Pre-Grown Water Lilies – 4 beautiful colours available.

As the weather gets warmer, it’s a good time to consider adding water lilies into your pond or water features. You might feel it’s early but find out why now, is a good time.

At the time of writing, it’s only March, but summer will soon be here. We’re already seeing glimmers of warmer weather which means plants are starting to grow.

Trees are beginning to bud and this means it’s time to think about lilies and other plants that can improve the appearance of your pond or water feature.

In a couple of months time, any lilies that are planted in March will be thinking about flowering, and this is why it’s SO important to get water plants in early.

Lilies need to establish themselves. They’ll start to throw out leaves to the surface of the pond very shortly and the sooner they do this, the sooner those leaves can transfer the energy from the sun into flowers.

We want our lilies to be in flower for as long as possible so that you can enjoy their beauty for as long as possible.

Here at Aqua Essentials we have pond lilies that are designed to be posted. They’re literally ready to go and all you need to do is put them in water!

Available in 4 different colours, they’re sure to add some life into your pond. So click on this link to see what’s currently available.

Pogostemon helferi – a stunning foreground plant.

Each week we run deals on plants for ÂŁ1.99. They might be big, they might be small but one thing for sure, they’re always a great deal. Today we’ve got a deal on the lovely foreground plant called Pogostemon helferi. We’ve bought over 200 of them and by Monday they’ll probably be sold.

This lovely plant needs brighter light to flourish and grows up to 10cm so great therefore ideal for nano tanks or smaller aquariums. You can, of course, grow it in larger tanks – you just need more of them 😉 Although it appreciates the addition of pressurised CO2 in the aquarium, it’s not a must – without it, growth is just a bit slower.

If you’d like to be the first in the line for these types of deals, maybe subscribe to my newsletters here

pogostemon helferi

You can find a link to the foreground plant Pogostemon heferi by clicking the above picture OR clicking this link here. So if you wanted to take advantage of this super offer, click the links and be quick. Normally on sale for only 4-5 days.

If you’re outside the UK and mainland Europe, we can’t get the plants to you fast enough.

If you’d like lots of detail on this plant, have a look at this link from the Tropica website

By: Ole Pedersen

Pogostemon helferi is a different but beautiful foreground plant which under good growth conditions forms a dense carpet of dark green leaves. The curly leaves and different leaf form make it stand out from the crowd of other foreground plants and thereby, it creates an attractive variation and regeneration of the planted aquarium.

The full scientific name is Pogostemon helferi (Hook. f.) Press and from this it follows that it is closely related to another popular aquarium plant, Pogostemon stellatus. The meaning of the genus name is “bearded stamens” from “pogo” (bearded) and “stemon” (stamen) but as yet there is no English common name for Pogostemon helferi. Two Thai aquarist, Nonn Panitvong and Arthit Prasartkul, recovered the plant on the boarder between Thailand and Myanmar and in Thailand the plant is called “dao noi” which means little star. Here, the plant is found in between the other amphibious vegetation along creeks and small rivers where it is found submerged during the wet season and emerged during the dry. The soil in this part of Thailand is often iron rich clay with a reasonable amount of calcium carbonate and this makes it ideal as an aquarium plant.

Pogostemon helferi is not easily confused with other aquarium plants because of the curly leaves. Under good light conditions, short internodes are formed which result in a compact and bushy look. The inflorescence is simple, 15-30 mm long and the individual flowers are lavender. Usually, it forms flowers only when emerged.
At Tropica, we cultivate Pogostemon helferi in emergent cultures which bring along advantages not only for Tropica but also for the aquarist. The emergent plants are always free from algae but in addition, they also acclimate much easier to the water in the individual tanks found among different aquarists. The reason is likely that in nature, these plants experience large natural fluctuations in water quality upon the start of the wet season when ions in different amounts are washed out from the catchment area. This phenomenon probably makes the plant more adaptive to submergence in different types of waters also in our tanks. When planting Pogostemon helferi into the aquarium, the cluster of plantlets should be divided into 4-5 blocks which are then planted into the substrate with a distance of 3-5 cm. In this way, a homogenous carpet is rapidly formed. Remember to remove loose leaves or leaves which are already senescent together with big lumps of roots. This tissue will soon die anyway and start to decay, and this will slow down the establishment of the new plants. Pogostemon helferi looks best if it is planted in small groups or even in larger groups in the foreground.

Pogostemon helferi is not particularly light demanding, but the more light we provide, the more compact the growth form, and the compact form is what most people find attractive. Under less light, the plant grows taller (up to 15 cm) whereas intense light results in compact shoots not longer than 5-8 cm. Pogostemon helferi is relatively fast growing and thus, it needs additional nutrients. Iron deficiency sometimes occurs and is recognized by the new leaves being yellowish but this is easily treated by using liquid Premium Fertiliser in the recommended doses. At luxurious growth, it becomes necessary to trim the plants and this should be done by removing entire shoots allowing light and nutrient to penetrate all the way down to the remaining shoots. CO2 enrichment always stimulates growth, but it is not really required to grow Pogostemon helferi successfully; the plant simply grows a bit slower. Pogostemon helferi thrives in a broad temperature interval from 23 to 30°C.

Pogostemon helferi is among the easiest foreground plant we have because it is not as light demanding as most other foreground plants; at low light, the individual stems simply grow a bit longer and the plant appears less compact. Try Pogostemon helferi together with other foreground plants such as Glossostigma or Hemianthus to create new and exciting color contrast in the aquarium.

Pogostemon helferi is relatively new in our hobby and thus, there is not much information available as yet. However, we recommend consulting the articles listed below if you want to learn more about this exiting plant.

Eloquent Echinodorus

Eloquent Echinodorus

Aqua Essentials are expanding all the time and expanding our plant range is top of our agenda. Three NEW varieties from the Eloquent Echinodorus family have just landed on the door step and are ready to go!

