Category Archives: aquarium plant

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.

microsorium-on-wood-small
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.

 

 

Aquariums Benefit From Aquatic Plants

Aquariums Benefit From Aquatic Plants

If you have an aquatic environment for your pet, then you have definitely been faced with the issue of either getting or holding aquatic plants. While some people enjoy the possible distractions to using them, there are many reasons to consider using various aquarium plants. Throughout this article we will take a closer look at some of the ways that you can benefit from using aquatic plants in your set up.

Nitrogen Cycling

Any person that is serious about the health of their fish needs to understand the nitrogen cycle that is completed in most aquatic conditions. The ammonia that is produced when a tank cycle occurs is toxic to fish but much appreciated by aquarium plants. Aquatic plants are able to absorb ammonia very easily and quickly which is why it’s always important to add plants from day 1. They help the cycle and plants grow very quickly during this period and a key reason why Aquariums Benefit From Aquatic Plants.

Providing Temperature Control And Comfort

Another reason that you should get aquatic plants for your aquarium is that they can help provide temperature control. Whether you have natural light or electrical lights above the tank, they can increase the temperature of the water (this is particularly important in warmer climates). By having aquarium plants, you can decrease the overall impact that light has on the temperature of the aquarium, allowing you to have greater control over temperature fluctuations.

Live Plants Help Your Fish And Invertebrates Thrive

Aquariums Benefit From Aquatic PlantsOne of the other reasons that Aquariums Benefit From Aquatic Plants is that they can help bring out more natural behaviour in your pets. This is important for two different reasons. First, your fish will have more places to hide in their environment that will make them more comfortable and less susceptible to stress. After all, fish wants to have a few rocks, water, and a light bearing down upon them. They need places to get away from the glaring outside world.

The second reason that aquarium plants are so useful is that they can bring out more natural behaviour in your pets. Fish will not approach a synthetic plant the same way that they approach and interact with natural aquatic plants. The result of this is not only more comfortable pets, but pets that have a more natural environment that can have health impacts on them.

Filtration

One of the things that every aquarium owner knows is that aquatic environments can become inundated with a variety of different bacteria, algae, and flora rather quickly. That is why it is important to have plants in your aquarium to harvest some of these excesses to help their growth and keep the water clean at the same time. Not only will this result in a healthier environment for your aquatic pets, but it will also allow you to spend less time with maintaining your aquarium. That’s not to say you don’t need water changes (on the contrary) because when aquatic plants grow, they produce waste and this needs removing from your tank. This ‘invisible waste,’ if not removed, turns into nutrients that algae loves to feed on.

These are just some of the reasons Aquariums Benefit From Aquatic Plants. While these are some of the most important benefits, there are many smaller ones that you can discuss with a knowledgeable aquarium shop such as Aqua Essentials. If you are interested in viewing the range we have on offer of aquarium plants click on this link.

Aquarium plants dying

Sounds familiar?

It is to me. But then I am on the receiving end but if you go onto forums you’ll see this sort of statement all the time. I often here the same reason as to why aquarium plants are dying and it’s normally due to the fact that they have algae. They’ve been told (normally by shops) they need to starve the algae. Advice like this is sooooo old school yet the message is continually advised from shop owners who in my opinion clearly don’t know what is best.

So hobbyists follow the advice given to starve their algae and totally stop the nutrients they are putting in. Algae dies back a little and plants totally disintegrate – the reason why is simply

you’ve just starved your plants to death…

My advice to anyone who is looking for advice is speak to experts, like us (and a few others) who know what is best, and not generic shops which peddle out these toxic messages. If your plants are dying you need to first work out why. First, are they actually aquatic plants? Sounds a funny thing to ask but there are still a lot of shops that sell non aquatic plants! This only adds to confusion to hobbyists who may be doing everything else right. Below are pictures of a few non aquatic plant – looks nice heh?

 

problem is they will last a couple of weeks then start breaking down. These plants should live in your garden or conservatory, not in your tank. So if you have a plant that looks like these (normally they come without plant labels for identification), remove them and start again.

Secondly, are your plants getting the right nutrients? I’m recommending Neutro T for non CO2 tanks and Neutro+ for CO2 infused tanks.Your plants need no other nutrients with these ferts below.

neutro t aquarium fertiliser

neutro+ aquarium fertiliser

You add these ferts daily because that’s what plants want. Just like us, they want feeding every day – not so crazy is it? Feeding weekly is nuts and just marketing spiel to make it appear that the fertilisers are more economical then they actually are.

Are you providing your plants with carbon is gas or liquid form? If not, why not? Carbon is the backbone of plant growth and without it, your plants will suffer. Try Neutro CO2

neutro CO2 aquarium fertiliser

Are you performing weekly water changes of at least 30%? Plants need clean water unless you want to grow algae and I’m guessing you don’t.

If you follow these very basic steps I guarantee that you will have success with the majority of plants. Some that you might struggle with are advanced one’s but we’ll get onto that at another time.

If you’re still having troubles, reply to this post and let’s talk :) Call us on 01363 774 787.

Mixed Boxes Of Aquarium Plants

I’ve written a post about our rather excellent mixed boxes of plants, so I won’t repeat myself. What I will do is remind you of the benefits of them and how the more you buy, the cheaper the plants are.

