There are many practical and aesthetic benefits to improving the environment in an aquarium. Adding aquatic plants to the setup not only benefits fish and other underwater creatures in a practical way, it makes the setup more visually interesting and colourful. Choosing the right aquatic plants involves more than simply picking something that looks good. Buyers must consider the care requirements as well as what other accessories or tools they may need to sustain this type of aquatic life.
Artificial vs. live aquatic plants
The first choice that buyers must make is whether to cultivate live plants or simply opt for artificial ones. There are several benefits to both options.
Benefits of artificial aquatic plants
Artificial aquatic plants are usually made of plastic or silk. The most obvious benefit of this choice is the relatively low upkeep of what amounts to a decorative item in an aquarium.
Artificial aquatic plants are also aesthetically diverse. They come in a variety of colours, patterns, and styles that aquarists match to their tank, their tastes, and their fish. Since they do not grow or change, artificial plants also provide a consistent, predictable look.
In addition, artificial options do not alter the chemical concentration, specifically the oxygen content, of the aquarium water. This allows aquarists to monitor and control the environment with fewer variables at play.
Benefits of live aquatic plants
Many aquarists choose live plants simply because they want everything in the aquarium to be alive. In addition, the more natural look and feel of these plants provides an authentic aesthetic to the tank that is hard to replicate with plastic or even silk imitations.
Live plants provide a more natural habitat for fish and other creatures, helping them thrive as they would in the wild. In addition, real plants produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide as well as produce critical bacteria. These chemical elements, when in balance, act as a filtration system and inhibit the growth of algae in the aquarium tank.
Caring for aquatic plants
Choosing which type of aquatic plants to buy is often as much about the maintenance as it is about the look that the plants provide. Caring for aquatic plants, either directly or through routine cleaning, is another factor to consider when deciding which to purchase. Buyers need to consider what other tools or accessories they need to properly maintain the aquarium because these factor into the overall and ongoing costs.
Caring for artificial aquatic plants
The most important part of caring for artificial aquatic plants is keeping them clean of algae overgrowth. Depending on the type of algae in the tank, aquarists need to regularly brush or scrub artificial plants. In the case of more aggressive forms of algae, such as beard algae, soaking plants in a 10 per cent bleach solution and using vigorous scrubbing techniques may be necessary.
Caring for live aquatic plants
Part of the reason why only serious aquarists grow live aquatic plants is due to the high level of care involved. In many ways both an art and a science, growing and maintaining live aquatic plants involves dedication and skill. Like artificial aquatic plants, it is important to clean live plants by brushing off debris. In the case of algae overgrowth, complete cleaning is also necessary.
Feeding, trimming, and pruning
In addition to cleaning, aquarists must also trim and feed live plants. Depending on the aquarium composition and the species of the plant, an appropriate root substrate helps promote health. In addition, changing the water by 25 per cent at least every other week is important for maintaining oxygen and carbon dioxide concentration.
Aquarists must also prune live plants according to their growth and species needs. Some larger plants may bend in the middle if not trimmed back. Other times, plants outgrow their aquarium space, requiring the transplantation or removal of large parts of the plant.
How to buy aquatic plants on eBay
Whether you want to begin from scratch or you already have an aquarium set up, shopping on eBay is a great way to find aquatic plants and care accessories. It is easy to find basic aquarium tools, such as filters and pumps, as well as specific plants by using the main search box, which is located on every page. Simply type in what you require, and then browse the list of matching products for the right fit. Filter the options by price, brand, condition, and seller location for more precise results.