Aquarium Water Quality & Live Plants
Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff

Aquarium Water Quality: Add Live Plants to Help Improve Aquarium Water Quality Aquarium Water Quality: Add Live Plants to Help Improve Aquarium Water Quality
ive plants are attractive additions to an aquarium and have many benefits. They offer herbivorous fish variety in their diet as a natural food source and provide shelter and security for fish, especially timid species. Live plants enhance your aquarium's appearance and provide a much more natural environment for its inhabitants. Above all, live plants optimize aquarium water quality by providing additional biological filtration, which helps maintain fish health.
What are some reasons I should choose live plants over artificial plants?
A: Live plants offer a food source and a more natural environment for aquarium fish. Perhaps the most important quality of live plants is that they help optimize aquarium water quality.

How do plants help improve water quality?
During the day, live plants photosynthesize in order to grow and thrive. During this process, live plants absorb carbon dioxide produced by your fish and release oxygen, which is then used by fish during respiration. Live plants extract such pollutants as organic waste, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and phosphate before they can accumulate and negatively affect water quality. This natural filtration helps restore balance to the aquarium environment by processing excess nutrients. The result is a cleaner, clearer, and healthier aquarium.

Furthermore, live plants can play an important role in managing algae growth. In order to flourish, live plants actively utilize nutrients in aquarium water. These nutrients are the same types that encourage aggressive algae growth. In other words, algae are less likely to thrive in an aquarium where healthy live plants are present.

Live plants are beneficial additions to your freshwater aquarium. They offer an exciting and fulfilling dimension to the aquarium hobby. When properly planned, live plants do not create a great deal of added work to your weekly maintenance routine. When you have a well-planted aquarium, your fish benefit from a healthier environment and you enjoy the rewards of a beautiful aquatic garden.

Beneficial Live Plants
Some live plants have added benefits to help optimize aquarium water. Anacharis helps oxygenate aquarium water while heavy-feeders like Wisteria are excellent for managing nutrient levels.
Anacharis   Wisteria
Anacharis   Wisteria
TIPS ON SELECTING LIVE PLANTS
Research care requirements - Proper water parameters and correct lighting are essential for healthy plant growth. Be sure to always research plant requirements to ensure proper care.
Select true aquatic species suitable for your aquarium setup - There are many ornamental terrestrial or marginal tropical plants sold as aquatic plants. These plants may look good and can do fine completely submerged for a while, but these plants will eventually drown and should not be used. In fact, they may harm your fish more than help them as they decompose and release pollutants.
Plant in numbers - When planting your aquarium, it is best to use a large number of hardy, fast-growing species. This dense planting helps reduce unwanted algae growth. Once your plants are established, you can include more sensitive, or slow-growing plant species.


RECOMMENED PRODUCTS
Eco-Complete Plant Substrate Freshwater Aquarium Plant Packs Aquarium Plant Pruning Tool
Eco-Complete Plant Substrate contains all the necessary mineral nutrients for luxuriant aquarium plant growth PLUS beneficial bacteria to rapidly convert fish waste into natural food for your aquatic plants. Our Freshwater Plant Packs are an ideal way to introduce a variety of healthy live plants to your aquarium environment. The Aquarium Plant Pruning Tool has two interchangeable heads to make trimming and cleanup quick and convenient.