hydrocotyle tripartita

hydrocotyle tripartita

This is a really easy aquarium plant to look after so first and foremost, if you’re new to the hobby then look no further! It’s unchallenging but still has the beauty of the very best types of aquatic plants, but before we go into that, let’s look into the history of hydrocotyle tripartita.

History

Referred to in the hobby as Hydroctyle sp Japan, its true name is Hydrocotyle tripartita and it originates from South East Asia – as do most aquarium plants due to the warmer climate. This plant grows fast and is a major reason why it’s so popular – we all want results fast and don’t want to wait and this plant certainly ticks that box. The leaves are small and a brilliant green colour, some might refer to the colour as intense.

Planting

Best to plant hydrocotyle tripartita as a carpeting plant as it hugs the foreground and sends out runners on a daily basis. If the light is dim, you may find it stretches up the tank, but you really would have to minimise the light for this to have an impact. Once you’ve taken hydrocotyle tripartita from the pot, you’ll be able to split the plant into several portions and at the beginning it may look slightly scruffy and unkempt, you need to give it time to start to grow and take shape. If any of hydrocotyle tripartita pops back up, just push it back in.

Check out this video to see how you plant and maintain hydrocotyle tripartita:

Availability:

hydrocotyle tripartita is available in two types for you and is available as a potted variety or available as hydrocotyle tripartita on lava. Both are great, just depends what you prefer the look of. If you’re planning on planting hydrocotyle tripartita direct into the substrate choose the potted variety but if you want to move it around because you might not be able to decide quite where you want to place it, use hydrocotyle tripartita on lava.

hydrocotyle tripartita
hydrocotyle tripartita pot
hydroctyle tripartita
hydrocotyle tripartita on lava

 

Red algae in saltwater tank

Red algae in saltwater tank

If you’re s hobbyist who keeps a marine tank then you’ll know the importance of keeping on top of your algae levels, and red algae in saltwater tank is a bit of a problem for some of you. In fact demand for products that reduce red algae in saltwater tank has been going on ever since the hobby began. There have been lots of products that come and go, but some of them stick, and for good reason too – they work :)

You’re reading this because you need a solution to you red algae in saltwater tank and here it is. Colombo Mycosidol is a fast acting and effective product that removes red algae in saltwater tank, and it’s also safe to use.

red algae in saltwater tank
removes red algae in marine aquariums

So what is red algae?

Strictly speaking red algae isn’t an algae at all and is actually cynobacteria and as a result, it’s important not to treat it like a traditional algae with the more common algae remedies. If you do it this way you won’t clear it up and wonder what has gone wrong and why you bothered to spend you money on it! One thing I would like to point out is that cynobacteria is not always red. It can be blue, green and even black sometimes, but more commonly red.

You’ll normally see red algae or cynobacteria as a clump or a patch hidden away somewhere. It will start small and at first you might not really notice it. They key is not to ignore it at this stage and hope that it goes away – it won’t. Red algae in saltwater tank will not disappear on its own and will need your help to make it happen. Go over your tank with a fine tooth comb in that respect and hunt it out.

Why has is happened?

Lots of reasons, but once you have treated with Colombo Mycosidol you’ll need to look at the following reasons for the future (or else it will come back):

  1. What is the flow like in your tank – I’m guessing not as good as it should be because the reason you have red algae in saltwater tank is your flow isn’t as good as it should be. Improve that and make sure your circulation pump/s are moving all the water around that they should be.
  2. How dirty is your filter? Make sure it’s nice and clean and that the sponges are free from debris.
  3. What is your pH? It may not be as high as it should be. A pH of 8.1 and higher will discourage red algae in saltwater tank. Just make sure you’re not using a pH buffer which uses phosphate to help buffer. Look for alternatives.
  4. Are you using a phosphate removal product in your filter? If not you need to as this will help reduce red algae in saltwater tank.
  5. Make sure you’re not using tap water as this contains too many minerals for your tank including nitrate and phosphate. Use RO (reverse osmosis) water and then remineralise it that way.

