Category Archives: Plants

Love Cryptocoryne? Then you’ll LOVE this…

When it comes to the most popular and easy to care for plants for aquariums, Cryptocoryne has to be number one. We have some excellent news for all Crytocoryne fans… this month we have a superb alternative plant that looks, and grows very similar to to most common Crytocoryne, but this plant has more colours! AND what’s more it’s 25% off until the end of May. Keep reading for more info….

Lagenandra meeboldii ‘Red’ is extremely similar to many Cryptocoryne. It’s like a broad leafed variety. It is also capable of displaying wonderful colours, ranging from pink new leaves, to dark violets, browns and greens in older more established leaves. The leaves can grow 4-8cm wide and 6-12cm long, so this plant becomes relatively wide once mature. It make’s the perfect focal placement plant. When surrounded by various smaller Crytocoryne, this would look very impressive!

What I love most, though, is anyone can grow this plant. Whether you’re a beginner or more advanced, this plant can be grown in a wide variety of conditions and tank set-ups.

To bring out the best in Lagenandra meeboldii ‘Red’, grow with high lighting, a nutritious substrate and CO2 injection. You will be rewarded with a spectacular array of colours, all on the same leaf normally.

Why not try this plant out now? This month we are offering a 25% discount, just because we love this plant so much! Click here to shop for this plant now.

Lagenandra meeboldii 'Red'

Anubias Barteri Compact

Anubias Barteri ‘Compact’ – Now available at Aquarium Gardens

One of the most fascinating things about this hobby is the list of aquatic plants available nowadays is almost never ending. It is extraordinary the variety of plants out there, however it is still not that easy to get your hands on all of them from one place. That’s why we are constantly looking to increase our range, slowly bringing you more and more plants… which is great news for auqascapers as more plants mean more aquascaping possibilities!

This week we have added another new plant to our range. It’s always exciting when we get a new plant. I personally love waiting for new arrivals, wondering what they will look like and how I can use them in future aquascapes.

Let me introduce to you a wonderful take of one of our most popular plants ‘Anubias Barteri var nana’….This one is called Anubias Barteri ‘Compact’ 

As the name suggests, this variety grows more compact, and does not grow as tall as regular Anubias Barteri. Thus making ideal in smaller aquariums, where smaller Anubias varieties suit the scale in smaller tanks. This wonderful plant is produced by Aquaflora, one of our superb producers whom we source our plants from. Aquaflora produce some fantastic plants, and are always amazing quality and extremely healthy.

Like all Anubias, you should be tying this down to a piece of rock or wood (use fishing line or cotton). The roots will rot if buried in substrate. By attaching Anubias to wood or rocks, you are also making your planted aquarium look and feel more mature, as if the plant has been growing and grafting itself onto the wood for years.

Light fertilization will do for Anubias Barteri Compact, it is a slow grower so does not uptake nutrients very quickly. It will grow in low to high light tanks, and actually much prefers growing under the shade of other plants. This helps reduce algae growth on the slow growing leaves, which can often attract algae formations if left out in direct bright lighting.

If your a fan of Anubias, or just someone starting out in the hobby, this is a great plant to have. It is very hard to go wrong with it, and will serve you well for many years to come! You will find this plant on our website here.

Two new plants…


Today we have added two wonderful new species of aquatic plant to our range. These plants have been added to our range purely because recently we have had many requests for these plants by our customers. Well, if the customer would like to see these plants at Aquarium Gardens then we certainly do our best to get hold of them.

Remember, if there is something you would like to see at Aquarium Gardens, get in touch as we will do our best to source it for you. Our nurseries grow many many types of plants so it is highly likely we get hold of most plants you require. If we get enough requests for a particularly plant then we will stock it permanently.

We think both these plants have a lot to offer, so here they are:


Echinodorus magdalensis

Echinodorus magdalensis

Limnophila aromatica

limnophila aromatica

Plants Your Fish Won’t Eat!

