Unpretentious plants – salvation for inexperienced aquarists, well, aquarists with experience they do not have to explain the benefits. After all, the maintenance of even the smallest aquarium is quite troublesome, and it is not surprising that many people want to simplify this task to a minimum.
There are plants that require many times more attention and cost than the fish themselves. But there are those that grow by themselves: mosses, algae, ferns – just what is ideal for beginners.
Such specimens feel great in low light, with low concentrations of carbon dioxide, and with changes in temperature and water composition. And what is important – they are easy to find on sale, and at a relatively low price.
As we wrote above, this is the name of the species with which:
- there is enough illumination with an average intensity of 0.3-0.5 W / l;
- no need to organize the supply of CO2;
- no need to add organic or mineral fertilizers to water or soil – they have enough of what is left of the fish.
There are hardy representatives in many plant taxa (systematic groups).
So, aquarium plants for beginners are needed not only to create beautiful pictures. Their indisputable advantages include:
- Improving the aesthetic appearance of an artificial reservoir.
- Creating safe areas for fish in which they can hide from other inhabitants of the vessel or create nests for spawning.
- Providing fish and other residents with food.
- Increasing the level of oxygen dissolved in the aquatic environment.
- Reducing the concentration of harmful substances.
- Suppressing the growth of lower plants, for example, green algae.
And this is not to mention the support of a normal ecological balance, so important for all the fish in the aquarium.
We always scold algae and by all means we strive to survive them from our aquarium, but this representative is a pleasant exception. We can say that she is the only one among her kindred who creates beauty in the underwater world, and not hairy and slippery disgrace.
This, of course, is about kladofory.
Many aquarists diligently clean their offspring from algae. Most often, algae grow into slippery and shapeless biomass.
It pollutes water and prevents animals from swimming. But the most resourceful of beginners know that not all algae should be avoided.
The main thing is to remember which benefits and aesthetic pleasure will bring, and which will not. It is about kladofore.
These are unpretentious plants that grow in the shape of a fluffy ball. It is recommended to cut along and lay on the bottom. Thus, create an interesting decor in the aquarium.
These green algae are popular with shrimp and fry. Many of them love kladofory for tasty microorganisms that are located between processes.
It should be remembered that these aquarium plants for beauty keep the shape of a ball and do not disintegrate only in cool water. Water temperature is preferably 23-25 degrees.
If the kladofor is placed in warm water, then it is necessary periodically (every month) to clean the kladofora in cool water for a week. Such manipulations will allow to keep the elastic form of algae.
Experts use different types of spore plants to decorate a beautiful landscape. Mosses differ from each other in size, leaves, their properties and habitat; therefore, choosing a particular species is important to know the characteristics of each.
Consider their description, and what aquarium mosses are used most often.
Ricca floating (Ricca fluitans) is a lush green liver moss, often found in many aquariums. This plant has no stems, leaves or roots. It consists of small branching flat plates, the so-called thallus.
The moss floats on the surface of the water and forms beautiful islets.
Aquarists love this riccia for originality. It consists of green lumps floating near the surface of the water.
Under good conditions, it may look like a green island protruding from the water. The buoyancy of the plant is provided by tiny cavities in the stalks that are filled with air.
Riccia is very unpretentious, the only thing she needs is bright lighting from 60 Lm / l +++. With a lack of lighting, Riccia falls into separate branches and does not form islands, and the lower layers can even rot.
Riccia consists entirely of small branching stems. Fry can use this plant as a shelter, and labyrinth fishes can use riccia to build a nest.
Comfortable parameters of water for keeping riccia: temperature 22-26 ° C (at a temperature below 20 ° C, plant growth slows down), hardness is not more than 8 °. The plant loves systematic substitution of up to 1/4 of the volume of water in the aquarium.
During the period of rapid growth, the reach grows heavily and begins to prevent oxygen and sunlight from entering the aquarium. For this it is necessary to thickets plants periodically thin out.
Because of its properties, Riccia is not rarely used as a natural substrate for spawning fish or shelter for fry.
Mineral dressing for moss is not required. But when CO2 is applied, and the correct macro and micro complex Ritsch is simply rushing in all directions.
The reproduction of riccia is not difficult and is carried out by dividing the thallus.
Phoenix is widely inhabited in its natural environment, has a beautiful appearance: small size and fluffiness, so this green ball is often put to the forefront during registration. It lands on a substrate, to which it is quickly attached, however, it grows slowly. The appendix can easily be attached to any place, on a grid or snag.
For active growth of the phoenix requires additional light. The remaining conditions of the content are simple, he does not need additional feeding, he extracts all the necessary substances independently.
When decorating their space, it should be borne in mind that the plant grows upwards, and thickets can be laid out on the bottom for spawning purposes.