But in the meantime you’ll need to use Colombo Mycosidol which will remove red algae in saltwater tank. It comes with 20 small capsules, about the size of a paracetamol tablet – you know the one’s. 1 tablet will treat 25L so if you have a small tank, Colombo Mycosidol will last you a long time and  A full bottle’s worth is enough for a 500L tank and for most of you out there that will be more than sufficient.

Simply pop the required number of capsules into your marine aquarium and let it do the work it is designed to. It’s impressive stuff.

Anubias nana on driftwood

Anubias nana on driftwood

Having aquarium plants on wood is hugely beneficial and Anubias nana on driftwood is one of the more popular one’s a for a variety of reasons. First of all Anubias nana is one of the oldest plants that have existed in the hobby partly because it was found very early on but also because it’s easy to grow. But unlike many aquarium plants, Anubias nana must be planted onto wood or rock, and our favourite is Anubias nana on driftwood. If you try and plant this aquatic plant directly into the substrate there’s a very high chance that the rhyzome will rot and as a result the plant will break down and the leaves fall off one by one.

Anubias nana on driftwood
Anubias nana on driftwood

By attaching Anubias nana on driftwood, not only is the rhyzome above the substrate but it has a dual function. You can move it to where you want, when you want! This means if you get bored of it in one location it’s easy to shift to a new place.

Keeping Anubias nana on driftwood

You need to give this plant very little care which makes it absolutely ideal for beginners and up. It’s happy in a very wide range of conditions from cooler water all the way up to warm water (30C making it ideal for discus tanks). In terms of lighting, we’ve experimented in low to high light and it’s done surprisingly well. although be careful with too much lighting as Anubias nana on driftwood is a slow growing plant and even with lots of CO2 it won’t throw out more than 1 leaf every few weeks.

Does Anubias nana on driftwood flower?

If you are lucky yes – the flowers are white and very beautiful but it won’t last long – maybe a day or two. If you are keeping the plant above the water line then it will stay in flower for a week.

Where can I buy Anubias nana on driftwood?

You can find it by clicking here – they are always in stock and ready to ship to your door on a next day basis.

Cryptocoryne wendtii

Cryptocoryne wendtii

You have probably heard of Cryptocoryne wendtii before and for good reason too – it’s one of the most well known cryptocorynes because it was introduced into the hobby in the early days..

History: Originating from Sri Lanka, Cryptocoryne wendtii is a bit of a generic name for cryptocorynes in general. Although there are several different species with lots of different colours such as green and brown (as these are the most common). You might also find them in reds, but these are probably more brown – we actually sell 4 different varieties and you can find them by clicking here. Cryptocoryne wendtii will have a variety of different shaped leaves and some being surprising lengthy at 30cm. Another positive is how easy Cryptocoryne wendtii are to grow. Perfect for beginners as you can grow them in low to high light which makes them unchallenging. In some tanks you don’t even need to fertilise as they are heavy root feeders (but I don’t personally recommend this).

Cryptocoryne wendtii
Cryptocoryne wendtii green

Where to position: Generally Cryptocoryne wendtii should be placed in the foreground of your tank because of the height they grow to. In general most are quite small but there’s the odd taller one that would suit a midground location. Once they have settled in, I recommend that you leave them where you planted them – moving them can cause issues.

Cryptocoryne wendtii
Cryptocoryne wendtii brown

Cryptocoryne wendtii melt: Yes crypotocorynes definitely can and do melt and some are more susceptible than others. Melting is when the plant is placed into an aquarium and then over the period of a few days, the Cryptocoryne wendtii will literally appear to rot away and look terrible. If this happens, the cryptocoryne is simply readapting to its new environment. Simply cut off all the leaves leaving about 2cm from the base and then within a week you will see new growth.

How to stop Cryptocoryne wendtii melting: Lots of CO2 and fertilisers. If you give this plant what it really wants then its unlikely that you will see this problem – add some root tabs to into the base. Crypotocryne’s such as Mi Oya are less likely to melt.

