Most common indoor plants used for water purification in aquariums:

 Don’t throw that used aquarium water away! You plants will love the nutritious boost.
Photo provided by Flickr
Sometimes, aphids and other small insects can colonize on aquarium plants if the air is too dry. The best way to remedy this is to catch it early and remove the parts of the plant that are heavily infested. Crushing the aphids with your fingers and feeding them to the fish is another great way to help get rid of them. Also, rinse the plants thoroughly with fresh water to rid them of the parasites.
Aquarium, Freshwater Fish, Aquariums, Aquatic Plants
Photo provided by Flickr
Planning what your aquarium will look like is one of the funnest parts. You may want to fashion your aquarium aquascape setup after a natural occurring aquatic habitat. These are referred to as 'Biotope' aquariums. They replicate a natural water way, such the Amazon Basin for an Amazon biotope, and incorporate plants and fish found in those habitats. Or you may simply want to mix and match plants and fish in your own particular pleasing manner.
No matter what size of an aquarium you are designing for, the simplest way to plan, is to think about the tank as having three parts running vertically across the bottom of the tank. Visually divide the space into a background area, a middle or mid-ground area, and a foreground. Along with these planting areas on the bottom, there is also the top or surface area. On the surface you can add floating plants.
Keep in mind the needs or your fish, they like to have places to hide but also need open areas for swimming. To determine which types of plants can go in each area, read about each plant you are considering to determine what height and width it will reach, and how much it will spread out as grows and propagates. Here are some design considerations for each area of your aquarium: I just read article the “9 Best Freshwater Aquarium Plants for Beginners.”
Photo provided by FlickrOpen top aquarium with plants growing out of the water. Cool.
Photo provided by FlickrMore and Less Brackish Water Aquarium Plant Species:
Photo provided by Flickr
General Hardness is basically calcium and magnesium mineral levels. Plants and fish need both to survive! (hence you cannot use straight R/O water in your aquarium) In terms of German degrees I prefer to see it at 6-12 GH (multiply by 17.9 for ppm's), and again other values up or down will work. By achieving an 6 - 12 GH you will provide enough hardness minerals to benefit plants like Echinodorus (sword plants), and yet not be too hard to accomodate other softer water loving species. We maintain GH at 10 in the nursery. (remember when you top off evaporated water in your aquarium you must do it with R/O or distilled water, not tap water as you would be increasing the GH with tap water)
Nitrate or ammonium (this is the pre nitrate form that fish provide by their waste, urine, and is preferred form) is a macro that aquarium plants need. How do we achieve a level of nitrate or ammonium in the aquarium? By providing an adequate fish population and regular feeding to insure those levels are maintained. You can also supplement with additives like Seachem's liquid nitrogen if you find it difficult to achieve those levels with your fish population and feeding schedule. We like to see a range of 5 - 10 mg/l of nitrate in the aquarium to have a ratio of 10 - 1 nitrate to phosphate, all the way to 20 - 1 nitrate to phosphate. We maintain a level of approximately 10 - 1 or 5 mg/l of nitrate, our phosphate levels being .5 mg/l that is explained below in the phosphate column. If you allow the nitrate level to go to zero, algae can then take the existing phosphate and begin to grow in your aquarium (plants need every macro and micro nutrient to continue growing, if one macro or micro is missing then plants will slow and stop growth eventually).Phosphate is a macro that aquarium plants need. How do we achieve an adequate level of phosphate in the aquarium? By feeding our fish the fish food provides the phosphates to insure those levels are maintained. You can also supplement with additives like Seachem's liquid phosphate if you find it difficult to achieve those levels with feeding your fish population and feeding schedule. We like to see a range of .3 - .5 mg/l of phosphate in the aquarium to have a minimum ratio of 10 - 1 nitrate to phosphate, if phosphate is .5 mg/l then nitrate would be 5 mg/l to achieve that 10 - 1 minimum. You can also have too much phosphate due to tap water that contains phosphate or overfeeding your fish which can then be corrected by using a phosphate sponge or water changes. This kit is our own planted aquarium master test kit and includes all of the above test kits at a discount over buying them individually!




Phosphate is a macro that aquarium plants need. How do we achieve an adequate level of phosphate in the aquarium? By feeding our fish the fish food provides the phosphates to insure those levels are maintained. You can also supplement with additives like Seachem's liquid phosphate if you find it difficult to achieve those levels with feeding your fish population and feeding schedule. We like to see a range of .3 - .5 mg/l of phosphate in the aquarium to have a minimum ratio of 10 - 1 nitrate to phosphate, if phosphate is .5 mg/l then nitrate would be 5 mg/l to achieve that 10 - 1 minimum. You can also have too much phosphate due to tap water that contains phosphate or overfeeding your fish which can then be corrected by using a phosphate sponge or water changes.