Compiled in co-operation with Aquajardin’s resident aquascaping expert.
A planted aquarium can be a thing of beauty. Here are a few tips to help you get started. Compiled in co-operation with Aquajardin’s resident aquascaping expert.
- Assuming you have a suitable plant substrate, plant heavily from day one. This will help keep algae to a minimum as all the plants will outcompete it for nutrients.
- For the first 4 weeks, you should have a light period of 6 hours a day, after which you can increase this to a 8-10 hours per day.
- The temperature of the water in the aquarium should be 22-24°C. If the temperature goes above this range then algae growth will be encouraged and below this range tropical plants will struggle to grow.
- CO2 is key to a plant’s ability to photosynthesise and grow. The addition of NT Labs Liquid CO2 Boost will provide this essential carbon source which allows the assimilation of other nutrients promoting good growth.
- Aquarium plants will need feeding. NT Labs Plant Boost provides essential nutrients and trace elements such as iron and potassium to help promote lush growth. Remove any carbon media from the filter as these can adsorb some nutrients from the water.
- Make sure there is good water movement to ensure delivery of nutrients and CO2 throughout the aquarium but minimise surface agitation which can lead to loss of CO2.
- Minimise natural sunlight entering the aquarium and conduct regular partial (25%) water changes. This will help reduce the build up of surplus nutrients from fish waste and will keep algae under control and provide a healthy aquatic system for plants and fish alike.
- When stocking fish, gradually build up the amount of live stock over several weeks and use NT Labs Filter Starter to help activate the filter. In the first 6 weeks test you water twice weekly for ammonia and nitrite using Aquarium Lab test kits. Conduct partial (25%) water changes if unsafe levels are detected. As a guide, in a planted aquarium, we recommend a maximum of 1cm of fish length per litre of water.
Thanks to Aquajardin for working with us to create this article! Visit their website www.aquajardin.co.uk and drop by one of their stores.