Microsorum pteropus Windelov on Coconut

Microsorum pteropus Windelov on Coconut

If you’re one of those people who is looking for something a bit different, or dare I say it even a bit cool, then consider the Microsorum pteropus Windelov on Coconut – it’s a new product into us and on first impressions it looks pretty darn neat! A really bright plant that has been carefully grown on a 1/4 coconut and then suction pads glued on.

You can place this aquarium plant pretty much anywhere in your planted aquarium and the beauty of the Microsorum pteropus Windelov on Coconut means you now have a 3 dimensional look to your tank. The suction cups are designed so that you stick the coconut to the side of your tank and bingo, you’ve got something that looks totally unique!

So who is it for?

Perfect for any level of hobbyist from old to new. In terms of difficulty it’s very easy as the aquarium plant Microsorium pteropus windelov is extremely easy to care for. Doesn’t really matter what sort of lighting your provide it does well. This means you can place it near the bottom or top of your tank, although not too close to the top or else it can look a bit odd. If you have fish that tend to enjoy consuming plants, then this could be another good reason for you to invest in this because Microsorum pteropus Windelov on Coconut is generally left by fish due to the taste!

What maintenance does it need?

Very little. Microsorum pteropus Windelov on Coconut is slow growing and the piece you receive will probably be many months old. As soon as it’s placed in your aquarium, growth rate will probably slow a little. Once in a while you can trim the ends off but that’s pretty much all you will need to do.

Microsorum pteropus Windelov on Coconut Microsorum pteropus Windelov on Coconut Microsorum pteropus Windelov on Coconut Microsorum pteropus Windelov on Coconut

Video Testimonial of Aqua Essentials

Chris was kind enough to leave a Video Testimonial of Aqua Essentials for us and we wanted to share it with you. I hope this type of testimonial gives you confidence when you order with us, you always know you’re getting the very best aquarium plants and other goods :)

Like all businesses we understand it can feel slightly risque particularly if you have had a bad experience before but this should help to diffuse any concern. We’ve got lots of other video testimonials so please have a look out for them too.

Carpeting Aquarium Plants

Carpeting Aquarium Plants

Everyone loves carpeting aquarium plants right? I mean there’s nothing more delightful than looking at a beautiful green carpet of plants that are growing very happily at the bottom of your tank. They’ve always been popular and a question we’re asked fairly regularly so it made sense to put down in detail the plants we recommend, why we do that and how easy they are to grow. You see, the thing with carpeting aquarium plants is they’re not necessarily tricky but are neglected due to their location and this is why some fail. In addition a lot of carpeting plants have small root structure so you need to make sure you offer plenty of fertilisers and liquid carbon, AND a nutrient rich substrate. By covering all the bases you give yourself the very best chance of creating a carpet you have always dreamed of.

But let’s start with the easiest and work our way down to the trickiest. Note that our selection will be very different from other shops, most probably because we know what we’re talking about as we’ve been aquascaping for over 20 years. So here’s the top 5 Carpeting Aquarium Plants:

In FIRST PLACE THE Easiest Carpeting Aquarium Plant – Micranthemum ‘Monte-Carlo’

Micranthemum ‘Monte-Carlo’carpeting aquarium plant. This beautiful carpeting aquarium plant is suitable for beginners and up is unlikely to cause you any problems whatsoever. In fact its very tolerant of beginners which makes a refreshing change in the carpeting aquarium plants section.The leaves on this plant are small but not too small if you know what I mean. Now this is key because it’s able to photosynthesise very nicely doe to leaf shape and number. You can tell by the pot that this plant is absolutely loaded – literally thousands of leaves per pot. You can have high light, low light, CO2, no CO2 and it will still do well. There’s very little negative to say about it which is why it gets the top spot that beginners and above will love. If you’re after a bit more detail, view our other blog post on it by clicking here.

And here’s a rather neat video of the plant being trimmed.

