Not only do aquarium plants provide space for fish to hide and play, they make the tank more visually appealing. Several types of plants that you have around the home can actually work in a freshwater aquarium environment. Give your tank a makeover with plants that can grow in water.
While not an aquatic plant, bamboo grows well when rooted in aquariums and lasts approximately one year. Purchase bamboo at your local garden store, then cut the canes to your desired length with pruners, cutting just below a horizontal segment. Other terrestrial plants that fare well in freshwater aquariums include dracaena, aluminum plants, spider plants and dwarf palms. These plants root in the aquarium substrate and grow partly in the water and partly above the water.
Aquatic plants readily grow in water. If you have a pond or water garden at home, you may already be familiar with some of these plants. Aquatic plants may be sold as potted, floating or bareroot. Species suitable for aquariums include the onion plant, Amazon swordplant, cryptos, tapegrass, water lily, water hyacinth. Aquatic ferns, such as the African water fern and Java fern, are generally offered for sale attached to rocks or wood.
Bulbs, Rhizomes and Tubers
Just as you might plant daffodils or Asiatic lilies in the home or yard, you may also plant aquatic bulbs, rhizomes or tubers directly in your aquarium. Tubers and bulbs available for aquariums include onion plant, spatterdock, tropical lily and some ferns. These plants don't look promising, but they will grow when planted in pots or directly in the gravel substrate.
Half-terrarium, half-aquarium, a paludarium has water and dry land areas for plants to grow. Stock a paludarium with bromeliads, jewel orchids, Phalaenopsis orchids, mosses, African violets, creeping fig and philodendron. Reptiles and amphibians do well in paludariums, since many require dry and wet areas. Small fish such as cherry barbs, platies and rasboras do well in paludariums. Avoid fish species that eat plants, such as cichlids.
- "Freshwater Aquarium Models: Recipes for Creating Beautiful Aquariums That Thrive"; John H. Tullock
- "Freshwater Aquarium"; John Dawes
- Practical Fishkeeping: How to Set up a Paludarium
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