Do you have a fish tank that houses herbivorous fish? You may have lost a few plants due to certain fish that actually eat plants as part of their diet! For me, I would steer clear of herbivorous fish if your planning on planting up your aquarium. Smaller varieties such as tetras and rasboras are perfect for planted tanks.

However, should you be so keen to keep herbivorous fish and maintain a planted tank, then there ARE some plants that can be kept with such fish….

Crinum Thaianum is the PERFECT plant to keep with such fish. It’s leaves are long and thick, almost like rubber. So tough that fish can’t actually eat them! It is also a very hardy and easy to care for. It has few demands and can be grown well in a variety of environments. It gets it’s nick name “Onion Plant” from the large bulb at the bottom, which looks like an onion. One potencial snag is it can grown VERY large, so it would be best planted in an aquarium of 100L+

Crinum Calamistratum  is another bulb plant which is perfect for tank with herbivorous fish. Leaves a long and tough, they are much narrower and more crinkly too. It too is a large plant, growing up to 120cm in length! Again, a plant for the larger aquarium.

Crinum calamistratum

Anubias Nana is another popular plant that your fish won’t eat. One of the most available plants around, it has been popular for many years. It’s small round thick leaves make hard work for your fish to eat, so they simply decide not to bother! This plant is very versatile and can be grown with or without CO2, High light or low light, and with very little effort most of the time! One thing to be aware of is that Anubias should be attached to wood or stone, NOT buried in your gravel/substrate. If buried, the roots will eventually rot and the plant will suffer. Using fishing line is the easiest way to tie this plant down to wood or rock.

Anubias Nana | Buy Online from Aquarium Gardens

Java Fern (Microsorum Pteropus)

A firm favourite among many aquarists and the ideal beginner plant! Java Fern (Microsorum Pteropus) requires similar handling to the Anubias, whereby you should tie it down to wood/rock using fishling line. It doesn’t take well if you bury it in the substrate.

Java Fern also has fairly thick sturdy leaves, and fish will stay away from these if they’re being fed well.
It comes in many forms, some with crinkly leaves, some with flared leaves, mini versions and needle version. All are pretty easy to maintain, so pick the one you like best and enjoy this easy care plant.

Microsorum pteropus (Java Fern) on lava Stone


New year, New plants!

We’re now into 2015… doesn’t time fly!? New year calls for new plants!… We are always looking to increase our range of plants as we understand having a wide choice of quality plants is what our customers want. Don’t forget, if you can’t find a plant your looking for you can make a request and we will try our best to source it for you!

More plants means more possibilities, more ways to be creative, and more chances to experiment with new species. Perhaps you’ve got that new tank you wanted for Christmas? Well that sounds like a great opportunity to try out some of our new plants! Here’s what’s new for January 2015…

Hygrophila pinnatifida

Hygrophila pinnatifida


Hygrophila Pinnatifida and Moss on Wood

Hygrophila Pinnatifida and Moss on Wood


Marsilea Crenata Tissue Culture

Marsilea Crenata Tissue Culture

Marsilea Hirsuta Tissue Culture

Marsilea Hirsuta Tissue Culture

Ludwigia inclinata ‘Curly’ Tissue Culture

Ludwigia inclinata 'Curly' Tissue Culture


Cryptocoryne Wendtii Tropica Tissue Culture
Cryptocoryne Wendtii Tropica Tissue Culture

The best value Tissue Culture Plants around!

Grabbed your attention? If you’re interested in the best value aquarium tissue culture plants (also know as in-vitro plants) that are fantastic quality then keep reading…

Our tissue culture plants offer superb value compared to other leading brands (such as Tropica 1-2 grow). Those of you that have used tissue culture plants before know that your getting superb plants that are free from algae, snails and pests. And they adapt to your aquarium REALLY well compared to regular net potted plants.

