Category Archives: Plants

Rotala Rotundifolia – Aquarium Plant Focus

After seeing a really cool video snap of Rotala Rotundifolia, it reminded me how beautiful this plant is in an aquarium. It produces spectacular colours, including reds, oranges, browns and greens. It make’s a perfect contrasting plant which can help break up an aquascape or create a focal point. Here’s the video that inspired me to write about this plant…

Rotala Rotundifolia is native to south east Asia. It has become widely available in the planted aquarium market and for good reason. It’s fast growing, easy to care for and eye catching. It’s leaves are needle shaped (2-3cm long), however oddly enough when in it’s emerged state, Rotala Rotundifolia has very small round shaped leaves, like this…

Rotala Rotundifolia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s why when you buy your Rotala Rotundifolia from Aquarium gardens, you will receive your plant with little round leaves, rather than needle shaped leaves. Do not panic, this is a good sign. Our Rotala has been cultivated emersed, meaning your plant will be fully rooted and in great health. The transitional stage from round leaves to needle leaves will happen over time, as your plants slowly adapt to being under water. Other sellers will sell cuttings in bunches, however these are normally of very low quality with no roots and have trouble adapting to new environments, which means they often suffer early on. Our potted Rotala will always arrive in superb health and fully rooted, allowing the plant the best possible start in your aquarium.

Here’s a few quick fact about Rotala Rotunidifolia:

ORIGIN: Southeast Asia
MAX HEIGHT: 30cm
GROWTH RATE: Moderate
AREA: Midground/Background
LIGHT: Medium to high
TEMP: 22-28C
CO2: CO2 and NON CO2 tanks
PH: 5-8
DIFFICULTY: Easy
WATER HARDNESS: Soft to hard

To get the best out of this plant I would suggest using CO2 injection (especially with high light). I would also suggest to prune regularly. This allows you to create a very bushy plant as each time you prune the Rotala, each parent stem will produce 2-3 new shoots. Using a good pair of aquascaping scissors will help you with your trimming. You may notice new roots appears from the sides of stems, do not fear, this is very normal and means the plant is growing. Cuttings from the plant can be re-planted straight into you substrate. You can plant them individually or in groups of 2-3. Each stem will quickly develop new root systems.

The plants colourations will vary under different light intensities. In the video above you will notice lots of bright oranges and reds. To achieve this you will need much light and CO2. Under lower light intensities this plant will stay more green and yellow.

It is very common for the lower sections of the plant to become overshadowed by the bushy sections of the plant above. It is therefore a good idea to prune regularly and not let the plant become too tall. I often like to use this plant as a midground plant and trim bi-weekly to keep the plant at the correct height and to ensure the lower sections of the plant stay strong and receive enough light.

You can purchase Rotala Rotundifolia here, you will get 6-8 stems per pot, fully rooted. Have fun with this plant!

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

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.

 

 

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.

How to Aquascape with Plants on Wood

Aquarium plants on wood are simply great. Being one of my personal favourite ways to scape an aquarium, it’s almost effortless to create a beautiful looking aquascape using plants that are attached to wood. By using 3 or 4 different pieces of wood with a range of beautiful aquarium plants growing on them makes scaping easy!

If your planning on setting up a new planted aquarium, first, take a look at our plants on wood, coconut and bamboo sticks. Depending on the size of your tank, choose a number of different species that take your fancy. All our plants on wood are easy growers, can be grown under high light or low light, with co2 or no co2. These plants actually prefer growing attached to something. Your chosen pieces can be used as the skeleton of your aquascape. Try re-arranging them in different layouts. The wood becomes the main focal point and you can then put other plants of your choosing around this.

Here’s a great example of a planted aquarium using plants on wood from Aquarium Gardens to create a wonderful aquascape…

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This tank is just 1 day old, but as you can see there is an instant impact made with the arrangement of wood and plants. Something like this is relatively easy to pull off. Just 4 pieces of wood have been used, with various different plants attached to them (Java fern, Pogostemon, Anubias & Javamoss). Once the pieces have been placed, other aquatic plants that do better pushed into the substrate are planted around them.

Take a look at our range of plants of wood and try using them to build your own stunning aquascape!

How to: Prepare Hemianthus Callitrichoides for Planting

Hemianthus CallitrichoidesHemianthus Callitrichoides, or HC for short, is probably the most popular foreground carpeting plant of the moment. It is actually one of the smallest aquatic plants in the world and only been around the hobby for 10 years or so. If cared for properly, HC will trail along your bottom of your tank to form a lush green carpet. It does best with co2 injection and good circulation. This is often overlooked but a very important factor in the success of growing HC. Ideally you need a flow rate of 10 x your size of the tank, and you literally need to see the co2 bubbles rolling over the plant at the bottom of you tank. If you are not injecting co2, liquid carbon offers a great alternative method.

How to prepare your HC pots:

Here’s how we prepare our HC for planting.

First of all, remove the whole plant including rock wool out of the pot. Then tear the plant in to two pieces.

Remove HC from Pot

Next, carefully cut away the bulk of the rock wool. You do not need the majority of the rockwool that comes with the plant.

Cut off rock wool

Using scissors, cut the HC into smaller portions (about 1-2cm each). This allows you to cover more ground when planting.

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 After this you can start planting your HC. Using planting tweezers grab the roots of the plant and push into your substrate. Be careful not to bury too deep. Plant each bunch about 2cm apart and cover the desired area. It’s easiest to plant whilst you tank is yet to be filled with water. Every so often spray the plants to avoid them drying out.

Planting HC

Below is a good example of how far apart each piece of HC should be. Over the coming weeks, the plant will start to cover the substrate and fill in all the gaps to create a carpet.Planting HC 2cm apart

More news will be posted as this tank progresses. Watch out for the full aquascape to be posted soon!

You can buy Hemianthus Callitrichoides here.

A Sneak Peek at how we Hold Plants

Here at Aquarium gardens, we like nothing more than excellent quality aquatic plants. After all, a beautiful aquascape starts with beautiful healthy plants.

We like to do things differently, and we like to do things that make sense. Many shops hold their aquatic plants in holding tanks full of water. This may seem the obvious way to hold plants, however, this is not how they are produced. Therefore, what we like to do is hold our plants emersed. What’s required is a humid environment, nutrient dosing at the roots & light. As the plants are out of water, there is no worry of algae. And this opens up a whole new way of keeping plants. The end result is simply brilliant! The quality is right up there.

We can guarantee that your plants will be:

  • Algae free
  • Snail free
  • Shrimp friendly
  • Strong, healthy and bursting with life!

Here’s a quick peek at some of our carpeting plants in one of our holding tanks:

Aquarium Plants Emersed

And the end result…carpet plants ready to be shipped to one of our customers!

carpet aquarium plants

If you would like to look at our range of high quality aquarium plants, check out our aquarium plant store here.

Quality Plants Deserve Quality Packaging

As you may know by now, Aquarium Gardens now stock high quality plants from European producers. We also store these plants just like our producers would grow them, meaning our plants are always the best!

To ensure our customers receive their plants in the condition they were sent, we make sure the packaging is up to scratch as well.

Here’s a break down of our packaging service:

Plants are packaged up into air sealed bags to hold moisture in and to secure them in place.

Aquarium Plants packaging

They are then wrapped up in bubble wrap or shredded paper to protect them from any damage during transit.

Secure Packing

The box is sealed firmly with fragile tape, ensuring your package is handled with care.

Aquarium Plants are Fragile

If you would like to know more about our delivery service click here