A flora aquarium is an aquarium in which you grow real water plants. The combination between the water plants and the decorative fish makes it look like perfect real garden inside aquarium. It is true that we can use artificial plant inside the aquarium but it will never achieve the same effect. By using real water plants you will be able to learn how to grow them which is an amazing experience. In this article we will guide you step by step on how to grow real water plants in your aquarium.
pick the aquarium- you pick the aquarium size and shape according to your budget. Make sure that it is not too high to avoid issues with light not getting through.
Aquarium substrate- There are two options for this:
The first one- and the best is the one that is made of ceramics and looks like little balls. This product contains slow release fertilizers. This product doesn’t need a gravel addition and it comes in many colors. The second option is the use of gravel and fertilizers combined. First you place the fertilizer and then you add the fine gravel on top. The gravel prevents the fertilizer from rising to the top. After you are done with the gravel it is advised to add some rocks and roots to achieve a natural look. It is also suggested to create a multilayer height look so the bottom is not completely flat.
Warming the bottom of your aquarium- Although it’s not a must it is recommended to warm up the bottom of your aquarium. Warming up your aquarium is a very effective way to grow your plants and definitely helpful. The aquarium heating body is a thin string that we place underneath the aquarium plants. The heating process brings the flow of water to the plants’ roots and creates ventilation around them. A Thermostat controlled water heater should be added to the Aquarium that should be set to no more than 26 degrees Celsius..
The aquarium filter- In a flora aquarium, we want a filter that has a big body but produces a delicate water flow. This helps growth by not allowing the CO2 to escape and helps the plants develop.
Air Pump- In a flora aquarium we must install a small air pump connected to an aeration rock. It is preferred to run the air pump on a timer so that it runs only when the lights are off at night. When the lights are on in the aquarium the photosynthesis process starts working and the plants release oxygen into the water. This is the reason you don’t need the lights on during the day since the plants release oxygen into the water anyway. At night no new oxygen is produced, but CO2 is, so the air pump keeps it circulating properly. At night CO2 needs to be added by using either charcoal tablets, or a diffuser. It is important to turn off the CO2 supply during the day.
Lighting- In the past it was customary to use very expensive lightening that used lots of power and warmed up the water in the aquarium. Nowadays there is no need for such expensive features. Led lighting is cheap and accessible and doesn’t use that much power. It is possible to buy a strong led light for a good price and to solve the problem.
Filling the aquarium with water- After we are done installing all the equipment in the aquarium it’s time to fill it with water. You want to fill the aquarium up to 3/4 of its height. It is recommended that two thirds of the water will be Reverse Osmosis or De-Ionized, and the rest, tap water that needs to use a dechlorinator or a chloramine remover to make the water safe for your aquarium. After filling the aquarium you should operate the system for 48 hours. This will clean the water in the aquarium.
And now to the fun part!
Placing the plants in the aquarium-. You want to place them starting in the back and moving forward towards the front. You want to place the plants by height: the tallest ones in the back and the shortest in the front. You should get the plants out of their containers and place them up to 2 cm above the roots. There are kinds of plants that you can plant on top of little trunks like Anova and Mikrosoriom, and these can be anchored with transparent fishing line.
Finally, you want to let the aquarium operate for another 24 hours before we add the fish Before you purchase the fish you may want to make sure that the fish you buy are a good match for a flora aquarium and they are not the kind that eat the plants. You can find more information about finding the right fish for your aquarium in the other articles at this site.
We will be happy to assist you with any questions.
Written by Oren Ben Shimshon