Monthly Archives: March 2014

LED Lighting for Tropical Planted Aquariums

Light is the most important factor when growing aquatic plants. The planted aquarium starts with a good lighting unit and I am now about to introduce to you some fantastic new LED lighting units for planted aquariums…

Beamswork LED Planted Tank Lighting

Say hello to the Beamswork LED lighting units designed for use with planted aquariums. These Hi-lumen light units are super slim and adaptable so will fit on any size aquarium. The unit housing is just 5″ thick, which means it will fit under almost any aquarium hood to replace your old aquarium lighting. The adjustable feet will allows the light to be extended to fit onto a range of different sized aquariums. The unit works great over open top aquariums and the feet rest on the aquarium glass side panels.

The 6500K colour is the perfect level for plant visuals, a level considered the best colour rendition for viewing your aquarium plants.

The unit comes in several different adjustable sizes so you can be sure to find a unit that will fit onto your aquarium. The bigger the unit, the more 0.2W LEDS are fitted into the housing.

The various sizes we have available are:

  • 12-18″, 33 x 0.2w 6500k LED’s, 600 Lumens
  • 18-22″, 54 x 0.2w 6500k LED’s, 1020 Lumens
  • 24-30″, 78 x 0.2w 6500k LED’s, 1450 Lumens
  • 36-40″, 129 x 0.2w 6500k LED’s, 2410 Lumens
  • 48-54″, 168 x 0.2w 6500k LED’s, 3140 Lumens

It’s definitely worth giving these a go. They will certainly look much better & take up less space than your old bulky T5 lighting units, and because LED’s use much less power than flourecent tubes, you will be saving £££’s off you electricity bill….win win!?

Start with Quality Plants….

One of the most important things when starting a new aquascape is starting with healthy vibrant plants. You’re much more likely to have a successful planted aquarium if you start with the right plants….

Here at Aquarium Gardens you can rest assured that your plants will arrive in top condition. This is because we hold our plants in a very different way to most retailers. We hold all our aquarium plants in an emersed, humid, well lit and well fertilized environment. The results are outstanding. The plants continue to grow rapidly and are fed all the vital nutrients direct to their roots for super healthy growth. What’s more, because they are kept out of water, they are completely algae free GUARANTEED!

Let’s take a closer look at some of out most popular plants…

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Glossostigma Elatinoides

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Staurogyne Rubescens

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Bacopa Caroliniana

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Pogostemon Helferi

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Hemianthus Callitrichoides

For more super healthy aquatic plants visit our website at www.aquariumgardens.co.uk

List of our Top 5 Aquarium Carpet Plants

Carpet plants are used to create a lush green lawn or mat of plants that, as the name suggests, create a carpet look along the bottom of your aquarium. The popularity of these plants has boomed tremendously over the last 5-10 years, especially in aquascaping. So we have put together a list of our top 5 carpeting plants available on our website:

 

1. Hemianthus Callitrichoides – the smallest aquatic plant in the world that’s currently available to aquarists. Hemianthus Callitrichoides or ‘HC’ for short, is the ultimate carpet plant. It’s tiny tear drop shaped leaves, lush green colour and creeping nature is what makes it so popular for carpeting. Not the easiest plant to care for mind you, certainly if your new to planted aquariums. It requires plenty of light intensity to penetrate down to the bottom of your aquarium, and CO2 that is adequately circulated around the lower parts of your aquarium. If these requirements are not met then HC often suffers. It also requires regular pruning, not only to keep it in shape, but to make sure the carpet does not get too thick. When this happens the underside of the plant usually dies and lifts away from your substrate. Due to the small size of Hemianthus Callitrichoides, it is the perfect plant if you want to create a sense of scale in the aquarium, or make things appear bigger than they actually are. Therefore they are great for smaller aquaria or nano tanks. If the aquarist has a good understanding of how to care for this plant, it certainly is one of the most stunning carpeting plants around.

Hemianthus Callitrichoides

 

2. Echinodorus Tenellus – sometimes refereed to as the ‘mini amazon sword’, this plant is part of the sword plant species group and is one of the smallest. It has long grass like leaves . It propagates by runners quite happily under good light and can quickly be used to cover areas of your aquarium. Under high light, growth can be very compact and fast. In my opinion Echinodorus Tenellus is a great plant to begin with if you have never tried carpeting aquarium plants before. It has much lower demands than other carpet plants (such as Hemianthus Callitrichoides and Glossostigma Elantinoides). However, having said this, to create the best carpets use lots of CO2 and fertz. Do not overshadow with taller plants.

 

Echinodorus Tennellus or Mini Amazon sword Aquarium Plant

3. Sagittaria Subulata – also known as “Dwarf Sagittaria”, this plant is another great beginner carpeting plant. It’s leaf shape is fairly similar to the E.tenellus, in that is has long grass like leaf shapes, usually a bit thicker and a bit longer. Much like the E.tenellus, it propagates through runners. This plant can sometimes, almost randomly, grow quite tall. The best way to keep it short is to trim it regularly. Another great choice for beginners as it has lower demands all round. A nutritious substrate always helps.

Buy Sagittaria Subulata or Dwarf Sagittaria - Aquarium Carpet Plant

 

4. Staurogyne Rubescens – a stem plant that has a low bushy compact nature, thus making it another great plant for carpeting. It can look similar to some Hygrophila species, however, it will not grow much higher than 5-10cm. To keep it low down, regular pruning it required. To carpet this plant requires a little more expertise. When the stems become to a long upright position, cut these off and replant the cutting. This can be done repeatedly to encourage a carpet. Under higher light, many stems will creep horizontally.

Buy Staurogyne rubescens

 

5. Eleocharis Acicularis – very similar to Eleochairs Parvulus. It has a common name of hairgrass. As this suggests, it has fine grass like leaves. When planted in groups it will quickly form a dense group of plants. To encourage fast growth, fire lots of CO2 at it and it will quickly shoot out runners to form a carpet. Under lower light, growth is much slower and creating a thick carpet is much more difficult. Because of its small delicate grass leaves, it is another good carpet plant for creating a sense of scale, and much suited to smaller aquaria. The leaves easily sway under the filter flow, thus creating some movement to your aquarium.

Eleocharis Acicularis AKA Dwarf Hairgrass - Aquarium Gardens

 

So there we have it, our top 5 aquarium carpet plants. One last tip that applies to all carpeting plants; ensure your aquarium water is being circulated around the lower areas of your aquarium, otherwise your carpet plants may not receive the vital CO2 and nutrients they need to grow.