How do I convert my established fish tank into a planted aquarium?
If your fish tank has already been running for a while, it should be fairly easy to transition to a planted aquarium.
- Change the lighting to a planted tank LED light if needed. For example, if you have an aquarium hood and want to upgrade the light, you may need to replace the hood with a glass top so that you can use a planted aquarium light instead. See our LED Aquarium Lighting Guide for our recommended lights based on your tank size.
- Change the substrate if desired. Most beginner plants can be grown in inert substrate, such as regular aquarium gravel or coarse sand (not fine sand), so you may be able to skip this step entirely. For more information, read our article on how to pick the best substrate for your planted tank.
- Get plant fertilizers to feed your plants. Most plants are able to absorb nutrients from the water column, so we recommend using our all-in-one Easy Green liquid fertilizer If you have plants that are heavy "root feeders" (such as cryptocoryne or sword plants), you can add nutrients into the ground by inserting some Easy Root Tabs.
- Get beginner plants that are easy to care for. Low light plants (like the ones in this top 10 beginner plants list) are usually slow to grow and therefore slow to die off if you make a mistake.
For more details on how to set up your first planted tank, read the full article here.