In SECOND PLACE in carpeting aquarium plants is Staurogyne porto vehlo. Now you probably haven’t heard of this plant nor considered it as a carpeting aquarium plant but it seriously is a huge contender. Not quite as straight forward as Monte Carlo but if you kill this plant I’ll give you your money back (actually I won’t but it’s really Carpeting Aquarium Plantseasy to care for plant!) Once settled into your tank, you need to do very little to it for it to start creeping across the bottom of your nutritious substrate (you have got one right?! If not you need to). Suitable for both high and low light planted aquariums, only start to trim once it throws down roots. Apart from that you need to do VERY LITTLE for this plant to flourish and become and excellent Carpeting Aquarium Plant. Buy this plant now by clicking here.

 

In THIRD PLACE in carpeting aquarium plants is Micranthemum umbrosum. Not too dis-similar from the easiest of the carpeting aquarium plants as you can tell from the name. Very easy to care for and creeps perfectly. Leaves are small and round, maybe 5mm in diameter. But can you see the way it hangs down over the pot in the picture? This is why it’s another perfect carpeting aquarium plant – gravity forces it down. In termCarpeting Aquarium Plantss of lighting, it would benefit from slightly higher light, so you might get away with it in a low tech tank, but the addition of liquid carbon would always help and benefit the plant. Like all plants once you’ve placed it in the substrate, avoid trimming it for a few weeks so it can become established. The trigger for me is new roots – once you see them, it’s fine to trim, otherwise you can end up traumatising it. Apart from that, dead easy and ideal for beginners.

 

In FOURTH PLACE in carpeting aquarium plantsis Elecharis acicularis which has been in the hobby for donkeys years. In fact when I first startCarpeting Aquarium Plantsed to aqusacape (back in the 20th century!), I remember this plant being very popular but it was always sold in clumps. I vividly remember thinking I was getting a bargain as a bought two lots of 50. When it turned up I was severely disappointed because it was 2 bunches of 50 stems, which was maybe the equivalent to 2 pots at best. But I digress, this is a brilliant contender in Carpeting Aquarium Plants, but I’ve placed it at number 4 because it’s somewhat tricky as if it gets too much light and not enough CO2/fertilisers it clogs up with algae. It can also clog up with general debris so it does need cleaning and syphoning every week unless you have plenty of freshwater shrimp that will clean it for you. Apart from that it looks delightful when swaying in the current and you can trim it very short to give a manicured effect. If you want to see this plant being trimmed have a look at the video below.

Carpeting Aquarium Plants
The famous carpeting plant Hemianthus callitrichoides

FIFTH PLACE in carpeting aquarium plants, but certainly one of THE most popular Carpeting Aquarium Plants of all time is the famous Hemianthus callitrichoides. Now you might be surprised this wasn’t at the number one spot but we’re talking about easy carpeting aquarium plants and whilst this one isn’t necessarily difficult, it is unforgiving. Hemianthus callitrichoides can die  quickly – in fact you can do a pretty good job at killing it off in a couple of days if you don’t give it plenty of CO2 and lots of fertilisers. With minimal roots, it needs to take all of its nutrients from the leaves and if it doesn’t get just what it wants, it dies off. I know customers who have bought 20+ pots from us, for them all to die because his conditions weren’t quite right. This was a very tough lesson for sure, but it’s a reality. But if you get the conditions as it needs, it’s so beautiful and I’m suggesting that you work up to this plant. Imagine it to be the gold medal of all carpeting plants, because if you can master this one, you will have no problems with any others. If you want to see how fast this plant can grow then check this video out – took a mere 78 days to carpet.


and similarly if you want to see how you can trim Hemianthus callitrichoides, then check this video out

 

 

Micranthemum monte carlo care

Micranthemum monte carlo care

How can you not love this aquarium plant? I mean it’s truly beautiful in pretty much every way. Micranthemum monte carlo care is so easy – it looks great, carpets in your aquarium easily and pots are always a decent size. So where has it come from and where has it been all this time?

In answer, it’s a relatively new aquatic plant into the hobby and it originates from Europe and East Asia – which one is quite correct, I’m not sure. I would go for Asia as their environment is better suited (but I’m guessing!). The leaves to this aquarium plant are fairly round, and probably no more than 4mm in diameter. So imagine it to be a bit like the world famous aquatic plant Hemianthus, just a big bigger. The MAIN DIFFERENCE though is how easy this plant is to grow. Classified as Easy, Micranthemum monte carlo care is straight forward and suitable for beginners and up and that’s because it’s hugely tolerant to a very wide range of conditions. And, it’s great as a carpeting aquatic plant which always rounds things off nicely.

