Choosing Live Plants For Your Aquarium

There must be aquarium plants in the aquarium (meaning live plants, not artificial ones).

Plants are of great benefit. Plants are a source of oxygen. Some species are purely decorative, and some provide shelter for fry and invertebrates. Many fish species require plants as plant foods.

For some fish, this is just an additional feeding, while for others it is the main type of food. In the diet of many fish in natural conditions, plant food occupies a more significant place than in aquarium keeping. Live plants in the aquarium maintain true biological balance. Neither a wide water surface nor a blow-off can replace plants in an aquarium. In addition, plants are an ideal place to lay eggs.

Live plants are able to absorb nitrates and carbon dioxide in the aquarium. This process occurs only in the light, to release oxygen, to purify water. For beginners, I would like to recommend fast-growing and undemanding plants that reproduce vegetatively: Thai fern, spiral Vallisneria, straight nomaphila, hornwort, Amazon, etc.

Transportation Of Plants

Transportation of aquatic plants using packaging in plastic bags or wrapped in wet paper for short distances. For long distance use a closed container with water.

Plant Structure

The plant consists of roots, stems and leaves. The stem serves to transport nutrients and connects the main organs of nutrition from roots to leaves. Stems can be growing upward and creeping. A stem with leaves and shoots growing on it is called a bud.

Read Also: Best Aquarium Plants To Reduce Nitrates 2021

Leaves are attached to the plant stem at areas called nodes, and the spaces between them are internodes. Stems with developed internodes and clearly visible distances between nodes are called elongated, with short internodes. Shortened stems are when the leaves are covering the stems. A leaf sinus is the space between the leaf and the internode.


Rhizome, tuber, bulb are a modified stem, in which the accumulation of nutrients occurs. The rhizome outwardly resembles a root, but the rhizome has apical and axillary buds, as well as membranous scales – modified leaves. Adventitious roots grow from the rhizome. The rhizome stores nutrient reserves. Some ornamental plants reproduce by dividing the tuber and rhizomes. If a piece of rhizome with a bud and adventitious roots appears in soil, then a new independently existing plant appears. Tubers are a modified shoot. For example, a potato has a potato – a tuber. It’s the same with underwater plants. The tuber has buds and roots. If you also plant a piece of tuber in the soil, then a new plant appears. The bulb is also a modified shoot.


According to the method of attachment to the stem, the leaves have 2 subdivided, sessile and petiolate. The leaf blade can be pinnate, pinnately dissected, and palmate. Leaves are simple and complex. The leaves are called simple when there is one leaf blade on one petiole. Difficult, when there are several leaf blades on one petiole. The flower is the reproductive organ of the plant. It is attached to the stem with a pedicel, which is adjoined by a receptacle, which carries all the parts of the flower. The corolla is a collection of brightly colored petals.

As a rule, most species of aquarium plants have flowers with stamens and pistils and are called bisexual, but some plants have only pistils or only stamens. The groups of flowers that form on a plant are called inflorescences. 

Choosing Plants For the Aquarium

Young and healthy plants should be purchased. The shape and size, as well as the color of the leaves, must correspond to the description of the species. You cannot buy plants with dark roots, vitreous and putrefactive places in them, as well as damaged and faded leaves. Particular attention should be paid to the presence of algae. If they are present on the plant, then it will not be possible to remove them, and when introduced into the aquarium, they can begin to multiply, and the fight against them is rather difficult and does not always lead to success.

Old plants should only be purchased in exceptional cases. They adapt to new conditions much worse than young ones, and sometimes it takes more than one month until they take root and acquire their inherent appearance. This is especially true for plants with a shortened stem.

In addition, plants need to be selected: buy plants that require the same temperature and light conditions. When buying plants, you should know the name of this or that species, at least in order to familiarize yourself with its description on the site.

Families of Aquarium Plants

  1. Charo algae department (CHAROPHYTA)
    • Nitellaceae (Nitellaceae)
  2. Department of bryophytes (BRYOPHYTA)
    • Ricciaceae
    • Fontinalaceae
    • Hypnaceae
  3. Fern division (POLYPODIOPHYTA)
    • Adiantaceae
    • Polypodiaceae (Polypodiaceae)
    • Asplenius (Aspleniaceae)
    • Salviniaceae
  4. Department of flowering, or Angiosperms (MAGNOLIOPHYTA), or (ANGIOSPERMAE)
    • Cabombaceae
    • Hornbill (Ceratophyllaceae)
    • Amaranths (Amaranthaceae)
    • Derbennikovye (Lythraceae)
    • Cypress (Onagraceae)
    • Haloragaceae
    • Scophulariaceae
    • Acanthus (Acanthaceae)
    • Bellflower (Campanulaceae)
    • Alismataceae
    • Vodokrasovye (Hydrocharitaceae)
    • Aponogetonovye (Aponogetonaceae)
    • Najadaceae (Najadaceae)
    • Pontederiaceae (Pontederiaceae)
    • Sedge (Cyperaceae)
    • Aronica or Araid (Araceae)
    • Duckweed (Lemnaceae)

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