Tag Archives: aquatic plants

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.

spectra
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.

gabrielli
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.

parviflorus
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.

 

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 info@aquaessentials.co.uk.

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.

Symmetry

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.

Shape

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.

1a

1c

1d

main

streg

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.

hydrocotyle tripartita

hydrocotyle tripartita

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

History

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

Planting

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

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

Availability:

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

hydrocotyle tripartita
hydrocotyle tripartita pot
hydroctyle tripartita
hydrocotyle tripartita on lava

 

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.

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

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

 

 

New aquarium plants

New aquarium plants

Once in a while the growers in Holland introduce new plants to their line. This is always a big deal because it takes major advanced planning to do this sort of thing (you’d be amazed at the production line). If you hazzard a guess at home many species they sell per week and then scale that up so plants are available week on week. It takes major planning and this is why when new aquarium plants show up, it’s a gradual thing to get excited about!

So we have 2 new aquatic plants in stock and one really caught my eye simply because of the colour. Introducing the beautiful Alternanthera Cardinalis variegata. Very attractive as you can see and without doubt the brightest pink plant we have. Everyone’s always looking for a centre piece or just a plant that catches your eye, and now you have it. Like other Alternanthera, they aren’t tricky to grow at all, but if you don’t give them enough light and nutrients, you will see a drop off of colour. They’re fine in aquariums without pressurised CO2 but if possible offer a liquid carbon such as this one.

New aquarium plants New aquarium plants Have you seen these new aquarium plants?

The second aquarium plant is Staurogyne bihar, which looks pretty similar to Rubescens, but actually grows quite a bit bigger. Originating from India, when it grows under water it looks a bit like Hydrophilia pinnafida. Again, an easy plant to grow so it won’t cause you any problems and ideal for those of you who are new to the hobby. Plant it in the foreground and then trim it heavily once it has becomes established (i.e. throwing out roots). If you trim too early, you can traumatise a plant which will either slow the growth or kill it.

New aquarium plants Staurogyne bihar Staurogyne bihar Staurogyne bihar

You can find both of these new aquarium plants on our website and to see our entire range of potted plants click here.

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.

Snails in Aquarium tanks

Snails in Aquarium tanks

There has been lots of information put out there about aquatic snail, some of which is total cods-wallop so I thought I would try and give a bit of information that is true so you now know the trust. Snails in Aquarium tanks are inevitable, and it’s the way it goes when you keep aquarium plants. Snails are a part of nature and will be found almost everywhere on earth. Although we try and be snail free with our aquarium plants as we keep them hydroponically (so the leaves outside of the water), being 100% snail free is impossible (unless you go for Tissue culture pots which you can find here ). Tissue culture plants are grown in a laboratory and as a result there are no bugs or snails anywhere! That is the only way to have 100% free snail tank. Below is an example of a tissue culture plant.

Snails in Aquarium tanks
tissue culture aquarium plant

If you do find that you have snails in your tank, you don’t need to worry about removing everything and decontaminating each plant. There is a simple answer. Stop putting so much food in your tank. You see Snails in Aquarium tanks are normal, so don’t stress! Snails live on the extra food laying around at the bottom of the tank. If you feed your fish slightly less than what they need then they will eat everything from from the bottom of the tank and the snails will go hungry and die – it’s really as simple as that. Anyone who ever moans about having lots of snails, means they are massively over feeding their tank and putting their water quality at risk. I’ve had Snails in Aquarium tanks many times before and a small tweak of the food and they disappear. No gadgets, no tricks.

Our guarantee with aquarium plants

This has been a long standing guarantee but I thought it would be a good idea to remind our customers of the guarantee that we offer when purchasing aquatic plants from us.

We guarantee that the plants will arrive with you in perfect condition and are in 100% health. If for any reason you are not happy or the condition is not 100%, then send them back for a complete refund, no questions asked.

We’re super confident in our plants – we’ve been selling them for about 7 years now and we keep them in the same type of conditions that the growers do – we’re passionate about quality and we know you are too. By keeping the plants hydroponically, the plants transport better, and there are no snails or algae as all the leaves are above the water.  This means when we bag the plants up for you, there’s no reason why they should arrive with you in anything less than 100% – that’s right, they should be perfect!

If for any reason you are unhappy with the plants, then all you need to do is return them to us, and we will give you a complete refund for the price of the plants, no questions asked. We want you to be happy so this is our guarantee to you :)

Aquarium plants

Aquafleur Plants – and a video!!

We’ve been a big fan of Aquafleur plants for a long time now. Not only are they great value for money, but they’re darn good growers of plants too. I knew they were a pretty extensive organisation and they’ve recently produced a video that is well worth a watch. Now I know you’re busy, but it’s only 4 minutes long and is a super watch detailing their premises and the plants they grow along with how they grow them.

It’s fascinating to see how some plants are sprayed really intensively (you wouldn’t want to be stood under it when it happens) and others are sprayed for less than 1 second. I wonder how they know this and what the time is from spray to spray. Do you know – if so let me know!?

Anyway, you can see their video by clicking here and then clicking their video on the top right of the screen.

I would love to hear your thoughts on it and don’t forget our range of Aquafleur plants can be found by Potted Plants.

Pogostemon Erectus – a foreground and background plant

This really is a cracking plant and new to the scene too, having only arrived about 6 months ago, and never seen before in the hobby. New plants are always exciting as it opens doors to new aquascapes…

Pogostemon Erectus is a fine leafed stem plant which has conifer likes stems (very unusual) which are bright green and vivid. Extremely eye catching, it becomes an instant focal point and one of the reasons it has shot to fame. Like all stem plants if you keep the lighting bright it ensures the plant stays low and compact making it a great plant if you’re looking for something on the foreground. Of course, you can still grow it as a background plant if your lighting is less powerful; expect it to grow up to 40cm in that case.

It’s a fairly easy easy plant to grow, but you need to make sure you have decent fertilisers and of course CO2 is always beneficial if you want to get the best from this plant. Failure to do this always results on algae taking hold and settling quickly of the leaves. Temperature wise, 22-28° C is recommended so this won’t cause problems for most of you. Always plant Pogostemon Erectus in a group of 3 pots or more as it will look best that way, and what is even more wonderful is watching it sway in the current – it’s quite mesmerising…

To see the complete range of our aquatic plants for planted aquariums, please click on this link.