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Accentuate Your Home Office with a Planted Aquarium
Jun 29, 2021
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Do you have other interests that you want to venture into that would help the ecosystem? If your answer is yes, it is possible that you are one of those hobbyists these days that ate into planted aquariums where living things interact with each other as fish and selected plants are placed in a tank. 

If your answer is no, I recommend that you start pursuing this hobby because it is not only enjoyable but you can see how the ecosystem works in a day-to-day interaction between your favorite fish and underwater flora and fauna in a symbiotic relationship.

In a planted aquarium, the living plants are in focus while the fishes become the highlight in the overall setting. As a hobbyist, you can reap several benefits of having a planted aquarium with live aquatic plants at home. These are based on an online article which can be retrieved here (www.aqueon.com/articles) The benefits mentioned are:

  • Live plants improve the quality of water and assists in the prevention of algae growth as nutrients are produced by fish waste, uneaten food, and organic remains
  • Fish feels safe and this excites them to be visible in the open which displays brighter colors
  • Living plants produce oxygen at daylight that is utilized by fish and assists in the stabilization of pH. In turn, fish releases CO2 that plants use as the source of food
  • Living plants encourage various fish types to generate and give newly-hatched fry a place to take cover while they are growing. 

Is it not interesting to see these happening at home? That is also what is going on under the sea or larger bodies of water? Kinda scientific and quite different from what we see every day, right? I guess young people in your family would love to see the little ecosystem happening inside the home with your proper guidance and dissemination of information about living things that could be related to their studies.  

We are still under the threat of a coronavirus pandemic so we still need to stay more hours at home than before. And these days are the most opportune time to bond with your family and plan for a planted aquarium with the help of your family members.

It is also indicated that setting up a planted tank is easier to keep than the conventional one. However, it is said that there should be proper planning before having your own planted tank or aquarium.

According to the article, I have read, there are several steps in the planning stage before building your own planted aquarium or tank such as:

  1. Selection of an aquarium for live plants -take into account the kinds of plants and fish you want to keep. Then, select an aquarium that is suited for their needs. Any size can do however, bigger tanks need stronger lighting for specific species of plants.
  2. Lighting for planted aquarium - Utilize the right light intensity and spectrum. The light intensity is dependent on plant species and water depth. The term “watts per gallon” is often used for selecting the best light for a planted aquarium. Watts describes how much electricity a light uses, not how much light energy it produces. 

Aquatic plants can be split into low, medium, and intense light-requiring groups. For an existing aquarium where you want to add more plants, you may ask your local aquatic store expert to recommend plants that are appropriate with your existing light.

 Another option is to select the plants you want to grow and purchase a light that meets their needs. Be sure to exchange standard fluorescent and HO T5 bulbs with aquarium plant-specific bulbs and replace the bulbs every 10 to 12 months. 

  1. Selection of proper substrate - Coarse sand or fine gravels are best. Shun pebbles or large, chunky gravel (a little here and there is OK for accent, but not as the main substrate). Also, do not use coral or dolomite substrates, as they slowly dissolve and may raise pH and alkalinity above desirable levels.
  2.  Nutrients and Fertilizers for a planted aquarium - Aquatic plants need iron, magnesium, and potassium as well as macro and micro-nutrients to grow and develop their best colors. Some plants feed basically through their leaves, while others are root-feeders. Some plants do both. Use an enriched plant substrate when setting up your aquarium for root feeders or insert fertilizer tablets around the roots on a regular basis
  3. CO2 and Planted Aquarium - Aside from minerals and fertilizers, living plants also utilize carbon for growth. LIquid carbon supplements are available. To add CO2 to liquid carbon, it may be important to increase liquid and table nutrients to keep up with faster plant growth.
  4. Selection of live plants for Planted Aquarium - Make a rough sketch of the plant and hardscape – rocks and driftwood – layout for a start.
  5. Selection of Fish for Planted Aquarium - Select species that complement the overall feel and character of the tank. In smaller aquariums, schooling fish like tetras or rasboras are good choices. 

When you have started setting up a planted aquarium, the ecological balance will take weeks or months to achieve. So the best advice here is to be patient and take notes on what changes are happening and other essential processes that are taking place in the micro-ecosystem right in the comfort of your home.

The location of your planted aquarium is also relevant and important for aesthetics. I recommend that you use a stable and durable standing desk from Flexispot. One that is ideal for your great hobby is the  Fixed Height Table FD1 -47" W

This desk is multipurpose, that is, you can use it for other purposes aside from work, other tasks you want to accomplish. It is also sturdy with its steel legs and dense chipboard too. The surface is 47 inches long and 24 inches deep which can hold up to 220 pounds. So this is really perfect for having your planted aquarium on this spacious and sturdy desk.