Aquarists are lucky in that there are literally hundreds of plant species suitable for aquarium conditions. Not all these plants are found in nature; many are cultivated varieties developed by plant growers, wholesalers, and, in some cases, individual aquarists. As a result of crossbreeding and selective propagation, we can now choose from a wide range of plants with varied and interesting leaf shapes, colors, growth patterns, and care requirements. Many plants also have subspecies, which are usually slightly different in height or leaf shape. Whatever type of aquarium design you are aiming for, there will be a good choice of plants to suit those conditions. Most aquatic outlets stock a good selection of aquarium plants, which should vary slightly from week to week. But what happens if you are looking for a certain species or type of plant? If you are having difficulty obtaining a particular plant, you may find that one of the many mail-order suppliers will stock it, or something similar. Alternatively, your local retailer may be able to locate it from one of their suppliers. Whichever method you use to obtain plants, you should never be short of choices.
Although welcome, this wide selection of aquarium plants can be quite daunting. Where do you start? In the aquascaping chapter of this book, we looked at using plants in
Hydrocotyle verticillata various areas of the tank: background, midground, foreground, etc. However, there are many other ways of grouping plants and drawing up a "short list" of suitable species by a process of elimination. For example, plants can be selected for suitability by their height, spread, lighting and nutrient requirements, temperature, as well as by location in the aquarium. A welcome challenge for aquarists is a biotope aquarium, where the fish and plants featured represent a natural habitat. In this case, plants can be chosen by their geographical origin. Or you can simply choose plants based on their colors, size, and leaf shapes. Plants in the aquarium should both contrast and complement each other, although choosing plants in this way is purely down to the artistic taste of the individual. However, a planted aquarium is not a static display and over time, plants can be moved around, swapped around, trimmed, propagated, or removed as required. A planted aquarium is quite literally, a living picture, and as such, it has a somewhat magical property. Choosing the right plants needs time and thought, although mistakes are easily remedied. In this part of the book over 150 plants are featured, along with detailed descriptions of their environmental requirements, growth patterns, origins, and recommended locations. We conclude with a brief review of some non-aquatic species that you can include in an aquarium. Using this guide, you will find it easy to select a range of plants to create your own "living picture."
Cryptocoryne walkeri var. lutea
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The word aquarium originates from the ancient Latin language, aqua meaning water and the suffix rium meaning place or building. Aquariums are beautiful and look good anywhere! Home aquariums are becoming more and more popular, it is a hobby that many people are flocking too and fish shops are on the rise. Fish are generally easy to keep although do they need quite a bit of attention. Puppies and kittens were the typical pet but now fish are becoming more and more frequent in house holds. In recent years fish shops have noticed a great increase in the rise of people wanting to purchase aquariums and fish, the boom has been great for local shops as the fish industry hasnt been such a great industry before now.