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How to Create a Red-Themed Aquarium with Ease

Want to make your aquarium look amazing with some red accents?

 Plants that Wow

Red plants are the stars of the show in this theme, and you want to choose ones that are easy to care for and look great. While these plants don't NEED high lights and Co2, you'll get the deepest reds if you do invest in higher-tier tech.

Alternanthera reineckii is a top choice, because it has a bright red color and doesn’t need a lot of fuss. Another great option is Ludwigia repens, which has a nice contrast with its green stems and red leaves. And don’t forget the red tiger lotus – it has a beautiful shape and adds some graceful frill to your tank.

Bonus suggestions: Try Red Cryptocoryne for your foreground, and Red Melon Swords for your backgrounds. Red Speckled Ozelot is a spotted red sword for some texture!

 Fish that Sparkle

Next, let’s talk about the fish that will make your tank POP.

Tiny Fire Ember Tetras are the perfect match, because they have a gorgeous red hue and they are peaceful and friendly, especially in groups of a dozen or more.

Love schools? Try the Von Rio Flame Tetra, which has a stunning red splash, and flitting personality. Chili and Phoenix Rasboras are little jewels in your tank, and they are not too demanding either. 

Looking for a showcase individual? Try an elegant Betta boy, or a couple of red male guppies

Red Neon Rainbowfish are tiny and underrated, as are the Gold White Cloud Mountain Minnow. (In my opinion!)

 Shrimps and More

Let's keep the lush reds coming: How about some red dwarf shrimp?

Red cherry shrimp are a great choice, because they not only look awesome, but they also help keep your tank clean.

Just look at this gorgeous mamma:

Consider layering on your cleanup crew with a starter colony of Red Ramshorn snails! Would prefer your red recycling crew not proliferate? Try a Red-Spotted Nerite or three.

 Water Quality on Point

Make sure your water is always clean and stable by checking weekly pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. A good water testing kit is your best friend for this.

 Lighting That Flatters

Use the right LED lights to make your red plants and fish look their best.

This is one of those times where quality matters. I didn't believe it myself until I switched to a pricier (and highly rated) light. Try it yourself and you'll see.

 Substrate and Fertilization Boost

Picking the greatest red plants available does nothing for you if you can't meet the nutrients they need to keep them vibrant.

Pick a substrate that has nutrients to feed your red plants. Add some root tabs for extra support. Use liquid fertilizers for your plants and dose Iron.

Be sure to read the dosing carefully. All those extra nutrients and light is meaningless if your plants are dulled by a layer of algae.

 Feeding Variety for Fun and Health

My secret to especially vibrant reds and overall health? Feed your fish LIVE, WHOLE FOODS. Daphnia, baby brine shrimp, even chopped bloodworms. 

They will love it, and boy, does it get their colors popping!


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