How To

How to Anchor Aquarium Plants in Gravel?

Here are the 9 best DIY methods to securely anchor aquarium plants in the gravel. We have explained all the details in this step-by-step guide.

How to Anchor Aquarium Plants in Gravel? You can anchor aquarium plants in the gravel by using driftwood, a thick layer of sand, plant anchors, adding weights, plant pots, and nylon thread.

Live freshwater aquarium plants add so much beauty and charm to a fish tank. An aquarium is complete when there are both fauna and flora in it.

How to Anchor Aquarium Plants in Gravel?

If you are looking forward to adding plants to your aquarium, follow these simple methods to anchor them in the gravel.

Aquarium plants are the best addition to a fish tank as they create a beautiful ecosystem inside it. You can not imagine an aquarium without them as they are an essential part of aqua-space.

Providing an environment that mimics the natural habitat maintains fish and other species’ health. These plants make your fish feel safe with a sufficient supply of oxygen. They provide an absolute natural aquatic environment to your fish tank.

To maintain the plant’s health and thrive, keep them very carefully in the tank. The best way is to anchor them to the bottom of the tank to prevent them from floating and creating disturbance for the inhabitants.

What is the most suitable gravel for plants?

Gravel acts as a substrate for fish and plants, therefore make it wisely. It provides your fish a place to hide, lay eggs, or a home. Water reflection causes stress to fish, but gravel makes them calm by reducing the water reflection. You can make multicolor gravel to improve the look of your fish tank.

All plants do not have the same root system that makes them different from each other. Some are very soft and fragile, while some tend to be hard and complicated. It is better to establish such gravel that is suitable for most of the plants.

Gravel that is inert and provides no nutrients to your plants is the wrong choice. Make gravel that is nutrient-rich such as fluorite black sand. It is ideal for aquarium plants and is element and nutrient-rich. It is better to add sea-chem root tabs to enhance mineral content. 

Some plants feed on the water column, so lighter substrates are better for them. Black clay gravel that has tiny grains and is the size of a pea supports many plants. It looks good with the lucky bamboo plant in the fish tank.

Most plants are lighter in weight, so when you put them in the tank, they start floating instead of going down. They need some support to make them stand in the tank. You can add some objects in the bottom that act as an anchorage for your live plants. By anchoring them, their root can grow deep, making them stable.

Add a thick layer of sand

Sand usually does not support the plant, but using a very thick layer can do so. In this case, the plant should be mature with long roots so you can fix it into the sand bed.

Use multiple layers of sand to make thick bedding around it to hold it. It will not allow the bottom dwellers and other fish to get into the sand and damage the base.

Use Plant anchors

These are soft strips that can easily bend, comes in the use of wrapping plants around to hold them. It is preferable for large aquariums having big fish.

Usually, it is a lead strip. It will not interrupt plant growth, but it helps to maintain the plant shape while growing. You can also use iron bands for this purpose.

Place aquarium plants by using weight

Putting some weight helps the plant to hold themselves in water. Only sand can not support it, so you have to add some lightweight pebbles or stones to fix it to the bottom. Do not add weight or pressure on the roots of the plant as it can damage roots.

Just take some tiny rocks, stone, or pebbles and arrange them around the plant in such a way that they support the plant to stand easily.

Another way is to tie them with large rocks to keep the plant in its place. Granite rocks are the best choice as they do not dissolve in water. Gently tie a root around a weighted rock and cover it with sand for further protection. This option is better for plants that grow long and have branches.

Fix the aquarium plants along with their pots

When you have no option to hold your aquarium stem plant in the water, it is better to place it in pots. It will protect the roots as well.

Do not worry about the look, as it gives a unique and different touch to your aquarium. Also, if you are not comfortable with exposing pots, hide them with rocks and sands. You can use both sand and gravel for the planted auarium.

Use Aquarium driftwood

Anchoring plants to the driftwood is a safe option. Wrap the whole plant or only root around the driftwood. Wood is heavy enough to hold it in the bottom. Also, if there is an open space in the wood, place it in it. You should know about the kind of wood suitable for the aquarium.

Use of crevices

If your aquarium is large with rocks that have openings or fissures, place your plant in it. These crevices are the best place to support plants and provide protection to them.

You can also wrap it around the nooks or other spaces. If you have some decorative items in your aquarium, like a mini house, place them or wrap them around them.

Use nylon or plastic embroidery mesh

Take a thin nylon mesh and anchor plants to it. It is a simple method to anchor plants like moss or ferns. It helps to keep them in their place. Also, secure this thin mess by putting some weight on both ends.

Lay down a plastic framework under the substrate that covers the base completely. Now you can anchor all on it. It prevents the approach of fish and other species to the plant roots. Tie up your plants with cotton thread. You should trim and replant aquarium plants regularly.

Problems in anchoring aquarium plants in gravel

Anchoring plants in the gravel is not always easy. You can face some problems placing them in an aquarium. Here are some issues that arise while anchoring plants in an aquarium.

Bottom feeders

Some fish and species usually love to live at the bottom of the tank. They feed on anything that is on the bottom, including plant roots. It makes the plant incapable of holding and standing in the water and makes it float on the water surface.

To secure it, you have to cover the roots completely with gravel to prevent them from becoming the feed of fish that are herbivores. Many people add Kuhli loaches as they are good cleaners.

Weak plants

Sometimes you are trying to fix your plants in the tank, and they are just not getting in it. The reason behind this is that your plant is unhealthy.

It is too weak to hold itself on the gravel. Make sure you are buying a healthy one that has strong roots to keep in the bottom.

Aggressive fish

Some fish are too aggressive that pull out the aquarium plants when you add them to the tank. They may damage the plant or de-root them during a fight that results in a dead or floating plant.

Place such kind of fish in an aquarium that has no or very few plants. Another way is to properly secure it in the gravel so that the fish can not reach the base.

Inappropriate filtration

Sometimes your tank’s filtration is too strong that it pulls the plants toward itself with its strength. You can face a problem anchoring them to the gravel.

Also, strong filtration produces a strong current that does not enable fish to swim smoothly. Lower the filter strength or replace it with low-power ones to eliminate this issue.

Fish that burrow

Some fishes and animals burrow at the bottom of the tank causing damage to the plant roots. They displace the aquarium plant and do not allow them to hold on to the base that results in floating. Try to hide them from the plant to refrain these fish from tugging them.

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