Planted Tanks

The following are profiles of the plants that my Endler stock are kept with. These plants are also listed on the Order page when available. I’ve found these plants to be high impact and yet pretty low maintenance. Also, Endlers seem to especially thrive in planted tanks. The aquascapes on the right are some of my favorite inspirations.

 

Hornwort (Scientific: Ceratophyllum Demersum)

Overview: Hornwort is a bright green stem plant with sessile leaves which thrives in a wide range of lighting, nutrient and water conditions. It can be an amazingly fast growing (1"+ per day) in the right conditions (i.e. lots of light and waste nutrients like nitrates, ammonia & phosphates) and slows down with less light & nutrients. This means Hornwort rapidly absorbs these unwanted wastes / toxins and it oxygenates & clarifies the water. And if all these great attributes weren’t enough, it also inhibits algae growth by producing allelochemicals and is attractive plant in its own right. Simply put, Hornwort is a must have for tanks with high waste bio-loads, and is a great “insurance policy” in lower bio-load tanks, should ammonia & nitrates spike unexpectedly.

 

Care: Hornwort is undemanding and can adapt to grow in low to high light levels. It’s best when left free floating, but can be loosely anchored into substrate as well. It does not require CO2 or liquid fertilization but will respond to it with even faster growth. It is easily pruned by cutting off excess growth with a sharp pair of scissors.

 

Propagation: Simply take cuttings and leave free floating or anchor into the substrate as needed.

 

More Details:

  • Spawning Medium: Hornwort's stem & leaf structure can provide cover / shelter for fry, small fish and aquatic invertebrates.
  • Other: Hornwort is generally safe with herbivorous fish as most species don't find its leaves very appetizing. It can also be kept in brackish (salty) water.
  • Origination: It is found free-floating or loosely anchored in slow moving and still waters throughout North America, South America, and Eurasia.

 

Quick Stats:

  • Care level: Easy
  • Placement: Floating, Midground to Background
  • Size: up to 24”
  • Light: Low to High
  • Water conditions: 15-30°C (60-86°F), pH 6.0-8.0

 

Java Moss (Scientific: Taxiphyllum barbieri)

Overview: Java Moss is a simple but lovely dark green rootless creeping aquatic moss which thrives in a wide range of lighting, nutrient and water conditions. It is an especially hardy plant native to Southeast Asia, which requires little light, will thrive in tanks which would kill most other plants and can quickly absorb unwanted wastes, nutrients and toxins. It can also be kept in brackish (salty) water. Its forking branches of fronds have tremendous application in many kinds of aquascapes, easily attaching to driftwood, rocks, roots and virtually any surface. It is one the most common aquatic plants kept in the aquarium.

 

Care: Java Moss is quite easy to grow and does not demand any special care, quickly adapting to all light levels and water parameters. It should not be buried in gravel but grown on surfaces (rocks, driftwood, etc.) or free floating. Although generally slow growing, CO2, fertilization (liquid iron) and high light will greatly enhance growth rates and promote lush growth and deep color. It is easily pruned by cutting off excess growth with a sharp pair of scissors.

 

Propagation: Propagating is very easy, by simply splitting a smallish clump from the main mass and using as needed elsewhere in the aquarium. Also, any piece that loosens and breaks off from the main mass will start its only colony.

 

More Details:

  • Aquascaping: Java Moss is easily attached to objects using fishing line or thread. After some time the moss will attach itself to the object and grow out covering the thread. It can also be sandwiched between two mesh screens to create a moss wall. When sandwiched, the Java Moss will slowly grow out between the small holes of the screen, resulting in an overhanging moss wall.
  • Spawning Medium: Java Moss is widely used by aquarists as cover for fry (baby fish). It protects them from cannibalistic adults and can also provide food (microscopic organisms that live on the moss ) for the newly formed fry, which can be challenging to feed. Egg scatterers such as barbs and characins will scatter their eggs into the Java Moss, which helps prevent the fish from devouring their own eggs.
  • Other uses: It can also be grown semi terrestrially in moist, humid areas.

 

Quick Stats:

  • Care level: Easy
  • Placement: Foreground, Midground & Background
  • Size: Infinite (keeps expanding in all directions)
  • Light: Low to High
  • Water conditions: 15-28°C (59-82°F), pH 5-8

 

Water Trumpet or Crypt (Scientific: Cryptocoryne Wendtii Green) 

Overview: An elegant, robust and popular aquarium plant with a compact rosette growth pattern producing elongated green leaves at the end of long stems. Wendtii are considered the most vigorous of the Cryptocoryne’s, able to thrive in a broad range of light and water conditions. In aquascapes it’s especially well suited to mid and backgrounds, creating graceful overhangs with its leaves.

 

Care: Wendtii should be planted directly into the substrate so that its roots are covered. Although by no means necessary, they do especially well, and grow quickly when in med to high light, rich substrate, consistent fertilization and low /med CO2. Wendtii can be very variable under different light and other environmental conditions. The same individual grown under different conditions may change color (light-green to red-brown) and grow very compactly to lanky. Prune by simply removing the older leaves when they start yellowing or to your tanks aesthetic.Although very hardy, Crypt’s can be sensitive to rapid water chemistry changes (for example when transplanting to a new aquarium). When this happens, the leaves will “melt” off and die, but new leaves usually start to grow within a few days.

 

Propagation: Crypt’s propagate by runners or side shoots. Once a new plant has a few leaves it can be separated from the main plant by cutting at the root level, then transplanting as necessary.

