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How to keep plants in your fish tank looking good.

Jun 25, 2013
David agent wrote
Personally I find it so difficult to keep live plants in my tank… my fish devour them! One of my friends has a plant that he trims from the roots rather than the top.. and I receive loads of emails about the best techniques for keeping plants and making them a work of art.

From some of the photos I receive, clearly some customers are masters at this. What I'd like to know is your most intimate secret to keeping the plants in your set up looking their best. Please share with me your tips and tricks. How do you keep them looking so good and what issues have you faced and how did you overcome them.
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7 Answers
Jun 25, 2013
David agent wrote
I found it very difficult to keep aquatic plants. I used good lighting tubes, tried adding home made CO2 etc but plants did not do well. Sometimes they got eaten but mainly that they did not grow well anyway. Another problem is algae. Due to the “good lighting”, algae grows quickly on the tank and on the plants. I think they smothered the plants in addition to the basic growing problems.

Now I try to do it in a totally different way. I only turn on the light for about 2 hours a day so there is no algae. Then I use some low-light plants. I can keep some plants now although the variety is very limited. At least I don’t need to remove the algae and at least the plants will not be killed by algae, although this does not mean they will grow very well.

Agostinho
Jun 25, 2013
David agent wrote
I always had problems growing plants for years. I solved it by buying quality potted plants and running CO2 injection for the whole period when lights are on. They now grow and thrive. Still get a problem with some algae growing on the slower growing plants though. I also found that having a circulating pump running in the tank in addition to the filter pumps helped.

Ron
Jun 25, 2013
David agent wrote
I've found that it's no good putting a few plants in your tank, you've got to puts loads in and they seem to take off, I've got two tanks that are so full of plants I always seem to be pruning them. The more there are, the quicker they seem to grow. The lighting is also an issue, didn't replace my lighting for quite a while and my plants stopped growing, replaced them and plants took off again
Jun 25, 2013
David agent wrote
Hi
First thing with plants is to choose the right ones! If you have a decent local shop and they know what they're talking about they can recommend low maintenance plants and also what plants to have depending on your setup. I always go for the potted plants as they do better in my experience (though make sure you remove them from the pot before planting in your tank, as the pot is only for transport)
I also change my fluorescent lights regularly and use a good light spectrum, finally I use JBL fertiliser balls pushed into the substrate next to the plants

My plants do ok but then I only have tetra fish and nothing that will attack the plants too much

Cheers Steve
Jun 25, 2013
David agent wrote
I am looking into setting up a tropical tank with plants for community fish and have found You Tube useful for set up info..John Innes 3 seems to be the favourite soil to use with an inch of gravel on top or as the Americans call it 'dirt'. Look forward to the replies you get.
Peter
Jun 25, 2013
David agent wrote
Peter D says

Use plastic plants!!! :-)
Jun 25, 2013
David agent wrote
Hi
I take it we are talking about aquarium plants and for these I have found it is all about natural light. Get plenty into the tank and you will always be giving plant away (or selling it back to the shop)
David