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What Are In Vitro Aquarium Plants?

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En our blog and online store specialized in products related to the aquariums and the terrariums, we like to tell you about which are the best methods and tricks to carry an aquarium always successful. Many people start an aquarium thinking that they just have to worry about the fish, but it is much more: the concern for balance in the water, by aquarium plants that accompany them and how to detect main problems in our aquarium they are also things to consider.

But in addition to this, in Premium Buces we also like to talk about curiosities and tips for true aquascaping lovers: How is it better decorate the aquarium and that living and non-living elements we can select to turn it into a beautiful element that in addition to giving us company and entertainment, decorates our home.

Today we are going to talk about the plants, those silent but living companions of our pets, the fish. As we have already told you in other posts, there are many kinds of plants and also many initiation methods of plant growth.

Specifically, we bring you today all the relevant information regarding the in vitro plants, which are plants grown in a sterile environment instead of in a natural habitat, and that they have a series of advantages over the latter that perhaps are practical for you.

Would you like to know what exactly are in vitro aquarium plants? Which are the differences from natural plants, how they can be distinguished and what problems could they bring us and should we watch?

Well today in Premium Buces We are going to talk at length about all this, so if you need information and are curious ...


First of all, if you have come to this article looking for general information on how to care for aquarium plants, is to know what exactly are in vitro aquarium plants.

Well, under the strictly scientific definition, in vitro plants (both those that will go to aquariums and those that will be grown elsewhere) are the opposite of in vivo plants: plants that are grown in a "Cup" and away from any living organism that may be found in its natural habitat. This means that in vitro plants are raised and grow in artificial environments, in the context of laboratories or sterile places.

In the same way that there is plants that grow in nature, in a forest or a natural setting, for example, and grow thanks to the weather conditions of the place in question, numerous plant experts who want to achieve the growth of a plant with stronger features and easier expansion, do their best to cultivate them by following a series of standards and waiting for a series of characteristics that we are going to tell next.

Some main advantages of plants grown in vitro We can already anticipate them: they are plants grown without no need to use pesticides or harmful chemicals. They are also plants that do not grow with pests, or with elements that are abundant in nature and that are difficult to avoid, as insect larvae or snails in the case of aquarium plants.

However, there are also questions of plants grown in vitro that it is convenient to know to know if it is the option that best suits your needs. Are plants grown in vitro what you really need for your first aquarium, whatever type it is?


Thus, what characterizes and classifies plants in vitro is their having been grown in a sterile environment, as in a laboratory glass, instead of in a natural place such as a jungle.

But in vitro plants they are only considered this way because they are cultivated in a specific way, although later they go to other places. By this we mean that even if we grow or buy plants in vitro, then we can plant them and make them grow and develop anywhere: in this case, on our own home aquarium, but also in greenhouses in case of being non-aquatic plants, or even in gardens or outdoor.

When grown in a glass or a test tube, in vitro plants can be kept for fairly long periods of time. It is important that in order for them to be preserved, your growing place hermetically closed, without cracks and without the possibility of external air entering.

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It is a difficult question to answer, because it depends above all on the type of plant that is (there are plants and mosses which are slower growth, and therefore will last longer in your glass without starting to spoil) and others that are faster growth and will last less time. It also depends on the place in which we position our plants in vitro:

  • Ideally, they should be in places where some light reaches them, so that they can perform the photosynthesis within your space before planting them elsewhere.
  • Also that temperatures are moderate, and do not exceed 20 degrees centigrade.


Now that we know what exactly is in vitro culture, more or less for what reasons might anyone wish to cultivate them this way rather than the traditional way and how should we keep them Until the moment they are taken out and planted somewhere else, you may be wondering: How do you get this culture in a sterile space such as a glass?

Well, it is, indeed, a very good question since it is not grown in this sterile space spontaneously, but thanks to a nutritive medium with very specific characteristics:

  1. With the micronutrients and macronutrients you need the kind of plant in particular.
  2. With the necessary water so that the plant can develop and grow.
  3. With vitamins and phytohormones that help us with many functions: protect the plant against predators, for example, but also receive the good chemical factors most necessary for healthy growth.

