Holy smokes ! Not one topic in this section Heres another article I wrote for FishTankForum. Should prove helpful to those who are new to aquatic plants... ----------------------------------------------------------------- Many new aquarists are sceptical about keeping plants in the tank. For many, plants always seem to die off, rot and pollute the aquarium. Others think that without expensive Co2 systems, keeping plants alive is just not doable. Looking at photos of beautiful planted tanks, one may feel slightly confused to see others having great success, while they struggle to keep plants alive for more than a week. New aquarists will often choose the wrong plants for their tanks. Plants, like all living things, have requirements and needs that need to be met. Some plants need bright light, while others do well in darker environments. Some plants need regular maintenance while others can be left on their own. Some like warm water, while others prefer cool water...etc In short, each plant species have different needs. We can however, fit them into two different categories. 1-Hardy plants (plants that thrive and grow well in most conditions) 2-Sensitive plants (those that only thrive in very specific conditions) Here we will see three different types of hardy "beginner" plants. -Cryptocorynes -Anubias -Java ferns These plants are amongst the hardiest and easiest plants to grow. They thrive in a wide array of conditions and will adapt to almost anything and as long as a few requirements are met... Cryptocorynes There are many different species of Cryptocorynes available to us these days. These plants require very little maintenance and care. -Special needs- The smaller varieties tend to do better when planted close together. Larger varieties, such as Cryptocoryne Crispatula should be planted further from each other and do best as a center piece of the tank. Cryptocorynes do well under dim to bright lighting. They also do well in slightly cooler waters (low 70s F) to warmer temperatures (mid 80s F) Like all plants, they require reasonably clean substrate. -Additional notes- Avoid uprooting them (unless nessecary) ! If uprooted on a regular basis, the plant will suffer a shock and start rotting from the roots, resulting in the eventual decomposition of the entire plant. Level of difficulty: Easy Characteristics: Hardy Slow to medium growth Adapts easily Beautiful Readily available Long lasting Cryptocoryne Walkeri and Wendtii Cryptocoryne Crispatula var Balansae Anubias and Java Ferns There are many different types of Anubias, all of which are hardy, easy-to-care-for. Ferns are also readily available and come in different sizes and looks. (this article will maily feature the more popular Java Fern) -Special needs- Unlike most aquatic plants, Anubias and Java Ferns do not require substrate in order to grow. These two types of plants can be attached to a piece of driftwood, a rock or a coconut shell. As the plant grows, so will its roots...eventually securing itself on one of the objects mentioned earlier. Both Anubias and Java Ferns thrive in coldwater goldfish tanks and in tropical fish tanks. These plants will grow no matter what ! Level of difficulty: Very Easy Characteristics: Hardy Slow growth Adapts easily Beautiful Readily available Long lasting Sturdy Anubias and Java Ferns What are you waiting for ?! Now go ahead and start your own underwater garden ! : * When I say Beginner Aquarium Plants, I mean plants that are hardy and thrive in many conditions. These plants are in no way only for beginners...in fact, most experienced aquarist highly appreciate hardy (beginner) plants.