Monday, February 16, 2015

Hornwort - Aquarium Plant

In my last post, I mentioned something about having fish for pets and my aquarium hobby. Well, I haven't had any fish tanks in a few years, but for several years I had many of them. At one time, one of my rooms looked like "aqua world." Ha! Anyway, I have a lot of experience with tropical fish and freshwater aquariums, but I used to never write about it for some reason. I may dedicate this month of February to all aquatic topics on this Wildlife & Nature Blog...

Anyway, most folks like plants in their aquarium. However, most people seem to think those fake, plastic plants are the way to go. To have a healthy environment for your fish population, it is an added bonus to include live plants. They not only provide additional oxygen and put less demand on air pumps and bubble makers (aerators), they also provide shelter for young fry, a place to lay eggs, food for some types of fish, and help balance the nitrogen cycle, and so on.

The plant I'm talking about today, is called Hornwort. It was my favorite aquatic plant out of all the ones I tried. It grows really fast, has lush green growth, and turns your tank into a jungle if you don't trim it on occasions. You can buy a small amount from an aquarium/aquatic pet supplier, throw it into your tank, and watch it grow. I've had some come in before with snails attached, but they were all consumed by my fish, so it didn't matter. It grows from both ends, and you can trim, cut, and spread it out accordingly. I liked to let mine grow in long strands, as I preferred lots of green growth that wasn't algae.

Hornwort often floats around at the surface, so it does block a good bit of light when it starts getting big. This can be a good thing if you don't have very many algae eaters in your tank, as that will sort of help keep that in check, as well. Another added benefit for having a fast growing plant like Hornwort in your tank, is that when you have to periodically remove a lot of it, you are also removing some of the built-up nitrogen/nitrates that accumulate in your aquarium. Yeah, the waste cycle goes from ammonia to nitrites to the less harmful nitrates, but it is good to keep the cycle flowing for healthy fish. Of course, a good supply of healthy bacteria that is naturally found in established tanks will quickly convert the waste into nitrate, and semi-regular water and filter changes will keep that in check, also.

The one thing you need to watch out for when you have a tank full of Hornwort, is the pH level. This particular aquarium plant tends to lower your pH, as it pull the nutrients and trace minerals from the water to sustain its fast growth. Okay, well, I thought I'd share that today, in case anybody is out there searching for a good aquarium plant; cheers!

Image Credit: Using the 'free to use & share' Google Image Search function.

---End of Post "Hornwort - Aquarium Plant"

Shopping Link: "Click Here for Aquarium pH Test Strips"

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