Starting out with plants in a tropical aquarium
There are a wide variety of plants available for the aquarium; both live and plastic. Adding plants not only adds colour and interest to the aquascape but give the fish places to explore, hide and breed.
For beginners, select plant varieties that are aesthetically pleasing, easy to keep and that suit your aquarium set-up.
Choose plants that will not grow too large for your aquarium, or grow so quickly that they become unmanageable.
Growing aquarium plants can be a bit like learning to garden; a bit of trial and error is required to find what you can grow well.
See the list below of a few popular aquatic plants to start with in your aquarium, but get advice from your local aquatic store who can advise you on the plants they have available that will suit your set-up.
Echinodorus bleheri – Amazon Sword
Anubias barteri – Anubias
Microsorum pteropus – Java Fern
Hygrophila polysperma – Indian Waterweed
Choosing plastic plants can make caring for the aquarium a little easier, although you do not get the biological benefits to the aquatic environment that live plants offer.
These come in a range of shapes and sizes, from realistic interpretations of live plants to brightly coloured, fun shapes.
As with fish, for plants to thrive in your aquarium they need good water quality, food and the right conditions.
Carrying out all the recommended maintenance on your aquarium and caring for the water correctly will ensure good water quality for your fish and plants.