Real and Live plants in the aquarium really make it worth the effort. It looks living and better for the fish too. However it needs care. Here are a few things to keep in mind regarding aquarium plants.
- Soil/Substrate – Mix laterite and potting soil for the lower layer. The lower layer should be at least 3 inches. The upper layer can be sand and pebble. Together they will provide the nutrients necessary for the plants.
- Light – Since the aquarium is kept indoors fluorescent light should be installed. It is rich in blue and red spectrum. Occasional exposure top sunlight is also necessary. Plant after all need light for photosynthesis.
- Carbon Dioxide – This is another essential for plant during photosynthesis. Fish respiration generally is enough. Sometimes when you are starting you will need to do CO2 injection to keep the plants healthy. Later as you add more fishes the need will diminish and you will not need it. While injecting CO2 make sure you test the pH as CO2 injection alters the pH. Be careful and the plants and fish will be both healthy.
- Minerals – Adding macro nutrients like nitrogen and micronutrients like zinc is essential in the beginning. More care in the beginning will let the plants grow. later simply water change each 20 days will do as water has enough dissolved nutrients for the plants.