All about Fertilizer, CO2 and Plant Care
Freshwater aquatic plants, just like fish and shrimp, come in many shapes and sizes, all with different requirements for their environment. Most of the plants we sell are quite hardy and easy to grow, but we will go over the general guidelines for all plants.
Plants, just like all other living beings, need various trace elements and chemicals to be able to grow strong and healthy. They will use up available nutrients as they grow, and if no more come in, they can get sick as they try to compensate for the lack of whatever it is they need. Our recommendation is to have at least one source of additional nutrients for your plants. That means if you have aquasoil such as Shrimp Soil or Aqua Earth, that will be enough for about two years, after which you could consider adding a little fertilizer such as Superfood.
If you have fish, and not too many plants, most of our plants should not have an issue growing however, so do not take it as a requirement.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
Plants breathe CO2 like we breathe Oxygen. It is also a bit harder for plants get CO2 from water than it is from open air. Most of the plants we sell can grow without any issue completely submerged and without any extra CO2, but adding even a small amount of it can drastically increase the growth speed of your plants. CO2 is in general the largest bottleneck for plants to grow underwater, so how much you help them here will translate directly to growth speed.
The deeper plants are in the water, the harder it is for them, so for low-growing carpeting plants like Monte-Caro or Hairgrass, CO2 is necessary. In general however, we recommend dosing a small amount of CO2 for the first few months of a new tank until you are happy with the density and then slowly reduce the amount you dose until you are done.
Finally, we sell Liquid CO2 like Flourish Excel. If you intend to permanently dose CO2 into your tank, we would recommend a bubble drip system you can purchase, but if not Liquid is much cheaper and easier in the short term.
We won't go into detail now, you can read our article about that here, but in general the more light the better, and some plants need stronger light than others to be able to grow or survive. As long as you have some light on your tank, most of our plants should have no issues.
That should be it! Feel free to ask us any questions you may have.