Utilization of Aquatic Plants
Plants and Breeding Fish
- Male Bettas incorporate plants into their bubble nests.Ryan McVay/Stockbyte/Getty Images
One of the uses of aquarium plants, both live and artificial, is to encourage the breeding of fish. Many fish, such as tetras (minnow-like fish), practice "egg-scattering." This breeding strategy is exactly what it sounds like: fish lay nonadhesive eggs all over the tank and provide minimal care. In this case, bushy plants can keep the eggs safe from their hungry parents. Similar strategies work with livebearers. Even sophisticated spawners like Bettas use plants; males use them in their bubble nests and females use them for refuge.
Snacks for Fish
- Many cichlids love eatting aquarium plants.Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
Many fish enjoy plants and algae as a major part of their diet. Cichlids such as Tilapia love plants. A fast-growing plant like duckweed is advisable for such fish, which will devour slower-growing plants. Duckweed is also useful as a fish food because it is relatively easy to grow and can cover the surface of an aquarium if there are not enough fish to eat it. One solution is to grow the duckweed separately and introduce it into the aquarium over time.