Growing Healthy Aquarium Plants

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aquarium plantsAquarium plants need a healthy environment to grow and flourish and there are numerous factors that come into play to raise a healthy planted aquarium, plants need  good substrate plenty of light and clean water to grow.

The first step to a healthy planted aquarium starts with a high quality and mineral rich substrate starting off with the right foundation for your plants will insure a healthy root system and the need to add supplements later on will be reduced.

The substrate will need regular maintenance and you will need to vacuum the substrate regularly to remove excess sediment and decaying plant material that will cloud the aquarium and chock the plants complex root structure.

Aquarium water needs a certain hardness depending on the type or species of aquarium plants you are going to introduce to the environment, this hardness differs all over the world depending on the water source, water that is to hard needs treating with products to reduce minerals like calcium in the water source.

Once you have the water hardness within a suitable range the PH level needs to be tested this is a measure of acidity within the water 7.0 is regarded as neutral lower than this level is acidic and higher than this level is alkaline this level needs to be within a range suitable to both the fish species and the plant species in the aquarium.

Supplementation may be needed at some stage, plants need nutrients like vitamins, amino acids and carbon to flourish and grow usually they get this from the substrate and from waste and decaying matter in the aquarium but there are also trace elements that may be needed like iron, nickel and cobalt these can be added as tablets into the aquarium water or through a medium in the filter.

Carbon Supplementation may be needed more so in very large planted aquariums, carbon is the main limiting factor for plant growth without CO2 in the environment plants simply will not flourish a CO2 injection system is needed in this case the system injects the gas directly into the aquarium water where it is absorbed by the plants.

When using CO2 injection systems you need a strong and continuous light source, without light the plants will not convert the CO2 into oxygen, when the lights are turned off plants breath in oxygen and exhale CO2, when carbon is injected into the aquarium environment you will get an explosion of plant growth that you can only get using this type of system.

Building a planted aquarium can certainly have many challenges particularly for beginners but the rewards are fantastic with an aquarium flourishing with plant growth that not only looks appealing but forms a complete ecosystem for the inhabitants of the aquarium. 

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