Transitioning your Aquarium to a Planted Tank

Cheryl Jurich background aquatic plants easy aquatic plants Learn to Aquascape New to Live Aquarium Plants small aquascapes sustainable fishtanks tall aquatic plants top 10 aquatic plants

New hobbyists and even seasoned freshwater aquarium hobbyists often contemplate transitioning to a planted tank or simply having real live plants in the aquarium.  You can do this and it's NOT difficult.  You CAN keep your plants alive.  You DON'T need C02!  You can even use sand and rock substrates for some types of plants.  And you CAN do a hybrid of 1 or 2 plants in gravel substrate tank that is primarily fish.  Plants and fish are symbiotic and in my opinion - NEED TO BE TOGETHER - for a long, content and healthy existence. 

Today I am going to talk about how easy it is to transition as well as the benefits. There is a special beauty in growing plants. Some hobbyists actually transition to tanks that are primarily tanks and less fish.  

The Benefits of a Planted Tank








1. WATER QUALITY! - Your nitrogen cycle!  Fewer Water Changes!  More Fish!  Plants naturally filter your water and help regulate and stabilize your water!  They use the fish waste, fish food and other organic debris as their nutrients.  Algae will still grow! Don't let anyone tell you it won't, but there is a reduction in many types of algae with plants in the tank. 


2. YOUR FISH LOVE IT! - Trust me on this one. #HAPPYFISH Your fish will feel safer, you will see them perk up, become more energetic and just generally be happier in your tank.  Plants offer your fish natural cover and hiding places.  It offers obstacles for swimming and some dimension in your tank and it feels more natural.  Any freshwater fish from angels to rams to guppies to African cichlids will love it.  Happy and content fish that feel safe means fish that live longer lives.  Not to mention if you are seeking breeding activity for your fish, this also offers them cover on their territory. You will see an upswing on mating, courting and spawning and if you are lucky, some fry. 




3. Oxygen Production - Plants produce oxygen during daylight hours.  This is used by fish and helps to stabilize the PH of your water.  In turn your fish will release C02 which plants use as a food source.  Wash, Rinse, Repeat.  Happy fish, Happy plants. 


4. Fewer Water Changes - Your plants, along with your fish, will allow your nitrogen cycle to stabilize.  You will need fewer water changes.  This gives you back valuable time and it also helps us to use less water in our tanks!  #winwin


5.  It is not difficult.  Trust me again on this one.  I am the queen of efficiency (aka lazy). I really am lazy ask my husband.  I don't want high maintenance tanks, fish, plants, nothing.  Adding plants to the tank has made life easier.  Yes, they grow, yes you will need to trim them at some point - but this is up to your personal aquarium and tank style.  I personally like using a lot of Java and Christmas moss mixed with hornwort with longer background plants such as Bacopa, Pennywort, Green and Red Camboba, Ludwigia Repens (beautiful reds!), and Rotala Indica.   Foreground (low plants in the front and carpet), I prefer micro swords, mosses, Montecarlo, dwarf pennywort and various Anubias for my mid ground plants.  


6. Don't Freak out about the plant names and knowing what they are - You will figure it out. Its a process to see the plants, touch the plants, plant the plants and recognize them.  There are plant name divas and snobs out there, but I forget the names now and again too.  How you choose your plants - It's up to you - you can follow experts and do what they say or you can wing it and plant the plants in your tank. You can replant them.  We do this all of the time.  We misjudge the growth, we want to change our look or we want to switch up our game.  We just replant them.  It's not hard, it's actually fun to spec out your tank and then watch it grow into your perfect aquascape.  And it's fun to take your grown plants and place them into different areas for more dimension and a different look for your tank.  It also helps when you have territorial fish! 








 We will be posting alot more on this topic in the coming days and weeks.  Our goal is to transition you, the new planted tank enthusiast, into a planted tank expert.  Keep your eyes open for more posts, youtube videos and information about planted tanks!  

~ Tails and Snails Aquatics


Older Post Newer Post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published