Echinodorus spectre

Firstly, I would like to introduce to an Eloquent Echinodorus which is the Echinodorus spectre.  A classic background plant that is stong and sturdy and will add immediate impact to your aquascape. Echinodorus spectre have large long leaves so will need plenty of space and light inorder to flourish in your aquarium. When planting Echinodorus spectre up they must not be over-shadowed by larger leaved plants. These really are perfect for beginners due to the easiness of keeping.

Echinodorus spectra

Echinodorus gabrielli

Secondly, we also have new in to us and to add to our Eloquent Echinodorus family is Echinodorus gabrielii which is a foreground plant ideal for more skilled hobbist’s. This Echinodorus is quite unusual in comparison to all the other Echinodorus due to it’s size. A tidy looking compact plant that is very pleasing on the eye.

Echinodorus gabrielli

Echinodorus parviflorus

And finally another Echinodorus to add to our range of Eloquent Echinodorus is Echinodorus parviflorus which is another easy to grow plant. It is most suited to large aquariums due to the fact that it can grow up to 70cm if given plenty of space. Perfectly suited to the background of the aquarium, this Echinodorus looks amazing when planted in bunches.

Echinodorus parviflorus

Three new Eloquent Echinodorus additions to our range which is very exciting and more to come so watch this space!

Any questions or advice please give us a call on 01363 774787 and we will be happy to help.


Common Planted Aquarium Misconception

Common Planted Aquarium Misconception is that plants are difficult to grow!

We get to speak to a LOT of customers throughout the day and most of the calls are regarding problems with plant growth however it is a Common Planted Aquarium Misconception.

“Aquarium plants are difficult to grow”

“My plants keep getting algae”

“My plants keep dying”

These are just a few of the issues customers call up about however they are not difficult to grow at all, you just have to grow them in the right way and it is simply a Common Planted Aquarium Misconception .

1. Is your lighting on too long?

The problem here is that people overestimate how much light aquarium plants actually need throughout the day and end up flooding their plants with light.  Plants make their food through photosynthesis and nutrients will give them. Maximum lighting duration is 8 hours per day and if you have algae problems drop that to 6 hours (and don’t forget minumum water changes per week is 30%).

Classica OTL LED luminaire
Common Planted Aquarium Misconception

Another Common Planted Aquarium Misconception is that Red plants hard very difficult.  Red plants will need most amount of light so make sure you place any red plants directly under the light and not overshadowed by larger plants especially those with large leaves such as Echinodorus. Lighter green plants are fine with a little bit less than red plants and dark green plants such as Microsorums, Anubias and come Crypts such as the Wendtii varieties cope with the least.  Another thing to consider with your lighting is some lights are only designed to last between 6-12 months so they will need replacing in time so if you are thinking your plants are starting to take a downward turn and you have had your bulbs for a while, it may be time to replace them.

Red plants such as this Alternanthera cardinalis variegata will require a decent amount of light.

Alternanthera cardinalis variegata
Common Planted Aquarium Misconception

This Java Fern will require the least amount of light as they have drak green leaves.

Common Planted Aquarium Misconception

2. Are you fertilising enough?

Another reason for this Common Planted Aquarium Misconception is that some people are just not fertilising their plants enough. Whether you are fertilising liquid form or using root tabs this needs to be done regularly. This is why with recommend Neutro T & Neutro CO2 as you dose daily which gives you a chance to look over and check your plants and aquatic life on a daily basis thus keeping on top of things.

3. Are your plants overcrowed?

Also another Common Planted Aquarium Misconception that plants are hard to grow is caused by overcrowding. Plants will need to be trimmed and nipped back to allow sufficent light to get to all plants.  We recommed this is done on a weekly basis to ensure that you keep your plants in the best shape and condition.

Handy tools for planted aquariums
Handy tools for planted aquariums

So with the right substrate, lights and fertilisation it is just a Common Planted Aquarium Misconception that they are difficult to grow!

Any questions regarding this we will be happy to assist, just call us on 01363 77 4787.

You too could have an aquarium that looks as healthy as this one.



Scaped For You Collections

Scaped For You Collections

We just thought we would introduce you to our new Scaped For You Collections that we have just started offering here at Aqua Essentials.

What are Scaped for You Collections?

Scaped For You Collections are essentially ‘ready made’ aquascapes if want of a better phrase. They are aquascapes that have been created by professional Tropica Aquascapers and come with guidelines explaining how to replicate the scape in your own aquarium.

Some people admire scapes they see on Facebook, pinterest, Twitter etc done by the likes of George Farmer & Dan Crawford who are very talented Aquascapers and so many more out there.  They think to themselves “Oh I wish I could have that in my aquarium but just do not have the time to research all the plants needed nor spend time aquascaping it”. Well this is why we are offering you these Scaped For You Collections compliments of Tropica.

So what do I get?

We are offering a variety of Scaped For You Collections for different sized aquariums. We send you all the plants, wood and rocks you will need to produce your chosen aquascape.  You can refer to the product page on our website for easy to follow instructions which guide you when planting, positioning your rock and wood. You can also view the You Tube video by Tropica which explains step by step and guides you along the way. We even tell you which gravel or sand to use too.

What do it do?

So go to the product page (highlighted links) and choose the right Scaped for You Collection and then just ‘buy’! All that you will need will be packaged up and sent to you.

When will I receive it?

As you are no doubt aware we hold a large quantity of plants in stock so it is very rare that we will not have the plants in stock that you order.  However there may be occasions where a particular plant is not in stock or out of season or we are short of quantities (some Scaped For You Collections do require a large quantity of a certain plant) so we will have to order it in hence the reason why we give 1-7 days depending on availability however these Scaped For You Collections are well worth the wait…trust me! We have our plant deliveries in every thursday and friday and will always email you informing you of any minor delays too.

What level is it for?

