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  • I want a BEAUTIFUL Planted aquarium, without the expensive equipment? Is this possible???

    Can I keep plants in my aquarium without doing the expensive soil, lighting and additives??? This cannot be answered with a yes or a no answer. But the shortest answer I can give you is this. Each plant species have their own minimum needs and if you give them this, then yes you might not need to add extra lighting, food or substrate. But remember minimum does not mean growth, it mean survival So let’s start by just stating the basics: All plants need 3 things · Light · Food · Substrate . LIGHTING – this is not the single LED strip or T5/T8 light. You will need more than that as basic lighting. So add more lights in the space you have, remember the more light you have the bigger the variety of plant choices you will have. FOOD – all plants need food, but some plants can get enough to survive if you have fish with them and you feed your fish healthy food regularly. But regularly adding a basic general liquid plant food is still recommended. SUBSTRATE – this is something that is very misunderstood and the one a lot of hobbyists fail on. All plants need a substrate to grow on, but substrate for an epiphyte (Like Anubias, Buce, Ferns) see their substrate as décor (rocks, wood etc), yes they don’t want to be planted in the soil. Other plants need to get a large % of their food in the soil and then the expensive option for soil is actually essential. NOW to answer – Clearly you need to pick hardy plant. What are the hardiest species & what are their needs? I will describe a few here, but we are working hard to give you the species specific details for each one individually on our website. Anubias – These plants are as hardy as you can get! What makes them this extremely hardy is their slow growth. Thus, surviving you biggest mistakes easier than most other plants. They are also epiphytes and take their nutrition out of the water, therefore the natural fish food cycle feed them as well. So basic lighting, food and no soil is need. Bucephalandra – Buce are very similar to Anubias but don’t grow as large as Anubias and do tend to be a bit more sensitive, but not by a lot. Don’t let the price scare you off, Buce is one of the most underrated aquarium plant, especially by beginners. So basic lighting, food and no soil is need. Cryptocoryne – Crypt’s are the most underrated plant in my humble opinion. Most of them are EXTREMELY hardy, they can lose all their leaf’s (melting) and still regrow. You can burry a thick root (rhizome like) in normal aquarium gravel and you can end up with a plant. They will grow without any extra food in normal inert aquarium gravel, as long as the aquarium is well maintained and established. So basic lighting, food and old gravel is need. Ferns – Yet another epiphyte like Anubias and Buce, the common aquarium ferns like Bolbitis, Java fern and their varieties are also quite easy to keep alive. TIP - they tend to make baby’s on old or stressed leaf’s, so don’t discard old leaf’s till they are dead. So basic lighting, food and no soil is need. These are the slow growers. Others are: Amazon swords – They can be easy and difficult, the difficult part is due to the poor condition most are in by the time you plant them and you initially need to use a root tab to get them established. Once established they are a joy. So basic lighting, food and old gravel is need. STEM PLANTS – here you will need to research each specific species as plants in the same genus can include difficult and easy species. PLEASE remember this is the minimum, do some research and try and give them better conditions and they will reward you with faster growth and healthier look. This was a very VERY short intro to this topic, I can fill a book with everything I want to tell you, but sadly space and time prohibit that. If you need more info go on our website - - and if you still have questions PLEASE feel free to email us with your questions.

