Archive for the ‘Aquarium Plants’ Category

Ammannia gracilis

Common name: Large Ammannia, Red Ammannia, Pink Ammannia, Delicate Ammania

Family: Lythraceae

Ammannia gracilis

Ammannia gracilis

Ammannia gracilis is a plant native to West Africa in marshes, streams and riverbanks.

Description: Stem plants have narrow, rather wavy leaves, growing opposite on an often robust stem. Depending on the light intensity, the leaves vary from a pale green to a bronzy red colour. They grow to about 12–20cm (5–8 inch) or longer. The flowers are inconspicuous, growing from the leaf axils of emerse plants.

A group of several stems planted midground will soon form a bushy backdrop for a shorted carpet of lighter green foreground plants.

Care: Emersed plants are tougher and hardier than the delicate submersed form.
Ammannia gracilis prefer much light for optimum growth. They can grow quickly in the right conditions and will grow emerse if the water is shallow enough. They grow well with additional carbon dioxide added to water. Ideal water conditions are soft and acidic but these plants are generally hardy and adaptable in most moderate conditions. To grow well they need a good iron micronutrient added to the aquarium.

Ammannia gracilis can be kept emersed as well. Once the stems reach out of the water surface, leaves will turn greenish red.

Water: This stem prefers mildly acidic to moderately soft water.

Light: Lighting should of Medium to High.

If not given strong enough light, Ammannia gracilis will loose its lower leaves, growth will decrease, and remaining leaves will be pale and sickly.

Temperature:  Water temperature should be ranging between 22-28°C (72 – 82°F) with a very minimum of 15°C  (59°F).

Fertilise: Recommended Co2 Injection. Supplement iron and macronutrients.
If Ammannia gracilis does not receive iron and high lighting, then the leaves will turn a pale pink to green in colour.

Pruning: Pruning should be done by topping and replanting the more robust top portions.

Special care: Delicate leaves grow quite quickly when provided with a nutrient rich loose substrate, gentle water circulation and adequate feeding. Low nitrate promotes the desirable reddish colouration.

Uses: Ammannia gracilis tend to grow large in the aquarium, so a minimum 0.6m (2feet) tank should be used. Stems can reach 1cm (0.4 inch) thick with leaves atleast 10cm (4 inch) long. Stems and Side shoots can be cut off and replant, the old base of the stems would produce new shoots from the leaves if the top of the stem is cut off. If you would like a more bushier plant, then it is recommended to cut the stem in the middle when the top reaches the surface.

A. gracilis, due to its eventually large size, is most suited to the midground to background of aquariums larger than 76L (20g) where it can add a brilliant splash of color to any layout, using it for contrast to the typically green streets. .

Propagation: Ammannia gracilis can be easily propagated by cuttings pushed into the substrate. Cuttings are obtained by removing side shoots from the main stem plant with a pair of scissors.

Take care when planting not to put all the stems in one hole. Plant each stem adjacent to the others but in individual holes. This will help ensure that the lower leaves are not deprived of light and water circulation.

Aquarium Plants, Submerged (Oxygenating) Plants, Water Plants , , , ,

Sagittaria subulata

Common name: Dwarf Sagittaria, Needle Saggitaria, Floating Arrowhead

Synonym: Alisma subulatum; Sagittaria natans

Family: Alismataceae

Sagittaria subulata

Sagittaria subulata

Distribution and habitat: Sagittaria subulata is native from South America can grows to a height of 50cm (20 inch) when it grows older. In the aquarium it sometimes sends a long flower stem to the surface and small white flowers unfold just above the water surface. In its natural habitat grows in rivers; it is found in both freshwater and brackish water.

Description: Sagittaria subulata is a grass-like plant with leaves only 5mm (0.2 inch) wide. These are bright green, with acute or rounded tips. In shallow water, small floating elliptical or egg-shaped leaves are produced, followed by small white flowers. It is a fast-growing species, which displays productive multiplication through runners, which will form a dense, about 5-7cm (2-2.8 inch) thick cover within a few weeks.

Sagittaria Subulata species have long and narrow leaves when kept under water (Arrowhead shaped).

Care: Sagittaria subulata is an easy, undemanding fast growing plant. This plant can be grown in its emersed or submersed form. If grown emersed, its leaves are somewhat thicker than when grown immersed. At one point pruning must be done because the plant develops runners that are too close from each other and Sagittaria Subulata will have the tendency to climb to look for light and space.

Water: Water parameters are not really an issue as this plant seems to do great in any conditions, even quite hard, alkaline water conditions. Sagittaria subulata grows best in medium-hard to hard water with a pH-value within the moderately acid to alkaline range.