We offer Easy, Medium and Advanced Scaped For You Collections here at Aqua Essentials.  Some people might like to start with Easy and progress up the ranks once they have gain knowledge and confidence and some keen and experienced Aquascapers might go straight for Advanced. You choose what suits you.  Easy set ups contain plants that are pretty hardy, need low lighting conditions and non CO2 so need little maintainance and easy to keep. Medium and Advanced set ups require more attention and some will require CO2 and good lighting.

What if my aquarium is bigger than the one I have chosen?

That’s no problem at all! Just either add the Scaped For You Collection you would like to your basket and then just add additional plants to make it up for your sized aquarium or just email us or call and tell us which scape you are looking to order and we will advice you how many more of each plant, wood or rock you will need for your size.

We are here for all the help and guidance you need so only a phone away or call 01363 774787 or email

This is a typical Scaped For You Collection we offer which is the finished article.

Layout43 main

This is the type of diagram you will be able to refer to when scaping your chosen Collection.

Layout43 diagram
Scaped For You Collections

Along with the Scaped For You Collection you can refer to additional images which will show you the progress and growth expected over time.

Layout 43 1a
Scaped For You Collections

Layout43 1b
Scaped For You Collections

Layout43 1c
Scaped For You Collections

More Scaped For You Collections will be available in due course.

Aquascaping Layout & The Golden Ratio

Aquascaping Layout & The Golden Ratio

Some of you may have heard of this and some of you may have not and its called ‘The Golden Ratio’ which is widely used in planning the layout and perspective of an aquascape.  We have put together a simple ‘Aquascaping Layout  & The Golden Ratio’ guide on how to create a scape that is pleasing on the eye and has the right composition and design in mind.

The Golden Ratio

Firstly we will look at the The Golden Ratio which will guide you in creating perspective in your aquarium. This ‘Aquascaping Layout  & The Golden Ratio’ guide is used when wanting to acheive the perfect balance when placing objects in a space.  So let’s begin and these 3 steps explain what the Golden Ratio is.

1. Stand back and look at the front of your tank. Imagine there are four lines going across the front of the glass, two vertical and two horizontal, giving you now nine sections.

2. Where the lines cross are the Golden points where you should consider placing your key features to the tank i.e. rock, wood or prominant plants such as reds or plants that stand out.

3. You can use the Golden Ratio to plan the height layout of your plants too.


Basically symmetry does not work in a planted aquarium. It is too formal, structured and unnatural. Think about it would you see symmetry in the wild? No, so lets not make it neat and symetrical in the aquarium.  The focal point (as we mentioned earlier your key feature so wood, rock, red plant etc) should be slightly off to the center. 1 : 1.62 was calculated long ago as the point which is the most pleasing on the eye.  This is where you could consider having a slope on one side too, like a riverbed.


Please don’t have all your ‘tall’ plants lined up along the back and try and create a ‘hedge’ or ‘wall’ of plants to cover up the background! It is not needed and only looks dated. Try replicating a mountain look by trimming your plants to be taller on the sides and slightly shorter in the center.  You could also add some rocks either side (not symetrical remember to add to your mountain look).

Positioning of the plants

Depending on the scape you are looking to achieve, I like to keep my rocks or wood positioned amongst the midground plants as the stems can easily be hidden amongst the rocks plus you can carpet foreground plants around the base of the rocks to create a really natural look.

Creating depth

Creating depth is not the easiest task however keeping the golden ration in mind it can be done.  The first thing to remember is to avoid positioning the rocks from left to right across the middle in a straight line which just looks two-dimentional and very unnatural looking.  So I recommend planting and positioning in layers starting from the front to the back leaving a small gap in between and from low to high. With time and experience you will become more bold and challenging with your aquascaping and start creating some amazing looking scapes.

Another element to consider when planting your scape is to take note of the estimated growth guides that come with the plants or you can use the guide we use on our plant product page. Obviously you dont want to have to be trimming your plant all the time as it grows quicker than the one behind it so it really plays off to carefully plan your scape and even put pencil to paper first and sketch it out.

With all the above considered when putting a scape together, you should be impressed with the results. If however you need further advice we are only a phone call away on 01363 774787.






Importance of Maintenance guide

Importance of Maintenance guide.

So, with only about three weeks ago until the big day it’s that time of year again where you will be inundated with those Christmas visitors bearing gifts & the one thing always grabs peoples attention is your aquarium. So you’ll want to impress your visitors for sure! The Importance of Maintenance guide is here to help as usual and have put together a simple step-by-step guide to get that aquarium in tip top shape.

Is your water quality good enough?

Firstly Importance of Maintenance guide would start here and I would be firstly testing the water with a test kit. It’s always a good idea to routinely test your water especially if some of your fish have been poorly or new fish have been recently added to your aquarium.  So a simple test kit which tests pH, water hardness, nitrate, nitrite and ammonia will do the trick.

Is it due a water change?

Importance of Maintenance guide would recommend water changes on a weekly basis and consider this to be an important part of maintaining good quality water. We say about 30% and that can easily be done with a syphon set which sucks water up and out.  This can also be used to plunge into the gravel too for cleaning up any unwanted food waste and debris from the aquarium bed.  We also have a selection of gravel cleaners that are great for this too.  Remember that tropical fish naturally live in environments where they have running water from a current or rainfall so it’s important to stimulate this natural environment.

Could your filters do with a good cleaning?

Filters are designed to clean and purify your water however if it is clogged with waste it can not do its job properly and the water quality will not be as good.  So get cleaning the sponges (of course using about two cups of the aquarium water) and give the tubes and filter casing a good old clean and scrub. These filter brushes are very useful for this too. By following the Importance of Maintenance guide your sure to have the cleanest of filters.

Are your plants in need of a good trim?

This is a simple process which if done correctly and regularly can really pay off so follow the Importance of Maintenance guide. Not only does this improve the growth of your plants but it will also improve the overall health of your plants. We would never recommend household scissors as they can easily damage the stem structure so I would always recommend a good pair of Aquascaping scissors such as these.

