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Setting up a live aquarium with plants

Aug 27, 2008
Setting up an aquarium is a fun and frustrating job. The deeper the aquarium, the challenging the effort. Plants and accessories tend to be lighter than water and want to float, complicating the task. Often after several floating plants, we finally believe we have everything planted. However, the next moment, something again floats to the top making it necessary to start over.

Frequently I would have beautiful plant specimens, well rooted, perfect in every way, but in the process of planting, quite often from one to two-thirds of the roots would either be destroyed, or so badly bruised, they would eventually rot. Resulting in weeks to overcome the shock.

One of the best tools is the common aquarium plant weight. Commonly called lead weights, they are not actually made out of lead, but rather a tin composite. These weights can be gently wrapped around the roots of a plant and pressed into the gravel thus holding the plant in place.

The beauty of using a plant weight to hold the plant is that the weight frame also provides a place that allows us to gently cover the parts of any roots that should be covered in gravel. Thus we can gently cover roots without worry about damaging or bruising the roots.

Lead weights are not actually lead, because lead is toxic and would release toxins into the water.

This is also more healthy for plant roots, allowing them room to grow more healthily.
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About the author: Learn more about how to take care of live aquarium plants in your fish tank.
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