Monthly Archives: April 2014

Anubias in Flower

Anubias Species – Aquatic Plant Spotlight

Anubias is one of the most common species found in the aquatic industry. It’s hardy nature and attractive thick green leaves make it one of the most favourable species around. There are many varieties of Anubias, varying in size, shape and colour. 

One of it’s key strengths is it’s ability to thrive in situations other plants cannot tolerate, such as low lighting, it actually much prefers to be grown in shady areas, so you do not have to worry about other plants overshadowing your Anubias. This makes it an ideal mid ground filler, where other taller plants can grown upwards and over the Anubias.

Herbivores also tend to stay away from Anubias, due to it’s thick leaves. They also do not get uprooted by larger fish as this plant should be attached to wood/rocks.

Anubias tends to be a more expensive species to purchase, simply because it takes longer to cultivate and grow to a good size in order to sell. Expect to pay £1-2 more for a pot of Anubias than you would a regular aquatic plant.

Shop for Anubias Here!

How to keep Anubias – What you need to do…

Not a lot! Anubias will thrive in many tank environments. High light or low light, CO2 injection or no CO2 injection. Because it’s slow growing, Anubias is a particular favourite with ‘low tech’ aquariums, this being lower lighting intensities, minimal fertilization and zero CO2 supplementation. It will do just fine in such aquariums. Maintenance is also minimal with this plant as it’s such a slow grower!

One thing you must do with Anubias is bear in mind that this species should be attached to some form of hardscape such as wood or rocks. If you plant it in your substrate the Rhizome will rot and the plant will die. This can be done by simply using cotton, fishing line or super glue. Super glue works best for me, as it’s less hassle than using fiddly cotton or line. Super glue is not toxic and won’t harm your fish in any way. Did you know it was orginally designed for use under water!? Great for Anubias!

Flowering

Anubias is famously known for produce spectacular flowers, even under water! To get your Anubias to flower I would recommend using CO2 injection and a regular dosing of nutrients. This will encourage the plant to grow a bit faster and fire out some beautiful flowers.

Anubias in Flower

 

The flowers will last for around 2-3 weeks, once they start to look a bit tired just chop them off and more will come along soon.

Anubias Species List

Anubias Nana

The most common and loved of all Anubias. A.nana is the perfect anubias to get started with and widely available in the aquatic industry. Probably to easiest of all to care for and the easiest to get into flower. It’s quite a small variety, making a great all rounder for all different sized tanks.

Anubias Nana | Buy Online from Aquarium Gardens

Anubias Bateri

Leaf size is larger than A.nana, and the stalks can be much longer too. Therefore, I would recommend A.Bateri for medium to larger size aquarium. It could get a bit to out of proportion in a nano tank.

Anubias Bonsai

A superb mini version of the Anubias Nana, the leaves are even smaller. It makes the perfect Anubias for nano aquariums, or where the aquarist would like to give a greater sense of scale. Much the same demands as most Anubias, you can’t go wrong with this one.

Anubias Bonsai Plant

Anubias Minima

A great alternative to the more popular species, the A.Minima is just as easy to keep. What makes it different is its more slender long leaf shape. New leaves sprout a lovely light brown colour.

Anubias-Minima-Potted

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anubias Congensis

A much taller species, which can grow up to 12 inches so suited to larger aquaria. Leaf shape is more spear shaped. It’s a very slow grower and it’s leaves can last for many years. Great choice for larger aquariums.

Anubias Lanceolata loose aquarium plant uk online

You can find all the listed Anubias Here!

Java Moss on Driftwood

Aquarium Moss – easy greenery for planted aquariums

Looking for easy spreading greenery for your planted aquarium? Look no further…growing aquatic moss is not very difficult. Many aquatic moss will thrive in most aquariums, low light or high light, CO2 infused or no CO2 infused. It can be used to create stunning nature aquariums by attaching it to wood or rocks, or used to create carpets or green walls. Alternatively, it can be used to create stunning backdrops.

Java Moss attached to Coconut slice. Simple and effective feature.

Moss on Coconut

Growing Aquatic Mosses

Moss is considered one of the easiest aquatic plants to grow. If you keep Java Fern or Anubias in a low light aquarium, then Java Moss is something you could have similar success with.

To get the most out of your aquarium mosses, like most aquarium plants you should supplement CO2 and nutrients. This will really bring your moss to life. You will witness much faster growth, beautiful green colours and more compact bushy growth. Under extreme low light, moss can become very leggy or stringy. However, it will still grow.

Moss is also very popular with shrimp keepers as they provide great places for your shrimp to hide, and also to graze on waste products caught in the moss.

