In the plantito and plantita world, potted greens dominate most gardens and plant shops. From succulents to flowers, every aspiring green thumb will always find new greens to take care of at home. But how about aquatic plants? Most of the time, you’ll find them in pet stores and fish breeders. Aquatic plants may grow on the water surface or under where fish and other swimmers may hide and produce eggs.
How to Care for your Aquatic Plants
Suppose you plan to expand your plant parenting skills and want to explore the world of aquatic plants. Here are four tips on taking care of your water greens.
Select The Right Substrate
Some aquatic plants grow underwater, while others have their roots anchored on the bottom and bloom above the surface. Regardless of how they grow, you’ll need a suitable substrate or bed for your plants to thrive. For aquariums, coarse sand or fine to medium-grade gravel are optimal beds for your plants to cling and grow. You may also get substrates suited for holding eggs if you want to breed your pet fish.
Small to large stones and rocks are optimal for plants such as creeping Jenny plants for outdoor ponds. For properties with koi ponds, such as some of the houses for sale in Forbes Park in Makati, water lilies can be planted in pots then submerged under the water. Research which substrates will suit your desired aquatic plants to encourage healthy and beautiful growth.
Proper lighting is also vital in keeping your aquarium plants robust and beautiful. Usually, a color temperature of 6,500K and 8,000K is needed for your water greens to thrive. A high-output T5 fluorescent and LED lights are the best lighting fixtures for your aquarium plants. You may find these in pet stores and aquarium hobbyist centers in Metro Manila and Cebu City.
Most aquatic plants need 10 to 12 hours of light per day. It is best to set a day/night lighting schedule using a timer to ensure that your plants don’t get excess or inadequate light. The last things you’d want to have are wilted greens or plants that have stunted growth.
Feed Them Consistently
Like fish and other water animals, you’ll also need to feed your aquatic plants regularly. Plant foods and fertilizers catered to water plants usually come in tablet or spike form. Push these onto the pond’s soil surface according to the fertilizer’s instructions. Avoid throwing them into the water as they may be poisonous to your plants and fish, thus damaging your entire pond ecosystem. The schedule for replacing new fertilizer tablets or spikes may depend on your plants’ preferences.
Give Them Their Required Nutrients
Besides fertilizers, your water plants will need nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, iron, and manganese to grow. If you have fish, your nitrogen and phosphorus supply may come from their waste. But for the other minerals, you’ll have to add them manually to ensure robust growth.
Carbon tablets are also beneficial for your pond and aquarium plants. Sure, your plants may survive without additional carbon, but adding a pill or two may boost your plants’ vibrancy, size, and color.
Your water’s pH level is also crucial for your plants’ wellness. Most plants will thrive better in waters with pH levels ranging from 7 to 7.2. However, some plants might prefer acidic or alkaline waters. Research which of your plants require different pH levels and use testing kits to regulate your water’s condition.
Aquatic plants are fascinating greens that may add color to your plantito and plantita needs. These four care tips may guide you to raising healthy and beautiful plants for your pond, aquarium, and water features.