Monday, April 23, 2012

Aquarium Plants

There is a very restful and almost hypnotic quality about water gardens and fish, and if there is room water in a garden is a relaxing element to include. If there is not space for a pond outdoors, an indoor aquarium is an alternative. It offers an opportunity to design an underwater landscape that is mesmerising, which draws visitors to the colour and movement of the underwater world of fish in a tank. If maintained well an aquarium is a living showpiece and an attractive addition to the interior of a home. 

Fish can be chosen for different purposes and to live at different levels in the tank. Types of fish include bottom-dwellers, suckers, schoolers and individuals, where the variety of fish work together to create a living ecosystem within the confines of the tank. Aquarium plants are a necessary part of the underwater landscape with a variety of plants used for different purposes that contributes to the health and wellbeing of the fish. Microsorum ‘Windelov’ is a small clumping plant that can be grown from pieces that shoot from the main plant, and can be planted to create an expanse of clumps spreading across the bottom of the tank. The fish use the plants to hide in, to rummage through and dart in and out of, which keeps them active and healthy. Some of the most dramatic plants in the tank have attractive foliage like the waterlilies, which have large russet or bright green leaves, or the Aponogeton, which is a vertical plant with attractive crested leaves. Cryptocoryne is a common low-growing plant that effectively spreads across the bottom of the tank in time to create a grassy blanket. Amazon Sword Echinodorum amazonicus is a plant with long pointed leaves growing from a central crown. It can vary in size, seasonally dying back but rejuvenating with a new vigour when it regrows. 

Plants are also chosen for the type of fish that inhabit the tank. Some fish like to eat plants, while others suck the leaves, and some rummage through the foliage and around the roots. It is important to know the tendencies of particular fish before purchasing them so that equilibrium can be maintained between the growth of plants and the habits of the fish.

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