Weald Aquatics | Aquarium & Pond Fish Shop in Kent | The Weald Aquatics Blog - Aquarium plants

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Aquarium Plants Grown On Wood

Blog post written by Gary | 15 February 2018 | Category: Aquarium plants
(3459 views)

There are a number of aquarium plants which do not require a substrate (gravel or sand) to grow in, but will attach themselves to either wood, rock or anything else that is in the water. The most common plants are Java Fern, Java Moss and the Anubius family.

Both the Java Fern and Anubius grow from a thick rhizome that creeps over the wood in different directions attaching itself by roots as it grows. The Java Moss will attach itself to the wood by filaments forming an intense mass of tangled stems.

To create your own plant on wood we have in stock both Morpani wood which is an ideal platform for attaching the plants, and also the complete range of plants: Anubius, Java Fern and Java Moss. To help the plants attach themselves to the wood each plant will need to be held in place by either nylon fishing line, cotton or elastic band which can be removed once the plants have established themselves.

If the wood becomes overgrown, the plants can be trimmed back or cuttings made and then transferred to another piece of wood or rock creating a superb aquascape.

At Weald Aquatics we have a wide selection in our show aquariums of the above plants attached to various sizes of matured wood. We also have in stock Java Moss and Java Fern attached to ceramic sticks and Java Moss attached to half coconuts. Both of these plants are excellent for foreground aquascaping with the coconut especially ideal for Tetras and other small fish to swim in and out of.

 

Plants growing on wood
Plants growing on wood
Some examples of plants growing on wood in our aquariums

Cryptocoryne Plants

Blog post written by Gary | 19 December 2017 | Category: Aquarium plants
(2741 views)

The Cryptocoryne family of plants (also known as Crypts, because it's a bit easier to say) is ideal for fore and mid-ground planting in your aquarium as they grow to a height between 2.5cm and 30cm.

At Weald we normally have six varieties of Cryptocoryne plants. Nevillii, Bullosa and Petchii are ideal for foreground planting and Undulatus Kasselman, Wendtii and Undulatus Green great for mid-ground plants.

Generally the Cryptocoryne plants are potted, so to allow the roots to spread it is best to remove the plastic pot and some of the rockwall from the plant at the same time being careful not to damage the root structure.

To get the best from your Crypts it is a good idea to add a fertiliser tablet to the roots as once planted the Crypts should not be moved as they have a large root system that should not be disturbed.

Over a period of time the Cryptocorynes will spread giving a dense blanket of green foliage.

 

Cryptocorynes
Here you can see Cryptocorynes in the foreground of an aquarium

Wood in the aquarium

Blog post written by Andy | 29 September 2017 | Category: Aquarium plants
(872 views)

People love our Facebook posts (If you don’t follow us on Facebook, why not?!) and a post I did recently had a huge amount of interest so I decided to expand on it a little further.

There are lots of things you can add to an aquarium to make it look more attractive and make your fish feel a little more at home. Wood is a fantastic thing to use to create interest but it also benefits fish.

Mopani wood, Bogwood, Sumatran Driftwood, Red Moor wood, there is a lot of choice out there. The majority will require soaking overnight to draw out the natural stains that leach out when the wood is underwater. This can make your aquarium look as if it is filled with tea. It’s not to everyone’s taste (see what I did there) and can alter the water chemistry by lowering the PH, but many fish prefer it and people often use unsoaked wood  when creating an Amazonian themed aquarium setup.

Wood not only offers places to hide and shaded areas that many catfish and loaches prefer, but also has important health benefits for many fish.

Many types of Plecostomas and similar family members require wood to keep them healthy. The surface area of wood with its microscopic pores and crevices allows algae to grow and is easier for these fish to rasp off. Although algae grows on glass as well, its smoother surface can make it more tricky for fish to remove algae.

Many species have continuously growing teeth and use the wood to keep them trim and healthy.

The final and most obvious reason is many species of algae eater will eat the wood to aid their digestive system.

I have lots of wood in my aquarium at home and my Green Phantom Pleco and Gold Ancistrus love it.

Wood in all its shapes and types will not only transform an aquarium aesthetically but provides real benefits to many types of fish that most of you probably already have!

Come and have a look at the types we have in the shop. Your fish will thank you.

 

Water cleaning products and Blagdon's feature lavender scent
Using natural wood in an aquarium can look fantastic as well as being beneficial for your fish.

Plastic Plants v Real Plants

Blog post written by Gary | 24 June 2016 | Category: Aquarium plants
(1259 views)

Which is best for aquariums plastic or real plants?

In the shop we have a wide range of plastic plants to choose from including multicoloured, bright red, bright green and many more with deep colours and varying shapes.

Plastic plants are easy to look after and keep clean. When they become dirty or covered in algae the plastic plants can be removed and cleaned overnight using Interpet’s Plastic Plant and Ornament Cleaner. When clean they can simply be placed back into the aquarium. Many customers have a number of plastic plants which they rotate frequently giving the aquarium a different look every time the plants are cleaned.

If you have large fish which root around the substrate or Silver Dollars which will munch your real plants then plastic plants are the ideal solution. Plastic plants have a plastic trough at the base which fills with gravel anchoring the plant firmly in the gravel resisting all attempts by the fish to dislodge it.

