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Video: Tropical Plants For Aquarium
Among the plants corresponding by the horoscope to the zodiac sign of Pisces (February 20 - March 20), the following are called: palm "fish tail"; ampelous ficuses (dwarf, rooting); spreading cipeus ("umbrella plant"); orchids; fragrant "geraniums" (capitate, tomentose, strong-smelling); papyrus; tolmia Menzies; the fat woman is lyciform; plectrantus; aquarium plants - spiral allysneria, canadian elodea, hornwort, aquatic kabomba, cryptocoryne.
About 500 species and varieties of freshwater plants are cultivated at home. As many tropical plants have passed from the tropics to indoor culture, so in apartment aquariums there were many aquatic "herbs" of these latitudes.
Ecologically, aquarium plants can be divided into four large groups: floating on the surface of the water; floating in the water column; aquatic rooting in the ground; rooting semi-aquatic (marsh or coastal) plants living in areas with excessive moisture. In submerged aquatic plants, the stems and leaves are delicate, fragile, they are able to assimilate dissolved gases, energy, macro- and microelements with the entire surface of their body, which is why the root system is poorly developed.
In aquarium practice, aquatic "grasses" play an extremely important role, as they are the main decorative element in the underwater landscape. They are responsible for many biochemical processes taking place in the aquatic environment, especially for the utilization of fish waste products, for which in some cases they can serve as the only source of oxygen. Hornwort, for example, effectively performs the function of a natural filter, precipitating mechanical particles suspended in water from the surface of its leaves, while Canadian Elodea actively absorbs calcium from water, significantly reducing its hardness.
(spiral-leaved) Vallisneria spiralis (Vodokrasovye family) is a plant common in shallow water bodies with stagnant or weakly flowing water in countries with tropical and subtropical climates. On the territory of Russia, in natural conditions, it is found in the Caucasus and the Far East, it can also be found in the water area located next to hydroelectric power stations. This dioecious plant usually grows at a depth of 1 m, forming vast thickets that overflow reservoirs.
It has a short stem with basal ribbon-like leaves (up to 80 cm long, 1.5 cm wide; small denticles at the top of the leaves), collected in a rosette, and thin, white roots (fibrous root system). The color of the leaves is from light to juicy green, rarely with reddish-brown shades. Vallisneria is considered a true aquatic plant, although with its narrow leaves it tends from the bottom to the surface. It blooms in the second half of summer and is characterized by a very interesting pollination process.
On one plant, male flowers sit on short peduncles in groups in the axils of the leaves, on the other, female flowers, which are equipped with long pedicels and by the time of pollination appear on the surface of the water. Male flowers break off from the pedicels, float to the surface of the water and are carried by the wind and current through the water, falling on the open female flowers, and pollinating them. After fertilization, the pedicels of the female flowers spirally twist and sink to the bottom, where the ovary ripens.
Vallisneria reproduces very well with soil shoots. So, under favorable conditions in the aquarium (clean, oxygen-rich water, enough light, nutritious substrate, no iron salts, temperature 22-24 ° C), its bush can give several dozen young plants during the year. She starts up these processes in such a variety that it is necessary from time to time to thin out the formed thickets in the aquarium.
Like all aquatic plants, this species develops better in a nutrient medium than in a poor one, but nevertheless it is considered not too pretentious: it mainly needs strong lighting, does not impose special requirements on the composition of water and its temperature, although too soft water is undesirable, as it "loves" lime.
Elodea (water plague) canadian
Elodea canadensis (Vodokrasovye family) is widespread in Northern Canada, and after its introduction to Europe in 1836, it acclimatized well there, and now in many countries of Asia and Australia. In Russia, it is found in the European part and in Western Siberia (ponds, ditches, rivers and lakes); for overwintering, Elodea has special shoots and winter buds. There are cases when elodea froze into the ice, and after thawing it was easily restored.
Long, branching, cord-like, fragile stems, covered with whorls of leaves (their blade is slightly curved downward, the apex is obtuse), root at the base and bear long floating roots. The stems spread along the bottom of the reservoir and branch strongly, giving many vertical shoots up to 3 m long, which leads to the formation of powerful thickets.
