Some utilitarian ways to make your aquarium look better
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of us like the look of live plants. Unfortunately,
few of us want to go to the expense or effort that goes into carbon
dioxide injection (although, Jungle now has a nifty little kit on the
market) and VHO lighting systems.
So, take a look at a group of easy-to-grow plants.
You can find several species of Hygrophilas on the market.
And, within each species, you can find further variations.
polysperma or green hygro comes
in several variations – mostly green and sunset (almost pink).
Country of origin makes a difference.
The Florida-grown versions vary from the
Trim Often. Mixing the two colors together makes an exceptionally nice look. All Hygrophila species grow very fast and need constant pruning. If you snip them shorter on a regular basis, they grow into bushy plants. If you let them grow unchecked, they grow long and “leggy” stems. The bottom leaves fall off. They can be a messy plant. Fast growing plants require more work -- like putting nitrogen on your lawn makes you mow it more often.
difformis grows ferny-looking
leaves rather than the regular-shaped leaves of polysperma.
Better known as water wisteria, H. difformis grows bright green
leaves. It resembles water
sprite in leaf form but grows from stems rather than from a crown.
Use difformis to contrast against other darker live plants.
Save Your Trimmings. If your trimmings have six or so leaves on them, you can reproduce your own baby Hygro plants. Pull off the bottom two leaves and insert the stems in your gravel. Hygro difformis trimmings root and grow easily -- ditto all the Hygro species.
corymbosa grows much larger,
leaves. Better known as temple
plant, this fast-grower grows right up out of the water.
The emersed leaves grow hairy looking and most emersed plants grow
little, purple flowers.
leaves. Better known as temple plant, this fast-grower grows right up out of the water. The emersed leaves grow hairy looking and most emersed plants grow little, purple flowers.
You’ll see several different types of temple plants – some with
wider leaves, some with skinny leaves, even some with red stems.
You’ll often find them under different species names.
All grow like a weed (except the red which is not really a
All the hygrophila species
grow very fast. That means
they take all the nutrition out of the water.
They also take up the waste products given off by your fishes.
You will need to fertilize these plants on a weekly basis –
sometimes you need to fertilize twice a week.
Provide Good Light.
You can’t grow plants in the dark.
Give your hygrophila 12 hours of light daily.
You can find electrical timers priced under $10.
You will need brighter bulbs in tanks larger than 20 gallons.
Low Maintenance? Actually, these fast-growing plants take a lot of work to maintain. Much like a fertilized lawn, you need to “mow” hygrophila often or it will overrun your aquarium.
Fast growing hygrophila sound like too much work?
On other pages we’ll look into the slow growers – the ones that
take a good year to grow good roots.
Summary. You get better results when you grow fast and slow growing plants together. LA
For more pics and info go to Bunch Plants II.
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