Planted aquarium tips

The Planted Aquarium!


"Are those real?"


It never fails, a visitor to the house looks at my tank and boom! That question. It is undoubtedly followed by more of the same, how do they grow, is that just gravel, is it hard, are they special plants?


I have spent the last 5 years in the “Planted Tank” sub-category of this hobby we all love and wanted to give a couple of pointers from my experiences.


  1. Research! It goes without saying you shouldn't do anything in this hobby without doing your research. There are so many ways to do the planted thing dirt-ed, hi/low tech, dutch, nature, iwu...what. The list goes on and on. So do your research.

  2. Patience! You did it you took the leap you bought some plants and they turn brown and you give up or they shrink and you give up, or you don't like the layout and you change things up. STOP! Most good quality “pest-free” plants have seen less time underwater than your granny's cat. That is to say, they are grown immersed not submerged more on that in another article.

  3. Start Nano! Everyone wants a big tank they are sexy and you can do soooo much with it, WRONG! Planted aquariums are not cheap to set up with quality commercial soils costing upwards of $3 per lb not to mention plants, lighting, and livestock a “Big ole” tank can cost you more than $1000 just to start! Ouch! I'm not saying big tanks cant be done but if you are looking for a budget build stay at 10-20 gallons for your first attempt.

  4. Don't skimp. The only way to follow up on the previous point is this one. Regardless of the size of your tank plan to spend some cash. Lighting is the foundation of a great planted tank experience. I won't trash any lights but I will tell you my favorites are Finnex, Aqua Worx, and Kessil. Next, the building block, the substrate. Get a good one commercially known as Aquasoil's I'm just going to say that they are all about the same price across the board get the best. I would only ever consider UNS Controsoil, ADA, Amazonia (all variants) and Fluval stratum. Then the heart of it all plants it is why we do it after all. You have got to plant DENSE!!! Which means one pot of this and one bunch of that is not going to lend itself to success in the planted aquarium.

  5. Never give up! The first time you try it may not work out, but you can do this. When you get the hang of it NOTHING will stop you!


Happy scaping

Clinton (nanoscapesaz)

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