Having an aquarium with a green carpet bed is a dream of fish hobbyists. It gives the aquarium a unique natural appearance that is aesthetically pleasing. Aquarium grass covers the substrate of the aquarium and also assists in creating the ideal living conditions for fishes. As it is small in size, it doesn’t block the view of the aquarium either. It also provides hiding space for small fishes.
Planting and caring for aquarium grass can be tricky. Individuals who are new to fish tanks may feel overwhelmed by just the thought of it. Having a green carpet in the aquarium is not as complicated as it sounds, but it does require knowledge, time, effort, and patience. It can take anywhere from a few months to a couple of years to aquascape your aquarium grass as per your desired look.
Things To Consider For Aquarium Grass
Aquarium grass is nothing but an aquatic plant that grows short and spreads easily. There are different species of aquarium grass available. They require different conditions for their growth. Here are a few things to consider regarding aquarium grass plants.
Aquarium grass plants grow at different paces. Some of them may grow fast while others may grow at a slow or medium rate. Fast-growing plants will give you the desired results in a relatively short time, but they will require more maintenance. Slow-growing plants will take several months before they cover your aquarium bed, but they will be easier to maintain in the long run. Choose aquarium grass according to your requirements and preferred growth rate.
Light is a major factor when it comes to aquarium grass. Different types of plants require different amounts of light. Some may have high light requirements, while others may be fine with low amounts of light. Choose aquarium grass depending on the lighting available in your fish tank.
Aquarium grasses have different levels of hardiness. Some of them will be sensitive to their environment and will require optimal conditions. You will need to maintain the right temperature and water pH levels as well as provide adequate nutrition in the form of fertilizers and CO2. Others will be hardy and may sustain even in harsh conditions without much care. Aquarium grass plants that are easier to maintain will suit beginners as they will require less effort.
Substrate plays an important role in the growth of aquarium grass. There are different types of substrates available in the market. You will need a substrate that will allow the grass to take root easily and stay firm. You may also have to use an additional nutrient substrate for providing nutrition to the plant. Coarse powder substrates are best suited for aquarium grass.
Aquarium Grass Maintenance
Maintenance is an important aspect of growing aquarium grass. You may have to trim your aquarium grass every two to four weeks depending on the plant type. It will prevent overgrowth of the grass and keep your aquarium neat and tidy.
Besides this, you will need to monitor the parameters of the water regularly. It must have the right pH and CO2 levels as well as adequate nutrients. The aquarium grass must be checked visually for any signs of browning that may indicate unfavorable conditions.
You may also need to add fertilizer every now and then to ensure that the plants get the required nutrients. It is not necessary for most aquarium grasses but will improve the growth rate and health of the plants.
Popular Aquarium Grass Plants
Here are a few popular aquarium grass plants that require different levels of care.
Java Moss is one of the most popular aquarium grass plants. It is a hardy plant that requires no special attention and will withstand most diseases. The plant will grow without the need of special nutrients. It takes a couple of years to grow fully, and you won’t have to trim it often. Java Moss is a great option for beginners.
Dwarf Hairgrass (Eleocharis Parvula) is one of the best looking aquarium grass plants. It grows fast and will have to be trimmed every couple of weeks. The grass requires medium to high lighting conditions. You will need to ensure optimum CO2 levels in the water for Dwarf Hairgrass. It has a medium growth and maintenance difficulty and will be suitable for most aquarium owners.
Experienced fish tank owners looking for an aquarium grass can consider Cuba (hemianthus callitrichoides). It is a very small plant with round leaves. The plant grows and spreads at a medium rate. It requires medium to high light with suitable conditions and may be challenging for newbies.
If you are looking for a fast-growing aquarium grass, then Glosso (Glossostigma elatinoides) is a suitable choice for you. The plant has a fast growth rate and will carpet your aquarium in a matter of months. However, it can be challenging to grow and maintain. You will need to keep the water soft and supply CO2 and nutrients for ensuring its optimal growth. It also has high light requirements and is better suited to experienced aquarium owners.