  • Bucephalandra - the chameleons of the aquarium world

    BUCE = Bucephalandra what is it about these plants, that is causing such a hype. My love and experience with these beauties started many years ago when I wanted rare plants for my aquarium shop and none of the importers at that time wanted to import it so I could buy it from their lists. At that stage Buce was not available in South Africa and the knowledge on them was limited. But if you know me, I am a sucker for a challenge and took this as a sign that I should take a chance. So I took the risk and went ahead and imported the first shipment. This shipment landed great and from that day onwards I was hooked on these Jewels. Bucephalandra is such an easy and beautiful aquarium plant that’s perfect for all types of hobbyists and aquariums from very basic low tech planted aquariums and nano aquascapes up to very high tech systems. Yes Buce are 1. EXTREMELY EASY 2. so Beautiful that I cannot think of a plant that can compete 3. extremely versatile and can grow in nearly every part of a good planted aquarium 4. Slow growing and that is a good thing because if you are killing it, it will happens slow as well and you have time to rectify your mistake Buce are easy! So why do some hobbyists fail to keep them healthy / happy / alive? In my personal opinion there are mainly 2 reasons 1. Planting 2. Water quality Planting Buce is a very important aspect, it might even be the only important aspect AND THIS IS WHERE A LOT OF HOBBYISTS FAIL! NEVER BURRY THE RHIZOME!!! The rhizome is the thick stem/root that run between the roots and the leaves. If you bury the rhizome you are exposing it to infections and damage by the substrate, eventually leading to total rot. Rather attach the rhizome to a hard substrate like a rock, wood or other aquarium décor (not the heater) where they can grow like they do in nature. But because they are not in a substrate it is essential to regularly add a good quality fertiliser to the water for them to take up their nutritional needs. Water quality – This is important for all plants not only Buce. Buce just ask that you regularly do a water change (NOT a top up = That is NOT a water change!!!), add a good quality water fertiliser and ensure sufficient water movement. What is the difference between a water change and a top up – • When you replace evaporated water = TOP UP = you don’t remove any build-up of toxins, waist, etc. and by allowing these build-ups you make life difficult for plants like Buce that are used to pristine fresh water all the time. • When you physically remove aquarium water (preferably with a gravel syphon – if you don’t have special plant substrate) you are removing these impurity’s and replace them with fresh clean water Water movement is essential to wash away any debris and excess wax build-up on the leaves. This enable the plant to photosynthesise and essentially grow faster and healthier. Side note on water movement – When we receive new Buce we put them in tubs till they are sold and although we do a 100% water change every week, the growth of these clumps are less than 50% when compared with clumps that receive water movement, with the same parameters. It is just not practically viable for me, otherwise all Buce would have been kept in constantly flowing water canals. Buce originate in Borneo where they are found on rocks in streams that can vary from slow flowing to very strong current after good rainfall. They tend to grow emersed (out of water) in areas that are constantly very wet and totally submerged during the wet season. So we receive these plants in emersed form because of 2 main reasons. 1. A plant that grow in emersed form, travel much better and chances of die-off is limited. 2. ALL plants that can grow both emersed and submerged, grow better when emersed because they have better access to light and CO2 especially. There are so many common names and each farm regularly “invent” their own name, making the names confusing and easily indistinguishable from each other. Then there are also the human factor, because when dealing with so many different variety’s you can easily swap plants. Furthermore I have received clumps with 2 or more variety’s mixed together, look at the clumps on our website (WYSIWYG) and you will find a lost soul somewhere. So I do not trust variety names that much. This does not deter from their beauty, it is just something to take into consideration. Buce growth difference between emersed and submerged is one of my favourite talking points on this species. Buce have the unique distinction that it get “sick” when the leaves develop submerged. BUT NO it is NOT SICK. The white-spots on the leaves are one of the 3 attractions to Buce for me. Why they develop these whit spots on their leaves are not known to me but I find it extremely attractive. The 2 other attractions to me is the leave colours