We LOVE incorporating Live Plants into our Freshwater Aquariums. The addition of Live plants have many benefits.
Not only do they enhance the appearance of your aquarium, and provide a much more natural environment, they provide shelter for fish and provide variety in the diet of herbivorous fish.
Most importantly live plants help with water quality by providing additional biological filtration . . Which in the end benefits Fish Health.
Live Plants release oxygen, and help to absorb carbon dioxide produced by fish. They also help to reduce ammonia, nitrates and phosphates which negatively affect the water quality of your aquarium. Live plants help to consume excess nutrients in the water, which leads to excessive algae growth . .they keep your Fish Tank balanced Naturally!!!
A Few things need to be adjusted in your Freshwater Aquarium when switching to Live Plants. These include Lighting, Substrate & Fertilizers.
For Live Plants that we normally use in our Aquariums, its recommended to have between 2-5 watts per gallon of water.
For plant roots to grow properly, you generally want at a 3" deep gravel base. We like to add gravel which contains minerals and nutrients beneficial for plant growth.
We add Liquid Fertilizer, as well as Tablets to the substrate at least Monthly. Fertilizer adds key nutrients such as Iron and Potassium which promotes lush green plant growth, and healthy roots.
The Amazon Sword Plant is used as a background plant in the Aquarium picture below. The Amazon Sword can handle a variety of water parameters making it an easier plant to care for. It does well with regular addition of an Iron-Rich Fertilizer.