A happy Lunar New Year to all our readers out there! This year’s lunar new year is celebrated in a slightly different manner due to the pandemic. Nevertheless, it was a great recharge back home and we are ready to bring you more this year!
Today, I like to share you with some of the plants that can be used to beautify your shrimp tank and also, these plants thrive well in there. There used to be a saying that if you want your shrimps to thrive, your plants wouldn’t and vice versa. That’s absolutely not true.
Certain plants require low nitrates level to do well because of how slow they grow. Nitrates are generally food for plants where they absorb nitrates and convert them to nitrogen in your tanks.
Aquatic plants can also take up many forms in an aquarium. The three classic forms are emersed form, submersed form and also plants at its best form.
Emersed form aquatic plants are mainly growing above water, most of the aquatic plants in the market are grown emersed first because they grow faster, and there is little to no algae issue. In this form, the leaves tend to die when introduced underwater and they will grow new leaves that are in the submersed form. Some plants will change its leaves slowly underwater.
Submersed form aquatic plants would usually have smaller or more narrow leaves. They also might show certain coloration which you won’t see in its emersed form. Most wholesaler would not grow their plants underwater due to how slow it grows and also because of heavy maintenance required when the plants are underwater.
Lastly, aquatic plants in its best form definitely shows insane coloration and grows at an extremely fast rate. Plants in its best form usually requires good fertilizers and lighting. One of the more popular aquatic plants that caught the interest of most hobbyist are the Bucephalandra species. Some of its variant shows iridescent coloration on their leaves when in their best form. As we are trying to keep most of the things simple in our shrimp tank, we will not be looking at plants that are in their best form.
Now that we have a better understanding of aquatic plants, let’s take a look at some plants that do extremely well in a shrimp tank.
Anubias are one of the best plants for shrimp tank. They grow extremely well in shrimp tanks and also provide good hiding places for shrimps. Anubias are pretty common plants and is easily available in the market. However, there are some variants that are extremely rare and highly sort after. These rare variants although costly, are pretty easy to keep as well. Anubias are epiphytes plants, which means they have to have their roots above the substrate with good water circulation. They can be tied to rocks or wood, hence they are suitable for your shrimp tank if you have a very thin layer or substrate.
Common Anubias: Anubias Bateri var Nana and Anubias Bateri var Glabra
Rare Anubias: Anubias Bateria var Pinto and Anubias Bateri var Stardust
Rotala is also another species of common plants available in the market. Rotala are fast growing plants that have to be rooted into your substrate. This species of plant is more suitable for shrimp tanks with a thick layer of substrate. As Rotala grows pretty quickly, it actually brings down nitrates level quickly. Rotala are easily available in tissue culture or even in submersed forms.
Common Rotala: Rotala Rotundifolia, Rotala Indica Bonsai
Rare Rotala: Rotala Ramosior Florida
Mosses are the OG plants of shrimp keeping. Every shrimp keep in the past would love to have some moss in their tanks. Mosses are versatile which you can just leave it lying on the substrate, tie it stuff or even make certain sculptures out of it. Moss are great plants to work with as they can grow into a really huge clump which you can propagate easily.
Common Moss: Java Moss, Subwassertang and Christmas moss
Rare Moss: Crystal Moss, Mini Pelia and Mini Fissiden
Bucephalandra is one of the most unique aquatic plant you can find. It has many color morphs and are quite hardy. In recent years, most Bucephaladra are grown emersed in a very high humidity green house. These causes the leaves to actually grow in the submersed form and the leaves starts to show coloration even when emersed. They are pretty hardy when introduced underwater, the only issue is that a lot of pesticides are used in the farms. So, make sure to quarantine these plants before putting them into your shrimp tank.
Bucephalandras are also now available in tissue cultured. Some tissue cultured variant of Bucephalandra have been proven to be not stable yet by many hobbyists. Most that are available in the market that are not tissue cultured are grown emersed. Farm grown Bucephalandra have been proven to be much more stable underwater than the ones harvested in the wild. Overall, it’s always nice to have one or two of these in your shrimp tank because of how beautiful they are.
Common Bucephalandra: Maia, Kedadang and Brownie
Rare Bucephalandra: Brownie from South 2011
The mixture of plants and shrimps can never be put on a 50/50 scale. It still depends on what you really want to achieve at the end of the day. Certain sensitive plants require good fertilization to thrive, and highly concentrated fertilizers will kill shrimps. Vice versa, a tank that is well established to keep shrimps have very low nitrates and fertilizer content which in turn may kill sensitive plants. The plants mentioned above require very low demand to do well which makes them perfect for shrimp tanks.
Some of the plants are available in MADSHRIMP or are easily available anywhere in an aquarium. I hope this post helps you in selecting some plants for your shrimp tanks. Adding some greens would definitely boost up your tank environment and also aesthetically.