and their growth preferences. Buce leaves colours can vary from bright green, purple, red, blue to black depending on the species / variety. Then you get different shapes depending on the species, this can vary from round to extremely elongated and have smooth edges up to very wrinkly. I love to see the development of these colours in a variety over a few of months. But you might even get different colours of the same plant in different aquariums. This is not a exact science as each variety ma react differently, but a general rule of thumb for me was that buce that are under strong light tend to have larger and darker leaves while smaller and lighter leaves tend to form under low tech aquariums. (THEN while I edited this article I realised that the last pictures I took of Buce that I received 4 months ago, all reacted differently. Leave size was still as per my statement BUT the colours did not follow my statement? Thus proving me wrong – why this happen might be the different LED’s I used, the new green room it was kept in, the new fertiliser I was using or another reason I could not even think of now BUT this make it even more exciting) Now how to receive, prep and plant Buce. This can be as easy or as difficult as you want to make it. Allow me to first explain what we do when we receive Buce and then what I do if I plant Buce in an aquarium. When we receive Buce they have been in a bag with minimal water for anything from 2 to 10 days, yes that long. So not only are they a bit dehydrated, but if there was any bacterial or fungal infection in or on the plant, this infection would have had time to grow. Therefore we have multiple steps before the portions are divided and packed in our green room. Step 1 Visual inspection – we are looking for visible problems and remove these Step 2 We dip the plant in our anti-bacterial / anti-fungal medication, so that while the plant hydrate it also absorb this mix to fight off future internal infections. We have tested this extensively in aquariums and found that a good rinse is sufficient for fish, but suggest shrimp guys to quarantine the plants for a few days first Step 3 Then we wash the plants to remove any debris and dead roots. Step 4 We remove old roots that will be in the way when we pack and ship the plant Step 5 we rinse the plants again Step 6 Final visual inspection – because my staff are not Buce experts and just to be extra safe, I do this step and the next step myself. Step 7 Portioning the plants into clumps Step 8 Placing the clumps in tubs, Add water premixed with a good quality plant food Close and store When you receive the Buce you can know with confidence that your plant was treated with respect and cleaned to the extent that no contaminants are present, but there are still excess roots and some leaves might have been damaged during all the handling, but this is no problem and I will gladly explain the steps I take when I plant Buce and recommend you follow these steps as well. Tools needed are running water, 2 bowls with aquarium water, small scissors, NEW sharp blade (scalpel), towel paper and super glue gel Step 1 Rinse the plant under slow running water for a few seconds, while removing any dead material and inspecting the rhizome for dead parts. Tip – the rhizome would not be soft and squishy, this sometimes happen at the oldest part of the rhizome and need to be removed with a very sharp and clean blade Step 2 Inspecting the plant for any damaged leaves I don’t want to keep by removing it with the scissors, I cut the leave stem as close to the rhizome as I safely can. Then place it in bowl 1 Step 3 Decide where I am going to place the plant and what roots I need to remove from the plant to ensure a good looking placement and get the rhizome as close to the “substrate/decor” as possible Step 4 Take the plant and shake it a bit in the bowl then I proceed to remove all the roots that I don’t need to attach the Buce to the position I decided to place it. TIP = I leave about 3mm of the root still attached to the rhizome, this way I ensure I don’t damage the rhizome. Step 5 I rinse the plant in bowl 2 to ensure I don’t have any debris attached to any part of the plant and all lose roots are removed Step 6 I remove the décor I am going to attach the Buce to and dab it dry with the paper towel. Then I take the plants and dry it with the paper towel as well. TIP= I use a fresh piece of towel every time, this ensue that I don’t contaminated the surface of the plant. Step 7 I place the plant and then add superglue GEL between the plant and the aquascaping and hold it in place for a few seconds. Making sure I don’t get my finger stuck as well. TIP = I use GEL because it is easier to control and I don’t make a mess everywhere – the GEL will not damage the rhizome Step 8 Place the décor back in its place and repeat step 1 to 7 till you are finished This is just a short version

