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Floating plants for your aquarium

Floating plants such as the floating fern, frogbit or the various Salvinia species are a beautiful enrichment in the aquarium, especially in open tanks. Strong-growing plants such as the water hyanzine  can also be kept very nicely in the garden pond over the summer, for example.

Floating plants such as the floating fern , frogbit or the various Salvinia species are a beautiful enrichment in the aquarium, especially in open tanks. Strong-growing plants such as the water... learn more »
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Floating plants for your aquarium

Floating plants such as the floating fern, frogbit or the various Salvinia species are a beautiful enrichment in the aquarium, especially in open tanks. Strong-growing plants such as the water hyanzine  can also be kept very nicely in the garden pond over the summer, for example.

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Attractive root beards on floating plants

The sometimes very long and differently colored root beards hanging into the tank are an unusual eye-catcher, which makes the aquarium look very original. Shrimps and young fish find optimal hiding places in them. Especially shrimps like to sit in the roots of floating plants or upside down on the underside of leaves. From there they can scan the water surface for floating food and still have cover.

Floating plants for shade

For fish and invertebrates that don't particularly like strong lighting, floating plants can be used to reduce stress. Many species feel much more comfortable in a slightly shaded tank than in bright light. With floating plants it is very easy to create shaded areas. If you have plants in the aquarium that need a lot of light, you can easily build a border for the areas with floating plants using a straw and a suction cup, which prevents them from spreading over the entire surface and shading the light-loving plants too much.

Water chemistry: nitrate eaters

But floating plants have another very important benefit. Organic waste accumulates in the aquarium and is broken down by bacteria in the biofilter. This produces nitrate, which is relatively harmless, but should still not be present in the aquarium in higher concentrations. Especially bee shrimps and other shrimps originating from clean, oxygen-rich streams can have problems with molting if the nitrate content in the water is too high.

Nitrate can be removed by water changes, but plants also consume nitrate. Especially fast growing plants like nixweed (Najas guadalupensis) or hornwort do not have to be planted into the substrate, they can simply be left to sprout and cut back if necessary. Especially in newly set up aquariums, the use of these strong growers is of great advantage, because they take away the basis of life from algae by consuming a large number of nutrients. This prevents an algae plague from occurring.

Advantages of floating plants in the aquarium

Nixweed and hornwort, however, like all plants, are subject to Liebig's minimum law: A plant will only grow if all nutrients are present, and when one nutrient is depleted, growth comes to a halt, even if the other nutrients are still present. In the aquarium, this limiting nutrient is usually carbon dioxide (CO2), of which much less is dissolved in the water than is present in the air. If you now want to use plants to reduce the nutrients in the water - and especially the nitrate - floating plants are even more suitable than plants that grow under water. Real floating plants absorb nutrients from the water via their water roots and CO2 from the air via their leaves. This allows them to remove many more nutrients from the water because CO2 is no longer a limiting factor.

Large floating plants are easy to control, while small floating plants such as duckweed (Lemna minor) also consume large amounts of nitrate, but are difficult to collect. Duckweed, however, is a very good food for goldfish, herbivorous snails and turtles, for example.

For the right all-round supply of your aquarium plants with all important nutrients, we recommend our NatureHolic plant fertilizers.

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