Aquariums, with the right decoration, can easily accentuate the look of your home. Besides the vibrant variety of fish species, even aquarium plants play a prominent role in improving their appearance.
But that’s not all there is to the plants. Live aquarium plants can actively regulate the water’s chemistry. They balance the biological waste produced in the tank by removing excess phosphorus and nitrates from the water.
Like any other live plant in nature, even the aquarium plants support gas exchange, especially carbon dioxide and oxygen levels. However, installing live plants into the tank can be a challenge.
There are not one but multiple ways you can add live plants to your home aquarium. Some by tying to the gravel in the tank and others by planting the plants in pots. There are some variants that free float in the tank as well.
Wondering how to plant aquarium plants in pots? This article will address all your general queries and provide you with the required resolutions.
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Can You Leave Aquarium Plants in Pots?
If you have an aquarium plant with dense foliage, leaving them in a pot is ideal. However, installing them into the substrate might not anchor them well into the base, leaving them floating in the tank.
Not just pots, some aquarists even use containers to place the plants inside the aquarium.
However, you do have to prepare for the consequences too. The biggest issue with growing aquarium plants in pots is limited growth.
Since pots come with limited space in them, you need to prepare for little plant growth in the designated area. So, it isn’t surprising that pots aren’t ideal for ferns and mosses.
However, there is a benefit to adding live potted aquarium plants. They are easy to move. So, if you want to redesign your tank set-up, potted plants are the way to go.
How to Plant Aquatic Plants in Pots?
Live aquatic plants are available in a variety of options. First, you have your staple choices, and then you have the live aquarium plants that you can transfer to a pot for further growth.
Using potted live aquarium plants is becoming more mainstream due to its benefits. So, how do you prep your aquarium plant in pots?
This is a ubiquitous question most beginner aquarists have in their minds. So, we will be clarifying everything in detail. Follow the steps as mentioned:
- The first step is to start with the soil. Next, you have to wet the soil till it becomes mud consistency. Once done, you are ready to shift it to the pot.
- Add the soil in the mud consistency and press down a few times in the pot. This will compact the soil in the pot and get rid of air bubbles.
- To insert the live aquarium plant, make a hole in the center of the soil. This should go down to the bottom of the pot.
- Add your plant, ensuring that your roots are exposed and not stuffed down to the bottom. As you place the plant into the pot, secure the surroundings with gravel and substrate.
- Ensure the top layer of the pot is covered with gravel and tightly packed.
- Instead of thrusting the potted aquarium plant into the tank, lower it gradually into the aquarium. Doing so will release the trapped air bubbles.
We’d recommend using plastic or clay pots for the aquarium for best results. They are easy to maintain and don’t attract unwarranted algal growth around them. Also, if you have planting fertilizer, add that to the pot.
Check out the complete guide on ‘Which Plants Are Right For Your Aquarium?’
Advantages Of Placing Potted Plants in An Aquarium
Contrary to popular belief, potted aquarium plants have a lot of benefits. With the convenience, they also work efficiently in protecting the fish.
Let us walk you through all the benefits in detail:
1. Provide Protection from Fish
Community tanks host different kinds of fish species in them. Some are calm and peaceful, while a few skittish ones like cichlids tend to dig through the substrate.
Anchoring the aquarium plants with string to the substrate can easily de-root them from the spot. This leads to the plant free-floating in the aquarium.
If you don’t want that, using potted live aquarium plants is a stable alternative if you don’t want that. The sturdy pot keeps the plant in place and prevents it from getting displaced from the site.
2. Promote Gas Exchange
Most potted plants are fixed inside clay pots. They are porous and allow easy exchange of water and gases, like oxygen. So, if you are worried about stunted growth in the aquarium, the potted plants take care of such complications.
Leaving your live aquarium plants in the pots promotes faster and healthier plant growth with sufficient nutrient balance.
3. Easy for Redecoration
The most significant benefit of potted plants is that it allows you to pick and move your plants. In addition, you don’t have to untie and tie the plant every time you redecorate.
Also, if an aquarium plant is dead due to a fish attack, you can pick it up and replace it with ease. Rearrangement of the pots in the tank becomes more accessible too.
This, in comparison to the substrate anchored plants, is very difficult to move around. The substrate anchored plants also risk damaging the roots in the process.
4. Easy to Maintain
With potted plants, you have the option to decorate the tank according to your aesthetics. Besides the recyclable containers, you can also use terracotta and clay pots for better versatility.
This can easily accentuate the look of your aquarium and spruce up the space. Also, when you have the plants stable in one place, trimming and caring for the plant becomes easier.
5. Play Area for Small Fish
The empty top layer with gravel serves as a resting and playing spot for small fish species in the tank. It is also ideal for small fish to hide if they feel threatened in the tank.
So, not just for the tank’s appearance, this serves as a good spot for the fish species to chill and have fun.
6. Supports Breeding
The potted plant in the aquarium also serves as a good spot for the fish to lay the eggs. So, this serves as a protective spot for mating during the breeding season.
Since baby fish or fry are at heightened risks of getting eaten, it isn’t surprising that the same can be averted with a potted plant.
Using potted aquarium plants for your fish tank can spruce up the appearance and implement several benefits. However, if you are worried about setting it up or using it in the tank, rest assured this article answers all your queries in detail.
If you have further questions in your mind, feel free to leave them for us in the comments.