  • ANUBIAS – the seriously underappreciated aquarium plant!!!

    Why do I love Anubias. To answer this I can use the history of an aquarium in my house. I have a low maintenance Bleeding Heart aquarium that is a very deep 3 foot (700mm) that I planted a variety of low maintenance plants in. All went well for a year or 2 and then the lights failed and because lights was set to come on during the day while I was at work (BIG mistake) I only noticed this too late for some plants. But the Anubias did not die, they just stopped growing. I thought that I had time on my side as the plants already died, I only got back to this aquarium 6 months later. This is where my love relationship started, THE ANUBIAS SURVIVED!!! 3 years later the Anubias are still growing in this aquarium without addition of any plant food in any way. Notice the Anubias is attached to wood and don’t touch the inert substrate. So you have to go out of your way to kill Anubias J Anubias can survive and some even thrive and flower under water forever. Anubias is also very heat and water parameter resistant and therefore a nice edition to Discus aquariums. On top of that fish don’t usually predate on the leaf’s or rhizome, enabling cichlid keepers to have a planted aquarium as well. If that is not enough, Anubias love to grow on aquarium décor and accessories, making them great addition to aquariums that are bare bottom or house fish that love to dig. MYTH – All anubias is terrestrial plants and will not survive for long in your aquarium. FALSE – nearly all the species and varieties available on the market will thrive for years and years in your aquarium. Anubias species interbreed extremely easy and every breeder tend to have their own hybrids on their farm and use a name they think might suit their hybrid the best. So please understand that some of the species specific information might not represent your plant 100% but it will definitely be very close. MYTH – Anubias grown emersed (out of water) will lose all their leaves or even might die if you submerge them directly after you bought them IE you must introduce them slowly to their new environment FALSE – Anubias will not lose any leaves due to you planting them directly into your aquarium. They are not like most other aquarium plants that have 2 different leave forms between being submerged or emersed. Their leaves just continue growing. Now let’s look at this genus in more detail: What is the care and needs of Anubias? Water – Obviously this is the most important factor, due to the fact that you want them to grow and thrive in your aquarium. If you ensure your water is good for fish with good filtration and regular water changes, then Anubias is not fussy regarding your aquariums water parameters. But the ideal water parameters for Anubias is: · pH – 6.5 to 7.5 – This make them truly easy and indulgent to your waters pH · KH – Water hardness. This can be from soft 3dKH to hard 7gKH, I used tap water here in Pretoria and Anubias thrive in it. · TEMPERATURE – I have kept Anubias very successfully with discus at high temperatures – IE up to 34°C and also on the other side of the spectrum, I kept Anubias over winter in aquariums that went as low as 16°C. They did not form new leaves under these low temperatures but they did not lose any leaves either. Fertilizer They would appreciate moderate addition of liquid fertilizers, but if you stock fish they can actually grow without fertilizers, albeit much slower. Addition of CO2 is not needed at all, but like all plants they will appreciate it BUT excessive ORGANIC material with over feeding of nutrients, can lead to holes in the leafs. If your leaf form is arrow shaped and my articles suggest that the rhizome been buried, then I would recommend CO2 for optimum health. Lighting As you must have realised by now, light can be very low. But a recommended light level is 0.5 to 0.66 Watts of T8 lighting per liter of water (translated to moderate lighting) If you give them too much light you will start to develop problems with algae on their leaves. If you lighting is too intense for them, then you can move them to spots underneath overhanging plants and those inevitable dark (lighting) spots that develop. BUT and this is important, they hate high lightening conditions. You will notice leaf deformation if lighting is too intense. MYTH – Anubias stop growing in aquariums or grow very slow. FALSE – Anubias do grow slower than normal stem plants, but under good conditions they can reward you with a new leave every 2 weeks. In my book that is not to shabby at all. Placement Anubias is an epiphyte (plant that don’t need to be planted in substrate) and therefore will prefer to be attaching to décor. Use cotton thread as it dissolve naturally after a while. You can plant the roots in substrate but ensure that the rhizome is NOT BURIED as this can easily lead to rot. Anubias come in a massive variety of sizes and leave shapes, this allow you to decorate your aquarium with anubias anywhere you like to use them. This is basically from the front (tiny foreground varieties) to varieties that can actually grow out of your aquarium up to 50cm. THERE IS AN ANUBIAS FOR ANY NEED you might have for it. Adjustment. The great news is Anubias does not go through an emersed to submerged stage IE. They don’t throw of their old leafs for new leafs when submerged in your aquarium, the existing leafs adjust to the new environment. But as with all golden moments there must be a thorn somewhere and Anubias thorn is GROWTH, Anubias is a slow grower but if you give it a good environment you can expect a new leaf every 2 to 3 week. Myth – Anubias need special substrate or are extremely picky about their environment. FALSE – not at all they are actually one of the easiest aquarium plants on the market. Varieties/species that need SPECIAL CARE All of the general varieties and species available in South Africa are easy and great additions to your aquarium, especially if it is part of the A. barteri or nana groups (90% if generally available plants). Then there are the species that need special attention and these are normally marketed towards specialists. I found a good general identification for a hobbyist visiting their local aquarium shop is to look at the leave shape. From Round to elongated leaf shapes are normally very safe. Leaves that are arrow shaped IE have extra lobs/ears next to the stem, must rather be researched firsts before you buy them. Planting TIPS · Don’t cover the rhizome with your soil · Good at growing on rock, wood and other aquarium décor · Use super glue or cotton strings to attach the roots to the décor giving the plant time to grow onto the décor by itself. NOTES: If your Anubias suddenly loose leaves or the growth tip start to rot, you need to investigate anything that might have drastically changed. This is surely an indication of something “going south” fast and all your aquarium inhabitants will share the fate of the anubias soon if you don’t act fast.