In addition to this, we must know that in vitro plants can be grown in a sterile space from liquid or solid media: this is from a lots of water mixed with nutrients and vitamins necessary, or in a medium in which less liquid is needed and more solid substances good for the well-being of the plant.

This choice of culture medium for in vitro plants is not accidental, but responds to the specific needs of each type of plant. We have already told you in other articles, that some plants have very specific needs and other more general and easier to get.

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In the event that you simply go to buy in vitro plants and then plant them in the substrate of your aquarium and develop there, you will not have to worry about the environment in which it has been cultivated previously. In case you want yourselves grow plants in vitro, it is best that you consult with specialists and industry experts so that they recommend what needs each type of plant may have.

En Premium Buces we usually have a lot plant products that are grown in vitro, and of course we can give you all the necessary information on how to treat each plant depending on what it is and where you are going to install it in your future aquarium.


Is there anything that distinguishes the in vitro plants of the plants grown in a natural environment? The first answer that comes to mind is that of course the most radical difference is the way they start to grow and develop.

If we acquire, for example, some plants for our future aquarium If you are starting one, we will quickly see the difference between one and the other: the first come literally in a glass where the prosperous microclimate for your training. The latter, however, usually come in pots of which there will be remove very carefully from the roots to place in the place of the aquarium that we have thought.

However, and surely you are thinking about it, the difference in the format in which in vitro plants arrive and those that are not is not the only one. In vitro plants have other peculiarities that they do easily distinguishable and that we are going to tell next:


One of the first things we can look at if we acquire in vitro plants is that its leaves and stems are very clearly Smaller than those of plants that have been raised in a traditional way.

First of all, it is important that we clarify that this does not mean that when we take the plants to the aquarium they will continue to be small, because there according to nutrients or allowance that we contribute, also from the amount of light and oxygen that they receive, they will grow bigger or smaller.

But they do arrive in a much smaller format a priori, and this has a fundamentally scientific explanation: the hormonal balance of plants vitro he's a little upset, and this is because recibe phytohormones, as we have previously told, which serve to help its expansion and its specific characteristics.

In addition to the alteration of the hormonal balance, in vitro plants have artificially all the nutrients they need to be able to grow. In real life, In nature, sometimes a plant does not have all the nutrientsNor enough waternor the fundamental vitamins. This means that they have to develop your metabolism in a different way that if they had everything done from the beginning, as it happens with plants in vitro.

In short, and for you to understand it better, the contribution of everything necessary to grow quickly and healthily makes the metabolism of these plants created in a sterile environment is reduced, and therefore do not grow in the same way as plants in vivo.

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What is the hyperhydrogenity? Relax, because it is quite normal that you have never heard of this concept, and that is why we are going to explain more about it, so that you can detect it and be aware of the causes and possible and easy solutions.

La hyperhydrogenity, Also called vitrification, is a phenomenon that happens to plants when appear puffy and glassy. Believe us when we tell you that it is a easily distinguishable effect, and that also takes on the aesthetics of plants that seem too watery, as if they were precisely swollen with water.

This vitrification can effectively suppose a problem if we don't detect it. If we don't pay enough attention to it, the leaves or stems of the plants affected by it they will weaken, getting weaker and weaker, and also will be aesthetically compromised because they will be putting on a brown tone.

Although the effect of hyperhydrogenity can appear for multiple reasons, especially related to the plant physiological stress when they are not in the right conditions, and in fact it is a A problem that can affect both plants grown in vitro and those grown naturallyYes, we can establish that there is a certain relationship between the former and this problem:

Which? Well, it is very simple, and it is that as grow inside a container, vessel or sterile space, in vitro plants can reach touch the surface of the glass with its leaves and stems, and this friction is what produces the stress leading to hyperhydrogenity. This characteristic of in vitro cultureTherefore, it can be considered negative with respect to in vivo plants, but do not worry because in the vast majority of cases it is something that disappears once we acquire the plants and place them in the aquarium where they will finally settle.

In case you notice the hyperhydrogenity or vitrification in in vitro plants that you have acquired for your aquarium, you will simply have to follow the underwater planting instructions recommended and wait for it to be solved: with a proper placement, a bit of maybe help with a fertilizer or nutrient extra, and a little care and affection, you will quickly see how the brown, swollen, and watery areas disappear and in their place appear healthy shoots. Anyway, you can read here! the post we wrote to tell you what deficiencies the plants may have once grown in the aquarium and how to fix them.

