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Choosing Aquatic Plants

By: Micah (October)
 
There are many different varieties of plants out there for your aquarium. It would be a waste of money to buy one and have it die from a small mistake like lighting, right? That's why I decided to make this, to help you all decide one the right plants.

But first, light is the huge issue. There are three catagories: High/Strong Light, Moderate Light and Low Light.


Here is a list of plants catagorized by light amount. Next to the plants common name will most likely be a latin name, and then either Background Plant, Midground Plant, Forground Plant and Ornamental (meaning the plant likes to attach to things like rocks or wood) Any plant under two or 3 catagories means it can survive in both or all light conditions.

Strong Light: 3-5 watts per gallon is the usual.

Amazon Sword (Echinodorus Amazonicus) - Background Plant
Cabomba (Cabomba caroliniana) - Background Plant
Money Wort (Bacopa monnieri) - Background Plant
Red Rubin (Echinodorus rubin) - Background Plant
Pennywort (Hydrocotyle vulgaris - Background Plant
Broad Leaf Ludwigia (Ludwigia repens) - Midground Plant
Madigascar Lace (Aponogeton madagascariensis - Midground Plant
Ozelot Sword (Echinodorus ozelot) - Midground Plant
Rotala Indica (Rotala indica) - Midground Plant
Glosso (Glossostigma elatinoides) - Foreground Plant

Moderate Light: At least 2 watts per gallon

Amazon Sword (Echinodorus Amazonicus) - Background Plant
Cabomba (Cabomba caroliniana) - Background Plant
Money Wort (Bacopa monnieri) - Background Plant
Balansae Plant (Cryptocoryne crispatula) - Background Plant
Jungle Val (Vallisneria americana) - Background Plant
Green Myrio (Myriophyllum pinnatum) - Background Plant
Onion Plant -AKA- Crinum Lilly (crinum thaianum) - Background Plant
Red Rubin (Echinodorus rubin) - Background Plant
Pennywort (Hydrocotyle vulgaris - Background Plant
Ruffle Plant (Echinodorus martii) - Background Plant
Wisteria -AKA- Water Wisteria (Hygrophila difformis)
Anarchis (Egeria densa) - Background Plant
Corkscrew Vallisneria (Vallisneria americana) - Background Plant
Chilensis (Sagittaria platyphylla) - Midground Plant
Cryptocoryne (Cryptocoryne wendtii) - Midground Plant
Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus) Ornamental, - Midground Plant
Broad Leaf Ludwigia (Ludwigia repens) - Midground Plant
Melon Sword (Echinodorus osiris) - Midground Plant
Ozelot Sword (Echinodorus ozelot) - Midground Plant
Marble Queen Radican Sword (Echinodorus cordifolius) - Midground Plant
Radican Sword (Echinodorus cordifolius) - Midground Plant
Rotala Indica (Rotala indica) - Midground Plant
Variegated Japanese Dwarf Rush (Acorus variegatus) - Midground Plant
Water Sprite (Ceratopteris thalictroides) - Midground Plant
Dwarf Sagittaria (Sagittaria subulata) - Midground Plant
Crispus (Aponogeton crispus) - Midground Plant
Round Leaf Anubias (Anubius barteri) - Foreground Plant
Anubias Nana (Anubias nana) - Foreground Plant
Banana Plant (Nymphoides aquatica) - Foreground Plant
Narrow Leaf Chain Sword (Echinodorus tenellus) - Foreground Plant
Micro Sword (Lilaeopsis novae-zelandiae) - Foreground Plant

Low light: Below 2 watts and below

Cryptocoryne (Cryptocoryne wendtii) - Midground Plant
Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus) Ornamental, - Midground Plant
Java Moss (Vesicularia dubyana) Ornamental, - Foreground Plant

Problem Plants

There also are other problem plants circulating everywhere. These plants are not true aquatic plants. Below is a list of plants often sold as aquarium plants that truely are meant to be potted and housed next to your window.
 
White Arrowhead (White Butterfly)
Red Arrowhead (Regina Red)
Cherry Hedge
Green Hedge
Mondo Grass
Red Edge

Plants can easily contribute in helpful and somewhat unhelpful way. They help oxygenate the tank for one, so your fish get more air. Secondly, they help fight off algae! Wonderful, eh? They combat the algae by fighting for the water's nutrients, sometimes the algae wins, but not always. Of course if you have a lot of nutrients and not enough plants to consume them, algae is bound to grow. Some fertilizers are known for this.

Here are some unhelpful ways plants contribute. Money...Money, money, money! All plants cost money AND some need special things which can be expensive like certain water quality and lighting. Too many plants can over oxygenate your tank and cause gas bubble disease, but plants rarely cause that Their roots can also get in the way while you siphon out the gravel, and the delicate roots could get damaged meaning not so good news for your plant.

Fertilizers and nutrients are another problem. Many of them contain high levels of phosphate and iron. Without enough plants to consume the recommended dosage for you amount of water algae will grow, be sure of that.

By: Micah (October)



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