Aquarium plants are as important to aquariums as water is to fish. Aquarium plants add more life to aquarium and make it to look beautiful while completing the aquarium community structure.
The most important thing to bear in mind with plants is to form an attractive background, leaving ample space so the fish can swim undisturbed and be seen. The tall, grassy type is best planted at intervals in rows, while the feathery ones look better when they are bunched into small clumps, which makes them to appear like branching bushes.
Larger tanks are very attractive and give scope for beautiful planting arrangements and for fine growth of the fishes, but they are expensive and not likely to become generally popular. Most fish lovers therefore prefer a range of medium tanks rather than one or two very large ones, but it must be emphasized that fine fishes can be grown in large tanks.
When planting rooted plants, hold the tips of the bunch of roots between the thumb and second finger and rest them on the sand. Now with the first finger push the upper part of the roots (where they join the stem) about 2cm into the sand. Without moving this finger scrape with the thumb and second finger some sand over any uncovered portion of the root.
When putting in rootless plants in bunches, the method explained above is repeated, but this time the lower ends of the stems are placed together and treated exactly as if they were roots.
It is important that the water surface should be right up to the lower edge of the top angle iron of the tank, so that looking from the front the water surface cannot be seen and the viewer gets the impression that there is no water in the aquarium. If the level is allowed to fall below the top angle iron the tank looks like a container holding water.
Plants also breathe oxygen, but in sufficiently bright light they manufacture sugars, etc., from carbon dioxide taken from their surroundings, whether air or water, and they release oxygen. This is done in the green leaf...
Plants also absorb dissolved salts and use these together with carbon dioxide in building up complex organic compounds. Very few higher plants can utilize solid or very complex substances, and before animal excrement (usually known as "mulm" in the fish tank) is available to them it must be broken down by fungi or bacteria and made soluble...
So, plants, in adequate light, tend to restore oxygen to the environment and to remove the waste products of animals. In poor light or in darkness they deplete the water or air of oxygen just as animals do. It is only in the daytime, or under bright artificial light, that they perform the complementary function to animals.
From these facts grew the concept of a balanced aquarium, with the waste products of the fishes absorbed by the plants, and the oxygen necessary for the fishes provided by the action of the plants in light.
A well-planted tank with adequate illumination will usually stay clear and sweet for months or years with little attention.