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6 Tips for successful Planted Aquarium

When I started my first Planted Aquarium I was worried about whether I can do a planted Aquarium. I read a lot and looked up some videos for an explanation. The most striking feature of a planted tank is its CALMNESS it's very challenging and you get to be a gardener. If you like plants, have patience and like to look after them, then you should try your hand at the Planted Aquarium, and believe me it's not rocket science to have one.

There are some basic rules to follow, We call them essentials such as:-

1) Substrate/Soil

2) Lights


4) Co2 ( if you want to go in for High Tech or Low Tech)

5) Plants selection 

6) Micro and Micro Nutrients

1) The Soil that you select is very important for plant growth, especially the root plants. Select soil that comes with nutrients. The Choice is yours you can go in for Tropica Soil. You can use Substrate from Tropica as a base soil which can provide food for the roots. Tropica soil comes with nutrients that can be very suitable for your plants whether you are planning a low-tech or High Tech plant.

2) The Lights are another important factor in a planted aquarium. It helps in photosynthesis. Always have adequate lights which can penetrate to the bottom of the tank. All the plants need light. Many of the Plants wither away or get burned up either due to weak lights or strong light. Many the plants like carpets and grass require light to grow and flourish so as do other plants. Sunsun series of lights are economical and effective. Remember it is recommended to keep the lights on a minimum for 8 hours. It's not advisable to keep the lights on 24/7 in a day. Plants do require rest. But in my experience, too much of lights have resulted in an Algae problem. I have cut down my lights to 5 hours minimum per day...But there are various factors for Algae  to grow but one of them is excessive use of lights, 

What Size LED Lights Do I Need for My Aquarium?

Well, if you were hoping for a clean, objective measurement–you’re out of luck. As with the amount of light, the size of light depends on several factors that are particular to your tank.

When picking the size of your LED lights, consider the following elements:

  • The Size of Your Tank

  • The Depth of Your Tank

  • The Types of Plants You Intend to Grow

  • The Number of Plants You Intend to Grow

  • Your Tank’s Exterior Aesthetic Needs

3) Filtration plays a major role skin the planted tank. The water needs to be circulating to every corner of the tank. It needs to cover every dead spot in the tank

It also helps in spreading the nutrients across the tank and keeps the tank clean. Poor filtration means poor plant and fish growth. Fish too will lose coloration. Invest in a proper filter that can cover the tank. Invest in a filter that will treat 3 times more than your gallons per tank. I don't recommend hanging on the filter for the bigger tanks more than 2 feet simply because it is not very effective to cover the space of the tank. It does not cover the entire tank. It all depends on the budget of an individual. I would recommend SunSun for the budget tanks or even a premium canister from EHEIM. I use EHEIM classic 350 for my 48 US Gallons Planted tank

4) Co2:- Growth rates of aquatic plants are strongly correlated with the availability of carbon and the plant's affinity for carbon uptake Without additional CO2 the growth rate will be dependent on the rate at which atmospheric CO2 equilibrates into the water. Plants need carbon to create their food (photosynthesize). They obtain carbon from either carbon dioxide (CO2) or some plants can take it from carbonate hardness (KH). It is easier for plants to utilize carbon from CO2, which is naturally present in the aquarium, but not usually at the levels needed. As CO2 levels disappear, plants slow their growth, forcing them to use the carbon from KH, which is the ingredient
that holds pH stable. When the content of this buffer is lowered, pH levels can change dramatically, which may severely stress or even kill fish.

5) Plants selection is very important at the beginning. For beginners, it is best to avoid red plants. Go in for low-tech plants or plants which are hardy and caring for them is not too difficult. like the Anubis, java ferns don't go in for carpets at the beginning. Take your time, get adjusted to a planted tank. Learn and then proceed with the difficult plants. It's no use putting all eggs in a basket at one time. Go in for plants at the beginning which requires low lights or medium light. Go for a few plants and depending on the size of the tank go for extra plants. Do not grow plants too near to the other plants. at least leave half an inch for growth. Some plants grow crazily and they create runners such as jungle Val .. Be careful with these plants as they can multiply. Just grow 2-3 that's it and you will see they multiply...Remove dead plants and trim them. BE A GARDENER

6)  Macro Nutrients


Macronutrients are the main nutrients needed for healthy growth, these are Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P), and Potassium (K). They are required in much larger amounts compared with other nutrients and it is important to choose a plant food that contains these elements. It is very important to supplement these elements if:

  • You have a densely planted aquarium.

  • You inject CO2 & have medium to high light.

  • You are growing medium and hard category plants.

If you have a densely planted aquarium, then you will need to supplement NPK to avoid starving your plants. It will also be very beneficial at this point to supply CO2 for your plants. 

We recommend using Seachem, Aquavitro, or Tropica as your plant food, a complete solution for dosing Macro and Micronutrients for the densely planted aquarium. 



Micro Nutrients

Micronutrients are required in smaller amounts and should be supplemented in any planted aquarium. The most important micronutrients are iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), chlorine (Cl), copper (Cu), boron (B), molybdenum (Mo), cobalt (Co), nickel (Ni). Without providing these your plants will start to show signs of nutrient deficiency such as holly leaves, yellowing leaves, etc. Micronutrients are in all good plant fertilizers Seachem and Tropica fertilizers.


Water Changes

It is important to change some of your water each week in your planted aquarium. This will remove excess amounts of waste and unwanted nutrients, mainly ammonia (algae love this). Thus, suppressing algae growth and helps keeps your plants & fish happy. By carrying out a water change you are diluting your tank water with fresh cleaner water, and therefore reducing the concentration of waste products.

Should you encounter an algae outbreak, we recommend carrying out regular 50% water changes to remove pollutants from the water, whilst cleaning out any unsightly algae on your glass, wood, and plants. Don't forget to dose your macro and micronutrients again after any water change. Review your lighting intensity and CO2 diffusion and see if there is something that can be done to improve plant growth. For example, low CO2 levels are often a cause of poor plant growth resulting in algae.

Important Suggestion:- Always have a Digital Timer. Simply set the timer for your lights to be On/OFF or Co2 to be on /off and it will be a great blessing in disguise.

I use it for my lights, Co2, and also for other purposes. You can set some timers up to 16 different programs. it's simply EASY. 

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