Aquarium plants are a wonderful addition to the tank that comes with multiple advantages. Apart from increasing the aesthetics of the aquarium, they improve the ecosystem inside the aquarium for the fish. Having a lush green flora in the aquarium is a treat to the eyes. It easily upgrades the overall look of your room and brings more tranquility to the ambiance.
While introducing aquarium plants is a good choice, many aquarists, especially beginners, are not aware of how to anchor the aquarium plants. It is the most common and frequently asked question among the aquarists community. Watching your new plants rooting out and floating brings frustration. Isn’t it?
If you are also struggling to anchor your aquarium plants or looking for ways to keep them stuck to the gravel, this article will help you immensely. Here we have discussed the different ways you can anchor your aquarium plants in the aquarium. It will ensure that your plants are healthy and thriving while getting anchored to the bottom of the tank. We will also know why there is a need to anchor the plants and why the keepers find anchoring a difficult process.
How to Anchor Aquarium Plants
Anchoring plants is not a child’s play. If you think you can bring any plant from the shop and put it inside the gravel and it will flourish, you are a bit wrong. While some plants settle at the bottom easily, some start floating. It is for such plants that anchoring is essential.
There are a lot of ways of anchoring the aquarium plants that generally depend upon the plants you have bought. Check out the following ways and the tips to keep the plants safely rooted for their entire life.
- By putting weighted objects around the base of the plant.
If you have sand gravel in your tank, there are greater chances of the plant getting dislodged from the bottom. To avoid such a situation, plant your greens a bit deeper into a bed of sand. Also, make sure to cover them up to their base. If the plant is still dislodging, keep some lightweight pebbles, aquarium rocks, or anything that has weight at the plant base. It will help to hold the aquarium green at a place.
In this way, even if the sand moves with water, the plant will not move from its place due to the arranged weight. All you need is to avoid putting pressure on the roots. At the same time, dig the plant just a little above its base for the best result.
- By tying the plant roots to the aquarium rocks
Many aquarium plants are rootable. For such plants, tying the roots to the aquarium rocks is the best way to anchor them. Take the roots of the plants gently and tie them around the rock. It will help the plant to remain at a place. Once the plant starts rooting, you have to protect it further by covering it with sand a bit more.
Tying plants with rocks work best for a specific category of plants- that grow really long. Also, the plants that are long and have many leaves often get tangled, tugged, or pulled due to different reasons. It is when tying the roots works as the best option for anchorage.
- Wrapping the aquarium plants around driftwood
Many aquarists keep driftwood inside their tank for décor purposes. You can use this driftwood for anchoring the plants. Wrapping the aquarium plants or their roots securely and safely around the driftwood is a good idea. It is because the wood is heavy and sinks to the bottom of the tank. It simply means that your aquarium plants will also go down and be held at the bottom of the tank and won’t float.
Wrapping around driftwood is also a good idea if you have a few aggressive fish in the tank that love playing and pulling the plants with their vigorous movements. Choose pleasant and aesthetically beautiful driftwood that will anchor the plants and, at the same time, make the tank look good.
- Keeping the aquarium plants in pots
If you are still scared of losing your aquarium plants and no other way is suiting you, you can keep them inside the tank with their pot. Most of the aquarium plants come in pots. In such a case, do not de-pot the aquarium plants; instead, keep them as such inside the tank. They also look good sometimes, and obviously, it is a better idea than losing them. The roots remain secure at a place in the pot, and there is no danger of pulling or tugging.
Another tip while keeping the pot inside the tank is to add some rocks or pebbles at the base of the plant. It will prevent the herbivorous fish from eating the potted plants from the base. The additional barriers (rocks and pebbles) will ensure that your aquarium plants stay protected, healthy and safe.
- Using plant anchors- soft bendable strips
You can find plant anchors in the pet shop. You can also order them online. Soft bendable strips work as plant anchors and are readily available in the market. All you need is to wrap them around the plants to hold them down. Generally, the plant anchors are made up of lead that makes them heavier.
Using plant anchors is the best idea when you have a large tank with lots of aquarium greens. Also, if the fish in your tank are large in size, aggressive in nature, and love to dwell at the bottom, the plant anchors will work suitably. Since the plant anchors are subtle, the plants will neither look odd nor dislodge. Another benefit of using plant anchors is that they help plants get the right shape while developing and spreading their roots evenly.
- Using nylon mesh for anchoring
Nylon-mesh works are best for aquarium greens like carpeting ferns and moss. With the help of thin nylon mesh, you can cover such aquarium plants easily and anchor them. Make sure you secure the sides of the nylon mesh with some weight like pebbles or rocks.
