November 29, 2020

Top 12 tips for Planted aquarium aquascaping for beginners- Part 2

Aquascaping| Planted aquarium| Community fish tank| Shrimp and java moss| aquarium plants| Carbon dioxide setup for Planted aquarium| Betta, Molly, and Tetra fish  



As we have discussed in the previous article  (Part 1) for the most important tips for a beginner who aspires to become an aquascaper and takes his first step towards having a planted aquarium, here are some other very important tips that one need to consider in aquascaping to achieve a beautifully planted ecosystem while taking inspiration from nature. 


                                                     

Angel fish in a planted aquarium 

Image Source-  Google | Image by-
 Pxfuel

 


Water parameters 


Now the water parameters may vary for different species of plants but some average values of parameters should be considered for aquascaping in general. Some major water parameters that need to be considered are –


Temperature 


It is one of the most important parameters as a sudden variation in temperature than the required one can inhibit plant growth which can turn out to be disastrous in the long run. Normally required temperatures are between 75 – 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This can be achieved with the use of a good quality heater which can be placed inside tank or external filters.


                                                     

Discuss tank 

Image Source-  Google | Image by -
 Pikrepo


Hardness and PH levels 


A water with more hardness content should not be used as it would harm the aquascaping which is why the use of tap water is not recommended. The hardness of the water should be in the range of 50ppm to 110 ppm at max. The alkalinity of water should be in the range of 3.5 to 8.5 only which would provide the most habitable environment for aquascaping.


Nitrates and Phosphates 


Both nitrates and phosphate which are needed for the growth of plants in the aquarium also should not be in excess as it would cause the growth of excess algae issues in the aquascaping.

 

Along with this, one needs to provide proper circulation of water and surface skimming as well which will support the exchange of gases with the surrounding, and tap water used in any case should be treated for chlorine beforehand.


Also Read-  Top 12 tips for Planted aquarium aquascaping for beginners- Part 1

 

Filtration


Filtration without a doubt is the most important aspect of aquascaping. Nowadays filtration comes in so many types, shapes, and sizes that beginners are also confused about which one to go for. Let us make this simple and broadly classify the filters into two types-


Internal Filter 


These are the most common and quite cheap and come in many shapes and sizes. Some most common ones are internal powerhead filters, Sponge filters, under gravel filters, and so on. But honestly, these are not recommended for a planted aquarium as these have limited performance and occupy space inside the tank and interfere with the aquascaping which does not look good at all.


External filters


                                                

Planted aquarium with External sump filter

Image Source-  Google | Image by -
 Flickr



These are the most appropriate ones for a planted aquarium and also for any aquarium type of large size. These are very effective providing great circulation of water inside-out and used along with biological media such as ceramic rings, lava rock, and others which promote the growth of beneficial bacteria thereby controlling the ammonia content in water. 


The two most common external filters used are Cannister filters and external sump filters which are a little expensive. To go for a less expensive option, one can always go for DIY options available among hobbyists.

 

The development time for growth and generation of bacteria 


Setting up a planted aquarium and aquascaping uniquely is a long process and should not be done in a haste decision as it requires time commitment initially as well in the long run. Setting up of plants and giving them time to grow may take a couple of months too to get the desired results.


So fishes or any other organism should not be added right after aquascaping and proper cycling of the tank is needed which includes formation and development of beneficial bacteria mostly in the biological filter media which would help to break down the nitrite content to nitrate which is required for plant growth.  

 
Artificial fertilizers  


Despite providing with a most suitable environment, a planted aquarium still needs the use of good quality artificial fertilizer because as we know, an aquarium setup, however good it be is still an artificial habitat made so it would need an external supply of nutritional content to thrive. 


The artificial fertilizers available nowadays are very effective as they contain proper proportions of Macronutrients such as nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium along with Micronutrients such as iron, boron, and Manganese both of which are needed for aquatic plants to thrive. These artificial fertilizers provide a sort of balanced supply of nutrients to the aquascaping. 




Routine maintenance


Aquascaping and planting an aquarium for the first time can be done by any aspiring hobbyist if he or she follows the tips mentioned, but it is routine maintenance that distinguishes a true hobbyist. Water changes are required by every aquarium setup especially planted tanks which is around 10% every week or 20-30% every alternate week. 


                                                    

Maintenance is needed for good water quality

Image Source-  Google | Image by -
  Pxfuel 


It is always recommended to carry out routine maintenance on weekly basis for better results. Not only water changes but analysis of water parameters, cleaning of filters and debris inside, and addition of artificial fertilizers and medicines (if needed) also is a part of routine maintenance for a planted aquarium. 


Choosing the type of fish  


This is probably the best part of aqua scaping in the final stages when your aquascape is ready for fish. But again precaution has to be taken while adding fishes to your aquascape. Some precautions are- 



                                                    

Shrimp Community tank 

Image Source-  Google | Image by -
 Snappy Goat 


  1. Do not add the fish directly to your aquascape after buying them as they could have been contaminated with several parasites and diseases which should not be carried into your tank.
  2. Quarantine new fishes in a hospital tank for a couple of weeks before adding them.
  3. In the case of a community tank, choose the tank mates wisely as they could end up fighting and killing each other especially in the case of shrimps where the fast-moving fishes can eat the smaller shrimps. 
  4. Do not overfeed your fish as the leftover food could dirty the water and degrade the water quality. 

                                                
Guppy fish thrive in aquascapes

Image Source-  Google | Image by -
  Pxfuel 

 

Some most popular fish breeds one can go for which are easy to keep and perfect for a beginner are – Betta, Guppies, Tetras, Molly, and Angels. Other than fishes one can also go for Snails and shrimps which come in different colours and varieties. 


So broadly these were some important tips which a beginner in the world of aquascaping can follow and enjoy the rewarding hobby of Aquascaping.


Also Read- Top 12 tips for Planted aquarium aquascaping for beginners- Part 1



Aquascaping| Planted aquarium| Community fish tank| Shrimp and java moss| aquarium plants| Carbon dioxide setup for Planted aquarium| Betta, Molly, and Tetra fish  


 

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