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 Rotundifolia, Hydrophila 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.
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.
My top 10 tips with fast growing aquarium plants look like this:
- Plant fast growing plants right from the beginning, as these plants help maintain stability of the tank whilst it matures.
- DO fertilize generously – these plants eat ALOT fast.
- If your a beginner, I would certainly recommend starting with some fast growing stem plants.
- Prune often to encourage bushy and compact growth.
- Re-plant cuttings to create new plants.
- Do not let these types of plants overshadow other smaller plants below.
- Ensure the lower leaves have access to light, else they might die off. Prune as necessary.
- Some fast growing plants send out runners, such as Vallisneria. These are also great for beginners.
- If you have a hight light set up, CO2 is recommend as with all plants.
- 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!