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How to Anchor Aquarium Plants – 8 Proven Methods

How to Anchor Aquarium Plants – 8 Proven Methods

New to the wonderful world of aquarium plants? 

If so, you’re going to want to learn all about proper aquarium care techniques, including how to anchor them.

Improperly anchored aquarium plants may uproot themselves and float up to their deaths.

Don’t let your hard-earned money go to waste on expensive aquarium plants just to set them up for failure; learn how to properly anchor them before attempting to plant them.

Read on below to learn everything you need to know!

Aquarium plants can be anchored in countless ways, including with weights, pots, and covers. They can also be anchored in crevices, fish tank art, driftwood, or even with suction cups. Further, anchoring aquarium plants may boil down to two factors; the type of plant and the setup of your aquarium.


1. Put some heavy weight around the plant base 

If you attempt to plant an aquarium plant directly into the sand or fish tank pebbles in the bottom of your aquarium, there is a big chance that they will eventually detach themselves from the medium, float to the top, and die (unless of course they are floating plants, which don’t need anchors!). 

To combat this situation, securely anchor each plant with some loose gravel or small rocks. That way, the sand, and pebbles can be kicked up by fish or pumps and move around the aquarium as much as it wants but the plant will stay in its place.

Just make sure that the weight you choose to anchor your aquatic plants with isn’t too heavy. An anchor that weighs too much may end up slowly killing your plant or causing it to grow at terribly slow speeds.


2. Put a cover on the top

Layers of a Nylon mesh will work just fine as a cover for aquarium plants and keep them anchored to the spot you plant them. Further, they will be able to better develop nice and strong roots. 

Just remember to leave a small amount of space open on the nylon mesh, which will be enough for aquarium plants to grow up through. But, cover the rest of the anchor with a substrate of your choice.

Gravel, sand, or pebbles work just fine for anchoring nylon mesh to the floor of the aquarium, with your aquatic plants safely secured beneath both layers. 


3. Use plant anchors

If you aren’t quite the DIY fanatic, you may also opt to buy plant anchors for your aquarium plants. 

Aesthetically, they don’t always look nice but they will hold plants on the bottom nonetheless. That said, for the right amount of money, anchors are available in the shape of pirate ships, castles, dragons, and more. 

Regardless of what your anchor choice looks like physically, make sure to put a thin layer of a substrate over its edges to help prevent it from moving.


4. Use buckets, baskets, or pots 

If you want a decorative and practical solution for anchoring your aquarium plants this is one of the best ways to do it. 

In lightweight buckets, you can add gravel, small pebbles, or another inert medium to hold the plant inside. 

If using ceramic pots there is no need for extra weight as they are heavy enough on their own. They weigh enough, they look good, and you have several patterns and shapes to choose from.

Pet stores and large department stores like Walmart, as well as online retailers like Amazon, tend to carry numerous options that work well for this solution.


5. Put some rocks on the bottom of the aquarium 

Rocks help to hold your aquarium plants that are growing directly in the sand or pebbles securely on the bottom of your tank. 

The size and shape of rocks you should use for anchors depend on the size of the aquarium plants’ roots. Many pet supply stores that carry products for aquarium plant care keep these bad boys in stock.

With some plants, you may even tie roots around the stones to keep them in place. In this case, the security of the anchor allows the root system to grow bigger and stronger. 


6. Use suction cups 

If you’re up for a new-wave way to deal with the old problem of how to best keep aquarium plants well-anchored, why not try using suction cups? 

All you need to do is purchase these special products and then attach the roots onto one side of the suction cups, and stick the other side to the bottom or side of the tank to hold them down. 

Be sure to check the suction cups you buy for this purpose as some are made for dry applications only, meaning you have to put them in the aquarium before adding water. 

Other suction cups allow for wet application and are a great solution for those with active aquariums and want to add new plants to the system.


7. Use driftwood as an anchor

If you’re going for a rustic or organic look for your aquarium, try tying the roots or even entire aquatic plants around a piece of driftwood. Fix the plants to the piece of wood however you see fit, and then set it carefully into the bottom of the tank. 

If you have sand in your tank, or small pebbles, the wood will naturally sink down further, and hold the plants in place. Since driftwood is very gnarly and unique looking by nature, the wood makes great decorative pieces as well.


8.Use crevices to put aquarium plants in

In the case that you have a larger than normal aquarium (medium to large), you can fill it with numerous textured rocks and use their crevices as anchors for your plants. 

And, if you wrap the plants around rocks, eventually they will develop a robust root system and continue to be anchored permanently. Eventually, you may plant cuttings directly into these anchored plants themselves.

Even more, you can anchor many types of aquarium plants into just about any little nook or cranny found in your aquarium. For this purpose, the more decorations you add to the tank, the more diverse options you have for anchoring plants.