Saltwater Aquarium Care – how to maintain the health of your
Saltwater Aquarium Plants.
Good saltwater aquarium care means taking care of the fish and
water quality in your tank but it also means taking care of
your aquarium plants. Not only do your aquarium plants create
an interesting home and shelter for your fish, they are also
essential for the health of your fish, water quality and the
tank as a whole. Proper, saltwater aquarium care, therefore,
must always take into account the health of your marine plants.
Some marine plants are hardy and easy to care for while others
need quite a bit of practice and experience. If you are a
novice aquarist it is a good idea to start with hardy plants,
as these are easier to care for. Once you have a bit more
practice in correct saltwater aquarium care you can move on to
The first thing to do is to decide what you want to achieve
with your marine plants. You should do this even before you buy
your tank. If you want big, healthy plants make sure you know
what equipment you need, what sort of saltwater aquarium care
is required and how much time it will take you to achieve these
If you are more concerned with the fish in your tank than plant
life then it might be a good idea to invest in one or two
plastic plants instead. Responsible saltwater aquarium care
means knowing what you want and getting the balance right.
While most marine plants do grow into lush, healthy plants they
all need good lighting. This is so that they have enough energy
for making their own food by means of photosynthesis. Without
sufficient light for photosynthetic activity your plants will
remain stunted or die. So part of correct saltwater aquarium
care involves making sure that your aquarium provides
sufficient lighting for plant growth.
To make sure that your plants are getting enough light keep the
following rule of thumb in mind: For each gallon of water in a
tank you will require 3 to 5 watts of light. Most aquarium
lighting systems are below that level, however so you may need
to shop around to find adequate lighting to make sure you are
providing the proper saltwater aquarium care for your plants.
In the natural aquarium the fish and plant populations are
perfectly balanced and compliment each other. Marine plants
create shelter, shade, and even food for your fish! Plants that
are well lit will give off oxygen and this creates a good
environment for your fish. So proper saltwater aquarium care
makes your tank healthy and provides optimum conditions for
plants and fish alike.
The fish will, in turn, feed off the carbon dioxide released by
the fish. Plants also feed off the waste that fish produce. This
helps to absorb some of the waste that might become toxic to
your fish. So as you can see proper saltwater aquarium care
means maintaining a healthy balance for all the life in your
To provide proper saltwater aquarium care for your plants and
fish you need to make sure that conditions in your tank are
optimal. Plant growth needs water which is at the correct ph
levels. It also needs the water to be at the correct
temperature for growth and survival.
Unfortunately this might not fit in with the temperature
requirements of the fish species you want to keep. So you might
have to decide between plants and fish in some cases. Again,
good saltwater aquarium care is always about finding the happy
Fish also eat or tear away sections of plants and this might
actually ruin the aesthetic appeal of your tank. Plants may be
uprooted by the foraging activity of your fish. So plant care
can be a bit tricky and does require some patience. One of the
most frustrating aspects of saltwater aquarium care is the
occurrence of marine algae.
Algae can really be a problem for the marine aquarist.
Sometimes despite the best saltwater aquarium care – lights,
substrate additives, fertilizers and CO2 systems – instead of
lush plant growth you are confronted with algal growth. Algae
can be very difficult to get rid of once it has taken root and
it can really limit the growth of other plants.
Usually the aquarist employs various methods of saltwater
aquarium care for combating this scourge. These might include
using algicides, bleach dips, antibiotics (for cyanobacteria),
manual removal or fish or invertebrates that feed on algae.
During an algal attack the amount of food and light is
decreased and different amounts of fertilizer are tried –
sometimes with success. Correct saltwater aquarium care results
in some sort of balance being reached.
The best form of saltwater aquarium care and algae treatment is
to provide the tank with a water change. In fact if you could
change the tank water daily it would be ideal but this is
obviously not very practical. You should change 25% of the
water at least twice weekly, however. If you can stick to this
schedule the amount of algae in the tank will be reduced and
your fish and plants will be healthier. A water change should
form a part of routine saltwater aquarium care whether you have
an algal problem or not.
So what kinds of plants can you grow in a saltwater aquarium? A
variety of plants are suitable for a saltwater aquarium. Choose
from grape algae (Caulerpa racemosa), Halimeda Halimeda sp,
shaving brush algae (Penicillus capitus), fan algae (Udotea
flabellum), corralline bush algae (Galaxaura sp.), sea grass,
red gracilaria (which your fish can eat) and many others.
Proper saltwater aquarium care means making sure that your
plants and fish co-exist in perfect harmony.
Proper saltwater aquarium care means really getting to know
your marine tank. Do as much research as possible to ensure
that your marine plants and fish have everything they need to
grow, stay healthy and be happy. If you get it right, your
aquarium will provide you with many hours of entertainment, fun
and pleasure. Good luck and enjoy your aquarium!
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