One of the most common mistakes that newbies to the fishkeeping hobby often make is to not correctly acclimatize any new fish they add to their aquarium.
Acclimatization is a crucial part of the process when adding new fish, but what about plants?
Do you still need to follow the same rules when adding new plants to your established aquarium?
Do I Need To Acclimatize New Aquarium Plants?
Most “easy” aquarium plants don’t need to be acclimatized. Some of the “harder” plants may require some more careful planning, to ensure the water parameters match the care requirements of that species, but they technically don’t require acclimatization, though they may take time to adjust to their new environment.
The majority of the most common aquarium plants that can be found in your local fish shop, or in your friend’s aquarium are what you would consider “easy” to care for.
Their requirements are simple and moving them from tank to tank won’t be a problem.
The plants may take some time to adjust to the new surroundings, but that shouldn’t take any longer than a few days.
Certain species of plants may show negative symptoms, for example, hornwort may shed its leaves, but if you give it a few days, they will start to grow back.
What About Harder To Keep Aquarium Plants?
As with all other forms of life that can be found in aquariums, the more difficult the care requirements are, the more research will need to be done by yourself to make sure nothing goes wrong.
If a specific species of plant requires low pH water and is suddenly moved to an aquarium with higher pH water, it won’t take long to wither away and die.
The same goes for the hardiness of the water. Certain plants can only survive in water with specific hardiness.
But How Would I Know?
As a rule of thumb, the more obscure, rare, or expensive a plant is, the more you typically have to understand its specific care requirements.
Most plants are simple to care for and will survive in most aquariums (as long as you’re following general aquascaping practices), but for those that are a little more fragile, you should do plenty of research before planting them.
How To Add New Plants To Your Aquarium Safely?
There are a few things you can consider when adding new plants to your aquarium in order to make the move as seamless as it can be:
- Trim the roots slightly. This will encourage the plant to grow quicker and establish roots in the new substrate.
- Let your aquarium plants sit at room temperature for a while before adding them to your tank (especially if your new plant is wrapped in a cold paper towel)
- Trim any dead leaves, wherever possible. The healthier the plant going in, the better.