Aquatic plants play a very important part in the environment as they can provide food, serve as water purifiers and also act as shelter to aquatic animals. The Anacharis plant serves various purposes in an aquarium setting. It is a hardy plant that readily adapts to a diverse range of water conditions. This makes it a perfect choice for beginner plant aquarists who will find it easy to grow and maintain. The plant is known by various names including; the Brazilian water weed, Brazilian Elodea and Egeria Scientifically it is referred to as the Egeria densa although other people also refer to it as Elodea densa.
The plant is widely common and it can easily be found in fish stores. The dark green coloration of its leaves makes it give an aquarium an elegant lush look hat is so appealing. Basically, it is a perennial plant that is known to inhabit ponds, slow moving waters, streams, rivers and even canals. The plant is known to float on the water surface where it is said it absorbs the sun’s rays and when night falls, it sinks and remains submerged.
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Appearance of Anacharis Plant
This aquarium plant is very attractive and has got a long stem that is green with leaves that are also green. The green pigmentation of the plant usually varies from plant to plant and sometimes can be dependent on the water condition from which it grows. The plant’s green color can sometimes be grass-like green or sometimes deep green.
Some varieties of this plant that grow in the wild can grow as long as 3ft tall with a 3mm thick stem. You will see the stems having tubular shape featuring nodes where the leaves grow from. The plant has a tendency to grow pale-white flowers that has three petals usually floating over the surface of the water.
Wild habitat and geographic distribution
The Anacharis plant is native to the South American countries of Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina. In recent years however due to human distribution the plant is now found in North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand making it well distributed all over the world. It is a perennial plant that grows up to a depth of four meters.
It is more commonly found growing in ponds, slow moving rivers & streams and canals. The Anacharis plant has the capacity to tolerate wide ranging conditions and therefore it can be grown by beginners.
Propagation/Cultivation of Anacharis
The Anarachis plant is very easy to care for and its propagation is quite easy as long as it is provided with proper conditions in the tank. For better results fertilizers can be added to the tank water and the plant will grow fast. The other necessary things that you may add to accelerate its growth include CO₂ and good lighting.
To propagate the plant you will simply just make cuttings from the stem of the mother plant and then proceed to insert into the substrate. In order to get better results, it is best to choose healthy plants and mature plants from which to take cuttings from. Cut the stem of the parent plant, you can make the cutting to be eight inches long. You will then cut it into smaller cuttings that are 3-4 inches long. It is these pieces of cuttings that you will gently insert into the substrate in the tank. In a matter of just a few days the newly planted cuttings will develop roots that will slowly and firmly attach the plant into the substrate. This will eventually be self reliant whole new plant!
It also has the ability to reproduce sexually by way of the flowers that it produces that usually floats above the water surface.
Tank Requirements and General Plant Care
The Anacharis plant can make a great addition to an aquarium at it is best to plant it in groups at the back of the tank or even the sides of the tank. For a more detailed insight into the tips for the tank requirements and growing tips please find out below:
- With nutrient rich water, the plant will grow quickly and therefore regular trimming will be necessary.
- Proving moderate to lighting to the plant in the tank.
- For the substrate you can use gravel or sand.
- Regular additions of fertilizer to the water can be done on a weekly basis.
- The ideal bulbs to use for lighting the tank are full spectrum 5000 to 7000 bulbs. High quality LED bulbs or even fluorescent bulbs can do the job perfectly well.
- The water temperature needs to be set to between 59 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The water hardness that is best for growing the plant is that which is between 3 and 8 dGH.
- The pH of the tank water should be controlled to between 6.5 and 7.5.
- Avoid housing it in the same tank with large aggressive fish that will attack it and destroy its stem.
It is certainly a very attractive plant that is most readily available in fish stores. Interestingly, it is affordable and will be easy to buy and use in your home aquarium. In pet store, you will find it sold under the name Anarachis or the oxygen plant as it is commonly known in those circles. You will find it sold in stems that are about seven to ten inches long.
Uses of the Anarachis Plant
While the Anarachis plant makes a great addition to the planted aquarium, its usability isn’t just limited to providing beauty to the aquarium. If the plant is allowed to grow densely within the aquarium with fish, it often provides shelter and great hiding places for fish that feel threatened. The plant can also provide a safe haven for fish to lay their eggs during breeding or spawning sessions. Last but not least, the plant can be rich source of nutrition to certain kinds of aquarium fish such as the cichlids, goldfish and many other types of fish that will feed on its green healthy leaves and stems.