Fish Keeping 101

Aquarium Talk: Planting in a Large Aquarium

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Large aquariums don't only need a lot of fish to fill it but also several plants to beautify it. Read this article to find out how to plant in larger aquarium to know what plants to choose and how to take care of them in this environment.


If you are interested in starting your own fish collection, one of the most important things you should procure first is a good, sturdy aquarium. There are small, medium and large aquariums and they are readily available in any pet stores.

If you intend to put the aquarium in the living room where you can display your fishes, it's best to get a large one. It would surely beautify and brighten an otherwise plain living room. Once you have chosen a good quality aquarium, the next step is to fill it with plants in preparation for your fishes.

Not all of us have the green thumb so you may wonder how to plant in larger aquarium and ensure that everything will live. This article will not only show you how to plant in larger aquarium, but also how to choose plants and take care of them.

Choosing What to Plant

First and foremost, you should choose healthy plants so you'll know that they'll thrive in the environment. You may buy plants either from an aquarium shop, where there's variety or at club auctions. There are even online sites that sell aquarium plants but you can never be sure on the quality of these plants. It's better if you can go and choose the plants that you need personally.

When you go plant-shopping, buy those that have green leaves and white roots. Closely examine the specimen for any damage or rotting parts, say leaves or roots. When inside the aquarium where there's limited exposure to sunlight, plants cannot repair fully so it's recommended that they should be in perfect health.

Since you'll have a big space to fill up, pick some tall plants or those that are fully grown already. Aside from the fact that these plants can fully tend for themselves, they'll fill the aquarium with vibrant color.

Some suggested plants to get are:

- Elodea / Egeria - these plants thrive well in places with cooler temperature. Plus, they add more oxygen to the water that should help your fishes.
- Liverwort / Crystalwort - these plants' mossy chunks are ideal for fry.
- Vallisneria, Hygropphilia, Hornwort, Cabomba - these plants grow fast so you don't have to wait for weeks for them to bloom
- Ferns, Najas, Java Moss - these are floating plants that you can put in but keep them minimal. Floating plants actually block sunlight from entering the aquarium so it would be unhealthy for the other plants living inside.

How to Plant in Large Aquarium

Once you have the plants ready, it's time to prepare the other materials needed. You would of course require gravel, laid 2-3 inches thick on the bed. Then several piece of rock or driftwood. Before planting, take off any dead or yellowing leaves from the plant. If you're planting a stem variety, slash a new cut in the stem. For rooted plants, remove brown, soft roots so only the white ones remain. Trim the roots until they're only about 5 cm long.

Fill the aquarium midway with water. Then instead of just inserting or pushing down the plants on the gravel, create a hole that would accommodate the stem or the roots. When you have carefully placed in the plant, just fill the hole with gravel, ensuring the no roots are uncovered. For ferns, you may attach them to driftwood using a push pin.

Remember not to overwhelm your aquarium with plants as of course, they are just there to beautify, provide oxygen and sometimes, feed your fishes. Always clean your aquarium as some plants attract algae and snails.
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