For beginners, setting up a planted tank can be extremely challenging. Anyone can build a simple 10 gallon fish tank out of gravel and cheap decorations; however, the same cannot be said for planted tanks. There are many specific requirements for plant tanks, some of which can be difficult to meet.
That being said, planted tanks are stunning when properly designed. Seeing an aquarium full of lush green plants is a delightful experience. It’s almost like having a piece of the Amazon in your living room. Here we describe how to set up a planted tank. We’ll discuss the essential steps and equipment.
what you need to know
If you don’t get enough light and nutrients for your baby plants, they will die and your planted aquarium will not look as beautiful as you would like it to be.
In addition to building protein, amino acids, and DNA, this macronutrient also helps transport nutrients around the body. A lack of nitrogen can lead to stunted growth.
It is a nutrient that helps plants produce fruits and seeds by breaking down carbohydrates.
This nutrient is needed in certain amounts to avoid stress. Excessive calcium levels can affect phosphorus levels and cause various health problems.
With this nutrient, energy is stored and transported in the body. An essential nutrient for plants is phosphorus – a deficiency can lead to stunted growth.
Among its many functions, this nutrient is essential for photosynthesis and aids in the synthesis of chlorophyll. Iron-deficient plants can experience yellowing of the leaves, stress, and ultimately death.
Leaf formation depends on this nutrient, which is an enzyme activator. Excessive zinc consumption is dangerous, while a deficiency leads to “Little Leaf Syndrome”.
The nutrient also acts as an enzyme activator. Too much copper can inhibit root growth.
Chlorine, boron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, carbon, hydrogen and oxygen are other essential nutrients for the health and care of any planted aquarium.
Every aquarium must have a light source. The right lighting and spectrum are essential components of successful freshwater planted aquarium. LEDs are the best freshwater plant lights today due to their high functionality and flexibility.
Many people find choosing a substrate a challenge. Experts recommend ADA Aqua Soil (if you want something nutritious) or Eco-Complete (no nutrients, but very high quality).
Tanks must be equipped with a heater.
Your setup will determine the type of filter you will need. For tanks larger than 40 gallons, a canister filter is likely the best choice. A hang-on-back unit is usually suitable for smaller installations.
- Carbon dioxide supplements
CO2 (Carbon dioxide) is an essential part of plant life as you probably know. CO2 Dietary supplements can increase plant growth because they are part of photosynthesis.
Choosing your substrate
Plant substrates are not only helpful in rooting your plants, but also provide them with the nutrients they need to grow. The following are some of the most popular Substrates for planted pools:
This substrate is one of the highest quality substrates available for planted aquariums. This product provides more than 25 essential nutrients for your plants as well as living beneficial bacteria to start the nitrogen cycle in your aquarium. It comes in a variety of colors and contains all of the nutrients your plants need to grow.
Natural looking substrates like this are popular for planted aquariums because of their appearance. You can use water soil as the only substrate in your aquarium or combine it with sand for biological filtration. This substrate is available in different colors and provides the plants with long-term nutrients.
To provide nutrients to your plants, you will need to use some type of fertilizer if you plan to use gravel as a substrate in your planted tank. The use of small gravels for planted tanks is ideal, as these enable roots to grow – with this substrate you can easily fertilize individual plants with root tabs.
Setting up the tank
While you have the freedom to design your planted tank however you wish, there are certain easy ways to set it up properly and inappropriately.
- You should install the aquarium cabinet or stand in the desired location; Make sure it is not placed near drafty doors and windows, heater vents, or air conditioners.
- Make sure that your aquarium is level when you place it on the cabinet or stand – if the stand is not stable, your aquarium could tip over when it is filled with water.
- Make sure you rinse your chosen substrate thoroughly until the water runs clear – follow the directions on the packaging as some substrates may not need to be rinsed.
- You should line the bottom of your aquarium with a thick layer of substrate – at least a few inches should be enough to accommodate the roots of most aquarium plants.
- The water in your aquarium should be dechlorinated and then your aquarium filter system and heater should be installed and turned on.
- Use an aquarium water test kit to determine the pH of your aquarium.
- You should install your lighting system and make sure there is enough light for your plants – a heavily planted aquarium will need between 3 and 5 watts of light per gallon.
- Put your aquarium plants in the substrate and bury the roots deep to ensure their stability and nutrition.
- Place larger plants in the back and sides of your aquarium while placing shorter ones in the front – this creates a natural look and allows your fish to swim freely in the center.
- Add additional decorative elements such as stones and driftwood to your tank to enhance its appearance.
- Let your aquarium run for two to three weeks to establish the nitrogen cycle – your plants will help.
- Test the water again for ammonia levels. When zero, your aquarium is ready for fish.
- Acclimate your fish slowly to the aquarium so as not to shock them from the chemistry of the water or changes in temperature.
The planted pool is now ready. One last point. After you’ve introduced the fish to the aquarium, all that’s left to do is care for it. By regularly testing your aquarium’s water chemistry, you can keep track of ammonia levels, which are essential for the healthy growth of your living plants and beneficial bacteria. You should be able to successfully maintain your planted aquarium with proper nutrition and lighting.