- favorable temperature from 23 to 28 ° C;
- does not require water of a certain hardness;
- it is necessary to keep the purity of aqua, periodically replacing from 30 to 50%;
- in order to provoke active growth, additional lighting and feeding are needed.
Javanese moss – belongs to the family Hypnaceae. It grows in tropical areas of Southeast Asia. Other names for this plant are Singapore Moss, Java Moss, Vesicularia dubyana.
Its height is about 5 cm. The optimum temperature for its development is from 18 to 30 ° C, the required water parameters are PH from 6 to 7.5, dKH, ranging from 2 to 15 °, lighting is 0.15 W / l
It is often used as a decor. This plant looks like a dense and chaotic binding of thin stalks, which are strongly branched and covered with leaves that have a dark green color. Leaf size from 1 to 2 mm.
At first glance, this plant has only leaves and stem. Naked eye almost impossible to see
Conditions for content
- The optimal water temperature for Java moss should be + 23 * C + 30 * C (the plant is from the tropics). If the temperature in the aquarium drops lower than + 22 * C, then the “Javanese” will simply stop growing, and if it is even lower, then it will certainly “give ends”.
- As for the acidity and hardness of water, it is better if the acidity of water will be from 5.0 to 8.0 Ph. And the hardness of the water is really indifferent to him: he feels fine both hard and in soft water, as well as in brackish. The only requirement is perfect clarity and transparency! In the muddy muddy water on the moss, a raid forms that interferes with the normal feeding of the plant, which is very bad.
- Javanese moss also prefers a small flow of water. Therefore, if possible, be sure to create such a flow.
- The lighting for Javanese moss is the tenth question: the plant tolerates the complete absence of light without any problems! But in bright light, its growth is significantly accelerated, and the plant itself becomes very juicy in color. But all the same, optimal lighting is moderate.
- The soil is not needed at all: a Javanese will grow perfectly even on the “bare” glass!
These lower plants are found only in South America. The first mention of them was made quite recently, namely in 2005.
It is also worth noting that, despite its specific diversity (about 300), only about 3-5 species can be found on sale at the moment.
Outwardly, riccardia hamedrifolia or, as the small liverwort can sometimes be called, looks very presentable, which contributes to its frequent use for decorative purposes. In addition, like the other representatives of the liver, ricardias can not boast of high growth (maximum height of 20-40 mm), preferring to walk along the surface of the substrate.
This lower plant has a dark green tint, fleshy stems with feathery or palmate branching. As for archegonia, they are either represented by hairy edges with a specific brownish-pale tinge or are dissected.
Also interesting is the fact that in low light their color can become much lighter.
Water parameters should be as follows: temperature 18-25 ° C, hardness dH 5-10 °, acidity pH 5.5-7.5. The temperature of the water should not be higher than specified, because in this case, the plant starts to hurt and may die as a result.
The water in the aquarium should be crystal clear, if the water contains a fine suspension, then settling on the leaves of the plant, it will provoke the growth of algae on them. Efficient filtering is required.
The plant does not tolerate excessive amounts of organic matter in water.
For the successful cultivation of moss, you need to find him a suitable, the brightest place in the aquarium.
Monoselenium refers to the hepatic form, has a flat shape in the form of a leaf, there is a colony. The plant is gentle, so it is easy to damage.
In terms of content is absolutely not whimsical. Temperature, lighting and water characteristics are not important.
To the plant does not float, requires attachment to the substrate. It can be grown above water, so it is used for a wet terrarium, but in this case the spore plant will change color.
The advantage of monoselenium is that they do not eat fish. The best place to decorate an aquarium is foreground.
Undemanding include Thai and Indian water ferns.
Thai fern, or pterygoid, has embossed leaves, shaped like willow. It grows rather slowly, eventually forming bright green dense and lush thickets 25-30 cm tall.
It is usually placed at the side walls, at the corners or in the background of the aquarium. A small bush can be placed even in the central part of the nano aquarium.
The Thai does not need rich soil, since its root system is represented by small rhizoids and does not penetrate deeply. But it can be fixed on a snag or ceramic decoration, depicting an interesting landscape, for example, an abandoned castle, through which trees sprout trees.
This type of fern requires lighting from 0.5 W / l, soft warm water (t not lower than 24 °), neutral or slightly acid. Frequent and massive water changes do not like.
Indian water fern, or ceratopteris, looks completely different. It has dissected, delicate light green leaves, well developed roots, it forms a large tall shrub.
But the conditions for good growth, he needs similar to his Thai counterpart: medium or good lighting, high enough temperature, soft water, slightly acidic or neutral. It is necessary to have nutrient soil (sand or fine smooth gravel), the layer thickness is not less than 4-5 cm.
These include an overwhelming number of green inhabitants of the aquarium. Possess such a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, that the eyes diverge.
Let’s try to give descriptions of the most unpretentious, breaking them into groups, based on the decorative values in the aquarium.
