8 Tips to Selecting The Best Aquarium Plants

When choosing your aquarium plants here are 8 Tips to getting it right:

1. Coldwater or Tropical

Coldwater aquariums tend to operate at a temperature of between 15 and 18 Degrees C and tropical aquariums at 22 to 26 Degrees C. Most aquatic plants can tolerate short term changes in temperature but have a preferred range where they will thrive. Some tough plants that should thrive in both include Java Fern, Vallisneria and Cryptocoryne.

2. Hardscaping

Choosing your driftwood, rocks and natural creations will help you to choose what aquarium plants you plant around it. PetWave has an extensive range of driftwood, rock and natural creations options available online.

3. Plant Positions

Choosing the right plants and the right sized plants for each position of the aquarium is important when aquascaping.

PetWave divides our plants into:

  • Background Plants - bigger plants that should generally be planted at the back of the tank;
  • Foreground Plants- small and ground cover plants such as mosses that often create a carpet effect and don’t block visibility;
  • Centre Plants – mid sized plants that should generally be planted in the centre of the tank and help aesthetic transition from the foreground to the background;
  • Floating Plants – plants that float on the surface of the water (and can block light to other plants if too dense)

4. Short or Long Term

If you plan to aquascape your aquarium over a longer term (like an established garden) then buying true aquatic plants (such as Sword Plants, anubias, etc) is important. If you are after a short term display in your aquarium (like an annual flower display), it can be beneficial to purchase plants more suitable for a terrarium (such as Green Rush, Waffle, etc)) as they can provide more shape, colour and variety. Terrarium plants will provide an instant aquascape that will transform the aethestics of your aquarium but will start to breakdown potentially after a few weeks or months and will eventually die. PetWave has an extensive range of true aquatic and terrarium plant options available online.

5. Source of The Plants

Aquarium plants can introduce many unwanted and unhealthy visitors (such as snails and algae), bacteria and diseases. Buying from a reputable supplier that practices strong hygiene, can save a lot of hassle, heartache and expense later on.

6. Fish Compatibility

Many fish will trim plants from time to time which is both healthy for the fish and the plants. However, some fish will aggressively eat your plants (eg. some Goldfish) or dig up the gravel (eg. some Cichlids who dig in the substrate) and can lead to your plants not thriving. Check the PetWave fish compatibility care sheet to check that your plants will be compatible with your fish. PetWave has an extensive range of live fish options available online.

7. Light

Most plants require sufficient full spectrum light for photosynthesis, for at least 12 hours per day. Ensure you have sufficient lighting for your preferred plants and remove algae and trim any plants that block or dilute light.

8. Carbon Dioxide

Many large aquariums and some plant types require or benefit from a top up of carbon dioxide (C02) to ensure that the plants thrive. When starting out, the simplest option is to choose plants that can thrive in low light conditions such as Java Fern, Crytocoryne, Vallisneria and Anubias. PetWave has Australia’s widest range of aquarium plant perfect for different situations, available online today.

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