Tag Archives: Aquarium Plants

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


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.

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
AREA: Midground/Background
LIGHT: Medium to high
TEMP: 22-28C
CO2: CO2 and NON CO2 tanks
PH: 5-8
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!

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.


 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.

We’re Upgrading – to European Plants!

Aquarium Gardens Update – We’re upgrading!

Aquarium Gardens is dedicated in continuing to provide unbeatable service and the highest quality plants. We have decided to change suppliers and we’re now stocking European plants, recognised as being some of the highest quality plants on the market.

We can now guarantee:
1) Healthy plants of the highest quality
2) Algae and snail free plants
3) An improved range – we will continue to increase our range so there will be even more plants to choose from
4) We have changed the way we hold our plants, ensuring you receive quality plants every time
5) Shrimp friendly – no more washing or soaking plants before you put them in your aquarium
6) No more cutting – all plants are rooted to ensure they get off to a great start

As of 18th December, we are now taking pre-orders for delivery Jan 2014. So get shopping and we will get your plants posted week commencing 6th January, and you can enjoy our new range of quality aquatic plants!

Furthermore, I would like to announce we are now stocking aquarium lighting suitable for planted aquariums, filters, heaters, aquascaping tools & EasyLife fertilizers. We can start taking orders now and we will deliver ASAP after the Christmas period in 2014. In the near future, we will also be stocking co2 equipment for planted aquariums.

Finally, I am pleased to say we have taken to decision to reduce postage cost to just £2.99 flate rate and delivery is FREE for orders over £50 :)

We hope you enjoy all of our new products, plants and services.

As always we’re only an e-mail away if you have any questions or would like any advise regarding planted aquariums and aquatic plants.

We look forward to seeing you in 2014! :)

Cryptocoryne Wendtii



Have you tried Cryptocorynes in your planted aquarium? This one in particular, the Cryptocoryne Wendtii, is probably the easiest to grow. Like all crypts, it will probably suffer some ‘crypt melt’ when you introduce in to your aquarium during the first few weeks. Do not panic! This is normal. Like many aquarium plants, it is simply adapting to it’s new conditions. Many old leaves will melt (which you should trim away with scissors to speed the process up) and new leaves will start to appear.

The Cryptocorynes Wendtii doesn’t need much light, and as a result you are not required to inject co2 either. However, substrate tablets or light liquid fertilisation is recommended for strong growth.

Other than that this crpyt should do well in a variety of water conditions and makes the ideal low tech aquarium plant – see here for prices :Cryptocoryne Wendtii