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Another characteristics of plants grown in vitro when we acquire them, and we see them for the first time before placing them in our aquatic environment together with our fish, it is that they have some brown leaves around green leaves that have been cultivated in a non-natural environment. Sometimes even they are not single leaves, but full shoots that have been colored in a yellowish or brownish hue.

These brown leaves that we talked about they are dead, and is therefore not a simple coloring but the end of some of the sprouts that are being grown in vitro. But, and although it may seem like a worrying feature to do something against, this is not the case:

Is something absolutely natural, as you surely know, that plants are shedding their older leaves. However, in a natural environment these leaves end up rotting by organisms found in any non-sterile site. Screw them involves healthy leaves and stems around, which may be compromised if we do not withdraw the brown leaves that have been emerging.

However, in the case of plants grown in vitroThese brown leaves and shoots just stay in place without damaging other areas of the plant that surround you. On the contrary, general vegetable mass of the plant that is growing in vitro continues to rise in a healthy way, so the only thing we will have to do if we acquire one of these plants in vitro, is carefully remove the brown areas at the moment in which we uncover the sterile space in which it has been cultivated.

We therefore consider it a quite advantageous feature, since during the time that the plant is being cultivated in its closed space, the old age of the leaves that wither will not affect the correct growth of the general plant, and therefore we will never acquire a plant that will continue to spoil in a short space of time.


You already know that in Premium Buces we very often recommend the use of mosses to cover certain areas of the aquarium. In fact, in this post from here you can read about what are the main species of moss what do we have in nuestra tienda online, how should we take care of them and what differentiates mosses in general from other plants and ferns.

Well, if you have a aquarium with moss, or you are thinking of putting moss in your first aquarium, surely you will ask yourself: What happens with the moss in vitro? Has the same characteristics as in vitro plants? Do we have to distinguish them in their form of treatment?

Moss in vitro it is grown basically the same as any other plant: artificially in a sterile environment. However, the characteristics of mosses make them see each other most benefited from this type of crop what others slower growing plants and more complex needs.

Each filtering bag moss They do not grow by means of roots, like other plants, but by rhizomes, which are small growths that stick to the surfaces where we decide to grow them, and thus they spread. It is very interesting to attend the benefit of in vitro culture for moss rhizomes, which in this sterile and isolated environment has much more ease and speed of growth, and therefore develop earlier. In the case of moss, therefore, we recommend that you acquire them by in vitro culture if what you want is power install and enjoy them asap in your aquarium. If you click here! you can directly access the buy one of the best mosses for aquarium decoration, the Weepping Moss, which we have, in this case, grown in vitro.

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Yes, something you should keep in mind if you are going to grow them in vitro, or if for whatever reason you have to keep them in the sterile environment for a few days before being able to submerge it and put them under the water with the fish, is that in the same way as the plants, there are also areas that can be turned brown: this is normal whenever in some shoots that have already grown and not in the new ones that are about to grow.

In case you see that all the moss is turning brown, surely responds to what is giving too much direct light to the container where you are growing: remember that mosses need moisture and a fairly shady place to grow and expand. It is not something that you should worry about much because once the moss leaves the in vitro and goes to our aquarium, everything will be balanced and solved, but, just in case, always keep it better in mind. a cool place less than twenty degrees, and with enough time of shade or low light.


Now that we know what the details that distinguish plants that have been cultivated in vitro with respect to which are grown in a natural space, it is time to know what the advantages that you enjoy if you select these and not the other cultivated plants

We assume that in the vast majority of cases you are reading this article interested in buy plants for your aquarium, or to start an aquarium. You do very well in gather information, especially if you are beginners, since neither the choice of plants nor that of fish, it is something casual and simple but a activity for which you have to take certain care, as you can read in this article.

Well, once you already have your chosen aquarium, your decor and you are in the process of choose the plants that will accompany your pets, now is the time to think: Should I choose plants grown in vitro o natural plants?

