Cultivating Aquatic Plants Through
Quality Hagen Products
Taken From Nutrafin Aquatic News
When starting a planted tank, here are a few concepts to keep in mind.
1) Incorporate groups of plans in your decor. Select a few species with multiple quantities , as opposed to many different species with minor quantities.
2) Position plants according to their species. Plant taller plants at the rear and shorter plants near the front. Also take into consideration the lighting requirements when choosing plant locations. For example, plant low-light species in the shade of high-light species.
3) Remove all devices used to bunch plants together, and any damaged or dead leaves. Remember, only 1 to 2 inches of the bunch plantís stem should be planted.
4) Always allow for a little space between groups of plants.
5) Never bury the crown of a plant. Expose the crown and avoid gravel between stems.
6) Plants grow! Be aware of their maximum size and provide the room and correct placement to account for this.
Now that the basics have been covered, a discussion on CO2 is in order.
What are the benefits of CO2? CO2 injection encourages increased vigorous growth in aquarium plants, offers a method of gradually lowering pH, and contributes to improved water quality. The Nutrafin natural C02 system relies on a natural fermentation processes to supply carbon dioxide, making this system a cost-effective alternative to pressurized gas systems. In 15 to 20 days, youíll see dramatic results from the Natural Plant System. In fact, Hagen guarantees results in 15 days. The fermentation process lasts up to 30 days with fast and simple restarting.
Youíve purchased the tank, plants, and CO2 system, but what about supporting decorations?
The first step in decorating a planted aquarium is to choose an appropriate substrate. Gravel measuring 2 to 5 mm in diameter is ideal and should be sloped from the front in an upward direction to the rear. This will give a deeper look to the aquarium. There are a number of interesting natural gravels available, so choose a color that will contrast attractively with the wood and rock that you plan to use. Some gravel will affect pH and/or hardness values, so check the packaging to verify if this is indicated. If you are unsure about potential effects on water chemistry, consult a knowledgeable store staff member or purchase epoxy-coated gravel.
When choosing rocks and wood, there are several basic rules to remember. These items are accents and their placement should support the overall visual balance of the aquarium. Always position rocks and wood first, then add the plants. When purchasing rocks, select one type and place them to add depth to an aquatic scene. Creating a grotto that cascades on a downward diagonal from rear to front can do this. Rocks can also be used effectively to highlight feature plants, such as some of the larger Echinodorus, Vallisneria and Aponogeton species, by placing them in small clusters close to the base. Larger rocks often look best when positioned behind or off to the side of larger plants as a backdrop or accent. Another effective technique is to use flat rocks to create terrace walls to support elevated gravel terraces for planting.
Driftwood is an excellent accent to divide taller, larger plants at the rear from groups of plants at the front. It is also the object of choice for attaching Anubias or Microsorium. This is done by taking a piece of fishing line and carefully tying the plantís rhizome to the driftwood. The plant will eventually grow and attach its roots to the wood. Larger pieces of driftwood with numerous branches and cavities can make for a very attractive display when adorned with attached plants.
Currently, there are perfectly replicated driftwood and rock accents that offer a realistic look with none of the potential effects on water chemistry. The authentic look is achieved by a mold cast from select real rocks and wood. Using these replications eliminates the organic decomposition one would see from real wood and the water hardening effects of some rocks. Geosystem Planting Rocks are accurate replicas of lava rock complete with convenient planting hollows, ideal for grouping bunch or foreground plants, while also adding an attractive highlight to various larger plants.
For aquarium owners insisting on unstained, clear water conditions, Geosystem Wood provides an ultra real-looking driftwood composed of resin. This highly accurate replication eliminates the amber tint and other undesirable conditions often associated with the use of actual wood. Real or artificial, correctly positioned rocks and driftwood add an element of realism to planted aquaria.
The final element of every successful planted tank: Lighting.
Many aquarists take all of the proper precautions in setting up a terrific planted tank but forget to provide proper lighting. Hagenís Flora-Glo bulbs provide a strong growing spectrum for all aquarium plants. The warm tones brighten and highlight the natural beauty of any natural planted aquarium while helping to ensure strong growth rates. Plant sensitivity for photosynthesis has two peaks, the first between 380 to 480 nm, the violet blue area of the spectrum. The second peak occurs in the orange red bands, about 600 to 680 nm. These are the strongest parts of the Flora-Glo spectrumís light intensity, with the warmer orange to red being the most prominent. This effective spectra mix is also ideal for helping terrarium plants grow and thrive.
Now that you have a better understanding of planted tanks and Hagen products, taken your aquarium to the next level. Hagen products were made for the creative mind, so have fun and stretch your aquariumís limits!