Aquascape by Daniel Larsson

Why Keep a Planted Tank

by Bing Sheng (December 2004)

The two best reasons to keep a planted tank are: I mean it but let me explain...

For You

The planted aquarium is a totally gratifying aspect of the hobby that has been popular in Europe and Asia for years and is now getting traction in the United States. You get to create a whole underwater garden that reflects your own ideas and personality. Are you a free spirit with a laissez faire attitude? Then you can let nature take its own course. Do you like to take a scene from nature and then recreate that sense of wonder only in miniature? Or, do you like ordered gardens with immaculate formal lines? These are only a few of the possibilities that you might consider as you try your hand at aquascaping.

Whatever you decide, you end up with a living piece of art in your own home. It will absolutely become a topic of conversation that you can share with family and friends. I've been told by our customers that working on their tanks is like a calming therapy in this all too rushed world. Just looking at the happy fish cruising around in their little world will bring a moment of peace to your life.

For beginners, this is an excellent way to get into the hobby and keep your fish happy at the same time. We can show you how to do a low maintenance setup but still be absolutely gorgeous. For you advanced hobbyists out there, this is the perfect way to extend your enjoyment and try something new and challenging. At Albany Aquarium we have everything you need from friendly advice for the beginner to the rarest plants for the accomplished aquarist.

For your Fish

There is no question that aquatic plants make for a healthy aquarium. Last time I checked, there are no glass lined lakes or rivers so we want to create as natural an environment as possible. Natural plants mimic the fish's natural environment so that the shy guys can hide, the bold guys can strut their stuff, and each type of fish can carve out their own niche. This results in happy residents and in turn, the fish show you their brilliant colors and natural behaviors. So plants = happy fish.

Plants keep your aquarium clean! Just like terrestrial plants, aquatic plants take the CO2 and convert it into oxygen available to your fish. In fact, a thriving plant population will actively remove ammonia, nitrate, and fish wastes out of the water leaving only pure water behind. Imagine, fewer water changes to boot!

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