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Aquarium Plants to Avoid
A planted aquarium, no doubt, can create a very beautiful scene. However, if you are not knowledgeable about fish plants or aquatic plants in general, this beautiful scene that you have spent all your time creating can turn out be short-lived or even a horrible disaster!
Many pet stores often sell several plants as aquatic plants but they are really not. Usually, the only way you can tell that these plants are not underwater plants is after leaving them submerged for a period of time. Whereas aquatic plants will grow for a very long time underwater without dying, non-aquatic plants do not grow for long submerged. In fact, they start to show signs of failure to thrive very early, and will eventually ended up polluting your fish tank when they die.
Non-Aquatic Plants to Avoid
These plants below are among some of the commonly available non-aquatic species:
- Mondo Grass(Ophiopogan Japonion species)
- Aglaonema(Rhizomatus evergreen species)
- Brazilian Sword(Spath phylum tanson species)
- Cherry Hedge
- Princess Pine(Draceana species)
- Green Hedge
- Palms(Draceana species)
- Sandarian(Draceana species)
- Pine(Lycopodium species)
- Red Crinkle(Liriope muscani)
- Aqua Fern(Trichomanes javanicum species)
- Arrowhead(Syngonium podophyllum species)
A Brief Description of Some Non-Aquatic Plants
Mondo Grass: This grass looks very attractive year-round, however, when it gets to late winter, the leaves may become ragged looking. The regrowth of new leaves usually occurs during early spring. This species tend to compete well with the roots of other plants. They are frequently found growing healthily along the banks of streams and also around garden ponds. Mondo grass is commonly known to be invaded by the fungal disease -- anthracnose.
It is often confused with Red Crinkle(Liriope muscari). However, its leaves tend to be narrower than those of liriope, the smaller flowers are camouflaged by the leaves. If you should take a closer look at both, you will notice that the fruits of mondo grass are blue compared to the black fruits of liriope.
Aglaonema(Chinese Evergreen): These are species of rhizomataus evergreen plants, a native of the tropical swamps and rainforests of southeastern Asia. They are popular household plants, and are commonly used to beautify offices and shopping malls. Aglaonema are among the easiest houseplants to grow and they tend to thrive better in places where there is indirect light and partial shade. Cuttings from these plants will easily root in a glass of water.
The Brazilian Sword: A Rosette plant, that originates from tropical America and may reach a height of 16 inches when fully grown. Although often used in planted aquarium, this plant was never intended for submerged growth.
For those who are especially new to the fish keeping world and are interested in the idea of a planted aquarium, one thing you should be aware of is that most pet stores will either intentionally or unintentionally sell non-aquatic plants as underwater plants. The latter may due to the fact that these plants were also sold to them as aquatic plants and they themselves had no way of distinguishing these pseudo-aquatic plants from real aquatic plants.
Quite often, we the fish plants buyers are the ones who usually discover that these plants are not what these pet stores said they were initially. After using these plants in our aquariums we have soon come to realize that they do die after a short period of time. Over time, we have become the experts in distinguishing between plants that were meant to be grown submerged and those that weren't.
Because these plants are very beautiful and can really add a bit of life to your planted aquarium, if you would like to use them in your fish tank, my advice to you is that you should only use these often debatable fish plants temporary, or with the expectation of replacing them after a short period. You shouldn't wait until they are completely dead and start to rot before replacing them. If you wait for this happen, this can lead to water pollution which may disrupt the perimeter of your aquarium -- something you definitely wouldn't like to occur! You may find more information on aquarium plants at http://www.discusfishsecretsite.com
By I. McFarlane 9/2012