Top 5 Startup Aquatic Plants

In the first few weeks after setting up your aquascape, there will be excess nutrients in the water column due to the absence of decomposing bacterias. The solution to this issue is to put in plants that grows quickly to act as nutrient absorbers. These plants are cheap and some of them are even classified as weeds in the environment. Care must be taken not to spill these plants in open waterways as it will grow quickly and possibly disturb the ecosystem.

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Blyxa Japonica – Bamboo Plant

Blyxa Japonica originated from tropical asia. It can easily be found in rice paddies and marshes, where iron contents are rich in the water. This plant, often called bamboo plant, is a stem plant that has very short internodes.

In aquascapes, this plant is often used as a background plant for an iwagumi aquascape or a midground plant for a larger tank due to its hedge-like appearance. Blyxa Japonica is often paired with other foreground plants such as Glossostigma Elatinoides and Hemianthus Callitrichoides.

This plant requires moderate lighting, a good amount of CO2, and iron fertilization to show its optimal colouration. In low light environment, this plant will grow taller and greener. In high light, high CO2 environment, Blyxa Japonica will grow golden leaves. The care for this plant is relatively easy.

Blyxa Japonica – Plant Profile:

  • Position: Midground, Background
  • Hardiness: Moderate
  • Lighting Requirement: Moderate
  • Plant Structure: Stem
  • Origin: Tropical Asia
  • pH: 5.0 – 7.0
  • Temperature: 22 – 28° Celsius
  • Size: 7 – 15 cm
  • Growth Rate: Medium
  • Emersed Culture: No
  • Price: Cheap (Often sold in bundles of 20 stems)

Rotala Rotundifolia – Red Rotala

Rotala Rotundifolia, or commonly sold as ‘Red Rotala’, is a plant species native to southeast Asia. In their native habitat, this plant is a weed in rice paddies. As with all other red plants, iron supplements are best if we want to showcase this plant’s natural red colouration.

Rotala Rotundifolia is easy to grow in aquascapes. The plant’s new growth will turn green if light is not sufficient. In intensely lit aquariums, this plant will exhibit a creeping habit, trying to hug the substrate. Rotala Rotundifolia is best planted in groups to create a bushy effect in the midground or background area of an aquascape.

Rotala Rotundifolia – Plant Profile:

  • Position: Midground, background
  • Hardiness: Easy
  • Lighting Requirement: Medium
  • Plant Structure: Stem plant
  • Origin: Southeast Asia
  • pH: 5.0 – 7.5
  • Temperature: 18 – 28° Celsius
  • Size: stem width of 1.5 – 2 cm maximum
  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Emersed Culture: Yes
  • Price: Cheap (in bundles of 10 or more)

How to Create Soil Mounds / Terraces

One important aspect of an aquascape is the sense of depth or perspective. In conventional planted aquariums, the sense of depth is not emphasized through the use of different substrate elevations, or commonly known as terracing or soil mounding. An aquascape that has not incorporated any form of soil mounding or terracing will look dull and flat. The solution to creating great depth or perspective in an aquarium is to master the art of soil mounding or terracing. This post will discuss how to create the perfect soil mound that never flattens out.

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Ranunculus Inundatus – River Buttercup

Ranunculus Inundatus is classified as a stem plant with a unique leaf characteristic. The leaves of this plant resembles radiating stars or firework explosions.

Ranunculus Inundatus is native to Tasmanian wetlands in Australia. Its growth habit is sideways through runners if given enough light, or upwards if light is insufficient. To obtain optimal growth characteristic, Ranunculus Inundatus should be kept in aquascapes with medium to high lighting intensity.

To propagate this plant, simply cut out the nodes and replant them. Each individual plant node is able to create new runners.

Be aware that this plant will lose its older leaves before growing new ones if it has been moved from one aquarium to the other. If you see that they are melting or browning in your aquarium and you are absolutely sure that your water chemistry is fine, leave this plant in there for a few more days. Most of the time this plant will shoot off beautiful and new green offspring.

Ranunculus Inundatus – Plant Profile:

  • Position: Foreground, Midground, Background (nano tanks)
  • Hardiness: Easy
  • Lighting Requirement: Medium to High
  • Plant Structure: Stem
  • Origin: Tasmania, Australia
  • pH: 5.0 – 6.5
  • Temperature: 20 – 29° Celsius
  • Size: Maximum 7 cm (high light conditions)
  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Emersed Culture: Yes
  • Price: Moderate to expensive

Planted Tanks #4 – The World Before Columbus

Today’s feature aquascape is by Pasquale Buonpane from Italy, which is entitled ‘The World Before Columbus’.

This aquascape is a beautifully crafted natural Iwagumi-style aquascape with only four aquatic plants species, two of which are mosses. The hardscape details for this aquascape is not provided. Note that this aquascaper used small aquatic plants to magnify the sense of vastness of the aquascape.

Aquascape Details

  • Tank size: 160 x 52 x 60 cm
  • Volume: 400 L (106 Gallons)
  • Background: White
  • Lighting: 4 x 58 W, 6.500 K
  • Filtration: Unspecified canister filter
  • Plants: Hemianthus Callitrichoides, Vesicularia Ferrieri, Fissidens Fontanus, Riccia sp.”Dwarf”
  • Fish/Inverts: Paracheirodon Innesi, Crossocheilus Siamensis, Caridina Japonica.