Background plants are needed for decorating the area from the rear part of the aquarium. The plants you choose for the aquarium are going to create the aspect of the tank, the natural or the artificial look.
Choosing live plants you are aware that they need a special attention in comparison to the artificial ones but they are helping the aquarium’s environment to be similar to a natural one.
Natural plants are in various species, sizes, colors, and forms and they need specific conditions (lighting, temperature, and pH) for growing.
Every hobbyist should read about the plants before buying them and before planting them into the tank. The natural plants for decorating the aquarium are of two main types: foreground plants and background plants.
The foreground plants are usually smaller and they are used for covering the center and front area of the aquarium. The background plants, as we said before, are used for decorating the back surface on the aquarium, and they are taller. They can also camouflage elements of the aquarium’s system, like tubes, filters, cables, and heaters.
Background live plants are recommended for the back of the aquarium but, sometimes it can be used for spectacular decorations by placing it in one of the front corners. It is all a matter of taste and choice.
Some species of plants used as background live plants are: hornwort, corkscrew val, elodea, Carolina fanwort, giant anubias, red ludwigia, oriental sword, Amazon sword, red-stem milfoil, and stargrass.
The following three background plants for freshwater aquarium are recommended for beginners
• Elodea (Egeria densa) is easy to take care of, usually placed in the background; if planted in the gravel it has roots, but it can also float. These plants love bright light, the temperature preferred is 50 to 79 degrees F, and pH recommended is between 5.0 and 8.0. Elodea is successfully used against algae and removes nitrates, keeping the aquarium’s water clear.
• Carolina fanwort (Cambomba caroliniana) is a light green, fast-growing species of aquatic plants that are a little harder to be taken care of. You must anchor well the plant if you don’t want it to float. It has the beautiful form of a feather and the little fish love it for hiding and even eating. That’s why the plant might cause some clogging. These plants love a very bright light, the temperature preferred is 75 to 82 degrees F, and pH recommended is between 4.0 and 7.0.
• Giant anubias (Anubias barteri) is a resistant, tall species of background plant with tough leaves, which is easy to be taken care of. It feeds with the nutrients from the gravel through the deep shoot roots. These plants don’t love bright light, the temperature preferred is 59 to 79 degrees F, and pH recommended is between 5.5 and 6.8.
No matter the species of background plants you choose, you must be sure that they fit the created environment, that the other plants and the fish are preferring the same conditions for a healthy living.