Carpeting ferns and moss can easily attach to the nylon mesh that will also keep them at a place. Apart from this, this plant anchorage will help the plants to root to a place. It will also make them sturdy and protect them from aggressive and large fish.
- Using a base of sand
If you buy plants that already have long roots, burying them in a bed of sand is a good idea. It is the easiest way of anchoring the plant that is in its maturation phase. You can make a bed of sand by layering lots of sand and form thick bedding, and subsequently burying the rooted plant deep inside. It will easily hold the aquarium plant at a place and let them root and grow independently.
The benefits of using sand bed-
- Sand is gentle, so the plants remain safe and secure
- Sand does not weigh the roots and crushes them
- Plants remain covered and thereby sturdy
- The bottom-dwelling fish are not able to reach the roots
- Planting the aquarium green in crevices
You can also plant your greens in crevices that provide a god anchorage to them. This method works best when the aquarium is very large, and there are textured rocks. It provides nooks and crevices that give enough support to the plant to anchor and grow.
The different ways of using cervices-
- Place your plant in the crevice
- Wrap the plant around the crevice
- Plant it in a crevice in driftwood or any aquarium décor
Place or plant in crevices and let the plant root and grow. It will get enough support to develop and lengthen.
Why is anchoring problematic for the keepers?
In general, anchoring a plant is not difficult, but the fish and other animals present in the tank make it problematic for the keepers. An aquarium is a closed water ecosystem that is thriving with fish, snails, plants, and other living organisms. It is these living organisms that can make things complicated.
Some common reasons that make anchoring the plants difficult are the following-
Presence of Violent and Aggressive Fish
If there are aggressive fish, getting more dead plants is quite normal. The aggressive fish often pull the plants while fighting with other fish and showing off their domination. Most of the time, the plants pull out from the roots and start floating. Other times, the roots break that eventually makes the plants dead. Excessive tugging also leads to de-rooting of the plants.
Therefore, securely anchoring the plants so that even the aggressive fish cannot do any harm to them is essential. Proper anchorage will avoid tugging of the plants from the base. Another way is switching the aggressive fish into some other tank that has little or no aquarium plants.
Presence of Bottom Dwelling and Bottom Feeding Fish
There are some fish that love dwelling only at the bottom of the tank. Such fish can also pose a threat to the aquarium plants by tugging and pulling them out while swimming. At the same time, fish dwelling, preferably at the bottom, only loves to feed at the bottom of the tank. It means they will eat roots and do not let the plant hold at the base.
In such cases, you are left with nothing but a floating plant. The best way to escape such a situation is to cover the roots and base of the plant properly, especially when there are herbivores animals in the tank.
Presence of Burrowing Fish
There are a few fish and animals that love burrowing the base of the tank. They can pose a threat to aquarium plants. If you have such animals, try not to create an ambiance preferable for the burrowers around the plant for their infiltration. If the animals start burrowing at the base near the plants, there will be a constant movement which will compel the roots to get dislodged. In such a situation, the plant will start floating soon.
Strong Filtration in the Tank
Sometimes the reason behind the floating and dead plants is strong filtration that creates strong currents in the tank. It not only disturbs the fish to swim smoothly but also pulls the delicate plants out with strength and continuous tugging.
Therefore, make sure you check the filter setting and make it low enough to avoid creating strong currents. You can also add two filtration systems with low power if the tank is big. It will ensure that the currents will not be hard, fish movement will remain smooth, and the plants are not pulled.
Unhealthy and delicate plants
At times, the reason behind floating and dead plants are not poor plant anchorage or aggressive and bottom-dwelling fish but unhealthy aquarium plants. If the plant is healthy and strong, it will develop healthy roots and get established firmly at the base. However, on the other hand, an unhealthy plant will easily de-root with light maneuvering.
Therefore make sure that you purchase only healthy plants that have long and strong roots.
These are some of the most reliable and proven ways to anchor the plants and keep the tank lush green and aesthetically pleasing. The properly anchored plant will always grow perfectly and will never de-root or float.
No matter which way you apply for plant anchoring, make sure you keep checking the plants and the anchorage and know whether they are doing well or not. Apart from proper anchorage, provide other prerequisites to the plant as well, like special lighting and fertilizers.
Additionally, when the plant grows longer roots, consider changing its position. Unwrap the plant from the rock, driftwood, or crevice and place them on a sandy substrate. All this will ensure that every aquarium plant you buy will live its full life and make your tank more beautiful.
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