When it comes to growing plants in water, we all switch to the easier choice which is getting fake or artificial plants. But we all know at the end of the day that they are fake. So why to compromise on such things? You can create your very own ecosystem in an aquarium too and add some live plants to it. There are a few basic requirements that needs to be taken care of and then you will be ready to have actual plants in your aquarium.
Since we are talking about plants in water, it is a very important factor to consider. Aquariums mostly have freshwater and for plants to grow in them, a pH between 6.5 to 7.5 should be maintained. Try to maintain the temperature between 23 to 28oC which is optimum for both plants and fishes.
Since plants depend on sunlight for the process of making food through photosynthesis, it becomes a necessity to provide them with the same. Artificial lights of varying intensities can be used to meet their needs. Some plants need high intensity light while some need low intensity of light. You can adjust them accordingly and also keep in mind that plants will need only a few hours (6 to 10 hrs) of light four growth. If you want the plants to grow tall then high intensity lights for longer duration would be perfect. Click here to know all about different types of grow lights.
Along with light, carbon dioxide is also required for photosynthesis. CO2 is dissolved in water from where it can be absorbed by the plants. Usually, we don’t need to provide extra CO2 in water, but if you want your plants to grow vigorously and give them a lustrous shine, you can surely go for it. You can use pressurized injection method which works in sync with light to supply CO2 or you can even use yeast to generate CO2 in water. If you have fishes, you don’t need to worry about the CO2 supply.
It is quite obvious that plants will need nutrients to grow. Depending upon the type of plants that you are growing, nutrients need to be supplemented in water. The best part is that nitrogen and phosphorous requirement will be met by fish wastes so you don’t need to worry about that. For the rest of the nutrients, you can prepare a mixture in proper ratio and supply them in a powdered form which dissolves easily in the water. Alternatively, you can also use some capsules which can be inserted near the base of the plants in the substrate to provide them the required nutrition.
Last but not the least, you need to prepare a so called ‘potting mix’ for your aquarium. Try to choose a material with plenty of pore space or which is breathable. It should be made up of large sand particles, pebbles, coarse gravel etc. It should allow the roots to breathe. Avoid using fine sand or clayey soil as it will absorb water and can suffocate the roots and can also cause different types of diseases. So, plan and gather all the materials you need and prepare your own garden of live plants but this time it will be under the water!
Check out our following post to know what type of plants are most suitable for your aquarium.