Tissue Culture








For those of your that have never tried or never even heard of tissue culture plants then here’s a few things you need to know:

  • Tissue Culture plants are like no other. They are grown in a lab in sterile conditions, meaning they are free from disease, snails, algae and many other pests. This is very important if you’re after plants for a shrimp aquarium.
  • They adapt much better to aquariums and there is less ‘melting’ than what you would get from regular net potted plants. ‘What is melting?’ I here some of your ask….well some plants like to adapt to their new surrounds, during this adaptation period they shed old leaves and then new growth is produced which is better adapted to its new growing environment. Because tissue culture plants are much, much younger plants, they do not go through this adaptation stage like their grown up versions.
  • Tissue culture plants are actually a middle plant in the production process of bigger net pot plants. Producers are now selling this middle men plants because of the many benefits they bring to the aquarist.
  • You get many plants from one pot. Each pot can be separated into several portions or ‘plugs’ as I sometimes like to call it. Usually 8-12 portions is a normal rate when splitting up a pot of tissue culture plant.
  • There is also a benefit when it comes to shipping and storing these plants. As they come in sealed plastic sterile pots, these plants can be kept like this for weeks before you need to use them. Store them in a cool place and you can keep them until you need to use them (however the sooner the better). They also ship very, very well as they are in sealed sterile pots.

Here’s a nice looking tissue culture plant removed from the pot. As you can see you are getting a lovely healthy pot of plant with healthy root structures. This particular plant is called Eleocharis sp mini and is used mainly as a ‘carpet plant’ and will willingly produce runners and multiply.

tissue culture eleocharis

So what are you waiting for!? Give these plants a go. They are fantastic for aquascaping and work superbly in CO2 injected aquariums. You will find all our tissue culture plants here: Tissue Culture Plants

Popular Red Aquarium Plants

As we begin to increase our range of red plants, we’ve decided to list our top 5 …

Alternanthera reineckii ‘Rosanervig’

An absolutely outstanding plant, never ceases to catch the eye or go unnoticed. Alternanthera reineckii Rosanervig has vibrant pink leaves with light nerves characterise this vigorous culture form. The plant has a compact form of growth and the stalk does not grow as strong as other Alternanthera. Perfect for planting in the id section of your aquarium, or between wood/rocks. A good fertilization and high levels of CO2 is crucial to success with this vibrant plant.


Alternanthera Reineckii ”Mini’

Alternathera Reineckii ”Mini’ is a miniature version of the popular Alternanthera. This plant displays compact and low growth, making it perfect for smaller aquariums or larger aquariums as a foreground plant. It has lovely red and violet colours. Maximum height is around 10-15cm. High light and CO2 injection improves the growth rate and overall health of the plant.


Echinodorus Red Devil

Echinodorus Red devil produces leaves with a bright shade of red, turned darker as they grow. not a plant for nano aquariums. This one can grow big, up to 40cm tall. Perfect as a centre piece display. Good light and nutrition will promote the development of red leaves.


Echinodorus Ozelot Red Flamed

Another cracker from the Echinodorus Species. As the name suggests, the leaves have a red flamed pattern on them, very intriguing. Like the red devil, it can grow quite tall. They look great planted in groups of 2-4 plants.


Alternanthera Rosaefolia

A popular stem plant which can grow tall and bushy if maintained well enough. This plant originates from South America and needs plenty of light to grow quickly to the surface. A lack a micro nutrients will turn the leaves pale. Harsh pruning will encourage bushy growth.



Most red plants are more demanding than most species of aquatic plant. They require plenty of light, CO2 and nutrients to perform well. They are not recommended for low tech tanks. I would always recommend using CO2 injection with red plants (in fact, I would use CO2 in any planted tank myself!). With the right parameters, leaves can turn pale and colours will not be at their best.
So be sure your set-up is adequate if you want your red plants to thrive in your aquarium!

Fast Growing Aquarium Plants

Fast growing plants can be oh so satisfying. Especially if you’ve never grown aquarium plants before. Plants such as Hydrocotyle Leucocephala, Cardamine Lyrata, Vallisneria, Bacopa, Rotala RotundifoliaHydrophila Angustifolia and Hygrophila Polysperma all grow incredibly quickly, with very little effort most of the time! They will give you an almost instant sense of achievement, as within a couple of weeks you will notice significant growth.