Here’s a list of common mosses I would recommend for newcomers:

  • Java Moss – the most common moss of all, and the most undemanding. Give this one a go if you’ve never tried moss before, it’s a guaranteed winner!
  • Christmas Moss – as the name suggests, this moss resembles the fern like structure of a Christmas tree. Stunning and beautiful, this moss looks exceptional in CO2 infused aquariums.
  • Spiky Moss – Another great moss for beginners. A slower grower, however under higher light this moss can look beautiful.
  • Moss Ball – They are formed in shallow lakes with gentle wave moment which turns the balls as they go, giving its spherical shape. SUPER easy to keep, just need rolling every couple of weeks to maintain shape. Ideal for all planted aquariums.

Moss Ball

And some general requirements for most mosses:

Temp: 22-28°C
PH: 6-8
GH & KH: Adapts to most water conditions
Light: Low Light – High Light
CO2: No CO2, CO2 injection or Liquid Carbon
Tank Size: Perfect for any size aquarium!

Moss on Wood

Moss is the ideal candidate for attaching to wood. You can either buy moss pre-attached to wood, or attach it yourself to your chosen piece of wood. Using cotton helps temporarily attach the moss to the wood. Over 3-6 weeks the moss will naturally cling onto the wood. This can be used to create stunning natural effects which looks great in the planted aquarium. Moss has widely been used to create some of the most stunning aquascapes in the world. If you have some wood in your aquarium, it’s well worth giving moss a go!

Java Moss on Driftwood

Lighting – Intensities and Duration

Light is the most important factor when growing aquarium plants. Deciding how much light you need over your aquarium depends on the plants you want to grow, how fast you want them to grow and how many hours of tank maintenance you are prepared to put it. It should also be played with carefully like you would be fire. Too much and your plants could be toast!

It is all to easy to go overboard with aquarium lighting. Often those not injecting CO2 stress out the plants by firing a ton of light at them. More light = more demand for CO2 and nutrients. When these are not supplied enough to meet the plants demands, they start to suffer. Growth deficiencies may occur, the plants might start loosing leaves or they could start to simply melt. Many of us know what happens when your plants suffer…and if you don’t know….algae starts to thrive!

A simple solution to this!? Reduce the intensity of your lighting. Do this by:

  • Disconnecting a bulb
  • Raising your light higher above your water
  • Changing the type of light you have e.g. from T5 bulbs to T8 bulbs
  • Use a dimmer. Many LED units are compatible with certain light dimmer controllers

By reducing your lighting intensity you are lowering the demand for CO2 and nutrients by your plants. You will then start to restore some sort of balance between your lighting and the available nutrients and CO2 in your aquarium. Your plants will start to perk up and over time health will be restored. Growth will be slower, but with lower lighting you have to accept that. However the up side is less pruning is required, and water changes become less rigorous than a tank with high lighting.

While your plants are recovering, remove any dead, deformed or unhealthy leaves by cutting them away using a sharp pair of scissors. This will encourage the plant to focus on new growth. Old unhealthy leaves will be taking up vital energy from the plant. This energy should be focusing on new growth while your plants are recovering.

Furthermore, one more thing you should take into consideration with your lighting is the lighting period. This is the length of time your lights come on to the timer they go off. We recommend sticking to 8 hours per day. Plants do not need any more than this and we think it reduces the risk of algae outbreaks. During the first 2-3 weeks of your tank start-up, try only having your lighting on 6 hours per day. You are less likely to be confronted with early algae formations during this fragile stage of the tanks life. You should also put your light on a timer so your plants are getting the same amount of light each day. Consistency is vital, and this goes for many aspects of having a planted aquarium.

LED Planted Aquarium Light

A suitable light for densely planted aquariums

See here for a post about of NEW LED LIGHTING

If you have any questions, please drop us a e-mail at info@aquariumgardens.co.uk or leave us a comment below, we are happy to help answer any of your planted aquarium questions!

Multi-buy discounts on carpet plants

There’s now even more reason to buy your carpet plants from Aquarium Gardens…

  • Buy 2 and save.
  • Buy 5 and save even more!
  • Perfect for your next aquascape or lush green carpet of plants.

Carpet plants will happily eastablish themselves along the substrate in your aquarium forming what’s known as a carpet. Some carpet plants multiply through runners, others expand just like stem plants, except by creeping along the bottom of your aquarium substrate. Just like many stem plants, regular trimming of your carpet plants will ensure compact and rapid growth.
Carpet plants also need particular attention to flow and CO2, as you are required to provide CO2 to the lower areas of your aquarium where you carpet plants can absorb it. Ensure your flow is circulating around all areas of your tank, including along your substrate. You will be rewarded with a lush carpet of plants.

Here’s a quick video featuring some of our most popular carpet plants:

Remember, we hold our plants hydroponically, so when we receive them from producers we carry on growing them to ensure you receive a plant that is bursting from the pot. They are also super healthy and much better quality than those stored in tanks of water.