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==== ==== The Best Freshwater Aquarium in 3 Easy Steps ==== ====

Freshwater aquarium plants don't just make your fish tank look good; they create healthy conditions within the aquarium and many times, they will correct minor imbalances that may occur in the water. Although some people opt for plastic plants, live plants provide a more natural environment. They do, however, need to be cared for just like everything else in your aquarium. Sickly plants will die and may poison the water and thus your fish. Freshwater aquarium plants that seem not to be growing may also be a sign that they are neglected. Ideal conditions for live aquarium plants need to be provided so that they can thrive and create a much better environment for your fish. Aquarium Lighting All plants thrive on light to grow. The ones in your tank will most likely be getting light from just the lighting system that comes with the tank. Incandescent lighting may be cheaper but it will not work for plant growth. It generates heat and will cause the temperature of your aquarium to be higher than it should be. Fluorescent lights are definitely a better choice - they will distribute light more evenly in the aquarium and will not make the water warm. They are also more energy efficient. Use approximately 1.5 to 3 watts per gallon of water. Remember when you are buying freshwater aquarium plants to research just how much light they need - some plants need low light while others need brighter light. This will be a good guide as to the wattage you should install. Place all lighting on the lid of the tank but make sure that the wiring does not interfere with the lid it should sit tight to prevent loss of carbon dioxide. Your plants may grow to the point where they begin to block the light. That's a sign that it's time to give them a trim. Aquarium Water Conditions Tropical aquarium plants generally need higher temperatures to survive. Anything below 70degF will cause them to go into shock and die. The pH levels are also just as important for your plants as they are for your fish. Always maintain it at between 6.5 to 7.2 with a hardness range of between 4 and 12 DH. A clean aquarium is also essential for the health of freshwater aquarium plants. Remove debris that may be blocking the lighting. Debris and dirt will also increase the amount of nitrates that are produced by the fish. This will hurt both fish and plants. Change at least a third of the water at least once a month.

Aquarium filtration and aeration Your aquarium is as good as the filters that it has; a good filter will remove dirt and debris. All the water goes through it, but if it's not just right, it will strip the water of too much carbon dioxide depriving freshwater aquarium plants of the basic element they need to survive. A good filter also makes sure that there are no gas pockets in the aquarium so that there is full water, nutrient and gas circulation and all plants are reached. Under-gravel filters are not very good for this - they leave bubbles in the substrate. Almost all other filters will get job done; just make sure that the water flows throughout the tank and is not so aerated as to lose too much carbon dioxide. Freshwater aquarium plant fertilizers There is special fertilizer for aquatic plants - do not be temped to substitute. Use as recommended because using too much or too little will upset the balance in the tank. Watch out for fertilizers that contain phosphates or nitrates - they will cause algae to grow much faster. Freshwater aquarium plants are a boost for any aquarium. As you can see, if you keep your tank in generally good condition, the plants will thrive - they don't need that much special attention.

Robert is an experienced aquarist, who owns and maintains his and other people's aquariums. For more great tips on freshwater aquarium plants, visit

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==== ==== The Best Freshwater Aquarium in 3 Easy Steps ==== ====

Basic Care for Freshwater Aquarium Plants  

For Easy 123 Tips on Aquarium Plants, Aquarium Maintenance, Aquarium Freshwater Fish, Keeping Your Aquarium Clean or the Freshwater Aquarium...

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