Sometimes they can even be a  job manage! As weekly or bi-weekly pruning is often required…especially in high light set ups. If you are going for the ‘Jungle Style’ look then these plants are perfect to leave running wild.

Hygrophila polysperma 'Rosanervig'

Hygrophila Polysperma Rosanervig ^

If you’re a beginner, I would always recommend going for a few fast growing stem plants. As well as the almost instant sense of achievement, they do an incredibly good job at helping fight away algae by eating unwanted nutrients and waste products that algae thrive off. They are particularly useful  in a new set up, where the aquarium is yet to mature. During start up, there is often a large build of of organic waste products (which is why we need to carry out more water changes until the tank has matured). Fast growing plants such as the ones mentioned above, help remove these impurities and fight algae away.

DO fertilize your planted aquarium in plentiful amounts when housing fast growing plants (such as TNC Complete). They will eat many nutrients quickly. You don’t want your water column drained from the vital nutrients plants need to stay healthy. A nutrient limited environment is also a perfect setting for algae to settle in!

With CO2 injection, growth can be rapid. Some plants will grow like weeds, especially the ones already mentioned at the beginning of this post.

When the time comes to prune your plants (when they have almost reached the surface) trim down over half way the first time you trim. Each place you cut, 2 or 3 new shoots will appear. This will encourage the plants to become more bushy, and have a more compact appearance. ‘Leggy’ plants are unsightly and do not bring out the true beauty of the plant. Cuttings can be re-planted to form a new plant. You can plant cuttings in groups of 2 or 3.

Ludwigia Glandulosa

Luwigia Glandulosa ^

My top 10 tips with fast growing aquarium plants look like this:

  1. Plant fast growing plants right from the beginning, as these plants help maintain stability of the tank whilst it matures.
  2. DO fertilize generously – these plants eat ALOT fast.
  3. If your a beginner, I would certainly recommend starting with some fast growing stem plants.
  4. Prune often to encourage bushy and compact growth.
  5. Re-plant cuttings to create new plants.
  6. Do not let these types of plants overshadow other smaller plants below.
  7. Ensure the lower leaves have access to light, else they might die off. Prune as necessary.
  8. Some fast growing plants send out runners, such as Vallisneria. These are also great for beginners. 
  9. If you have a hight light set up, CO2 is recommend as with all plants.
  10. Remove dead leaves as they appear, they will not recover and the plant will have a better chance of recovering with new fresh leaves.

Why not try some fast growing aquarium plants? I would definitely recommend them if your new to the hobby or planning on starting a new planted tank!

The future of Aquarium Plants – In-vitro

The future of plants for aquariums in here!! Say hello to In-Vitro plants…

Tissue culture aquarium plants – also known as ‘in-vitro’ plants – are manufactured in a laboratory using the latest tissue culture technologies to produce unique & high quality plants in plastic polypropylene pots.
They are grown in sterile conditions using a fertile gel/liquid.


GUARANTEED to be free from snails, pests, algae and pesticides, making them perfect for shrimp keepers and any planted tank enthusiast. You can order your plants in small or larger pots. Each pot is packed full, giving excellent value for money.

Staurogyne repens.jpgPogostemon Helferi Tissue Culture

£3.99 per pot

Mixed Tissue Culture Plants – equivilent to £2.99 per pot



Further detailed information…

In-vitro plants really are at the front of all the latest technologies in producing aquarium plants. In the laboratory, in-vitro plants are produced with state of the art equipment and in climate controlled chambers. New plants are experimented with and only the ones that meet the exceptionally high standards of Horti-lab get put through to commercial sale.

