Oxygenating plants for fish tanks play a key role in setting up, establishing and running a well-balanced aquarium.
Featuring live Oxygenating plants in your fish tank make it not just more attractive to look at, but make living in a fish tank healthier for your pet fish.
Using oxygenating plants is a way to adapt nature’s way of removing potentially dangerous nitrate from an aquarium. Plants also add a colourful backdrop and provide an easy way of beautifying your fish tank, while providing your fish with a natural food source with the ability to replenish.
Plants enhance the appearance and provide a much more natural environment for the fish.
Benefits of Oxygenating Plants in Aquariums
As the name suggests, the most obvious benefit to having live oxygenating plants in fish tanks is that they produce oxygen (O2) and absorb the carbon dioxide (CO2) and ammonia (NH3) that your fish generate. Helping you avoid the complications of low oxygen in aquariums and figuring out how to save your fish.
Adding oxygenating plants to a fish tank help recreate a natural ecosystem in a much smaller environment. It is also one of the more natural and easier ways to keep your fish healthy.
Oxygenating plants provide a home within a home and additional security for your fish. As the plants compete with algae for nutrients, the oxygenating plants also help to reduce algae growth.
The quality of the water in your aquarium is greatly enhanced by oxygenating plants, which also improve your fishes’ health.
It is important to note that just adding live oxygenating plants is not a straight replacement for water changes t regular intervals.
Oxygenating plants are so named because they produce oxygen constantly during the day and use it all up at night. They benefit aquariums with their ability to grow rapidly, using nutrients that would otherwise be used by algae such as blanket weed. With their rapid growth rate, it is handy to occasionally thin the oxygenating plants in your fish tank, to help maintain a good healthy balance.
Oxygenating Plant Selection and Tips:
When selecting live oxygenating plants, it is good practice to ensure that aquatic plant species that are truly suited to water are selected. Not just that, the oxygenating plants should also be suitable to the fish types you own as well as your aquarium water type.
When deciding to add live oxygenating plants to your aquarium, it is wise to opt for cheaper options first as kitting out a fish tank can easily be an expensive exercise.
Hardy live plants like Sagittaria, Sword Plants, Moneywort are great options to choose from. As you become more comfortable with your choices, then including more sensitive mixed plant species will be easier.
- Live plants help create a natural-looking garden aquarium, with the addition of a diverse variety of plant species. The visual effect is lush and beautiful.
- Where possible, refrain from placing tall plants in back and short in front. Mixing things up by placing some shorter plants in the back helps create the illusion of depth, like a tree viewed in the distance.
- Don’t forget the colours! A bold splash of red plants against varied shades of green plants creates a dramatic visual focus. A mix of colourful varieties including Ludwiglia and Anubias should great choices.
Maintaining your Oxygenating Plants
Light is one of the basic requirements for all oxygenating plants. Light must be provided in the correct wavelength and colour temperature for plants to photosynthesize, and need to remain alight for the right amount of time during the day.
Where possible there’s a need to replicate the light plants need to thrive in aquariums if oxygenating plants are to thrive.
Adding aquarium reflectors help to provide sufficient light in fish tanks. The ideal thing is the reflectors are often IP67 water-resistant allowing long term use of all the connections.
As a rough guide, best plant growth will be provided by 0.5 watts of light energy per litre or 50 watts of lighting per 100 litres of water.
Choosing the right substrate can sometimes be all the difference between success and failure with oxygenating plants. Plants need the right substrate to properly anchor and to take up nutrients. This helps enhance ideal oxygen supply and circulation due to medium grain size of the substrate.
Fine substrates of between one and five-millimetre diameter are best, with three millimetres being a good average size. The particle size of substrates is important because too coarse, and nutrients are washed away, and if it’s too fine, the gravel can become anaerobic and the roots will rot.
Once settled on the right gravel for your fish tank, good substrate fertiliser must be added to provide the oxygenating plants with their food for sustenance. As good as any sand, gravel or grit is, they remain mostly sterile unless the right substrate fertiliser is used to improve the chances of the plants taking up nutrients.
Some very hardy plants like Egeria take nutrients from the water and will survive in sterile substrates, but most aquatic plants like Vallisneria, Amazon Sword plants and Cryptocoryne need food.
Tetra Complete Substrate is an excellent substrate fertiliser and will help you on your way to successful plant growth.
Liquid fertilisers are great options for topping up any inadequacies in your aquarium water. As oxygenating plants grow, various essential nutrients may be used up like iron, and the regular addition of liquid fertiliser can help make up any deficiencies.
Topping up with liquid fertilisers on a weekly or daily basis is the ideal thing to do. The proven results from using liquid fertiliser often mean that they are the best option available to aid better plant growth in any freshwater aquarium.
It is important to use as per the directions on the bottle. Overdoing it risks introducing algae into your fish tank. Liquid fertilisers are a great choice for when your aquatic plants have a yellow look to them. To get the best results they should be used as part of a complete fertilisation process.
Odd as it may seem, Carbon Dioxide is the biggest breakthrough in Aquatic plants over the past few years. Carbon Dioxide is one of the basic building blocks for all life, and when presented to plants in a way they can use, the results can be spectacular.
To understand the benefits of carbon dioxide, it is important to consider photosynthesis and how it works. In the daytime, plants absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) and produce oxygen. They use the carbon dioxide that they have absorbed to build out their structures and grow.
In an aquatic environment, Carbon Dioxide can be deficient in the day time as filtration and aeration get rid of the carbon dioxide and introduce Oxygen – good for fish but not ideal for plants. By adding Carbon Dioxide through a diffuser, more CO2 is available in the water for plants and they will not only get by but thrive.
Carbon Dioxide can be added to the aquarium safely by use of a fermentation kit. Individual CO2 bubbles are added to the water in a way that is safe for the fish, and the plants thrive by producing additional oxygen for the fish, fighting algae and soaking up nitrate and phosphate.