Live Web Cams at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

For fans, like me, I created this great Chrome Aquarium LIVE extension: Aquarium LIVE New Tab.
Photo provided by Flickr
Nitrates, found in fertilizers, are another substance plants use in photosynthesis. A working biological filtration system produces nitrates as a result of the nitrogen cycle (see “New Tank Water Conditions” tip sheet). Aquarium plants actually complete the nitrogen cycle by eliminating nitrates from the water. Consequently, live plants generally do not fare well in newly established aquarium conditions where nitrate levels are low. An alternative for new tanks is to supplement with a fertilizer containing nitrates.
Here is a resource for learning more about live  for freshwater aquariums.
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It’s a well-accepted notion that keeping live aquarium plants adds beauty to a tank. Aesthetics aside, there are other good reasons for keeping aquarium plants. Live aquarium plants help tanks stay healthy and provide small and with places to explore or hide. Live aquarium plants also provide edible matter for species that feed on leafy diets. often feed on decaying plant matter, and in some cases, they eat the live plants themselves. Further hassles posed by the choice to maintain live plants in your aquarium include:
Photo provided by FlickrWithout live plants you can give up all hope of ever having a balanced aquarium.
Photo provided by FlickrHere you will find all the live aquarium plants I carry. From foreground to background and low light to high light.
Photo provided by Flickr
But how about the plants? You started with a few and they seemed fine until now. However, it is very obvious they are not as realistic as you would have them to be and you are thinking about buying some live plants very soon. With all your dedication, this still may seem like a difficult task, but most aquarists feel the same way before they start taking care of real plants.Similar advances in technology and propagation, which have made the marine aquarium hobby easier, have also been developed for the live plant aquarist. With such innovation making live plant care easier today, the hobbyist must still have the proper understanding and equipment to be successful. Common ground for any aquarists is to keep a watchful eye on aquarium water conditions, feeding, lighting, and the growth and death of the animals and plants.Increased environmental awareness, and the push to find a new challenge or dimension to freshwater aquarists has rejuvenated the interest in keeping live plants in the aquarium. Commonly referred to as “Dutch Aquarium", this European concept is beginning to catch on in the U.S. For years, Europeans have kept indoor “water gardens” (aquariums) loaded with live plants, and displaying only a few fish to accent their garden. This approach is opposite from the traditional fish keeper who considered fish the primary attraction in the aquarium. It can be argued that a true fish keeper would be hard pressed to create a biologically-balanced ecosystem more beautiful than one that is well planted with live vegetation.Lighting
The energy, which powers the natural process of photosynthesis, is the sun. In our aquariums, artificial lighting is critical for the healthy growth and reproduction of live plants. There are two important factors in lighting— intensity and photoperiod.Photosynthesis
One of the most beneficial factors from live plants in the aquarium is the supply of oxygen. Oxygen is very essential to the survival of the biological system and inhabitants of any aquarium. Through a process known as photosynthesis, which is the process of synthesizing chemical compounds with the aid of light. It is the formation of carbohydrates from carbon dioxide and a source of hydrogen (as water) in the chlorophyll-containing tissues of plants exposed to light. This is a very unique relationship. The toxic waste created by fish provides food for the plants, which return the favor by giving off oxygen so the fish can breathe. We will discuss how adjusting carbon dioxide levels in the aquarium affect plant growth later in this handout.Special Tips
A unique type of gravel, called Laterite, which is a clay based gravel mixed with fertilizers can be used in the aquarium substrate for live plants. This type of mix will provide all the necessary nutrients for good root growth and development, the basis for healthy plants. There are also many “new” types of substrates available that are high in iron content so that laterite is not needed. These substrates are specially mixed and balanced to provide all the correct minerals for root growth and textured surface area for root attachment.