An entirely green aquarium is something that not every aquascaper is interested in. Seas of green interspersed with brown or gray from rocks or mopani wood simply do not appeal to some people. Pops of color can certainly bring out specific plants in an aquarium, however, many aquarium owners are nervous about adding these plants because of their complexity. The most accessible color (besides green) for underwater plants would be the vibrant reds seen occasionally in some pet and aquarium specialty shops.
Make it Pretty
Every aquarium should try to lend itself to basic artistic principles; the easiest being the “rule of thirds”. When your aquarium is divided (by imaginary lines) both horizontally and vertically by three lines from both directions, the resulting intersections should be points of interest in your tank. In this case, the intersecting points should be areas where either red plants are placed, or rock formations are placed. The eye should move easily through the landscape of your aquarium, as it would through any other piece of art.
Make it Live
Set up a CO2 system already. The carbon dioxide will not harm your fish, and it will make your plants particularly healthy and robust. Add liquid fertilizer once a month (be sure to pick one that is safe for fish if you have any). Choose lighting that is meant for aquarium plants (aquarium lights should say specifically whether or not they are for live plants), and that contributes at least 2 watts of light per gallon of water your tank contains. In the beginning, stick with a crypt type of plant, which will be easier to grow for newbies to red pigment plants. In your initial planting, choose a soil or sand substrate that already contains nutrients for your plant. Making photosynthesis almost effortless, your plant will have quite the incentive to thrive. By creating a perfect environment for your red plant, as well as the other plants in your tank, you are setting your tank up for success, and creating a beautiful aquatic landscape.
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