For the uninitiated, creating a planted tank can be quite challenging. Anyone can build a simple 10-gallon aquarium using inexpensive trim and gravel; However, the same cannot be said about planted reservoirs. There are many requirements for factory tanks, some of which may be difficult to meet. However, planted tanks are amazing if they are designed correctly. Seeing an aquarium full of green plants is a fun experience. You almost have a piece of the Amazon River inside your living room. Here we will explain how to create a planted tank. We will discuss the basic steps and equipment. What you need to know If you don’t provide enough light and nutrients to your plants, they will die, and your planter will not look as beautiful as you would like. Top Nutrients In addition to making up protein, amino acids, and DNA, these macronutrients also help transport nutrients throughout the body. Nitrogen deficiency can lead to stunted growth. It is a nutrient that helps plants produce fruit and seeds by breaking down carbohydrates. In specific quantities, this nutrient is required to prevent stress. High calcium levels can interfere with phosphorous levels and cause various health problems. Energy is stored and transported in the body using these nutrients. An essential nutrient for plants is phosphorous – a deficiency may stunt growth. Among its many functions, this nutrient is essential for photosynthesis and helps in the synthesis of chlorophyll. Iron-deficient plants may experience yellowing of the leaves, stress and eventually death. The composition of the leaves depends on this nutrient, which is an enzyme activator. There are risks in excessive zinc consumption, while deficiency leads to “small leaf syndrome”. The nutrient also acts as an enzyme activator. Excessive copper can inhibit root growth. Chlorine, boron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen are other essential nutrients for the health and maintenance of any planted tank. Materials Each aquarium should have a light source. Adequate lighting and spectrum are essential components of a successfully planted freshwater aquarium. Nowadays, LED lights are the best freshwater planted lights due to their high functionality and flexibility. Many people find it difficult to choose a substrate. Experts recommend ADA Aqua Soil (if you want something rich in nutrients) or Eco-Complete (no nutrients, but very high quality). Cabinets must be equipped with a heater. The setting will determine the type of filter you need. For tanks larger than 40 gallons, a canister filter is likely the best choice. For smaller installations, a rear-hung unit is usually suitable. CO2 (carbon dioxide) supplementation is an essential component of plant life, as you probably know. Carbon dioxide supplementation can increase plant growth because it is part of the photosynthesis process. The choice of plant substrates is not only beneficial for rooting plants, but also provides them with nutrients necessary for growth. Here are some of the most common substrates for planted tanks: This substrate is among the highest quality surfaces available in planted tanks. This product provides over 25 essential nutrients for your plants, as well as beneficial live bacteria to help kick-start the nitrogen cycle in your aquarium. It is available in several different colors and contains all the nutrients your plants need to thrive. Natural-looking substrates like these are popular in planted cabinets because of their appearance. You can choose to use hydroponic soil as the only substrate in your tank, or you can combine it with sand to achieve biological filtration. This substrate is available in a variety of colors and will provide long-lasting food for plants. To provide your plants with nutrients, you need to use some type of fertilizer if you intend to use gravel as a substrate in your planting tank. It is ideal to use small pebbles for potted plants as they allow roots to grow – with this type of substrate you can use root tabs to easily fertilize individual plants. Setting Up the Tank While you are free to arrange your tank planting however you like, there are specific easy ways to set it up that are both right and wrong. You should install the aquarium cabinet or stand in the desired place; Be sure not to place them near doors, windows, heating vents, or air conditioning units. Make sure your aquarium is level when placed on the cabinet or stand – if the stand is unstable, your aquarium may tip over when it is full of water. Be sure to rinse your chosen substrate well until the water runs clear – refer to the instructions on the package as some substrates may not need to be rinsed. The bottom of the aquarium should be lined with a thick layer of substrate – at least several inches should be enough to accommodate the roots of most aquarium plants. The water in your aquarium must be dechlorinated, after which the aquarium filtration system and aquarium heater must be installed and operated. Use an aquarium water test kit to determine the pH level in your aquarium. You should install your own lighting system and make sure it provides enough light for your plants – a densely planted tank will require between 3 and 5 watts of light per gallon. Place the aquarium plants in the substrate and bury the roots deeply to ensure they are stable and nourished. Place taller plants at the back and sides of your aquarium, while shorter plants are placed in front – this will create a natural look and allow the fish to swim freely in the center. Add additional decorative elements such as rocks and driftwood to your aquarium to enhance its appearance. Allow your aquarium to run for two to three weeks until the nitrogen cycle is established – your plants will help in the process. Test the water again for ammonia levels. If it is empty, your aquarium is ready for fish. Slowly acclimate your fish to the tank to avoid shocking them with water chemistry or temperature changes. The implanted tank is now complete. One last point. After introducing the fish to the aquarium, all you have to do is keep it. By regularly testing the water chemistry in your tank, you will be able to monitor ammonia levels, which is vital for the healthy growth of live plants and beneficial bacteria. You should be able to maintain a successfully planted tank with proper nutrition and lighting.