Beginning question Question

  1. WengerT Initiate Member

    I am interested in getting started putting real plants in my aquarium. Is there any good info out there for beginners? Looking for good oxygen producing plants to somewhat eliminate my filter Thanks
     
  2. renthus Well Known Member Member

    Well first off, unless you go full Walstad, you're not going to get rid of your filter. Just erase that notion from your head.

    Now then.

    The Aquarium Plants section is a great resource for plant related questions. Honestly, it's just not that complicated. I will warn you that the plants that are going to have a fast, noticeable effect on your water chemistry are the ones that take high light and thus are a bit of an ordeal in and of themselves.
     

  3. WengerT Initiate Member

    What are the pros of plants in a aquarium? I know that in a garden pond they help give oxygen to the fish.
     

  4. renthus Well Known Member Member

    - They do oxygenate the water. It's not really significant compared to surface disturbance, and if you're in a low light setting without much photosynthesis happening it's not going to be happening enough to matter.
    - They absorb nitrates and such from the water, but since that's also part of photosynthesis, I refer you to the previous bulletpoint
    - They provide a more natural habitat for your fish
    - They're pretty
    - They're really satisfying
    - When I buy plants it stimulates the economy and allows jetajockey to buy more cool things.
     

  5. Phishphin Well Known Member Member

    I would HIGHLY encourage you to research the nitrogen cycle in aquariums. It is very much related to your plant question and you will find it very helpful.

    Essentially, one bacteria turn a poisonous molecule (Ammonium, which is produced by excess food, fish waste, etc) into another poisonous molecule (Nitrite). A new bacteria finds the new poisonous molecule and converts it into something slightly less poisonous (Nitrates). Plants "consume" nitrates, but not all. Even in a heavily planted tank, you must still do weekly water changes to eliminate excess nitrates.

    Your filter contains a significant amount of bacteria that is responsible for this nitrogen cycle. To remove the filter would wreak havoc on your tank and your plants would not have any nitrates to consume.

    So plain and simple... plants don't filter... they simply remove a portion of the bad stuff and benefit greatly from the bacteria in your VERY necessary filter.

    Is there a reason you are worried about oxygenation? Again, your filter provides a significant amount of O2 for your tank by disturbing the surface water (just another reason why it is so important!). Some folks are able to get their plants to "bubble", but this is actually (in my experience at least) difficult to maintain and keep everything else (like algae) in check. It requires your plants to have extensive light, fertilization, and available CO2 to convert rapidly enough to form bubbles of O2.

    I hope this was helpful.
     
  6. jdhef Moderator Moderator Member

    I just wanted to say Welcome to FishLore! I hope you enjoy the site.