How Aquascaping Services Can Improve the Health of Your Lake

Aquascaping arranges aquatic plants and hardscapes (rocks, driftwood, cave work) aesthetically pleasingly within an aquarium. Often, these planted tanks house fish too.

Keep your lakes healthy by keeping pets away from the shoreline and avoiding lawn fertilizers with phosphorus. Keeping a thick strip of vegetation along the shoreline helps keep waters cooler and prevents algae blooms while reducing nutrients and pollutant runoff.

Prevents Erosion

While erosion naturally occurs, human activities increase the rate. The decline is especially dangerous along slopes because it can threaten roads, homes and other infrastructure. It also leads to increased sedimentation and pollutants in waterways. Planting vegetation that holds the soil in place is the best way to prevent erosion. This can be done using mulch or planting fast-growing grasses and plants adapted to wet conditions. These plants and trees also act as buffers that slow the flow of excess sediment into lakes and other waterways. Hiring aquascaping services Florida can help you choose the right plant species for your property. It’s important to stick with native species, as exotic ones can be invasive and disrupt the ecosystem of a lake or pond. Invasive plants like phragmites and purple loosestrife can displace native vegetation and choke out oxygen-producing areas, leading to fish kills. They can also release nutrients that encourage bacteria growth, depleting oxygen and threatening fish populations.

Prevents Algae Blooms

Algae naturally occur in water bodies, but their concentration can change the ecological balance. When they are present in excess, they cause “dead zones” that suffocate other aquatic organisms and degrade water quality. They can also produce toxins that are harmful to humans and pets. Stagnant water and high levels of nutrients, like phosphorus and nitrogen, stimulate blue-green algae growth. These photosynthesizing bacteria commonly cause harmful algal blooms (HABs). These toxic blooms are visible in lakes/reservoirs and smaller ponds as green, brown or blue-green mats that look like real plants.

The best way to stop HABs is to reduce the amount of phosphorus and nitrogen that makes its way into lakes and reservoirs in the first place. To do this, landowners need to follow maintenance guidelines for their septic systems and avoid using phosphorus-containing fertilizer on land. Other treatments to prevent nutrient-enriched waters from developing HABs include aeration and chemical/biological additives.

Prevents Sediment Leaks

Aquascaping involves arranging aquatic plants, rocks, wood, casework and other hardscapes aesthetically pleasing within an aquarium—in effect, gardening underwater. Aquarists dedicated to this art form often spend countless hours researching plants, their habitat requirements, and their growth habits. This information is crucial for a successful layout as it will help ensure your chosen plant will thrive in your tank’s environment. Moreover, your choice of substrate will also play an important role in the aesthetics of the aquascape. It’s best to avoid using multi-colored gravel instead of a natural-looking substrate such as organic peat, fine gravel or decorative lava rock. Another crucial aspect of aquascaping is the choice of fish. Choosing the right fish for your aquarium is a delicate choice that requires consideration of their behavior, breeding cycles, and swimming habits. For example, since this combination will overpower the fish’s colors, you should avoid putting rift lake cichlids into an aquascape with lush vocals and onion plants.

Prevents Degradation

Like any hobby, aquascaping requires an investment of time. There are the original hours spent learning, scaping, planning and working to create the tank itself, followed by the regular maintenance and care for the plants. For this reason, it is not suitable for those with a limited amount of free time.

As with any landscape design, the key to aquascaping is balance. It is easy to be tempted by including as many elements as possible; however, less is usually more. This will ensure the tank looks its best and provides a healthy environment for all plant life. Another important element in an aquascape is the substrate. The choice of substrate is crucial as it will affect how the tank looks and how well the plants grow. Inert substrates are best as they will not alter the water’s pH or release nutrients, which can lead to algae. Using an inert substrate will also allow fertilizers, normally root tabs or liquid, to help keep the plants healthy.