Could you do with more plants?

Depending on the type of Aquascape you’re looking to achieve depends on how many plants you will need. Many people are hesitant adding more plants to their aquarium because they fear they will die, are too fragile to keep or too difficult. However this is not the case at all and most plants are actually very hardy and if kept in the right conditions will flourish in your aquarium.  The two main reasons for loss of plants is due to 1) incompatible plants that need different water parameters 2) incorrect lighting.  Don’t fear adding more plants to your aquarium as long as they’re compatible with your existing ones.

Could your rocks, wood or decor need a good old clean or need replacing?

The Importance of Maintenance guide would recommend a good old scrub of your aquarium decor which can be done under fresh water. It is surprising how much they can gather green algae and the difference a good old scrubbing can do. However after a while some wood, rocks and aquarium decor can look tired and no matter how much you try scrubbing away at that green algae build up, the staining can be stubborn. Sometimes you just want to try something a bit different, try out a different aquascape. Here we have a selection of great quality aquarium decor.

Can you see your reflection through the glass?

And now the finishing touches, get yourself some glass cleaning wipes and give your glass a good wiping over until you get a sparkle! Also a glass scaper is very good for getting to those hard to reach dirty spots as the long rod enables you to reach a little further. Its also a good idea to invest a magni-cleaner too as they cleaner both sides of the glass for you…meaning less work for you!planted-aquarium-lighting

Following our guide you too could have an aquarium as perfect as these .


The Hidden Benefits of Lava Rock in the Aquarium

The Hidden Benefits of Lava Rock

Lava Rock which is formed from the intense heat of volcanos has many hidden benefits for the aquarium that many hobbyists are not even aware of. This blog post on The Hidden Benefits of Lava Rock will give an insight into how this rock really does help.

What are the benefits?

It’s is perfect for providing the ideal living environment for your aquarium because it has beneficial denitrifying bacteria. This bacteria will improve your water quality by reproducing and then removing nitrates.

How does it work?

You only have to inspect the rock and you can see it is covered in tiny holes making it extremely porous allowing water to pass through and diffuse into the rock. So what does The Hidden Benefits of Lava Rock really mean? An anaerobic environment is created inside the rock as beneficial nitrifying bacteria consume all the oxygen in the water.

Within this anaerobic environment inside the rock, denitrifying bacteria consume the nitrate and produce oxygen and nitrogen. We all know how nitrate in the aquarium is bad news for fish and shrimp so Lava Rock really is the most natural and best way of removing nitrate.

What do I do with it?

Lava is an attractive rock in its own right so not only is it beneficial, it is also ornamental too. They look very natural and stack very well indeed. Some people comment that it is like as if the rock has glue on it as it stacks together so well. It is so versatile and you can really have some fun playing around with different pieces and creating various shapes and constructions. It is popular for creating a cave effect (see picture below) making it a perfect refuge for certain fish and shrimp.

Shrimp love to forage on Lava Rock in search of bits of food that may have fallen into the holes. Shrimp also like to have a safe place to hide when they moult so creating them a cave with small pieces would be ideal for them. It really is true The Hidden Benefits of Lava Rock!

The Hidden Benefits of Lava Rock
The Hidden Benefits of Lava Rock

To grab yourself some Lava Rock please click here.

Aquascaping our way to health

Aquascaping our way to health

Why is it so important to of have an Aquarium in our lives?

The National Marine Aquarium, University of Plymouth & University of Exeter have conducted new research and found that people who spend time sitting and watching an aquarium can improve their physical and mental well being according to research that they published in the journal Enviromnent and Behaviour.

What were the findings?

The team assessed peoples responses both physical and mental to different aquariums with various amounts of fish. The team found that blood pressure and heart rate lowered whilst viewing the aquarium and the more fish they watched, they longer they held their attention and improved their mood which is why we can Aquascaping our way to health.

Deborah Cracknell, PhD Student and Lead Researcher at the National Marine Aquarium, conducted the study and found that spending time in a ‘natural’ enviorment such as underwater has a calming effect on us ‘stressy’ human beings! She says that the use of aquariums in doctors surgeries and dental practices have always been associated with calming techniques however there is now ‘robust evidence’ that proves that being amongst aquariums definately improves your overall wellbeing.

Dr Sabine Pahl, Associate Professor in Psychology at Plymouth University, said: “In times of higher work stress and crowded urban living, perhaps aquariums can step in and provide an oasis of calm and relaxation” and encouraged aquascaping our way to health.

In summary

So from this research carried out, its obvious the effects that having an aquarium in your home can improve your mood and overall wellbeing, thus your physical and mental health. This is why this hobby is so important in our every day lives. We all work hard and tend to put so much pressure on our shoulders these days with day to day living. Our aquariums not oly remind us to ‘stop, sit back, relax and enjoy the view’ but also to ‘bbrreeaatthhhh!!!

Aquascaping our way to health
Fantastic use of dragon stone – click on picture for more info

To find out how aquascaping our way to health and improve your well being by either setting up an aquarium or improve an existing one, call today on 01363 774787 and we will help you get there.


Cryptocoryne albida Brown, the rough diamond

Cryptocoryne albida ‘Brown’ – the rough diamond

What is it like?

What is so appealing about this captivating little beauty the Cryptocoryne Albida Brown all the way from Thailand, is that despite its delicate look and grace it is a real little toughy or a ‘rough diamond’. It can grow in pretty much ANY condition needing very little light, CO2 and care, making it perfect for beginners. Please note however in these conditions it will grow slower.

What does Albida Brown look like?

Its leaves are narrow and whilst it is a small plant, they are narrow too. The colour is red and brown with transparent dark markings leading to a crimpled edge. The leaves grow to about 2-3cm wide and maybe up to 15cm long, making cryptocoryne albida brown truly beautiful.

Where shall I plant it?

