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28 Oct 2009 - Easy Planted Aquarium

Easy Planted Aquarium by Fishgeek

Hygrophilia corymbosa

Low to high light and almost any water

This plant is great for getting quick results for those new to planted tanks. It has large green leaves with occasional variations (red/brown/yellows) in the new growth at higher light levels, it is relatively undemanding and once settled will grow well and root strongly through the substrate. In open tanks the plant will grow emergent (above the water line) and flower. It takes well to regular trimming and cuttings will root and grow easily.

Microsorum pteropus (Java fern)

Another undemanding and probably very familiar plant. Dark vivid green and hardy leaves. Grows in most water and low to high light levels, rapidly spreads via extension of the rhizome, plantlets developing on older leaves and spores on the back’s of leaves, a few variants are available. Should not be planted with the rhizome buried otherwise is likely to rot otherwise almost indestructible.

Cryptocoryne beckettii

Another that I would group in the good for new aquatic gardeners, not demanding on light nor water parameters. does do better in harder water and will suffer with crypt disease or melting when shocked (often when putting into a new aquarium) takes a while to establish and then will produce a dense root mat and send out runners across the substrate can be uprooted and divided up relatively easily again will shade lower plants though not much of an issue in this plant depending on conditions that this crypt is grown under it will range from green through orange-browns to almost black leaves can get quite tall has long narrow leaves and will once establish grow rapidly.

Vallisneria

Another easy and fast growing plant that is undemanding on water and light requirements and so is a good plant for beginners it has tough attractive green leaves that can become very long and trail along the surface of the tank and are not normally eaten by fish trimmed easily and will spread by runners rapidly in a fertile substrate, because of fast growth needs to be trimmed back to stop shading of lower growth sends out coiled stemmed flower shoots regularly.

Micranthemum/Hemianthus/Micranthemoides (pearl grass, baby tears)

High light at least 2wpg otherwise doesn’t place any special requirement on water parameters being happy in a wide range of pH’s and hardness because of it’s fast growth under higher light it is best to provide some form of fertilisation to this plant, micranthemum is a nice foreground plant that will carpet area’s with it’s small oval shaped light green leave’s.

Rotala roundiflora

Medium to high light Said to be happier in softer waters , I have it growing in a pH of 7.5 and a Gh of 15 and I have read others with similar experience generally would be only suitable for higher light and probably CO2 enriched tanks it’s has a beautiful foxtail look t it and in appropriate light an fantastic colour especially in new growth the fine leaves are prone to algal overgrowth will produce fine roots though may need some aid when planted initially to hold it down, once growing will shade out the lower plants growth so best thinned or not planted too densely.

Echinodorus (Amazon sword)

There are many variants of this from the smaller teneluss to the larger 50cm tall species these plants are not particularly demanding on light nor water parameters though do grow more slowly and would benefit from substrate fertiliser to increase chances of runners and new plants being formed because of there potential size they are often a feature or specimen plant in aquaria and do have the potential for shading out other plants

Barclaya longifolia

Medium to high light to get the red colour Will grow happily without fertilisation though colouration will vary from a pinkish yellow through to a more intense red when supplemented, likes warmer water will flower and can produce seeds that appear to self germinated in the tank , is a bulb and can have dormant periods though I am yet to see this in my tank (2years) does have softer. thinner leaves and can be easily eaten or damaged by boisterous or hungry fish , then again perhaps that is because I am not fertilising enough

Moss’s (Vesicularia sp and Taxiphilum sp Java, Christmas tree, Weeping, flame etc)

There are many mosses available for aquaria now and most are very undemanding on light and water parameters making them suitable for most fish keepers Mosses are extremely versatile and can be used in a variety of decorative ways attached to thin wood angles across the tank on larger pieces of bog wood as aback wall , or in a metal grid as a lawn type effect or just free floating as a ball great for fry tanks as they provide cover and a habitat for live micro foods they're main downfall is they can accumulate debris and lead to poor water quality if not cleaned, once algae grows into them they can be impossible to recover, I tend to use a tooth brush to reduce algal overgrowth if having problems shrimp and better water control mean that is less of an issue for me now.

Riccia fluitans

A relatively easy liverwort to grow floating at the surface. though it is more demanding of light medium to high levels and also I believe CO2 when grown submerged in the tank when at the surface of my tank it will cover the whole 4 ft in a matter of weeks I would always suggest allowing this to settle floating at the surface and once healthy then start Aquascaping as you please, for inspiration you don't need to go any further than Takashi Amano’s nature aquarium series and his use of this plant, it can be used much as moss, folded in a grid of metal or plastic as a scaffold for the plant or tied with nylon to objects or anchored via other plants Monosolenium tenerum This is a bit like a large dark sinking Riccia, it is another liverwort and as such doesn't have leaves, so far I haven't had a great deal of success with this plant it is not demanding rather I have just not been careful enough with it, it is quite brittle and breaks easily into small pieces that can easily be lost to vacuuming or filtration ideally it should be either in a specimen tank till settled or tied/retained in some way initially.

Myriophyllum sp (water milfoil, parrot feather)


Considered an invasive weed in many parts of the World so should be an easy one to grow Needs medium level of light another plant with fine leaves prone to catching fine particulate matter, not particularly demanding of water though does better with CO2 enrichment comes in a range of green to red varieties.

Anubias barteri

An easy non demanding and beautiful plant, slow growing and susceptible to algal overgrowth because of this very hardy and can be propagated by splitting of the rhizome or just simply cutting it partially through and waiting for a new branch of rhizome to grow I have read and as yet not tried a terrarium setup for ridding anubias of algae and aiding growth, may be an interesting project for someone.


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