If there is an aquarium plant that is so easy to care for that you will find commonly used in the aquarium hobby today it is the Amazon Frogbit. The aquarium plant is also known by the scientific name of Limnobium Laeviatum. The plant is native to the Central and South America regions although there are reports in North America where it said to exist as an invasive species. You will now find it in much of the America state of California probably due to human activity in which some of the plant gets to the wild from the hands of people using it in the aquarium trade.
The amazon frogbit remains popular with plant aquarists due to its ornamental nature and you will find it commonly used in both aquariums as well as ponds. When the plant is still young it has a characteristic of growing flat leaves that float on the surface of the water. As the plant grows mature it will produce leaves that will rise above the water surface. The flowers that the plant produces are small and whitish in color and this is something that usually makes it appear very attractive.
Appearance of Amazon Frogbit
The plant looks so beautiful with round-like flat leaves that hover on the water surface. As the plant grows mature it produces whitish flowers that go above the water surface thus giving a spectacular appearance. In a home aquarium the plant can grow to a maximum of 20 inches and will have the leaves spread on the entire surface of the aquarium. This is something that can easily lead to oxygen depletion in the aquarium. The amazon frogbit is also known to prevent other plants within the same pond or aquarium from getting sufficient sunlight. Due to these properties of the plant it is not advisable to plant it in an aquarium that has fish in it. Doing so may end up stifling the fish in the aquarium of oxygen. Remember fish need sufficient oxygen for them to live a healthy and active life.
Amazon Frogbit grows in soft and freshwater with a pH range of 6.0 – 7.5 with moderate light. Generally the plant is native to the South & Central American areas although it not uncommon now to find it growing as an invasive species in North America. It grows in California where it is regarded as an invasive species probably introduced there by people involved in the aquarium trade. Due to its high adaptive nature, the plant is known to easily adapt to diverse environments, it has spread rapidly in areas that were not its native range like California.
Care and Maintenance
Even though the plant is easy to care for and hardy there are certain parameters about it that need to be adhered for it to thrive. The top most part of the plant needs to be kept relatively dry at all times this because if the top part of the plant is allowed to get wet, it will start rotting. The water needs to be changed regularly if the plant is being kept in a tank inside a house. Allowing the plant to stay too long in the same stale water for many days will also cause it to start rotting.
The plant is susceptible to snails as it offers an easy meal to them. This therefore calls on you to avoid keeping a large population of snails in a tank where you wish to have the plant grow. You can grow the plant in the middle of the tank if you have snails in your tank to help save it from the ravages of the animals. Alternatively if you have to keep snails in the same tank where you grow the plant keep the Malaysian Trumpet Snail. This type of snail belongs to the class of snails that are plant friendly.
A floating plant
The fact that the plant is floating plant there will be no need for you to continually add CO₂ to the tank water. You will however need to add fertilizer to the water on a regular basis especially when you perform the weekly water changes.
As for lighting because it is a floating plant, it isn’t much of a concern due to the fact the plant will be directly open to light. You can however offer moderate to high lighting. Use full spectrum T5 or T8 bulbs but you can as well use LED lights as a cross section of aquarists have also successfully used them.
Find out more about the benefit of floating plant here.
The plant usually reproduces sexually via flower pollination and seed production but it is usually quite of a challenge to achieve this in a home aquarium. In most aquariums, the production of the plant usually occurs through a process that is known as stem fragmentation. Through this process, smaller plants usually break off the main plant and thus will also grow to form full new plants in a different new location.
Use in Aquascaping
The plant is mostly used as an ornamental aquarium plant due to its ability to grow round-like flat leaves that float beautifully on the surface of the water. Because the young plants will grow flat leaves floating on the surface of the water they make a great addition on the aquarium. Remember that mature plants will exhibit elegant flowers that are whitish in color and will therefore make your aquarium look stunningly beautiful. Read up on our aquascaping guide for more info.
Amazon Frogbit is a freshwater aquarium plant that is common with a number of aquarists who prefer rearing plants in their home aquariums. The juvenile of the plant is known to grow round-like leaves that float on the water surface. When the plant starts to become mature, it will grow beautiful white flowers that will cover the water surface. Much caution however needs to be observed with this plant when it is reared in a tank with fish. It is known to deplete oxygen levels in the tank and therefore it may not be a great plant to use in an aquarium that has fish.