As a foreground plant, try positioning in the flow of the filter so the leaves can sway and lap in the current creating a natural and organic look as if it were in a stream in the wild. The Albida Brown also does well if nestled amongst larger plants. The contrast in colours amongst lush green plants creates a ‘natural’ theme to the plant display.

To find this aquarium plant on our shop, click on this link.







Freshwater Shrimp Seclusion

Freshwater Shrimp Seclusion – the Ultimate Shrimp Hide.

A little bit about it…

What I love most about this Freshwater Shrimp Seclusion is that it not only does this hide give your aquarium a natural yet urban feel with the vibrant green, lush and thickly grown moss. The somewhat industrial looking pipes is this great little hideaway is ideal for your shrimp to feel safe and at ease in your aquarium.

Hand crafted into these robust grey ceramic tubes making it a perfect refuge for not only just shrimp however other small crustacians, dwarf crayfish and youngsters too.

Why is it so useful?

Moulting is an important time for all shrimp where they need a quiet, safe haven. Moulting is part of their natural growth cycle however this time makes them very vulverable to other fish as once moulting has taken place their new skin is relatively soft so they hide from anywhere between 48 to 72 hours to give their new shell time to harden. The Freshwater Shrimp Seclusion is the perfect place for them to be as if your shrimp are unable to moult in safety they can become stuck in their old shell and perish.

Sit back and watch as your shrimp make their way through the tunnels and hop onto the plush moss for a clean up and tidy.

Where do I put it in my aquarium?

The Shrimp Seclusion is all ready to go – simply place in the desired spot in your aquarium. I always think slightly nestled away amongst your aquatic plants to give a real indigenous look and feel and allow your shrimp to take their fortress.

How big is it?

Measuring just 8 x 8 x 5cm so ideal for both nano and larger aquariums.

Freshwater Shrimp Seclusion

Freshwater Shrimp Seclusion

Freshwater Shrimp Seclusion

Tempted? Click here to go straight to the product.

Bucephalandra ‘theia’ in HD

Selling anything online is tricky, but offering an HD picture is the best option for everyone as you get to see the aquarium plant in such detail. Bucephalandra ‘theia’ is a delightful aquarium plant that is easy to grow and will pose no troubles for pretty much everyone. Simply attach it to wood for best results and then sit back and wait for the flowers to appear.

Anubias nana Mini

Anubias nana Mini

This is by far the smallest Anubias I have ever seen and if you have a quick look at the pictures below you will see just how small the leaves are! Quite incredible really. The number of leaves that are packed into Anubias nana Mini is really amazing because it’s absolutely loaded.

Anubias nana Mini Anubias nana Mini Anubias nana Mini Anubias nana Mini

The pot is the usual 5.5cm in diameter so no surprises there and Anubias nana Mini doesn’t throw any punches there either because like the rest of its family it’s dead easy to grow. Because Anubias nana Mini is a slow growing aquarium plant it naturally prefers a low tech tank so anything where the lighting is relatively low and not on for too long every day. It’s 100% fine without pressurised CO2, but similarly if you do have it, it will bring the plant on quicker assuming you’re using lots of fertilisers.

Anubias nana Mini should be tied onto wood or rock – just like the other Anubias the reason for this is simple – if you planted it in the substrate, the rhyzome would rot and the plant would die.

Suitable for beginners and up, this delightful aquarium plant is unchallenging, rewarding and easy to grow. Looks best in aquariums which are smaller due to the leaf size so if you have a nano aquarium (say 30-40L is size) then it will look a pretty picture.

You can find this particular plant by clicking here .

Eusteralis Stellata Grof


Eusteralis stellata grof is a relatively new plant that is being introduced to the hobby. This plant has very strong, architectural stems that grow in a pretty straight manner. This plant has thin green narrow leaves with serrated edges. The underside of the leaves have a purplish hue to them. If Eusteralis stellata grof reaches the surface of the aquarium do not be surprised to find blooms of small white flowers appearing on the emerged stems.  Whilst this is lovely when flowers show it can hinder the growth of the plant so be aware of this.


This plant is native to Japan, China, Taiwan, Malaysia and Australia.


This plant is best suited to the back of the tank as although it is a slow grower it can get quite large. Eusteralis stellata grof is a demanding plant and requires a nutrient rich substrate. This plant performs at it’s best in soft slightly acidic water.  When planting separate the stems, do not plant stems together in a tight bunch.  This will ensure that all stems get adequate light at the base and none suffer from light deprivation.  Do not use sand as a substrate with this plant as sand holds absolutely no nutrient value which this plant cannot tolerate.  This plant will also need strong lighting. Eusteralis Stellata Grof has been known to stall in growth mode but simply replant and this will kick start the growth.  Finally this plant will require CO2 injection and the use of a good quality fertiliser such as Neutro + to be used in conjunction with CO2.

Propagation is simple – you can “pollard” the stems once they are big enough and simply replant into a suitable substrate and they should start to root.

eusteralis-stellata-grof eusteralis-stellata-grof eusteralis-stellata-grof

Fittonia Forest Flame

Fittonia Forest Flame

Fittonia Forest Flame is a relatively new strain of an already established vivarium plant that has recently been introduced to the hobby.  It has an incredible wow factor which comes from the vibrant colours it displays on its leaves.  These range from flame red (hence the name) to a shocking pink.  Your eyes will not miss this plant if it is in a vivarium.  The fittonia forest flame is an ideal plant for instant impact as it will have very vivid colours when you buy it.


This new cultivar was discovered in Haaren, in The Netherlands and is a naturally occurring “whole plant” mutation of Fittonia verschaffeltii ‘Josan’ which is very similar looking but with a more muted green and pink coloured foliage.  Terminal cuttings were taken of the first fittonia forest flame plant and successful cultivation produced uniform and stable plants which were then introduced into the hobby.

