Growing Aquarium Plants In Gravel
Aquarium plants are plants that are able to give our freshwater aquariums a beautiful, natural appearance. These aquarium plants help to absorb ammonia and they are able to provide a beneficial environment for our fish as well as their babies. Aquarium plants are able grow fairly well when paired with gravel such as pea gravel. This type of gravel is the same as the gravel used for landscaping. There are some things to note when it comes to placing aquarium plants in gravel. We are going to need to know which plants we’d like to use for our aquarium, the specific lighting we want, and the plant fertilization to name a few.
Best Aquarium Plants To Grow In Gravel
Choosing the best plants to place in the aquarium is one of the best parts of this process. Some of the best plants to use for our aquarium include the hair grass plant. This is one of the cheapest plants to purchase and is able to flourish at the bottom of the aquarium. This plant comes with many stems which need to be removed gently to avoid damaging its delicate roots. Taking time to plant each stem no more than a half an inch apart will ensure a beautiful finish. It will only take a short number of months to have a fully balanced aquarium bottom.
Potted plants are also the best aquarium plants for gravel substrate as they are plants with roots that are wrapped in wool. These plants are able to be planted with the pot but it is recommended to remove them for easier growth. The planting process is done by clearing a small hole to accommodate the plant and the covering the sides with the gravel. This will ensure that the plant is able to grow in our aquarium without any limitations.
Moss grows rather quickly and can be placed just about anywhere in the aquarium. Different types of moss such as peacock and flame moss are great additions and are able to be easily installed when the filter is turned off to stop the current.
How To Set Up Our Aquarium
Setting up our new aquarium is an exciting event once all of the materials have been gathered. Using a substrate that is perfectly designed for plants is the way to go for the health and longevity of the aquarium. Layering the gravel no higher than two or three inches above the aquarium floor is recommended for the best results. Adding fertilizer to the gravel is a great option to give the plants a great start at growing to their full potential. The aquarium should then be filled about halfway with water before adding in the selected plants. Growing aquarium plants in gravel are easy as the roots and bulbs should be gently placed in the gravel and covered on the sides to ensure proper growth. Any accessories such as rocks and furniture can then be added for a personalized touch before the tank is filled with more water.
Using pea gravel or sand that is uncoated is highly recommended for our aquarium. The size of the gravel is also very important for the vitality of the plant life so sticking with a grain size of three to five millimeters is advised. Course sand in .12 to .20 inches is also acceptable for the aquarium. It is also recommended to avoid purchasing any gravel that has been coated in epoxy as it may not work well with the tank.
Aquarium plants do well when they receive no less than eight hours of simulated sunlight per day. Twelve hours of light is the maximum recommended time and fluorescent bulbs are also advised. These bulbs are able to cover the full spectrum and the plants are able to be secured right under the lights. The amount of light necessary for Growing aquarium plants in gravel truly depends on the size of the tank. Ten-gallon tanks usually require a 15-watt tube while a 40-gallon tank will need two 30-watt light bulbs.
How To Fertilize the Aquarium
Seachem Excel is a fertilizer that comes highly recommended for the health and longevity of the aquarium. All plant life requires CO2 and this product provides this organic carbon to the plants. Furthermore, Seachem Excel has iron reducing properties and can help to avoid low pH levels that can be harmful to the plants. The fertilizer is used by adding 1 full capful for every 40 liters of water. One full capful is added thereafter when using a 50-gallon tank.
Deciding on the proper placement for the best aquarium plants for gravel substrate is a fun step in planning the best aquarium. Aquarium plants such as stem plants must be separated and spread out along the aquarium for a more balanced look. These stems grow very fast and will begin to fill out before we know it. It is aesthetically pleasing to place longer stems in the corners of the tank and shorter one along with middle.
Maintaining the health of your aquarium plants is a fun way to enjoy your project. Trimming the aquarium plants in gravel is easy to accomplish and will add in the beauty of the tank. Keeping the tank clean is also recommended for the plants as well as for the fish. Eliminating the build-up of algae is recommended so that the algae doesn’t consume all of the nutrients needed for the plants. Placing herbivorous aquatic life in the tank will help to avoid this issue. In addition, we can scrub the algae from the tank using s specialized scraper for algae.
With all of our bases covered we are now ready to set up our amazing aquarium. Proper planning is key as it helps to avoid wasting money or potentially harming the fish due to negligence. Be sure to do research and be on the way to a beautiful aquarium today.