Real plants will aid water quality, absorbing nitrates and other nutrients and helping to keep algae under control. Also real plants will help balance the aquarium water and provide natural cover for the fish. Almost all real plants are green with just a few in red, so if you want a big display of colour, real plants are not the answer.

As with any living organism, real plants will need to be looked after. Regular water changes and adding fertiliser will help plants to grow. If plants start to overcrowd the aquarium they can be cut back and possibly planted in another part of the aquarium.

Finally both real and plastic plants can be mixed in the same aquarium. The choice of which plant to use in the aquarium is down to how you want your aquarium to look.

 

Real plants in an aquarium
Real plants in an aquarium

 

More plants in one of our aquariums
More plants in one of our aquariums
A selection of highly colourful plastic plants
A selection of highly colourful plastic plants

Keeping Your Aquarium Plants Healthy

Blog post written by Gary | 22 March 2016 | Category: Aquarium plants
(1155 views)

In the last two Weald Aquatics Club newsletters we looked at a number of aquarium plants which are easy to grow and maintain. To get the best out of these plants regular water changes will help; however with the addition of a liquid fertiliser you will be able to achieve vigorous plant growth and green foliage.

When added according to the manufacturer's instructions liquid fertilisers will also prevent iron and potassium deficiencies, prevent yellow leaves and strengthen plant stems.

For plants with a long root structure, fertiliser tablets are available for placing into the substrate allowing the plants to take up essential nutrients for vibrant and lush growth.

All of the liquid and tablet plant fertilisers we sell will not increase algae growth as they do not contain either phosphates or nitrates.

With regular use of aquatic plant fertilisers your aquatic plants will keep an intense green and red leaf colouration, also strong growth which will lead to a beautiful planted aquarium helping to keep algae growth down.

 

A range of plant feed products
A range of plant feed products

Two new tropical plants

Blog post written by Gary | 18 February 2016 | Category: Aquarium plants
(1339 views)

We now regularly stock two new easy-to-grow tropical plants from our plant supplier.

The first plant Clinopodium brownei is probably one of the easiest plants to grow, as it can thrive in any water conditions and does not require special care. The unusual appearance of this plant is down to the square stems and round leaves. This is an ideal plant for new aquariums and also newcomers to the hobby who want an easy first plant to grow. Clinopodium brownei will grow to about 30cm high making it ideal as a background to mid-ground plant.

The second plant is Hemianthus callitrichoides, an easy growing foreground plant with light green small leaves. This plant is easy to grow and will cover the floor of the aquarium like a carpet, making it popular for small aquariums and an ideal plant for shrimp aquariums. The maximum height this plant will grow to is 10cm and it will mix easily with small plants from the Cryptocoryne family.

 

Clinopodium  brownei
Clinopodium brownei
Hemianthus callitrichoides
Hemianthus callitrichoides forming a carpet in an aquarium setting.
Image by Lennart Jöhnk (http://www.aqua-rebell.com) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Anubias Plant Family

Blog post written by Gary | 15 January 2016 | Category: Aquarium plants
(1584 views)

If you are looking for a tough, long-lasting plant for the aquarium, one of the best plants is the Anubias family.

The Anubias family does not need to be planted in the aquarium substrate as in the wild they are normally found growing on the wood or rocks found in the rivers and lakes. In the aquarium, if the plant is not attached to any bogwood or ornaments the rhizome must be kept above the gravel to keep the plant healthy.

The Anubias range of plants can grow between 10cm and 80cm making them ideal for both nano and large aquariums, and also as both foreground and background planting.

Two of the Anubias plants we keep in stock are the Anubias Nana which is a very hardy, slow-growing plant with a deep green colour. Suitable as a foreground plant in Discus aquariums, it will thrive when grafted onto bogwood and ornaments. The second is Anubias Heterophylla a quicker growing plant with light green, slightly curling leaves which can grow between 60cm and 80cm, ideal as a background plant and in large aquariums.

 

Anubias

The Hygrophila family of plants

Blog post written by Gary | 06 February 2013 | Category: Aquarium plants
(3448 views)

If you want a fast growing tall background plant for your aquarium the Hygrophila or Hygro family of plants is ideal. When fully grown they will form a dense background and will also float on the top of the water giving hiding places for small fish.

At Weald we have three varieties in stock, Hygrophila Polysperma, Hygrophila Rosea Australis and Hygrophila Guanensis. (Polysperma and Guanensis are shown in the two pictures below). All will grow to a height of about 50cm (20 inches). Both Hygrophila Polysperma and Hygrophila Rosea Australis have small broad laves with a rounded tip, the Rosea Australis having a red tinge to the leaves giving a subtle contrast between the lush green and pink/red on the leaf. On reaching the top of the water both plants will continue to grow by floating on the water.
Hygrophila Guanensis has longer leaves with a rigid stem which will allow the plant to grow out of the water.

Propagation of the Hygro family is easily made by removing the top 2 or 3 inches and replanting the cutting into the gravel. The cutting will quickly root and grow up to the top of the aquarium. As with all our potted plants it is best to remove the pots, being careful not to damage the roots. Adding a liquid fertilizer will keep your plants strong, hardy and will also promote deep colorful foliage.

 

Hygrophila Guanensis
Hygrophila Guanensis

 

Hygrophila  Polysperma
Hygrophila Polysperma