 

More Details:

  • Origination: Crypts are native to tropical regions of Asia and New Guinea. Typical habitats are mostly streams and rivers with slowly flowing water. They also live in seasonally inundated forest pools or on river banks submerged only at high water. There are a least 50-60 types (species) with new discoveries over the last few years.
  • Other uses: It can also be grown semi terrestrially in moist humid areas and may flower and produce seeds this way.

 

Quick Stats:

  • Care level: Easy
  • Placement: Midground to Background
  • Size: Height 5cm - 25cm (2” – 11”), Width 8cm - 15cm (3”-6”)
  • Light: Low - High
  • Water conditions: 21-29°C (70-84 °F), pH 6.5–7.5

 

Dwarf Hygro (Scientific: Hygrophila Polysperma)

Overview: Dwarf Hygro is a tropical freshwater plant, that is bright green, compact and hardy, which is often used in the fore & middle ground of planted aquariums. With lower light levels it grows slowly and has a compact, low and bushy growth pattern with small bright green elongated leaves around a stiff stem. With higher light levels & a nutrient rich water / substrate (waste nutrients like nitrates, ammonia & phosphates), it grows quickly, and can reach 6” tall with bright green & pinkish elongated leaves. This means Dwarf Hygro rapidly absorbs these unwanted wastes / toxins and it oxygenates & clarifies the water. Simply put, Dwarf Hygro is a must have for tanks with high waste bio-loads, and is a great “insurance policy” in lower bio-load tanks, should wastes spike unexpectedly. It’s a popular plant choice because of its bright green leaves, hardy nature, ability to thrive in a broad range of light and water conditions, and its waste cleaning abilities. It’s often used in legendary aquarist Takashi Amano aquascapes. It’s the closest nearest relative to S. Repens which is a similar smaller plant.

 

CareDwarf Hygo should be planted directly into the substrate so that its roots are covered or about half an inch deep when using newly cut stems . Although not necessary, they do especially well, and grow quickly when in med to high light, rich substrate, consistent fertilization and low /med CO2. To keep it’s bushy growth pattern, the longest upright shoots should be cut off and new shoots will soon form.

 

Propagation: Simply take cuttings and anchor into the substrate as needed.

 

More Details:

  • Spawning Medium: when grown in tight groupings Dwarf Hygo can provide cover / shelter for fry, small fish and aquatic invertebrates.
  • Other uses: It can also be grown semi terrestrially in moist humid areas (like a terrarium / vivarium).

 

Quick Stats:

  • Care level: Easy
  • Placement: Foreground to Midground
  • Size: Height 5cm - 12cm (2” – 6”), Width 2cm - 8cm (1”-3”)
  • Light: Low – High
  • Water conditions: 18-28°C (64-82 °F), pH 5.5–7.5

 

Rotala Rotundifolia / Colorata / Indicia

Overview:  This is a stunning & easy to care for colorful stem plant. It will grow in moderate light with no additives, but the higher the light & Iron provided, the deeper red the plant will be (it can range from pink to orange to a deep red). Rotala Rotundifolia / Colorata / Indicia are all different names for the same plant. Indicia is an outdated scientific name, while Colorata & Rotundifolia are sometimes believed to be separate species, with slightly different characteristics. Current thinking is that these are the same plant but display slight changes depending on the conditions they are grown in.

 

Care:  Rotala Rotundifolia / Colorata / Indicia is a relatively undemanding stem plant that can handle medium light with no fertilization. However, it’s best with high light, CO2 & liquid fertilization (especially Iron) and given these conditions will respond with fast growth and a deep red color. It is easily pruned by cutting off excess growth / stems with a sharp pair of scissors. To encourage bushy growth, prune the top of the plant once it reaches the surface of the water.

 

Propagation: Simply take cuttings and anchor into the substrate as needed.

 

More Details:

  • Spawning Medium: Grown in bunches, the stems & intertwining leaf structure can provide cover / shelter for fry, small fish and aquatic invertebrates.
  • Origination: It’s found throughout South East Asia as a weed in rice paddies and wet soils.

 

Quick Stats:

  • Care level: Easy
  • Placement: Mid to Background
  • Size: up to 15”
  • Light: Medium to High
  • Water conditions: 20-30°C (68-86°F), pH 5.0-7.0

 

Amazon Frogbit (Scientific: Limnobium Laevigatum)

Overview: Amazon Frogbit or Spongeplant, is a bright glossy green freshwater floating plant with roundish shaped leaves about the size of a quarter. The undersides of the leaves are spongy (full of air), which helps keep the plant afloat. The plant can be used to control algae and keep water parameters pristine by consuming excess nutrients. It can also provide sections of shade for low-light-loving fish and plants in very bright aquariums and help small fish and fry hide from larger fish. Frogbit is easy to grow and grows quickly with high light, and is also great for ponds.

 

Care:  Should floated on surface of tank water. The more light available, the faster they will grow, but hot lights such as metal halides can burn them without ventilation. The plants send out runners along the surface that produce new baby plants. Occasional trimming may be needed, by simply removing excess plants from surface.

 

Quick Stats:

  • Care level: Easy
  • Placement: floating
  • Size: 1”-3”
  • Light: Medium to High
  • Water conditions: 4-32°C (39-89°F), pH 6.0-8.0

 

 

 

Online Resources

Hornwort (Scientific: Ceratophyllum Demersum)

Java Moss (Scientific: Taxiphyllum barbieri)

Water Trumpet or Crypt (Scientific: Cryptocoryne Wendtii Green) 

Dwarf Hygro (Scientific: Hygrophila Polysperma)

Rotala Rotundifolia / Colorata / Indicia

Amazon Frogbit (Scientific: Limnobium Laevigatum)

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