There is a 3 stage production of aquarium plants, in-vitro plants are sold at stage 2, potted plants are sold at stage 3:

  1. Plant multiplication: plants are multiplied until the desired quantity is required, this is done in sterile ‘in-vitro’ conditions.
  2. Next is the rooting stage, this is again done in sterile conditions and plants are built up until the desired size is achieved. Plants  can be sold at this level, or they are taken onto stage 3.
  3. This stage is where fully grown net potted plants are achieved. Plants are taken form in-vitro and acclimatised in nurseries until fully grown and ready for sale.

Buying plants at stage two (in-vitro) bring many benefits to aquarists:

  • Snail, algae, disease and pest free plants.
  • You get super healthy plants in pots that are super full!
  • Pots can be kept for 2-4 weeks until the aquarist is ready to plant – no rush to put plants into the aquarium.
  • Perfect for shrimp tanks, these plants are excellent for use with sensitive animals.
  • Many popular varieties available for aquascaping.
  • They ship exceedingly well.

Here’s a few snaps of the pots and packaging, showing key information about each plant such as light demands, temperature demands and how easy it is to grow:

Alternathera reineckii ''mini' Hortilab.jpg


eleocharis sp mini.jpg

Micranthemum Umbrosum Potted

All about Micranthemum Umbrosum

Micranthemum Umbrosum – A Beautiful and Versatile Plant That’s Hard Not to Love



Micranthemum Umbrosum is widely used in aquascaping. A popular choice due to it’s stunning appearance and adaptability. It is similar to Micranthemum Micranthemoides, however the difference is mainly down to leaf size and growth nature. It is also often confused with Hemianthus Callitrichoides, another stem plant will small round leaves. All three species are often sold under the same nick name of ‘Baby Tears’, adding to the confusion.


Micranthemum Umbrosum is relatively undemanding, and can be grown in both CO2 infused and non CO2 infused aquariums. It prefers moderate light levels. Too low and this plant will struggle. If you really want this plant to grow and get the best out of it, CO2 infusion is the way to go. With CO2, growth is denser and more rapid. When it starts to grow quickly, it will consume more nutrients so be sure to dose extra nutrients.

Each stem can grow up to 20cm. Leaves are only small, around 5mm-1cm. Micranthemum Umbrosum willing produces side shoots, especially when trimmed regularly.

Micranthemum Umbrosum Aquarium Plant

Uses in Aquascaping

Widely used as a mid-ground bush, you can simply trim to keep it’s size and shape. In Dutch aquascaping, this plant is cleverly trimmed to create round bushes in the mid-ground.

With a little bit of training, Micranthemum Umbrosum can also be used in the foreground. Plant stems horizontally and snip of any stems shooting upwards. Under high light and CO2 this plant will trail in the foreground.

In Nano scapes, it is commonly used as a background plant. It’s small leave size suits smaller aquaria to help maintain a sense of scale.

How to Plant

To prepare Micranthemum Umbrosum for planting:

  • Remove the pot from the rockwool
  • Carefully tear the rockwool away from the roots. Be carefully not to damage the roots
  • Separate tho plant into several small portions
  • Using aquascaping tweezers plant each portion into your substrate about 2-3cm apart from each other
  • Using finer gravel types makes for easier planting


Like many stem plants, propagation is very easy. Simply snip of sections of the stem and re-plant using aquascaping tweezers. The old stem will fire out new shoots, and the new cuttings will take root in a matter of days. This practice allows for bushier growth and larger plant coverage.

Micranthemum Umbrosum from above


Growth can be rampant, so keeping on top of pruning is a must to prevent lower sections of the stem from receiving light. You might need to trim as often as every two weeks depending how fast it grows. More light = faster growth. With more light also becomes a higher demand for CO2 and nutrients. So if you have high lighting, ensure you are injection CO2, or dosing liquid carbon. Keep up with dosing nutrients as this plant will consume more and more the faster it grows.

Where to buy

You can purchase this plant here at Aquarium Gardens: Micranthemum Umbrosum

All our plants are kept in emsersed conditions to ensure our customers receive the highest quality plants that are guaranteed to be algae free.