Dustin's Blog — The Planted Tank

Fungus in Your Fish Tank? Could Be a Good Thing.

Posted by Augusta Hosmer on

Okay, sure, the title sounds kinda clickbait-ish. Most people hear "fungus" and think either "athlete's foot" or "mushroom," but what if we told you fungi might help you grow aquarium plants?  Mycorrhizae: Pretty Fly for Fungi Land plants have a well-documented symbiotic (mutually helpful) relationship between their roots and a huge range of fungal species naturally found in soil called mycorrhizae. Mycorrhizae actually translates from Greek to "fungal root." The fungi infects the plant's roots, obtains "food" (carbohydrates) from the plant and, in return,  increase the plant's root absorption and nutrient uptake by increasing root surface area with small, thin...

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How to Kill Anubias

Posted by Augusta Hosmer on

It's funny Anubias (an amazingly easy aquarium plant genus) is named for the Egyptian god of funerals, graves, and the afterlife, Anubis - because these things are borderline unkillable. I like to think, somewhere, there's a jackal-headed death god trying to preserve dead plants named after him and getting annoyed he has to wait because they just won't die.  However, if our friend Anubis wanted to hurry them along to the underworld, there are a few ways he could do it. Here's your guide on how to grow (and how to kill) Anubias aquarium plants.  Anubias Species and Varieites The Anubias genus is packed with...

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Aquarium Science Series: Basic Aquarium Plant Botany

Posted by Augusta Hosmer on

Freshwater aquatic plant anatomy and physiology, and how you can make easy botany work for your planted tank Welcome back to another installment of the Aquarium Science Series! Got some epic aquarium plants growing, but wondering how they work and why that matters? This post will give you an overview of some botany basics, with more specific posts on root physiology/Mycorrhizae, plant genetics,  leaf physiology and photosynthesis/respiration, etc. to follow later when we really dig into it. Aquarium Plant Classifications Scientific Names/Taxonomy Want to get to know someone? Start with a name. Aquarium plants are no different. A lot of...

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Step-by-Step Guide For Starting an Epic Planted Tank

Posted by Augusta Hosmer on

How to set up a planted tank, tips and tricks for beginners, and freshwater aquarium plant recommendations  This is the start of a two-part series, so buckle up, fish tank people. In part one (this post), we'll help you start a planted tank from scratch. In part two, we'll tell you how to put live aquarium plants in an existing, non-planted tank and convert it to something amazing. Those of you who have an empty tank and want to get some plants going, this post is for you. Here's how to do it:    Step 1: Answer Some Questions, Decide What You Want, and Go From There...

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No fertilizers? No fancy lights? No problem.

Posted by Augusta Hosmer on

“Can I have a planted tank without special lights, fertilizers, or a CO2 system?” This is a question everyone in the freshwater aquarium hobby has asked at some point, and we have good news: the answer is a resounding yes. If you want beautiful aquatic plants without feeling like you have to sell a kidney to afford tech to keep them alive, we've got you.   This is the first of a two part series on which aquarium plants are right for you based on how much maintenance they need. In this post, we'll list out some of the best low-light,...

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