Leaves are transparent, oblong or linear-oblong, up to 1 cm long and 0.5 cm wide, finely toothed, three in whorls. The plant is dioecious, but in our country specimens with male flowers are not found. In North America, plants with male and bisexual flowers are known: bisexual flowers are self-pollinated, and in dioecious pollination occurs, as in Vallisneria. At home, under favorable conditions, it multiplies so quickly that it fills most of the reservoir, making it difficult for fishing and even navigation, for which it received the name "plague".
This "indoor" species is referred to as rooting in the ground and free-floating plants. In aquariums, the plant takes root very well and reproduces vegetatively. On the branches thrown into the aquarium, new shoots quickly appear, which become independent in a short time. It needs clean cool water, enough artificial lighting. In the absence of free carbon dioxide in the water, it consumes carbon from carbonates, strongly shifting the pH value to the alkaline region.
In the summer, elodea grows very rapidly and can take up a lot of space, so experts advise to remove some of the shoots from the aquarium from time to time. For this reason, it does not tolerate the winter period at home, since it requires relatively low temperatures, therefore it is more suitable for a cold water aquarium. Elodea plants can be planted in a group in the middle and background, or floated on water.
Hornwort dark green
Ceratophyllum demersum (Hornleaf family) is distributed throughout the globe (stagnant or slowly flowing waters). The plant has round, radial, finely dissected, very fragile, bright green leaves, located on branched, long stems in separate whorls; can form lateral branches of the stem. Flowers sometimes develop in the leaf axils.
The hornwort has a peculiar root system: it is usually found in young plants (thin roots), in adults it is absent (dies off). This is one of the few plants (monoecious) in which male and female flowers (small, inconspicuous) are located separately from each other. Hornwort reproduces with the help of apical shoots, which are separated from the mother plant and sink to the bottom of the reservoir. But in an aquarium, as a rule, the hornwort reproduces by shoots extending from the base of the root.
Hornwort leaves purify the water intensively, collecting the smallest particles of dirt. Everyone can be convinced of this by putting several of its branches in a vessel with muddy water. After a few hours the water will become clear and the leaves of the plant will become covered with dirt, so it can be used as a "mechanical" filter in the aquarium. However, due to the high contamination of the leaves, the hornwort must be periodically washed with fresh water. The plant is also good because it is suitable for keeping both in a cold water aquarium and in a tropical one: it tolerates relatively large fluctuations in air and water temperature.
When acquiring plants, attention is paid to the development and condition of their organs: the stems and leaves should be without curvature, mosaic color, the root system should be white or yellow, elastic, without mucus and rot. Experts do not advise taking old or too small plants, the optimal size of the bush is 1/3 of the adult form.
When landscaping the aquarium, you should not place plants too close to each other. It is taken into account that rapidly growing species can greatly increase in size in a few weeks (for example, Vallisneria). In a small aquarium, 2-3 species are enough, and in a large aquarium, their number increases proportionally.
Before being placed in the aquarium, each plant is cleaned of dirt adhering to it, filamentous algae, snail eggs, defective leaves and rotten areas. The plant is thoroughly washed with warm (40 ° C) water, disinfected, if necessary, in a solution of potassium permanganate (10 mg / l - 30 min.), Alum (5 g / l 10 min.) Or methylene blue (0.5 g / l - 10 min.); then it is gently rinsed.
When planting, thickened bushes are thinned out; with the index and middle fingers, they make a hole in the ground, placing the plant in it a little deeper than the root collar (while the root must be straightened). Then the soil is slightly crushed, the plant is carefully pulled upward so that the root collar appears: then the thin branches of the roots will be located directly in the soil.
Plants are not planted indiscriminately. Compositions of several types are built according to the contrast of the size, color and shape of the leaves, they combine long and short-stemmed species. Aquarium plants usually start from the back of the aquarium. There, the tallest of them look better, and on the observation deck (in the foreground) there are usually small or grassy ones. They can also be planted in tiers on several levels or grouped in combination with stones, driftwood and other decorative elements.