Planting and Growth

Fittonia forest flame is a relatively easy plant to keep.  The plant does not like direct sunlight so a vivarium environment is perfect for them.  Plant fittonia forest flame directly into well drained loose substrate that is nutrient rich.  Fittonia forest flame grows extensively in a creeping manner and can spread up to 40cm in size with an eventual height of about 20cm.  This plant will need regular watering but do not “drown” it!


Fittonia forest flame is available as a small potted plant ready for use in a vivarium.  The plant comes set in rockwool, to get the best from this beautiful plant simply re-pot into a container of your choice with a suitable substrate and away you go.  Should look spectacular in a planted vivarium and provide a good contrast against rocks and wood.

fittonia forest flame
Potted Fittonia Forest Flame

fittonia forest flame fittonia forest flame

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.


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.


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:


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).


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

aqua essentials review

We’re very lucky to have so many reviews from customers of Aqua Essentials, and it might be something that you have not seen. I also appreciate that for new customers, it can be a bit of a gamble when buying aquarium plants online, especially if you have had poor aquatic plants in the past from other retailers and as result are slightly anxious about purchasing again.

As a result, displaying unedited aqua essentials reviews is a great way to see what customers decide to write about us – a bit like when people review products on Amazon. They are 100% legitimate, and we back this up by providing images of customers – some are happy to send in their picture to accompany their reviews as that’s how strongly they feel about it, and some go even further and record a Video Testimonial so we post it on our YouTube page (if you’re interested click here to view some of them). This further reinforces none of them are made up – can you imagine having the time and inclination of making up over 800 reviews?!

It’s always great to get good reviews, because when shipping aquarium plants, that’s your ultimate goal – we want customers to be happy and most of all recommend us to other people, as word of mouth is by far the most powerful advertising medium. So below is a selection of our latest reviews and I hope you like them and if you are thinking of buying aquatic plants or other planted aquarium products, then it should take away any concerns you might have.

As ever, excellent service from a friendly and efficient company. A pleasure dealing with.
Testimonial By: Mark Lawrance — Accrington

easy to use

Thursday 09 April, 2015

This is the first time I have used Aqua Essentials, I found the web site informative and easy to use, the delivery of my order of pliants arrived as promised the following day in good condition. Thanks.
Testimonial By: Allan Lockwood — Huddersfield

First class

Monday 06 April, 2015

The plants are always excellent and arrive in good time
Testimonial By: david foster — Rotherham

Excellent quality & Great service

Wednesday 01 April, 2015

I have used aqua essentials a few times know and am always pleased with the great service of staff that will answer any questions I have. The quality of the plants is always excellent and they grow quickly.I cant recommend them enough.
Thanks for the great service as always.
Testimonial By: Omar Akay — Oxford

Friendly, fun AND knowledgeable!

Tuesday 31 March, 2015

A/E have become my first port of call for anything aquatic these days, they’ve earned my loyalty again and again with their amazingly helpful staff, great delivery times and low prices.

I’ve even done a YouTube video hyping them up, i like them so much!!

Testimonial By: Myke Eales — Southsea — Glitch Sfx

Super fast delivery..

Monday 30 March, 2015

This is the first time I have order from this company and the plants are doing really well in my tank and delivery was super fast.
We be using again..
Thank you for a great service
Testimonial By: Jan — London

Well done

Monday 30 March, 2015

I have ordered a number of items from Aquaessentials. Each product came on time, was well packed. The plants I have in my aquarium from this company are doing very well and more orders from me will follow.
Testimonial By: Stuart Archer — Worksop

A** Products

Monday 30 March, 2015

I am always looking for quality products for my aquaria and I definatly found that in Aqua essentials.

Ordered neutro co2 and neutro T and three days later it’s here! Has had a brilliant effect on my plants and is starting to combat black hair algea.

Will continue to use this brilliant company!

Thanks team.

Testimonial By: Brian Biddle — Coventry

Incredible service

Saturday 28 March, 2015

Incredible service

I have used aqua essentials a few times now and I am always happily surprised by the postman the next day with my plants! Excellent quality plants they are too and very reasonably priced. I was also happy to find some of the harder to get hold of bulb plants for a great price. I highly recommend aqua essentials and have already recommended to my friends and family.

Testimonial By: Gill Breach — Portamouth

Useful place to find hard to locate treatment

Wednesday 25 March, 2015

I hunted everywhere in the usual UK dealers to find Aerocol Columbo to help get an outbreak of Blue Green Algae under control. It cost me around ÂŁ16 including delivery at Aqua Essentials and arrived promptly.

I’d happily use them again if I need any other plants or fish keeping paraphernalia.

Testimonial By: Ed Bruford — Bristol


Monday 23 March, 2015

Every order I have placed has been delivered the next day without fail,the plants have been very well packaged,which meant they were in fantastic condition,i have no hesitation in ordering my plants from them,also I have asked many questions regarding lighting,plants,co2 etc & every time I have had a very good and detailed answer,great service
Testimonial By: John Parker — Southend

Great Quality

Sunday 22 March, 2015

I was so impressed with the speed of delivery, cost, and more importantly, the quality and quantity of plants supplied I have ordered more and decided to set up another aquarium just for plants.
Testimonial By: Gordon Jenkins — Stewarton

aqua essentials

Saturday 21 March, 2015

I am very pleased with the service from Aqua essentials–all plants received have been in the best condition I have ever seen–including from a ( well-known ) local Aquarist store. The items have been despatched and received in rapid time–cannot fault them
Testimonial By: G Cockings — Olney

Perfect Plants everytime

Friday 20 March, 2015

Perfect Plants everytime

simply put Wow!! excellent service speedy delivery and top quality plants. I wont go anywhere else!!

