Most people consider Aquatic Plants as a decorative option and they may only encounter with these plants at beautiful aquarium environments in which are decorated by these plants. But it’s interesting to know that the Aquatic Plant industry, in the world, has a value of more than 6 billion USD per year. In addition to decorative functions, they have also special medical and dietary functions as well; these potentials resulted in producing more than 25 million tons of these plants during a year. In this article, we aim to overview Aquatic plants, based on its decorative and aquatic functions. In fact, aquatic plants have an ecosystem like other plants. If they get used in aquariums, they’ll absorb Carbon dioxide and other toxic gases, same as trees, and emit Oxygen to aquarium, instead. It’s interesting to know that fish breeding mostly occurs in aquarium environments with aquatic plants, because these plants provide a natural place for fishes to breed in a hidden place. Aquatic plants have a significant role at balancing aquarium’s conditions in addition to stability of its ecosystem. In nature, Aquatic plants provide natural shelters for aquatic animals to breed and hide. In spite of financial matters, it is really easy to grow these plants. Therefore, many enthusiasts who like personal aquariums always try to consider a place for aquatic plants and, in fact, not only without aquatic plants, aquariums don’t have a complete cycle and balanced ecosystem, but also they won’t be as gorgeous as they are expected to be. There are three categories of decorative aquatic plants, and generally aquatic plants, which we’ll describe them briefly in the following.
1. Aquatic Plants at the water’s surface: To use these plants, there are some tips that should be taken into account. At first, it should be said that these species cannot be planted yet they only grow at water’s surface. They need much amount of light and use minerals that can be found in water as their nourishment. One of the challenges that you should think about is to control their growth, because they grow very fast and they need pruning. The main quality of this category is that they grow very fast and in long term, they’ll completely cover water’s surface and prevent oxygen and light to reach the plants and fishes which are inside the aquarium. Of course, if you have perfect knowledge about different aquarium fish types and their qualities, you can use special fishes to nourish by aquatic plants and control their bulk and growth in this way.
2. Mid-ground Aquatic Plants:
As its name suggests, these plants, such as different kinds of Ludwigia and Hygrophila, they grow in the middle of water and will reach the surface. It’s true that these plants grow in mid-ground, but their roots are attached to the bottom of aquarium. As these plants propagating their roots by their own, they do not need expanded roots in the aquarium. Mid-ground aquatic plants can use all their tissues for growth. Like aquatic plants at water surface, these plants can clean the water of aquarium and help in developing the ecosystem. Propagation and growth of these plants is pretty simple; after they get adapted with the environment, they’ll grow fast and propagate on their own. Some of these plants blossom seasonally. These plants have brittle stems and roots and some of them are feed for fishes.
3-Deep water Aquatic Plants:
This type of aquatic plants includes various plants. Like common plants, they make roots in the gravel and soil of aquarium. Their seeding method is quite simple; note that all plants which can grow in aquarium aren’t necessarily aquatic plants. These aquatic plants can only grow in the water and after a while, they’ll disappear. Using appropriate breed of aquatic plants to grow in aquarium is one of the significant tips to have an aquarium covered with plants. Oxygen transport process and cleaning aquarium occur more in this sort than in other two species. Deep water aquatic plants are among the most popular and best seller aquatic plants. Monte Carlo, Hemianthus callitrichoides, Sagittaria, and Hairgrass are some examples of these aquatic plants.
In brief, aquatic plants have three functions which are the objectives of growing these plants. First and most important function of these plants is keeping the ecosystem and the health of the environment, balanced. Two others are about decorative and feeding qualities. Maintaining aquatic plants is not complex and it only needs you to be familiar with planting and maintaining these plants. The most important worries are about PH and temperature; which will be discussed in subsequent articles. But in here, we want to briefly demonstrate preparing cultivation field, two ways of easy sowing seed and also some tips in relation with maintaining these plants.
To prepare the cultivation field for aquatic plants, you should take three main points into account. The first is aquarium’s type. Diverse aquatic plants need different conditions. Initially, you should know that which kind of plant(s) is/are appropriate for your aquarium. Then, you should choose one between decorative and edible plants. Lastly, you should consider different species of fish that you want to choose for your aquarium, since different species interrelate better with some special kind of plants.
With respect to aquatic plants’ type, there are two ways to plant and nourish them; sowing seed and plant-multiplying . Cultivation method for Deep water plants, which includes roots in soil, is usually done through sowing seed which is not complicated and you are able to do it by using a floor of gravel and pebble. Water surface and mid-ground aquatic plants can also be nourished and expanded through multiplying. These plants usually grow quickly, and you should control their bulk to keep your aquarium’s ecosystem healthy.
Maintaining aquatic plants is not complex. It is only needed to maintain a neutral PH for your aquarium and keep the temperature at 25 centigrade. It’s necessary to keep two other tips in your mind; first, remember that like any other plants, they need light and if there is natural source of light, then certainly you’ll get better results. The second is about using different medications to cure sick fishes of aquarium which many of them can damage the plants. Thus, before using medications or salt therapy, take their effects into account.
To get more information about aquatic plants of Iran and the methods which are used for nourishment and maintenance of those plants, read our other articles as well.