Micranthemum monte carlo careA bit of history on Micranthemum monte carlo care

About 2 years ago, Tropica brought this plant out in the tissue culture form, but they called it Elatine Hydropiper. Then after a several months they realised they were wrong, and DNA sequencing discovered that it’s actually part of the Micranthemum family. The Monte Carlo name, is probably a short term one until they find its true Latin name, so watch this space. Essentially this means it will change its name again…

Why has it shot to fame?

Because it’s so easy to grow and Micranthemum monte carlo care is so easy! You see Heminathus callitrichoides is the most similar plant to this and as mentioned above, it is far harder to grow, and that’s not what hobbyists want. People want aquarium plants that look pretty and grow easily. Now no aquatic plant (to my knowledge) is genetically modified and as a result, we have to work with what we have. But Micranthemum monte carlo care, comes as close to a GM product as any, because it ticks all the right boxes. You can grow it in high light, low light, CO2 tank, non CO2 tank. Literally take your pick. Sure you’ll get much better results if you place it in a high tech CO2 tank (what plant wouldn’t), but my point is how adaptable it genuinely is.

How do you plant it?

Bit like Heminathus. Once you’ve removed this aquarium plant out of its pot, all you need to do is trim the rockwool off so you have about 10mm left. Then you can cut the plant into 6/8 pieces (depending on pot size) and plant straight into the substrate. The rock wool will help to anchor the plant and keep it where you want it to.

How do you trim it?

Very easily and this is why Micranthemum monte carlo care is so easy – simply use a pair of curved scissors and trim the top part off regularly. Failure to maintain this plant results in a build up of plant which can force the bottom half to die off. This would then lift the plant off your substrate – funny at first then the penny drops. So trim regularly and heavily. But one tip is once you have planted for the first time, avoid trimming until you have let it settle in for at least 2 weeks. Below I’ve found a useful video of someone trimming it. It’s also worth noting the excellent use of a circulation pump which is positioned directly over the Micranthemum monte carlo. This is a perfect example of why carpeting plants benefit from this – any nutrients are pushed right on top of the plant, and this is another reason why its flourishing in this environment (I recommend you do the same and you can find our circulation pumps by clicking here)

How many pots do I need?

We get asked this question A LOT! For most foreground plant, aim for one pot per 225cm2 (15x15cm). Use this calculation. So for example in a tank which is 60x30cm you would need 8 pots (1800/225).

Summary

If you’re looking for a beautiful carpeting aquarium plant that is easy to grow and perfect in a wide range of conditions, then Micranthemum monte carlo is ideal. If you’re looking to purchase this plant, you can find it by clicking here.

Have you every seen this combination of plants?

We’re calling it Fittonia Combo – it’s actually two separate plants called Fittonia White and Red and they compliment each other beautifully as you can see. Now these plants are not suitable for planted aquariums, and they are specifically for use with Vivariums like those which house dart frogs or other similar creatures. These types of environments are humid and warm and as a result there are a lot of plants that actually suitable that environment but Fittonia in particular to very well.

Their bright colours always attract the eye and if you ever decided to plant multiple Fittonia Reds together, the effect is quite wonderful. But for this piece we’ve combined the two Fittonia’s together and grown them on mopani for an extra special effect.

What conditions do they need?

Surprisingly not tricky conditions at all. We’ve had them under T5 lighting in a moist environment and they’ve done well. According to most information though they prefer lower lighting, but as you can see we’ve not had any problems. They’re thriving in fact so it’s always important to see if a plant grows another way.

Where can I place it?

We recommend that you place it at the front of your viv – or at least near it so that you get the full benefit of the colours. As it grows and matures, you can move the piece towards the middle. I personally don’t recommend that you get these plants too wet as there is always a risk that it could rot.

fittoniafittonia fittonia fittonia

Fittonia Combo On Wood – ideal for vivariums