Testimonial By: Christopher Green — Liverpool

Excellent Service

Friday 20 March, 2015

First and foremost to let people know, I use to be a keen Aquarium keeper up until 18 months ago. Especially planted aquariums, which I what I wanted to get back into.What I ordered was: Nymphaea stellata Bul, Aponogeton boivinianus Bulb, Anubias on Wood – Floating, as well as other items. After I ordered my items which I did before the deadline for next day delivery, I received an email stating they would arrive in the next four working days, which confused me as I did it before the clock at the top of the screen ran down. However before I could get annoyed they actually did arrive the next day, which I was more than happy with. Packaging was excellent, all plants firmly packed and sealed to keep moisture in, although they were not labelled, which when you haven’t had bulbs before can be confusing. The Anubias hasn’t worked with one suction cup provided to fit it to look like it is floating so is currently on the substrate, the Aponogeton boivinianus Bulb however has grown like it is missing out on something!! And the Nymphaea stellata Bulb hasn’t surfaced yet, which is unfortunate but will not stop me using this company again. In all the years I have kept Aquariums this is the best delivery of live plants I have found to date.
Testimonial By: Gavin Oglesby — Cleethorpes — Na

Excellent service

Monday 16 March, 2015

Having used Aqua essentials twice I have found them to be very helpful and very speedy in their service. I will be using them again.
Testimonial By: Christopher Cooper — Market Rasen

Fantastic service

Monday 16 March, 2015

I am very pleased with Aqua essentials. Top quality plants at great prices and the service is fantastic. I would definitely recommend them to aquarium enthusiasts or even beginners as they offer sound advice on starter plants and other accessories to start a planted aquarium.
Testimonial By: Felicia Heard — Exeter

Nobody Better

Sunday 15 March, 2015

Since starting with my first aquarium (we now have 7) i’ve searched for a reliable place to purchase plants and other items.

AquaEssentials ticks all the boxes, reliable, rapid delivery, top quality items. Website is well laid out and easy to find the items you need.

Testimonial By: Susan Moores — Manchester

Best plant provider!

Tuesday 10 March, 2015

Since placing my first order with aquaessentials I have bought all my plants from them. Excellent plants, at good prices, backed by excellent advice and service.
Testimonial By: John Oliver — Wirral — Retired

Excellent service.

Tuesday 10 March, 2015

I would like to say that the customer service is excellent as I am new to buying from them so had a lot of questions to ask via email which were answered promptly . I ordered some good which arrived on time. As I already had some of my old products left I haven’t used the new ones yet.
Testimonial By: Wendy Sandy — Taunton

An Excellent Retailer

Monday 09 March, 2015

Being new to the aquarium keeping hobby, I have found this site invaluable.

The next day delivery is superb, and all the plants and products have arrived in pristine condition.

Testimonial By: Jacob Jenson — Bristol

As it should be.

Saturday 07 March, 2015

As an experienced online shopper I am used to the ups and downs of purchasing stuff remotely. Aqua Essentials does exactly what the customer reviews suggest. You order things and good quality items arrive very quickly with precise email communications. Exactly as it should be which is rare these days.
Testimonial By: Richard Harding — Bradfield St George


Saturday 07 March, 2015

I would just like to say a word about customer service, the best I’ve come across, a special thanks to the office & warehouse manager who was very helpful, the products are excellent the service is brilliant.
Many thanks.
Testimonial By: Les Langton — Shrewsbury

Best Service Ever

Thursday 05 March, 2015

Best Service Ever

I have used various sites to order plants in the past and I can truly say now I have found Aquaessentials I will go nowhere else!!!
There service and products are the best by far. The only online service that makes it feel like a personal experience. Many thanks to everyone who works here “loyal customer in the making” 🙂

Testimonial By: Eric Kane — Stewarton

Live plants

Wednesday 04 March, 2015

I have bought several plants and as always they have been delivered in top condition, also very fast delivery. Handled by by very efficient staff who were very friendly . Would recommend no problem
Testimonial By: Colin Mcavoy — Sittingbourne

Great Plants

Tuesday 03 March, 2015

The plants arrived on next day delivery, tthey were well packaged and each plant had a plastic identity tab. The quality of the plants were excellent, they are now fully established in my aquarium and are showing good growth, I will continue to use aqua essentials as I find all their products to be of a very high standard.
Testimonial By: Boyd Halley — Glasgow


Tuesday 03 March, 2015


I have been buying from Aquaessentails for over two years now and never been disappointed with the quality, price and speed of delivery. The plants are always healthy and free from pests and amazing quality and size.

Testimonial By: Helen Ritchie — Ayr

Great 🙂

Monday 02 March, 2015

Great :-)

I have only bought a few items from these guys (So far)
Each time I buy something I have confidence that my order will be dealt with efficiently, items always arrive quickly and well packaged 🙂
On the odd occasion I have emailed them, the reply was prompt, knowledgable and polite, overall a great shopping experience each and every time 🙂

Testimonial By: William Parker — Kendal


Tuesday 24 February, 2015

Plants arrived well packaged and in superb condition, incredible healthy compared to what you see in a pet shop. Very impressed. Thank you.
Testimonial By: Rob Peltell — Skegness

fast service

Tuesday 24 February, 2015

I ordered my plants and they arrived v quickly in good condition, each with a little plastic card containing basic info about their care. I am v impressed as have seen some awful plants in aquarium shops. I ordered some more yesterday 🙂
Testimonial By: Stephanie Heywood — Paignton

Great Overseas Delivery

Sunday 22 February, 2015

Being stuck in the ” Backwoods of Norway ” it’s difficult getting hold of quality products for my planted tank. Aquaessentials have now changed that, great choice of products on their webpage and a shipping calculator, products arrived very quickly and at a good rate, very happy :-).
Testimonial By: Michael Smith — Sandnes

Trusted Source

Wednesday 18 February, 2015

I’ve been an Aqua Essentials customer for many years and have never been disappointed. The quality of their plants is first class so AE is always my first choice.
Testimonial By: Chris Jackson — Falmouth

better than the shop

Monday 16 February, 2015

I have purchased plants for both my tanks. Arrived in perfect condition and no snails. The fish seem to have found new places they like to be and my plec greg likes to stay in them
Testimonial By: Brian Williams — Wirral


