Role of Live Aquarium Plants

Aquarium plants are a necessary element of any aquarium. The artistic appearance of the aquarium relies upon on its population together with distinct species of fish, snails, turtles and other animals. Besides these, live plants play a great role for the aquarium, which make the artificial environment to the natural one.

Types of Aquarium Plants

Aquarium plants can be divided into several groups on the basis of plant`s shape and the features of their placement in the aquarium:

  • Plants Rooting in the ground
  • Floating leaved Plants

Plants rooting in the ground: This type of plant has root system which anchors in the water ground using root. They have a dense rhizome and well-developed leaves. This type of plant needs nutrient rich substrate. In this case, a soil layer should be of 5-10 cm in depth. Some plants are satisfied with poor soil, others need fertilizer supplementation. In this case, you can use fertilizers at the rate of 20 mg of potassium phosphate per 1 liter of water, 5 gm of magnesium sulfate per 100 liters of water. They propagate by rhizomes division and also by producing seed formation. The well-known rooted aquarium plants are Vallisneria (Eel grass), Cryptocoryne etc. Among rooted plants, many of them will give you a real aesthetic pleasure. This type of plant is divided into two groups such as submerged plant and emerged plant.

Submerged Plants

This is rooted plant and they are rooted to the water ground and their most of the vegetation is placed under water. They have thin and narrow leaves such as Anacharis (Egeria densa).

Anacharis (Egeria densa)

Anacharis (Egeria densa)

Emerged Plants

This is also rooted plant and rooted to the ground of the water. Most of their vegetation is placed above water surface. They need constant exposure to sunlight. This type of plants include Echinodorus, Crytocoryne, Aponogeton, Bacopa caroliniana etc.

Aponegoton Bernier

Aponogeton bernierianus

Floating leaved Plants: This type of plant is not anchored to the ground of the water. They have root system which absorbs water. The leaf of the plant is rigid and remains flat to absorb more sunlight. This type of plant is divided into two groups such as Plants Floating in the water column and Plants Floating on the water surface.

Plants Floating in the Water Column: These type of plants have a poorly developed root system or completely absent. They have finely divided leaves, which absorb organic and inorganic compounds from water. Roots help to strengthen the plant. If root is present, they are usually friable or creeping. This type of plant is sensitive to the contamination of their leaves and to a temperature drop. They need water filtration. They normally do vegetative reproduction. They actively saturate the water with oxygen; serve as a spawning site and shelter for fry. Example: Coontail (Ceratophyllum demersum)

Ceratophyllum demersum

Coontail (Ceratophyllum demersum)

Plants Floating on the Water Surface: This type of plant floats on the water surface. Sometimes they float both in the water column and on the surface. The leaves float with a large surface area. They also do vegetative reproduction. This type of plant needs diffuse combined light. They perform several important functions such as: They protect the aquarium from excess bright sunlight; they serve as a spawning place for many fish; they contribute to biological equilibrium in an aquarium condition; these ornamental plants can absorb the waste products that release from fish; they can serve for the construction of a nest; they provide shelter for fry; For example, Amazon frogbit (Limnobium laevigatum), Water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes) etc.

Limnobium laevigatum

Amazon frogbit (Limnobium laevigatum)

Role of Live Aquarium Plants

Some important functions of live plant for your aquarium are described below:

  • Aquarium plants use as a beautiful background which enhance the brilliant color of the fish and their beauty, pleasing the eye of the observer.
  • Many amazing aquarium plants are beautiful and perform a decorative role.
  • They establish the biological equilibrium of the aquarium  environment, enrich the water with oxygen and control the balance of microflora; they help in the metabolism which is necessary for the life of fish and the plants themselves.
  • Sometimes in aquariums condition, fish leads a hidden way of life. In this case, green plantations, grottoes and snags are essential for them as shelters.
  • For many species of fish, aquarium plants are a natural substrate on which they spawn. Some species of fish spawn among the safe thickets of plants; others stick it to the leaves.
  • For herbivorous fish, algae are the main food, and for omnivores, they provide a vitamin supplement in the diet.
  • Popular aquarium plants decorate the water area. The underwater garden also serves as a shelter for eggs and fry to prevent eating of eggs and fry from parents. Labyrinth and some other aquarium fish use plants to make a nest. After spawning, floating algae serve as a refuge for fry.
  • Another important task performed by aquarium plants is the purification of water. Unlike many terrestrial plants, aquatic plants have the ability to absorb mineral substances by the roots and the leaves, reduce the hardness of water. and control the balance of microflora.  In addition, the plants reduce the aggression of fish, and provide shade from direct sunlight and light lamps, emphasizing the natural beauty of its inhabitants.
  • Some plants reduce the hardness of water and absorb calcium, being a kind of filter. They control the balance of microflora and filter the water.

Due to these above characteristics, aquarium plants have gained popularity day by day among the pet fish keepers. Hence, some of the plants are seen in almost every home aquarium. Proper selection of aquarium plants enables you to make a wonderful underwater scene without excessive care efforts and additional expenses. The selection of plants for the aquarium directly relies upon the aggressiveness of its residents. When buying your favorite plants should consider their susceptibility to light, salinity and water hardness, lighting and heating of water. Well, it's very very important to know about Aquarium Plants Diseases and Their Control Measures in details.

Final Verdict

Live aquarium plants play an important role to make your aquarium environment healthy. It provides sufficient oxygen which is very important for the aquarium inhabitants. It also provides shelter for aquarium fish and absorbs toxic substances from the water. In this case, we recommend you to keep some suitable aquarium plants in your aquarium.  

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