In our opinion, the only motivation why you should choose plants is to aesthetic and healthy purposes concrete: upholstery plants because you want to cover a specific area of ​​the aquarium, tall plants because you want a space where you prawns or fish have privacy, easy plants to try because you expect that grow up soon y the aquarium looks good sooner…

But, it is possible that you will meet before a very specific situation, like what do you want to buy plants that you will not be able to place in the aquatic environment until after a few days. In this case, it is possible that it is more convenient to acquire plants in vitro that can be kept in their sterile glass without starting to wither.

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However, we are going to tell you what are the main advantages of acquiring plants grown in vitro, so that if you are in doubt of two types of plants for your aquarium, you know what can you expect with these:

  1. HR in vitro plants they lack of annoying pests that can suppose us a problem when taking them to our aquarium. In the case of plants that arrive in pots, although it is not the most frequent, it can happen to us that they have some animals such as snails, duckweed or slugs that have been growing while being cultivated in a natural environment. Some of them will not be a problem either because they will not survive in the aquatic environment, but others like snails yes, so in this sense if you have had bad experiences with snails in an aquarium, we recommend the in vitro plants that are completely devoid of any extra life that may bother us.
  2. Thanks to the organic medium in which the plants have been grown in vitro, we can do that grow a lot of plant once placed in the aquarium with only a very small sample of that plant in vitro. This is very interesting, because if for example we want a aquarium with many kinds of varied plants, with little in vitro amount of each of them we can quickly cover the aquarium.
  3. When we place traditional crop plants in our aquarium that will soon be covered with water, an extra called rock wool for the plants stick well to the places we have chosen, and then when pouring the water it does not move and start. This happens with pot plants, which being larger, they have a greater chance of move with the currents and the force of the water. However, with plants grown in vitro it is not necessary to use rock wool, as it is so small that they will not suffer so much with the movements of the water. This is one huge advantage, because anyone who has tried using the rock wool you will know that dunderstand it from its place when the plant has already settled, it is a real hell: a very unappealing activity. So, if you are not in a hurry because the size of in vitro plants begins to grow, and you have bad experiences with rock wool, it's a good one motivation to choose plants with this type of crop. This rock wool, by the way, and although it is in rare cases, you can bring with it algae remnants, which as you know, are a invasive species that can give us real problems eventually in the aquarium.


Not everything can be motivations and good characteristics, and you also have to take into account that when we buy plants that have been grown in vitro we are also going to face some problems that arise with them.

Would you like to know what are the disadvantages of in vitro plants with respect to naturally grown plants? Well, let's see them!

  1. HR plants grown in vitro sound enormously delicate when they are still in its sterile environment. It may seem silly, but you have to have be very careful when handling the glass in which we have one of these plants: a small brush or bump, and the glass will be damaged, quickly leaving entering air into a medium that has not been in contact with anything at all since its inception. This will lead to the bacteria entry, very quickly, which will result in entering mould and many toxins that will damage our plants in a way irreversible. Therefore, while a potted plant is much more difficult to spoil Before placing it in the aquarium, with in vitro plants we must have a lot of caution.
  2. HR plants grown in vitro have lived an experience, as we told you in the previous point, completely sterile, without being in contact with anything. This makes when suddenly we submerge them and place them in our aquarium with fish, other types of plants and a water with lots of chemical parameters, should develop a immunity to survive. Do not worry because indeed they usually get immunity without problem, But they will need a process that naturally grown plants do not need, and therefore this it will slow down its growth a little more.
  3. El in vitro plant growth es slow with respect to plant growth in vivo. Although in the long run this will not make no difference, and with the passage of time an in vitro plant will grow in the same way as another that is not, at first we should have a little more patience: are smaller plants, which also have to acclimatize and that they will take longer to look pretty and showy.


En previous post we have talked to you about Dry Start Method, or how to get grow the plants that will end up submerged in our aquarium, dry and creating a special microclimate for all of this to be successful.

El Dry Start Method it's a very useful and practical to try new experiences when starting an aquarium. In addition, it is a way to avoid another of the mandatory processes start, what is aquarium cycling so that life there is possible.

Well, it is possible that if you have some knowledge on the subject, while you were reading that in vitro plants need an immunization period once placed in our aquarium until they can coexist with other living species, you have asked yourself:Is it possible to combine in vitro plants with this dry start method of our aquarium?