Saturday 14 February, 2015

Since my first order on Aqua Essentials I have never sourced my plants from anywhere else. Delivery is prompt and the condition of the plants have been nothing short of impeccable. Excellent variety means you can easily find what you’re looking, and the staff are enormously helpful with questions and have even suggested alternatives when a plant I ordered wasn’t in great condition. This should give you an idea of the high standards that Aqua Essentials maintain. 5 Stars!
Testimonial By: Sebastian Lovick — SWANSEA

Five star service

Tuesday 10 February, 2015

Five star service

Im new to planted aquariums and looked at a few options to source plants for my first tank. Im so happy I chose AquaEssentials, the service has been excellent. Delivery was very fast, the plants arrived in fantastic condition and the amount of plants provided was more than generous. Additionally the staff were quick to answer questions on products I posted on the website. All in all a 5* service.

Testimonial By: Lee Cosgrove — Widnes

Excellent service and products

Monday 09 February, 2015

Excellent service and products

Aquaessentials provide a superb range of aquarium plants and associated products alongside a highly-efficient service that is second to none. Plants are well packaged and labelled, of excellent quality and grow on rapidly. This is my one stop shop for aquarium plants.

Testimonial By: Christopher Shaw — Comber

Quality products

Monday 09 February, 2015

The plants arrived very quickly and in excellent condition. Will definitely use you again.
Testimonial By: John Valentine — Burghfield — Treasures

Excellent service

Saturday 07 February, 2015

Thank you so much for my Digital Aquarium Thermometer with Alarm, Really great service with fast delivery.
Testimonial By: Justin Watson — Congleton

perfect plants

Wednesday 04 February, 2015

thank you for a very fast delivery of my 1st order ,all plants were received in excellent condition. can not find anything negative to say. highly recommended.
Testimonial By: David Kewley — York — Fix It

first class

Wednesday 04 February, 2015

i ordered two micranthemum umbroson after phone call from aquaessentials that they were out of stock i asked for something similar they sent hydrocotyle m tripartita excellent plants in perfect condition i a so pleased with the plants suggested thanks
Testimonial By: Alasdair Williams — Renfrew

bravo aqua essentials

Saturday 31 January, 2015

thank you aqua essentials for restoring my faith in ordering plants online, was’nt sure what would turn up but i was really happy with my order will be using you again 5***
Testimonial By: Jonathan Robertson — Penrith

the best of the best

Friday 30 January, 2015

my experience with aquaessentials is an with any doubt an outstanding service.
i got a risk by buying from abroad but always the plants arrive in perfect conditions wisely wrapped incredible!
i want to thanks to aquaessentials for give me the oportunity of expending the beatiful diversity of my aquarium with plants not found in my contry. i want to stress i am a biologist and check the plants for any crustaceous, snails but always the plants are absolutely clean without any ecologic risk. Again, thanks a lot for you high profesionalism
Testimonial By: Abraham Borer — Eschol Moatza

outstanding service

Friday 30 January, 2015

Thank you, Aqua Essentials, once again for yet another display of outstanding service, impressive product information, and of course, goods of exceptional quality. The redwood you supplied looks amazing with your anubias bonsai attached to it. The plants, as always, arrived in superb condition and continue to thrive.

Go AE – love what you do!

Testimonial By: Emily Morris — Edinburgh


Wednesday 28 January, 2015

From excellent friendly customer service,high quality plants and aquascaping products,which come well packaged, to value for money,aquaessentials are a company to trust.Happy to shop with them.
Testimonial By: Alan Firth — Liversedge

Back into the hobby

Wednesday 28 January, 2015

I have only just got back into the hobby after some 30 years, a hell of alot has changed in this time. I wanted a tank that was fully planted and found that C0 2 was the way forward. Most of the aquatic shops that I tried didn’t seem to have what I wanted and didn’t give me much confidence. I came across Aquaessentials and thought that I would give them a try.
I am so glad that I did! The quality and choice is brilliant, also I found the blog very informative. I have found the staff very helpful and have always kept me informed regarding deliverys. Deliverys have always been prompt and well boxed. I would thoroughly recommend them. A very reliable company.
Testimonial By: John Cook — Bridgwater

Simply awesome!

Wednesday 28 January, 2015

i’ve bought many plants online and always had the same problem, poor packaging and poor delivery, THIS IS NOT THE CASE HERE!

Aqua Essentials very clearly take care in what they do. I ordered ÂŁÂŁÂŁ’s worth of gear including plants and co2 equipment, all of which arrived next day and in perfect condition. These guys are undoubtably the only retailer I will use in the future and if you want to be happy with your plants, they’ll be the only one you’ll use to x

Testimonial By: Jonathan Wills — Blackpool — Four Seaosons Fisheries

excellent condition

Tuesday 27 January, 2015

my shrimp came today in excellent condition, well packed ,great quality and fast delivery. thanks will be using you again
Testimonial By: Geraldine Omara — Birmingham


Tuesday 27 January, 2015

Plants arrived they were better than expected well packed delivery super fast.a very happy customer I will be ordering again as I know the quality is top notch even the labels have the height that they can obtain and information about requirements.⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Thank you
Testimonial By: Lucy Taylor — Bewdley

happy fish

Sunday 25 January, 2015

delighted to have founf this site and the service is second to none, will continue using as long as I have my fish. prices very reasonable.
Testimonial By: Margaret Wardlaw — Pittenweem

First time

Saturday 24 January, 2015

First time and will not be last,next day service, and by Royal Mail,recycled packaging no problem, we gave the paper packing to are 6 Gerbils they loved it very good bedding.
Items I ordered just what I needed for my just starting shrimp tank.
Testimonial By: James Nelson — Raynes Park

delivering knowledge, sharing ideas