Plants are significant to the balance and beauty of aquariums. They are unparalleled in the completeness that they offer to any freshwater setup.
What plants do is provide a good looking backdrop to your tank, but it is important to leave space for your fish to swim in behind them. Some types of plants look better in different arrangements, tall, thin ones appear better in rows while plants with feathers are best planted in circular groups.
For visual appeal it is also important that the water level in the aquarium does not fall below the top angle iron of the tank, so that it appears there is no water in the tank. When the viewer can see the top level of the water it looks like the tank has water in it.
All plants differ in the amount of light they require, when factored in with other combinations it is impossible to come up with an amount of light that will always work. Therefore it is a matter of trial and error to get the amount of light you need. Having not enough light will not allow your plants to grow enough, but too much light will turn your water green.
You don’t just have to use artificial lights though. If you use natural lighting the ideal way to do so is by placing the aquarium near a window facing north. You do not want direct sunlight, reflected sunlight will offer a good amount of light.
Lighting fixtures look great if they are housed in a wood housing above the tank. If you are just using artificial light then you will need to have the lights on for about eight to twelve hours per day. For the best effect, try to have the light enter the tank from the back.