Aquatic gardening, or the keeping of planted aquariums as opposed to “fish tanks”, is a pastime that has grown by leaps and bounds in the 21st century. Previously, those of us who were interested in planted aquariums had to pretty inventive about finding and making the equipment and supplies needed to be successful with our aquatic gardens.
Today, many sources of good quality, commercially made equipment, substrates, and fertilizers exist. There are internet communities where planted aquariums are discussed and debated, and articles in general aquarium magazines that address the interests of planted aquarium enthusiasts. With so much information available–some great, some not so great—it can be difficult for the novice to sort through. Even among the good information, a number of different though valid approaches exist that can be confusing for the beginner. Each of these methods may work well, but if a beginner starts mixing techniques, he or she can become hopelessly and end up with an empty tank for sale at the end of the driveway.
Outside the aquarium world, the term aquatic gardening is not well known. Common questions when someone sees their first really beautiful planted tank are, “are those plants real? Or “is that a salt water tank? “people are often surprised that a freshwater aquarium can be so beautiful. Among terrestrial gardeners, aquatic gardening brings to mind the garden pond: a lovely garden but a different type of gardening altogether.
Source: Sunken Gardens/ By: Karen A. Randall