- they do not perish from old age and bad conditions. Qualitative options for years retain color and elasticity;
- they will not suffer, even if they are torn out of the ground. You can change the design as often as you like;
- they are inedible for fish;
- they will not grow, filling the entire aquarium;
- if necessary, they are easy to clean from algae.
It would seem that the choice is obvious: buy and install, without wasting time on caring for live plants, which may require almost more care than fish. But artificial plants have their drawbacks:
- they cannot multiply;
- they always look the same;
- they do not contribute to the establishment of biological equilibrium in the aquarium.
Living aquarium plants belong to the highest: flowering, ferns and mosses. which determines the diversity of their forms. Among them are high and low, thin and sprawling, with leaves growing from the growth point on the rhizome or located on the stem. They play a huge role in establishing biological balance in an aquarium, but this is not limited to:
- living plants not only create the interior of the aquarium, but also emphasize the color of the fish;
- play an important role in the metabolism in the aquarium. Like their terrestrial relatives, aquatic plants in the photosynthesis process absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, which makes them indispensable in the gas exchange of the aquarium;
- promote biological water purification, absorbing for the formation of plant tissue organic and inorganic substances that accumulate in the ground and in the water as a result of the vital activity of fish. Some species (rdesta, elodey, ekhinodorusy) extract calcium salts from water, transferring them to an insoluble state;
- inhibit the development of lower algae, which can be a real disaster;
- are important for breeding fish. Some fish, such as scalar, lay eggs on leaves. In addition, it is convenient for the fry to hide in the thickets so that they will not be eaten;
- can act as a natural feed for fish.
Aquarium uses more than 500 species and varieties of freshwater plants. But for normal life and development they will need the same conditions as for land plants: sunlight; carbon dioxide; soil nutrients; suitable temperature so that you can take advantage of all the above. Artificial plants in this regard are not demanding at all. In addition, do not have to wrestle with how best to plant them. While living plants will have to figure out which planting group they belong to:
- floating on the surface of the water; The strong development of floating plants affects the illumination of the water column and significantly reduces the gas exchange in the soil. This leads to soil rotting in aquariums, the surface of which is covered with floating plants. This group includes salvina, pista, duckweed other.
- floating in the water column; convenient to use in a new aquarium when there is a shortage of other plants. This group includes reachy, nayasy, pemphigus, lagarosiphon.
- aquatic, semi-aquatic, marsh or coastal plants rooting in the ground;
- Long stem plants, fixed in the ground.
- plants with pop-up stems, such as myriophyllum, lyudwigia, geterantera, alternater (Alternanthera), hygrophil (Hygrophila).
Usually higher plants are planted in the back of the aquarium, and lower ones closer to the front wall to create a perspective. But this is not the only point that will have to be considered during landing. Large plants with well developed roots (for example, cryptocoryne or Echinodorus) should be planted so that all the roots are in the ground, and the root neck is above it. Atonogeton must be planted so that about 1/3 of the tuber peeks out of the ground. Species with a long creeping rhizome are sometimes generally very difficult to place correctly, so that the rhizome is buried and the base of the petioles remains uncovered.
In addition to proper planting, living plants may require a certain chemical composition of water, others have brighter lighting, some species have a rather narrow range of tolerated temperatures. If you have provided optimal conditions for the development of plants, this can also entail certain difficulties. The main. too active oxygen consumption in the dark. In addition, when a large cluster in the aquarium plants lose their decorative qualities, and the observation of the aquarium inhabitants is difficult.