How To Setup A Planted Aquarium

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How To Setup A Planted AquariumPlanted aquariums offer so much more than a fish only aquarium provides not only for the viewer but also for the fish species you have selected for your aquarium.

A planted aquarium provides cover for small fish to hide in breeding fish can lay there eggs on the plants and other aquatic life can thrive on the leaves improving the entire ecosystem within the aquarium.

However there is more work and maintenance involved in managing a planted aquarium compared to a fish only aquarium, lighting co2 injection systems landscaping and plant selection all add up to a ton of extra work.

As with setting up any aquarium thoroughly clean the aquarium with warm water and a clean cloth do not use any cleaners or detergents as this will contaminate the aquarium when water is added.

Select a location for the aquarium that is out of direct sunlight this is important as you need to control how much light the aquarium will receive during a 24 hour period, direct sunlight will also promote the growth of algae within the aquarium which is not beneficial.

Select a suitable substrate to cover the base of the aquarium around 50 to 75 mm thick is a good starting point as you need enough substrate to be able to surround the plants root system, the substrate is also important for breeding beneficial bacteria which will break down any leaf litter and organic waste produced from the fish.

The nest step is to select any hardscape required like rocks, driftwood and large stones these need to be placed in positions where there is no risk of breaking the glass should they tumble over, select positions for large rocks in the center of the aquarium but offset to enhance the overall look and where they are a safe distance from any glass surface.

The next step requires filling the aquarium with dechlorinated water to around the height of the tallest plants you have selected, to present depth to the aquarium you need plants specifically selected for the foreground, midground and background.

Foreground plants are usually slow growing and short in height as to form a sort of carpet over the main part of the aquarium, background plants need to be tall to form a backdrop to cover heaters and other equipment on the back of the aquarium and mid ground plants are used to fill in the remaining space with medium height plants.

The best solution for planting your aquarium plants is with purpose made tweezers these are usually made from plastic or stainless steel and are very long to reach the substrate from the top of the aquarium surface you can also use your hands but treat the plants carefully so you do not damage the root systems. 

Once your planting is completed take a good long look through the front of the aquarium and make any adjustments that may be needed before filling the aquarium to the desired level with dechlorinated water once the tank is full you may need to move any rocks or driftwood to get the desired effect.

The final step is to add all the aquarium accessories like the filtration system, lighting requirements heaters and thermostats, the temperature should be set between 25 and 27 Celsius depending on the species of fish that will be in the aquarium do not select fish that thrive on plants as your newly planted aquarium will be destroyed in a very short time.

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Aquarium Setup

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