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  • Amazon swords | Aquatic Plants SA

    AMAZON SWORDS The Amazon Sword Plant - Echinodorus sp. - is an aquatic plant that has become very popular with fish keepers worldwide over the past several years. The genus name ‘Echinodorus’ is derived from Greek ‘Echius meaning rough husk, and ‘doros’ meaning leathern bottle. The genus Echinodorus comprises of more than 40 species. They can be found in South and Central America. It is very popular with species that can be used as foreground, midground and great background aquarium plants. Echinodorus are by nature marsh and bog plants that can grow submersed. Many species are grown in aquariums. They prefer good light and grow best in a deep, nutrient-rich substrate. Sort by NEW SPECIES Quick View Sagittaria sp. Price R49.00 Rare Quick View Echinodorus RED PHOENIX - amazon sword Price R150.00 Budget range Quick View Echinodorus ozelot Price R32.00 Quick View R1000 gift voucher Regular Price R1,000.00 Sale Price R850.00 Quick View R700 gift voucher Regular Price R700.00 Sale Price R616.00 Quick View R450 gift voucher Regular Price R450.00 Sale Price R416.25 Quick View R200 gift voucher Price R200.00 Quick View Echinodorus osiris rubra Out of stock Quick View Echinodorus harbich (dwarf) Out of stock Budget range Quick View Echinodorus grandiflorus Out of stock

  • Aquarium Plants | Aquatic Plants SA

    Aquatic Plants SA THE ULTIMATE INVITRO PLANT COLLECTION Shop Now Email us Buy Now A V A I L A B L E Shop Collection R A R E Shop Collection How to order pick your plant Have your pick out of our amazing variety. order Complete all info at checkout pay Make payment via EFT Prepare your tank for delivery delivery Receive delivery Email us a photo and confirmation of delivery Free downloadable plant list, coming soon. Click Here ABOUT US Micropropagation of plants Currently we specialise in AQUARIUM PLANTS and produce them in tissue culture / micropropagation in our LABORATORY based in Pretoria South Africa. But to get stock to introduce we need to regularly import specialised plants and normal plants like Buce (Buceplants / Bucephalandra), Anubias and Cryptocorynes (Crypto's / Crypt / Crypto) In the near future we will start to produce rare and difficult to propagated house plants as well. Our dream - to become the BEST tissue culture laboratory in South Africa before 2022. To reach this BIG AUDACIOUS GOAL We started in 2017 with studying, experimenting and training with tropical aquarium plants. Currently, we are very proficient with this project and started selling these plants in the South African market through 2 selected wholesalers (Epic Aquatic & Ad Astra). 2020 will see our tropical range being exported as well. Currently, we are starting to identify terrestrial plants we can produce for the South African plant market and invite all rare plant owners and nurseries to contact us with plants they want us to cultivate for them. ​ Why start with tropical aquarium plants? In 2016/17 I was looking for invitro / tissue cultured / micropropagation plants for my pet shops, none of the importers were able to assist me and I decided to look into the possibility of producing this locally. Unable to find a laboratory that was willing to take on this task, I decided to do it myself. An American wholesaler initially indicated that they will also be interested and therefore it was not a question of if it is possible but ONLY a question of HOW? I personally studied 24/7 till in late 2017 when I decided that I am ready to make the investment and in 2018 I JUMPED IN FEET FIRST and built a small laboratory with 5 laminar flow hoods, a production room that can produce 800+ cups per day and a plant growth room capable of handling close to 60 000 cups. ​ Today our growth room is filled 70%+ and in the future we will have to invest in a much bigger setup, but now the experimentation is done, protocols are tried and tested, systems are in place, and most importantly the staff members are trained. ​ READY TO GO! CONTACT US Call us: 012-329 1714 Location: Pretoria, Gauteng OR WhatsApp - 0612273588 FOR SPECIAL REQUESTS & QUERIES Send Thanks for submitting!

  • Privacy policy | Aquatic Plants SA

    PRIVACY POLICY I’m a privacy policy section. I’m a great place to inform your customers about how you use, store, and protect their personal information. Add details such as how you use third-party banking to verify payment, the way you collect data or when will you contact users after their purchase was completed successfully. Your user’s privacy is of the highest importance to your business, so take the time to write an accurate and detailed policy. Use straightforward language to gain their trust and make sure they keep coming back to your site! SAFETY SECURITY I’m a safety and security section. I’m a great place to inform your customers about how you use, store, and protect their personal information. Add details such as how you use third-party banking to verify payment, the way you collect data or when will you contact users after their purchase was completed successfully. Your user’s security is of the highest importance to your business, so take the time to write an accurate and detailed policy. Use straightforward language to gain their trust and make sure they keep coming back to your site!

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All pictures are just for demonstrative purposes.