Well indeed yes, it is very possible, and also the in vitro plants can be the perfect allies to do this aquarium dry start. As we already told you in the article that we dedicated to talk in depth about this topic, and that you can read if you click here!, En a aquarium to be grown dry, what we have to do is place all non-living decorations (that are part of the hardscape) First, the substrate after and finally the plants that we are going to put in the substrate. The we will moisten with spray water constantly, and we will cover them with a plastic that allows seal the environment and that no external air enters. A) Yes, the plants will grow and then we can make changes to the substrate without having the difficulty that the aquarium is full of water.

Does this way of conceiving plants sound familiar to you? Well yes, it is indeed a method quite similar to that used to conceive plants in vitro! A space with a specific microclimate where external air does not enter, in which the humidity makes the plants grow.

El Dry Start Method will serve our in vitro plants like that period of adaptation to the environment that they necessarily need, and we should only be careful with the creation of mold or too much moisture, Which in vitro plants are not used. For the rest, and always consulting on specific species just in case, we think this dry start method is suitable for in vitro plants.


And what happens in the case of method of Wabi-Kusa? Another of the ways that are being used the most in the aquascaping world Its the Wabi-Kusa, of Japanese origin, and about which we have spoken to you in depth in this article.

El Wabi-Kusa method, which translated from Japanese means "Beautiful grassy landscape", is based on a container with a ball-shaped substrate, or round, where it gives rise to aquatic plants in the emerged state. Is a way aesthetically very beautiful to introduce plants in our aquarium, because by leaving them grow freely they are usually seen quite amazing results.

Wabi Kusa Emerged Aquarium Plants

Normally, the Wabi-Kusa method to introduce some types of plants in our aquarium it is usually used with naturally grown plants, although we do not rule out power use in vitro plants for it.

The truth is that Also in this method it is usually advisable to give it a little moisture in the first days y cover everything with something airtight that allows that microclimate that gives rise to the growth of plants. This again looks a lot like initial approach of in vitro plants, and therefore it is a medium to which they could adapt without problems. Which is true, as in the case of Dry Start Method, is that again we have to be very aware of excess humidity: slightly more than the recommended humidity, or do not give it daily ventilation necessary that is usually recommended when we are doing a Wabi-Kusa, will lead to the dreaded mold, and therefore to the possible destruction of our plants.

So, in conclusion, the ideal both for the Dry Start Method as for the Wabi-Kusa method, it is not the choice of plants specifically because of the way they were cultivatedbut for the type of plants that we like the most, and also for the more or less needs that ask. As we always tell you, the best thing if you are thinking of a new way to start an aquarium is that consult with specialists about plants in particular, so that they can give you tricks or ways to make everything a success. In Premium Buces, you know, we are always available to answer all your questions.


We are already reaching the end of article, where we hope it has been clear to you what are the main characteristics of in vitro plants, which are the reasons why we can choose them with respect to plants in vivo, and what care should we have to place them in the aquarium and that everything goes well.

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As you also know, in Premium Buces we have a great Online store what also does shipments to all of Spain and all of Europe. As one of our main products are in vitro plants, we want to advise you in case you opt for them, which is what you are supposed to expect and monitor once you receive them at your home:

HR in vitro plants are very delicateWe have already told you that. The transporting them is especially difficult, since very sudden movements can cause the glass in which they are located to break down, and therefore air enters its sterile space. So, the first thing you have to do is to check that the glasses are okay when you have received them. Otherwise, you can contact us at the time of noticing any anomaly in the glass.

With regards to in vitro plant storage, we must tell you that the most advisable thing is that put them in your aquarium in the following 24 hours from your reception, because it is the moment when they still have not had time to start to spoil and how soon you place them, before they will begin to acclimatize and grow.

However, if you have to save them for whatever reason, remember the care you have to take: a conservation in an environment with a temperature not higher than twenty degrees nor less than eight degrees. This absolutely rules out possibility to store it in the fridge, as many people think. You should also look for a place where they receive light, as we have commented previously, so that keep doing photosynthesis and continue to stay healthy.

And that's it! We hope you have learned everything what's important about in vitro plants. As we always tell you, Information is power and the more you know about plants and fish that you are going to acquire, in better conditions they will live.

For any other duda, relevant information on this topic and others, you can write us through the comments. And if you want to know all our specialized products for the aquarium world, you can take a look at our online store and social media.


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