Have you ever heard of low-light aquarium plants? If you know, have you ever thought about whether the plants are beneficial to your aquariums or not? Exactly, low light aquarium plants refer that plants require the minimum light to survive in the aquariums. Next, we will cover some information about low-light aquarium plants.
Low light plants
It is believed that low-light plants are easy to keep in aquariums because they need less special maintenance. Besides, some plants will bloom in tanks. There are many kinds of low-light plants, including:
- Crypt Wendtii
- Guppy Grass
- American Water weed
- Green Hygro
- Sunset Hygro
- Java Moss
- Java Fern
- Amazon Sword
- Water Wisteria
Next, we will share details of some low-light plants above.
Moneywort is one kind of creeping plant, with small and oblong leaves of green color. And the leaves grow upwards. The plant grows fast and can grow up to 2–3 inches wide and 12 inches tall. Moreover, it needs a water temperature of 72-82℉ and requires a pH level of 6.5-7.5.
The Crypt Wendtii can be applied to aquariums as a focal point. There are various sizes and textures of leaves, and the leaves can grow up to 18 inches in length as well as possess colors of green, red, or brown. Besides, the edges of the leaves are waved. Generally speaking, a water temperature of 75-82℉ and a pH level of 6-8 are suitable for the Crypt Wendtii. By the way, you should avoid keeping the plant with cichlids due to the fish will tear up the plant.
The Guppy Grass is hardy and can survive by rooting it to the surface or floating on the water. The leaves of the plant are dense, thin, and soft, and the plant can grow up to 3 inches. Furthermore, it needs a suitable water temperature of 50-86℉ and a pH level of 6-7.
American Water weed
The American Water weed is one long-stemmed plant, which can grow fast and reach up to 3–5 meters in height. It can survive by rooting on a substrate or floating on the surface of the water. And the plants provide covers for small fish. Besides that, the accepted water temperature and pH level of the plant respectively are 50-77℉ and 6-7.5. However, you should not keep the American Waterweed with fish that eat soft plants.
Green Hygro is one kind of stem plant. And the color of the plant varies from green to brown to red according to the aquarium lighting. It is better to keep low light to avoid the leaves turning brown. Besides, it requires a water temperature of 64-86℉, and a pH level of 5-8. The plant grows fast and can grow up to 24 inches, and the ideal tank size is 10 gallons at least. Moreover, it needs proper treatment, or it will thrive in tanks and will be out of control. Furthermore, it is recommended to avoid the Green Hygro if you keep goldfish in your tanks. Because the goldfish will eat the plant.
The Sunset Hygro requires an amount of iron to survive. Besides, the plant grows fast and needs pruning. And the stem of the plant can grow up to 10–16 inches. The color of its leaves is reddish-pink, and there are white veins on the leaves. In addition, the suitable water temperature and pH levels respectively are 64-82℉ and 5-8.
What low-light plants can do in an aquarium?
Do you apply plants to your aquariums only as they are easy to care for? Not, there are crucial roles of low light plants in aquariums.
Plants and algae require the same nutrients in aquariums, such as iron, potassium, and other micronutrients. However, the plants will absorb more nutrients, while the algae gain less. Since then, the algae will not thrive in tanks. As a result, the plants play roles in keeping aquariums clean. Nevertheless, slow-growing plants may not make much sense, because they can not consume the nutrients quickly. So fast-growing plants are better options.
Shades and hiding place
There are places for fish to hide from aggressive fish, then they can feel safe. Besides, When the fish breed and lay eggs, they can hide the eggs under or behind the plants. Furthermore, fish can enjoy resting under the shade of plants.
Through the process of photosynthesis, the low-light plants can intake a large amount of carbon dioxide, and release oxygen for fish and other creatures in aquariums. Then the oxygen level in the water gain promoted and the water quality gets improved.
Keeping plants in tanks provides fish with comfortable habitat, similar to their natural habitat. Fish can hide and play around the plants.
The plants can remove waste from fish and rotted substances. On the other hand, they can absorb nitrate through leaves and roots. Then the water quality gains improved. However, you should not forget that the plants can not take the place of the filtration system.
What is a low light condition for plants?
In speaking, light is critically crucial for the growth of plants, as well as low-light plants. Plants require light for photosynthesis, which is beneficial to thriving plants. But when it comes to low light, there are two words we need to know, including watt and lumen. Watt is the unit of power (symbol: w), which measures the electricity consumption by a device. On the other hand, the lumen is the unit of luminous flux (symbol: lm), which measures the quantity of visible light emitted from lights within the unit of time.
So what is a low light condition for plants? Specifically, it means 3 or fewer watts of light per gallon of water in the aquarium. And the low light plants require 50–80 lumens per gallon. Besides that, the plants need 8–12 hours of light each day.
Why are my aquarium plants melting
“Melting” here refers to the loss of some or all leaves of plants. In general, the old leaves start first, which lose color, and are transparent before decomposing. Next, we will share some reasons for causing melting.
Change of environment
It is the main reason for plant melting due to the plants can not adapt to the new environment quickly. The plants we buy are usually on the land surface in plant farms. But when we receive the plants, we need to convert them from emerged to submerged. In such a case, the leaves, growing emerged, will begin to rot because they can not adapt to the underwater environment.
If there are no sufficient nutrients for your plants, they will begin to wither. You should fertilize them. Besides, you should keep optimal water parameters. The water quality deteriorates as time went by. So it is necessary to cycle the water in tanks and change the water regularly. One more tip here, testing the water quality regularly is also important.
Diseases of plants
The diseases of plants will also lead to the plants melting, such as Anubias rot. If the rhizome of Anubias is too deep in the substrate, it will rot and then lose leaves. However, there is another case where the plant may have been damaged and rotted during transport or planting.
By the way, there are some pointers to prevent melting.
- Apply new plants carefully
- Provide sufficient and required nutrients for plants
- Keep good aquarium conditions
- Apply suitable substrates
Up to now, you have learned more about low-light aquarium plants, right? By the way, you should choose the plants according to the species of fish, light intensity, and water parameters in your tanks. Or if you are likely to learn some plants for betta fish tanks, you can read another article – What Are the Best Plants for Betta Fish Aquaponics? So much for today, and thanks for your reading!