These are plants that are large enough and are usually used to create the background and side wings of the aquarium.
Very popular among aquarists, the hygrophil is a multi-seeded, fast-growing plant with long, pointed leaves of a light shade. It consumes nutrients throughout the surface, and therefore helps reduce the level of nitrogen and phosphorus compounds in water.
Serves as a favorite food for herbivorous fish and snails. It prefers a silted soil of small fractions, a temperature of 24 ° C, not too hard water, the lighting is average.
Tolerates various acidity.
Her close relative – the hygrophilus straight, the nomaphilus, or lemongrass, is a bit more decorative: its leaves have a pinkish rim under intense lighting, are located closer to each other, and in good conditions the plant is bushy. Tops of lemongrass rise above the water, so that they can be interesting to draw a aquaterrarium or paludarium.
This type needs at least medium lighting, hard water, the reaction is neutral or slightly shifted to the acidic side.
The same conditions are necessary for another representative of the hygrophil – the hygrophil of diverse (dimorphic), or blue. It is remarkable in that it has leaves of various shapes – from oval, slightly carved at the edges, to deeply dissected, feathery, laced.
All mentioned species of hygrofil are planted in groups to form thick voluminous clumps.
The inhabitant of the background, creating a fluffy openwork background, is the well-known Caroline cabomba. It has a long stem and a high growth rate (which means it draws excess nitrogen out of the water), young fish hide in its thickets, adult fish spawn, usually there are shrimps. Everyone loves cabomba!
And she likes lighting from 0.4 W / l, pure neutral or low-acid water with a hardness of not more than 8 °.
The magnificent background can create a naiad Guadalupe. It does not require rooting, feeling good in the free-floating state, but, being fixed on the ground, behaves like a full-fledged bush. This plant is the embodiment of grace and subtlety, but it is very unpretentious.
The only thing he needs is good lighting, it easily adapts to the rest.
But why do we have all the plants with long, narrow or needle-shaped leaves? It is necessary to diversify our backdrop with some circles, and for this purpose, the white-headed hydrocoyle is perfect. Its leaves are rounded, and the thickets somewhat resemble the familiar marsh calarage in miniature.
Next to our green lace and Christmas trees will look very fun and original.
When it grows to the surface, hydrocodil forms floating leaves that can shade other greens, so you need to be careful not to allow it to capture too much territory.
To fill the gaps in the background of the aquarium, you can use a roach leaf and an elodea, collected in bunches of several branches and pressed to the bottom. They will not be able to form lush undergrowth, as they do not take root and do not bush, but to add density and texture – completely. They are undemanding to water parameters, they tolerate almost any hardness and acidity.
True, in a very soft water at the pinpoint a stem breaks down, and the resulting cuttings spread out in different directions. Lighting like medium or good.
Elodea grows best in cool water, up to 23 ° C.
To revitalize the central part of our reservoir, you can use large sprawling bushes, for example, Echinodorus Amazonian. This species is distinguished by its shade tolerance (it carries an illumination of 0.25 / l), it grows in a wide range of acidity values, it prefers moderately hard water.
What is required for it is a thick layer of nutrient soil.
In a spacious aquarium in the center and closer to the ends, low species of Vallisneria can be planted, for example, a twisted mini-twister – several of its bushes growing nearby will create a pretty curly grove. It is picky about light and water parameters (it doesn’t like only high values of hardness and pH) and grows well in almost any conditions.
Medium plan with its dark glossy greenery will also decorate Anubias. They do not need a bright color, they grow almost at any hardness of water slowly but surely.
Anubias require nutritious soil, but they need to be planted correctly: only roots should be instilled, leaving a creeping stem on the surface. Anubiasa can be added to the bark, and their dwarf representatives can be placed on the foreground, for which it is very difficult to find suitable vegetation in a medium-lighted aquarium.
Of course, the greens in the aquarium is fine, but you also want other colors. Unfortunately, most plants with red color or patterned colorful leaves are very picky about light and hydrochemical parameters.
The exception to this rule is Rotala Indian and Ludwigia Marsh. Their leaves are reddish, sometimes slightly purple from the bottom, and they create bright islets on a common emerald and malachite background. Red color on the leaves appears only in conditions of at least medium illumination.
It is good if the light comes not only from above, but also from the side, then the leaves are located close to each other and several small stalks planted next to each other form a lush bush.
If only the top is illuminated, the lower part of the stem gradually loses the leaves and becomes bare. But this question can be solved by periodic cutting and transplantation: trim the upper parts of the stem and collect new bushes from them.
Water these plants need warm, clean, not too hard, neutral or slightly acidic.
As you can see, the choice of unpretentious plants to decorate our underwater kingdom is not so small. They are all different, and with their help you can realize the most courageous design ideas.
There would be a desire and patience!