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Choosing the Perfect Aquarium Plant growth type: Factors to Consider

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

Should I buy my plants grown submerged or emersded and then should this plant be in rockwool or rooted in soil? I will try and help you answer this with this article.

Determining the ideal plant growth type for your aquarium isn't a straightforward matter, as there are various elements to take into account. Factors such as transportation logistics, adaptation to new water conditions, and potential leaf loss all play a pivotal role in making the right choice.

When it comes to aquarium plants, three primary options are available:

1. Submerged Plants

Opting for submerged plants should be your initial choice, as they tend to initiate growth almost immediately. In the majority of cases, this is the most favourable option, as the leaves are already acclimated to an underwater environment and are likely to thrive in your aquarium. While approximately 90% of plants fall seamlessly into this category, certain exceptions, such as specific Cryptocoryne species, might encounter challenges when adapting to different conditions. There's also a slight risk of leaf damage during the transport process. However, many enthusiasts, myself included, consider this risk worthwhile.

2. Emersed ROOTED Plants in Soil

Plants grown emersed in soil exhibit growth rates comparable to submerged plants. This alternative is advantageous in that it outperforms submerged plants in terms of adjusting to aquarium conditions. However, a key drawback lies in the gradual loss of leaves that originally grew emersed.

In our cultivation system, we've observed that plants cultivated in soil adapt remarkably quickly to aquarium environments when compared to those grown in rockwool. One aspect to bear in mind with this option is the necessity of carefully rinsing off the soil before planting. This step ensures root preservation and prevents soil contamination in your aquarium.

3. Emersed Plants in Rockwool

Emersed plants housed in rockwool are the go-to solution for local aquatic shops due to their ease of transportation. While our experience indicates that this method isn't inherently unfavourable, it doesn't claim the title of the best option either; it merely serves as a viable alternative.

(ALL PICTURES ARE THE SAME SPECIES - Rotala rotunsdifolia)

Ultimately, selecting the right plant growth type for your aquarium requires thoughtful consideration of these factors. Each choice comes with its own set of advantages and potential drawbacks, so it's essential to evaluate your priorities and the specific needs of your aquatic environment.

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