There are a lot of planted aquarium accessories that are pointless.
But there are also one’s that I often use and highly recommend.
After setting up and maintaining my live planted aquarium, these are the accessories I’d recommend. They have saved me a lot of headaches.
Below are the planted aquarium accessories I wish I started with.
- Water Testing Kit
- Brush Cleaner
- Aquarium Net
- Python Siphon
- Aquascaping Kit
- Drip Acclimator
- Specimen Container
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Water Testing Kit
The most important thing about your aquarium is keeping the water healthy. I heard someone say once that “you’re not a fish keeper, you’re a water keeper.” And the more I get into this hobby, the more that statement rings true.
Figuring out the pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels will help prevent health issues.
The best way to test your water is by using this API Master Test Kit. It’s straightforward and will help you immensely.
Algae is inevitable. There are ways to minimize it, but you’ll need something to scrap it off your glass. I bought this brush from Amazon, and it works well.
But, you can honestly use anything soft that won’t scratch your glass. I even saved an old toothbrush to get small corners I can’t reach with the first brush mentioned.
The size of your net will depend on the size of your tank and fish. I started with a 5-gallon aquarium and some neon tetra, so I picked up this nano net. I do have to say, though, that you get what you pay for. It’s built extremely cheap. Looking back, I would’ve spent a little more for a sturdier net. The nano net I mentioned above often bends at the base, and I have to bend it back. Not a big deal, but still annoying.
I then bought this Aquarium Coop net, and it’s very sturdy. It’s made of plastic. But sturdy plastic that won’t bend.
A gravel vacuum (also referred to as a siphon) is important for two reasons…
- Performing water changes
- Cleaning the debris in the substrate
Before learning about these, I would do water changes with an old cup.
Yeah, that’s not the move. Save yourself time and purchase one of these. Spend the money for the python brand siphon – it’s much better quality. Once you get used to using them, they’re very satisfying. Or that’s a ‘just me’ thing. IDK
If you have live plants, they’ll grow. So, you’ll want something to trim them with. This is called the art of aquascaping. I picked up this kit from Amazon, and it’s worked well.
You can get away with using regular scissors you have lying around the house. The benefit of buying a kit is they’re usually cheap and last a long time. Plus, they’re usually stainless steel, so you won’t have rust issues.
Depending on the hardiness of new fish you stock in your aquarium, you’ll probably want to use a drip acclimator. That way, they can gradually get acclimated to your water parameters.
If your fish is sensitive, and you put them into your tank without slowly acclimating, they could get shocked and die.
So do your fish and your psych a favor. Don’t be lazy and acclimate your new fish with this drip acclimator.
This is one of the most underrated fish tank accessories. I use it to put my brush and aquascaping kit in when I’m not using them. But you can also use it to attach to the side of your tank to hold your fish if you need to do serious adjustments.
It’s not a necessity, but it is convenient to have.
Usually, your substrate’s nutrients will deplete after one year, and you’ll have to add more. The easiest way to do this is to buy root tabs. It depends on how many plants feed via the roots you have in your tank. For my 5-gallon, I put two new root tabs every three months, and it works well.
It’s all about trial and error.
If you read my post on beginner aquarium mistakes, then you know how important a kitchen colander is. It spreads your water out so it doesn’t disturb your plants or substrate. You can get any type of colander.
Just make sure it’s a size that can rest on the top of your tank. It’ll make your life easier if it’s small enough to rest on the top of your tank, rather than you having to hold it while pouring.
I remember watching videos of people using super glue to attach wood/plants to rocks. This surprised me because I thought it would’ve leached toxins. Most super glue brands will be fine, but to be safe, this is the one I use.
It’s useful to have around when you’re rescaping your tank and want to make sure everything stays in place.
I tried keeping this list concise, including the accessories I actually use. Not just a list of everything I could think of.
If you have anything else that you think should be included, email me.