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Myth Busting: Live Plants Edition


Live aquarium plants bring nature's beauty into your underwater world, enhancing the aesthetics and ecological balance of your aquatic haven.

However, along with the lush greenery, a host of myths and misconceptions have cropped up.

In this article, we'll shed light on the world of live aquarium plants and set the record straight on some commonly held misconceptions.


Myth #1: Live Aquarium Plants Are High-Maintenance

A prevalent myth about live aquarium plants is that they require an impractical amount of care and attention. While it's true that they need some care, it's far from being high-maintenance.

Most live plants thrive in a well-balanced environment with proper lighting, regular water changes, and essential nutrients. Many basic plants don't even need more nutrients than what your fish's poop will provide.

Choose plants that are easy. Most beginner freshwater tanks will have a lot of fun with straight- shooters like Java fern, Hornwort, Amazon Sword, Anubias, Cryptocoynes, and Christmas moss.

Once you establish a suitable routine, maintaining live plants is actually super straightforward.

Myth #2: Live Plants Are Only for Advanced Aquarists

Another common misconception is that live plants are suitable only for experienced aquarists.. or perhaps that they'll just complicate your setup?

In reality, many beginner-friendly aquatic plants are easy to grow and maintain. Again, species like Java fern, Anubias, and Mosses are great choices for novices. These are plants you can just toss in, and move on.

Myth #3: Live Plants Make Water Quality Worse

Some aquarists believe that live plants can degrade water quality by consuming oxygen and releasing harmful chemicals.

The truth is quite the opposite.

Live plants help improve water quality by absorbing excess nutrients, producing oxygen, and providing shelter for beneficial microorganisms. They can even reduce algae growth, making your tank more stable and healthy.

Trying to breed your Nano fish or shrimp? You need live plants! Some of their favorites are nebulous, lacey plants like Cabomba, Hornwort, and Lace leaf Water sprite.

Myth #4: Live Plants Are Expensive

While some rare and exotic live plants can be costly, many common and easy-to-maintain species are budget-friendly. You can find affordable options at local pet stores, online retailers, or even by trading with other aquarists.

Moreover, live plants can save you money in the long run by reducing the need for chemical treatments and improving the overall health of your aquarium.

Bonus points: When it's time to trim your plants, List them up on auction sites such as Aquabid.com, Ebay, or Lightfish.com and make some of that money back!

Myth #5: Live Plants Are Prone to Pests and Algae

Concerns about pests and diseases often deter people from adding live plants to their aquariums.

While it's possible for plants to introduce unwanted hitchhikers, such as snails or algae, this can be prevented with proper quarantine and inspection before adding plants to your tank. Some hobbyists even prefer doing a bleach or hydrogen peroxide dip to sanitize their plants. Use this option with caution, as dips are pretty hard on living tissue.

Confused about 'Pest' snails? I've got you covered.


Myth #6: Live Plants Are Only for Aesthetics

Some believe that live plants are primarily for aesthetic purposes.

While they certainly enhance the visual appeal of your aquarium, they offer more than just glorious beauty.

Live plants provide natural filtration, oxygenation, and a sense of security for fish and other aquatic inhabitants. They create a more balanced and thriving ecosystem within your tank. Plus: Breeding!

 Looking to enhance your aquarium with live plants? Check out this post: "Green Up Your Tank: A Quick Guide to Live Planting."  Explore the benefits of a thriving aquatic ecosystem. 

In conclusion, live aquarium plants can be a fantastic addition to your aquatic setup, and it's essential to dispel the myths that might discourage you from exploring this aspect of the hobby.

They are not as high-maintenance as commonly thought, suitable for aquarists of all levels, beneficial for water quality, budget-friendly, manageable regarding pests and diseases, and offer numerous advantages beyond aesthetics.

By embracing live plants, you can create a healthier, more vibrant underwater world that both you and your aquatic companions will enjoy.

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