Light: Sagittaria subulata require moderate to strong light. Intense lighting will bring out reddish leaf apexes.

Temperature: Optimum growth temperature for Sagittaria subulata is 18 to 26°C (64 – 79°F), but it can withstand temps from a very low 15°C (59) to 29°C (84°F). Sagittaria subulata seems to be not sensitive to temperature change.

Fertiliser: Add fertilizer on a regular basis as important factor for this plant to thrive.

Substrate: Fine-graveled sand is best for these delicate plants.

Planting density: 4-5 plants for every 15cm (6 inch)

Propagation: They propagate by sending runners everywhere around the mother plant. With a good substrate (rich in Iron), added CO2 and a strong lighting, this plant will grow very quickly to cover the bottom of your tank.

Problems: The plant leaves will become yellowish if proper conditions are not met (especially if it lacks Iron).

Uses: Sagittaria subulata is used in aquariums as mid-ground or foreground plant. Planted as a standalone this aquarium plant can be striking.

Recommended varieties:
Sagittaria Subulata var. pusilla, the smallest Sagittaria subulata, growing up to 30cm (12 inch).
Sagittaria Subulata var kurziana which grows up to 50cm (20 inch).
Sagittaria Subulata var gracillima, the tallest Sagittaria subulata, reaching up to 60cm (24 inch).

Interesting facts: Sagittaria subulata is often confused for Vallisneria species.

Hardiness zone: 8-11

Sagittaria subulata flowers







Aquarium Plants, Submerged (Oxygenating) Plants, Water Plants , , ,

Ceratophyllum demersum

Common name: Hornwort, Rigid Hornwort, Coontail, Coon’s tail

Family: Ceratophyllaceae

Ceratophyllum demersum

Ceratophyllum demersum

Distribution and habitat: Ceratophyllum demersum is native to North America but nowadays having a cosmopolitan distribution in temperate and tropical regions. Ceratophyllum demersum is declared weed Australia and is classed as an unwanted organism in New Zealand.

Description: Ceratophyllum demersum is a submersed with no roots,  so is free-floating perennial plant. The stems reach lengths of 1–3m (3-10 feet), with numerous side shoots making a single specimen appear as a large, bushy mass. The leaves are produced in whorls of six to twelve, each leaf 8–40mm (0.3-1.6 inch) long, simple, or forked into two to eight thread-like segments edged with spiny teeth; they are stiff and brittle. It is monoecious, with separate male and female flowers produced on the same plant. The flowers are small, 2mm (0.08 inch) long, with eight or more greenish-brown petals; they are produced in the leaf axils. The fruit is a small nut 4–5mm (0.1-0.2 inch) long, usually with three spines, two basal and one apical, 1–12mm (up to 0.4 inch) long. It can form turions: buds that sink to the bottom of the water that stay there during the winter and form new plants in spring.

Care: Ceratophyllum dersum grows in still or very slow-moving water. Generally floats during the warm months if allowed, but may be potted and submerged. Sinks to the bottom of the pond during cold weather if allowed to float. Ceratophyllum demersum is fast growing plant.

Light: Ceratophyllum demersum’s light requirement is part shade.

Temperature: Ceratophyllum demersum grows in lakes, ponds and quiet streams with summer water temperatures of 15-30°C (59-86°C) and a rich nutrient status.

Propagation: Ceratophyllum demersum natural propagate through seed that sink to the bottom of the water and stay there during the winter, forming new plants in spring.  Also  Ceratophyllum demersum  can be propagated from plant fragments.

Uses: Ceratophyllum demersum is often used as a floating freshwater plant in both coldwater and tropical aquaria, being free-roots plant or it may be attached to the substrate or objects in the aquarium. Its fluffy, filamentous, bright-green green leaves provide an excellent spawning habitat for fishes.

Interesting facts: Ceratophyllum demersum has allelopathic qualities as it excretes substances that inhibit the growth of blue-green algae (phytoplankton and cyanobacteria).

Ceratophyllum demersum may be confused with non-weedy Ceratophyllum echinatum, which is more delicate, bright green, usually grows in deeper water, and has 3-5 lateral spines on the fruit. Also Ceratophyllum demersum is similar to other bushy submersed plants such as: Muskgrasses (Chara spp.) which are large algae and produce a skunk or garlic-like odor when crushed; waterweeds (Elodea spp.) which have whorls of broad flat leaves; and milfoils (Myriophyllum spp.) which have feather-like leaves.

Note: Ceratophyllum demersum is an invasive species. Its dense growth can out-compete native underwater vegetation, leading to loss of biodiversity.

Hardiness Zone 4-10

Ceratophyllum demersum inflorescence Ceratophyllum demersum fruit







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