Oliver Knott: aquarium plantsEverything important about commercially available aquatic plants
In this Video Oliver Knott talks about the most important element in plant aquaristics and aquascaping: the aquatic plants. He explains to you the most important differences of the various cultivation forms of aquatic plants, including bunches, potted plants and InVitro.
Submerged and emerged
First of all you should be aware, that most aquatic plants for aquariums are basically marsh plants. They are capable of adapting to different surroundings. In their submerged form they are able to grow completely underwater, which is how we know our aquatic plants when looking at our aquarium. Your typical bunch plants are usually submerged stem plants cultivated to selling size.
Hygrophila pinnatifida in submerged form.The emerged form is an adaption to the conditions above water. The plants do grow in wet substrate and need high humidity, their stems and leaves do significantly change their shape, though and are capable of growing outside the water out in the air. Cultivations as InVitro and potted plants are usually sold in their emerged form. By means of a Hygrophila pinnatifida, Oliver Knott demonstrates in the video, how differently an aquatic plant can look in their emerged and submerged form.
Hygrophila pinnatifida emerged.
In the very beginning of the video, Oliver Knott presents a potted Cryptocoryne, identifiable by its little black plastic pot, which is usually filled with rockwool or coconut fibres as substrate. It is usually easier for the plant nurseries to cultivate and procreate their aquatic plants in their emerged form. Also emerged plants are so robust, that they survive the shipping and storage procedures without greater problems. You can find other benefits of this form of cultivation in our Wiki article "In Vitro or potted plants?". We have also compiled a little guide to removing the rockwool: have a look.
By the bunch
Typical by-the-bunch ware usually consists of aquatic plants that have been pre-cultivated in their submerged form. This is typically the most economical way of purchasing aquatic plants. Often bunch plants are imported from nurseries in Southeast Asia. The low price of those plants might seem as a big advantage at first, but especially those imported bunch plants might have some striking downsides. So there might be algae, pests and residue of pesticides on the plants. Especially in aquariums with shrimp inhabitants, the direct introduction of those plants can lead to drastic failure rates I.E. shrimp fatalities. Oliver Knott recommends watering bunch plants for one to two weeks in an extra basin, performing regular water changes to reduce pollutant concentration, before introducing them into the aquarium. You can find more info on the topic of "preparation of bunch plants” right here.
By the way: we at Aquasabi’s forego imported bunchware for the abovementioned reasons. We only offer high-quality potted- or In Vitro plants. Only selected rarities are cultivated by ourselves in our own plant nursery. These are then essentially available as loose bunch plants but 100% free from pesticides. Due to this cultivation method we can not guarantee that our plants are absolutely snail-free, though.
In recent years, the in-vitro form of sale has become more and more popular because these plants offer significant advantages, especially when used in shrimp aquariums. You can put the water plants directly into the aquarium after washing off the nutrient gel. Prolonged watering is not necessary as InVitro plants are cultivated in a completely sterile environment. Thus, pesticides are ruled out, as are algae, snails or other aquatic pests.
You can find a vast array of aquatic plants sold in the InVitro form in our online shop. In our article on "preparing aquatic plants" we have also compiled a little guide on how to free InVitro plants from their nutritional gel and properly part them for planting.