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6 Things that Simply Aren’t True About Freshwater Planted Aquariums

Untruths About Freshwater Planted Aquariums San Diego, CA

Everything about freshwater aquariums is intended to be ornamental. However, at the same time, many aquarium elements such plants serve functions that go beyond aesthetics. Seasoned aquarists highly recommend aquatic plants for all kinds of tanks, particularly those set up to keep freshwater tropical species. It’s possible to keep tropical fish in tanks that aren’t planted, but there’s no real good reason for doing so unless you’re simply interested in farming fish or placing them in brief periods of isolation. Keeping some healthy plants is one of the best things you can do to improve your enclosed aquatic ecosystem, and you shouldn’t let the following myths dissuade you, because they simply aren’t true.

1. Aquatic Plants Are Difficult to Keep

If we were to rank aquatic species in terms of hardiness and resilience, freshwater plants would top the list. The main reason some fish keepers get discouraged with plants is that they lost a rooted species because the substrate was inadequate. Floating plants are more likely to thrive and outlive all other freshwater species.

2. Aquatic Plants Are Expensive

Popular plants that grow in North American habitats are even more affordable than aquarium shrimp. At the other end of the plant spectrum, you have the Bucephalandra family, which are exotic species often imported from Borneo and require special care.

3. Planted Tanks Result in Algae Bloom

Aquatic plants actually compete with algae for nitrogen-based nutrients and carbon dioxide. This doesn’t mean freshwater planted aquariums will always be free of algae. As soon as the ecosystem goes through a period of increased bioload, algae growth will be right around the corner no matter how many plants you have, but this is usually just temporary. Faster-growing plants, like stem plants, will eliminate algae because they compete with the dreaded ugly “microalgae.” The more balanced the tank (more plants), the easier it is to maintain.

4. Fish End Up Eating All Plants

Most freshwater species are omnivorous. They may nibble on plants every now and then as a form of snacking, but they’ll generally be more interested in the flakes and pellets you provide at feeding time. When you stock a tank with herbivorous fish, ask the staff at the aquarium shop which plants are the fishes’ favorites so you don’t end up planting food that will be quickly consumed.

5. Planted Tanks Need CO2 Injector Equipment

The most dedicated keepers of aquatic plants are known to enter annual aquascaping contests, and many of them equip their tanks with an external source of carbon dioxide to grow lush underwater gardens. Many aquarists add a carbon source in the form of liquid Excel from SeaChem. The last method is to let the breakdown of fish and bacterial waste become a source of CO2. This works but isn’t enough to grow healthy plants across a wide spectrum.

At Aquatic Warehouse, we have a plethora of knowledge and recommendations for both beginners and experts pertaining to planted aquariums, and we also have the largest selection of plants and CO2 accessories on the west coast.

6. Aquatic Plants Need Direct Sunlight

Modern aquarium lighting systems can provide the required illumination for the photosynthesis process. A few hours of direct sunlight is something aquatic plants will love, but you’ll have to be on top of partial water changes so algae bloom doesn’t become a problem.

Whatever you need to properly care for your freshwater planted aquarium, you can find it at Aquatic Warehouse. In addition to being a leading provider of freshwater aquarium supplies, we also have everything you would need for a saltwater tank or garden pond. Stop by our store in Kearny Mesa, order your supplies from our website, or give us a call today with any questions at 858-467-9297.


Contact Information

  • Address: 5466 Complex Street Suite 204
    San Diego, CA 92123
  • Phone: (858) 467-9297
  • Email: sales@aquaticwarehouse.com
  • Working Days/Hours: Mon - Fri / 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
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    Sunday / 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM


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