The benefits of mixed boxes are that we decide for you which plants are a best. Typically a mixed box of plants is suitable for hobbyists who are either new to the hobby, or they just can’t decide! We put in pots that are considered relatively easy to grow, so we won’t put in plants that would only survive with CO2. Not only that but don’t forget all our plants come with a full root structure which means not only do they plant easily and anchor down, but they also begin growing immediately in your tank.

When you invest in a mixed box of potted plants, not only do we select a superb range of foreground, midground and background plants but we also give you free fertilisers. That’s right, totally free. And, if you go for one of the mixed boxes of 40 or 50, the price of the potted plants drops down to £2.75. This becomes incredible value for such high quality potted plants when you consider a typical potted plant costs £3.99.

You can find our mixed boxes by clicking here and if you have any questions, I’d love to hear from you.

Potted Aquarium Plants

How We Hold Our Aquatic Plants

As you know we’re a serious shop which specialises in the planted aquarium – a life long passion of ours. Plants as you might expect are very important to us and have always intrigued us due to the variety and the types of species available. But there are lots of other plants retailers in the UK, admittedly they’re not specialists, but they ‘hold’ plants. The definition of ‘holding’ plants varies enormously and you may have visited these shops before, a metal halide on the ceiling and lots dead or poor quality plants floating about. Some are much better (not many) but you get the idea.

We’re in business because we love what we do and strive to be the best. So why do some aquatic shops not look after their plants and why don’t they care? They lose money every time a plant dies but for some reason this makes no difference. Even in the current economic climate few retailers are able to hold plants for longer than one week without them deteriorating or dying – the end result means chucking them straight in the bin. Of course the question should why are they not worried about throwing away money and why are they holding their plants in a tank anyway with no CO2 and fertilisers anyway? Because they don’t really care….

It is perfectly feasible to keep plants looking great in aquariums, providing you know what you are doing, but there is also a better way. Have you ever wondered how Tropica and Aquafleur keep and grow their plants?  The answer is hydroponically – it’s much easier. But shops will not embrace this way which is a shame as they would have so much more success, and if they really loved their plants they would care.

I find this really sad because I love plants and want to make sure they look their best at all times, particularly as they will be sent in the post and customers rightly have even higher expectations of plant quality when they are buying online – because you can’t see the exact plant you will receive. Some shops will take advantage of this situation and maybe send a plant which shouldn’t be posted in the hope that the customer won’t be bothered to complain but we’re different. You expect the best and when shopping with Aqua Essentials, and that is exactly what you receive, the best. So how do we achieve and maintain this standard? The answer is a simple one, and incredibly no other shop in the UK, holds aquatic plants like we do. That’s right, no other shops in the UK, and possibly in the world. Intrigued? Read on…

We spoke to the growers of Aquafleur and Tropica plants and asked about their systems. We wanted to know all about humidity, temperature, air movement, nutrients and so on but the biggest question was how to replicate their conditions in our own warehouse. Because if we are serious about plants, which we are, why wouldn’t we want to keep plants the same way as the growers? Makes sense doesn’t it?

After taking on their advice, we invested in a climate controlled environment in which all plants are held hydroponically. This means that the pots are kept in nutrient rich water but the leaves are kept out of the water. The humidity is high, so we invested in equipment that creates humidity. We also needed to make sure that there is plenty of air movement so intake and extraction fans are used – this makes sure plants receive fresh air and oxygen. Temperature has to be specific for aquatic plants so, we’ve invested in equipment that maintains a specific temperature at all times. But the message is not what we have invested in, it’s the dedication we make to ensure your plants (which is essentially what they are) are kept in the very best condition. Our plants don’t have algae, they don’t have snails but do have the strength to survive in the post for incredibly long periods of time because we have replicated as close as possible the growing conditions of the plant farms we buy from.

We want you to feel safe and secure that you’re buying the best. We’re proud to be the first aquatic retailer that has replicated plant farms in Europe and we wanted to share this news with you. In the future we will be holding at least 3 times the amount of plants we currently stock which is pretty exciting – this means you’ll be able to get a wider range from us along with better stock levels meaning if you have an idea for a planted tank and specific plants, odds are you’ll be able to get them from us and know that they are being held in the very best environment, just like the growers.

If you have any questions about the way we hold aquatic plants, ask a question on this blog :)

How To Plant Aquarium Grass

Like most things, it’s easy to learn how to plant aquarium grass when you follow the steps. In this article I’ll describe how to do it.

Aquarium grass is better known as Lilaeopsis Novea-Zeelandiae and is a relatively straight forward plant to deal with. It grows easily making it suitable for beginners and up. The great thing about it is that it looks just like the grass you would find in your garden and the reason why it’s such a popular plant for the aquarium.

When your plant arrives, remove it from the pot. Then under running water remove the rock wool – which will come off very easily. Once you have done this, take some scissors and cut the plant into 6 or 8 pieces. Any excess roots can be trimmed to 1cm or so.

Take a pair of tweesers and hold the plant firmly at the base of the plant, insert into the substrate and wiggle the plant a little, so the substrate settles around the root. Then gently remove the tweesers and the substrate will stay where it is. Plant the remaining pieces of plant within 3cm of the next so it gives the plant a chance to spread easily.

That’s it! You can see how easy it is to plant aquarium plants and how a few pots will go a long way

Lilaeopsis novea-zealandiae