In this first article in the Planted Aquarium Care 101 series, I briefly introduce the things to consider when setting up an aquarium that primarily caters to the needs of plants. Fortunately, the basic needs of tropical fish and plants overlap. That said, you will need to incorporate a few extra elements to your aquarium to promote lush plant growth.

The body of this article, therefore, is devoted to the first additional element I cover: lighting. Proper lighting is essential for healthy plant growth, and I’ll discuss available options on the market, including the drawbacks and benefits of each.

Continue Reading Planted Aquarium Care 101: Part 1

As discussed in the last Planted Aquarium Care article, you’ll need a quality lighting fixture for your plants to thrive.

Of course, not everyone is willing to make that extra small investment in a powerful lighting fixture. Also, shaded parts of your aquarium (usually at the bottom) tend to receive less light, even if a powerful T5 fluorescent fixture is present. For these two reasons I’ll introduce a few popular aquarium plant options, and categorize them according to the amount of light they require. I’ll discuss low, medium, and high light plants, and the lighting fixture options available for each of these three categories.

Continue Reading Planted Aquarium Care 101: Part 2

xylem and phloem of a plant root

In this Planted Aquarium Care article, I discuss substrate options that will promote healthy plant growth. Substrate is the material – usually sand or gravel – at the bottom of your aquarium. I’ll cover the structure and function of plant roots in order to explain why choosing the right substrate material is essential for success with planted aquariums.

Continue Reading Planted Aquarium Care 101: Part 3

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