrimp and crystal reds. No pro scaper will have a tank without shrimp, yet I know many of you DO NOT have shrimp yet you wonder why you have algae…
  5. Clean water goes back into the tank via a sieve. This is a great tip that avoids causing disturbance. Also notice how much water was changed (about 50%). Are you changing enough?

So you see this equipment does not need to cost the earth. Folllow George’s guide and you won’t go far wrong.

Aquarium plants dying

If you go onto Google and type aquariums plants one of the first things that comes up is the question

Why are my plants dying?

There are a lot of different responses to this questions, and most of them are wrong! so I am here to set you straight and tell you why your plants are dying and how to stop it from happening over and over again!

Firstly before you buy your plants you need to do research on what substrate you need….NO you cannot just use gravel..No you cannot just use sand! Most people believe that they can just chuck a bag of sand in the bottom of there tank and everything will grow, well i can tell you now it will not. Substrates provide your plants with nutrients, food. Can you imagine waking up in the morning and eating paper for breakfast? your body will struggle to survive the day. You want to wake up and have a big bowl of porridge or even a full English, SO DO YOUR PLANTS. Get the substrate right from the start and that will eliminate most of problems.

COLOMBO FLORA BASE 5 LITER BACK(1)

So you have a substrate, you buy your plants, stick them in your tank and immediately they struggle, Why? think about a time when you have gone on holiday, the first day in a nice hot country, whats happens? you get burnt. your body isn’t used to this change in environment and neither are your plants. you may well get leaves going brown and dying but that doesn’t mean your plant is dead….you need to wait to see the new growth that will come through. The growth that is used to your tank environment. As long as your root structure is healthy you will get new growth.

Alternanthera rosaefolia

So your plant has taken to your tank and you have seen new growth but after a month the plant starts to die off, Why? Your not feeding it right. your plants need to eat right. Almost all tanks need Liquid CO2,  the liquid CO2 will encourage growth and keep algae down. To go along with the liquid CO2 your plants need macro and micro nutrients. With out all of these your plants will wither and die off, which will then encourage algae to your tank.

NEUTRO have three Fertilisers all of which provide your tank with everything that your plants need

Neutro CO2, Neutro T and Neutro +

Check our other post on fertilisers here

 

What is so good about Neutro’s?

you have heard that your plants need food right? but what is the best food to give your plants, what would they like?

I’m here to tell you whats so good about Neutro’s and why you need to give it to your plants.

Firstly you need to know that there are three different Neutro fertilisers, you need to make sure you know what they are about and which ones are right for you.

To start with there is Neutro CO2. This is a liquid carbon fertiliser that is about a third of the strength of Pressurised CO2. Almost all tanks need liquid carbon, the only exception are and tanks that have plants that don’t like liquid carbon, such as Valliseria. Liquid carbon is a very important source of growth for plants. if you have plants in your tank that are living but aren’t growing and flourishing then you need to add liquid carbon.

neutro-co2

Secondly there is Neutro T. Neutro T provides your plants with the Trace elements that need to really flourish. Trace elements included are Boron, Copper, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum and Zinc. These micro nutrients are key for plant growth.

 

Lastly there is Neutro + now it is key that you use Neutro + if you have pressurised CO2 set up in your aquarium. It is important that you use Neutro + because this fertiliser not only has the Trace elements that plants need it also has the macro nutrients that pressurised CO2 removes from your tank. The macro nutrients are Potassium, Phosphorus and Nitrogen.

 

When using Neutro fertilisers it is important that you dose correctly. over or under dosing can cause algae issues in your tank.

CO2 = 5ml per 100L daily

T and + = 10ml per 100L daily

What are your thoughts about Neutro fertilisers? have you found them to be beneficial?

 

Check out these tissue culture plants

These tissue culture plants come from HortiLab who are a new and exciting provider of tissue culture plants. The great thing about these plants is the quality that you get in each pot. They are 5cm high and the plants are often trying to burst out of the lid. The colours you get in the plants are really striking and bold, the blue vitro gel is really something!

The main benefits to tissue culture plants is that they are grown in a lab and then sealed so there is zero chance of them having snails or algae. Once they are in your tank they will grow stronger and healthier than any mature plants that you may have brought in from your local supplier or online would, as the tissue culture plants will have quite literally grown from nothing, into an adult plant IN YOUR TANK!

Hortilab Rotala rotundifolia

If you want to see the rest of these plants then follow this link.