Today we are going to tackle the topic of aquarium plants, more precisely Vallisneria, a classic aquarium plant well not among all aquarium keepers and hobbyists. This is a freshwater aquarium plant and it is also known as tape grass and eelgrass. Vallisneria is widely spread in the regions of Africa, Asia, North America and Europe. For more information about Vallisneria aquarium plants continue reading the article.
This plant is probably the easiest for hobbyists to grow and it is also one of the oldest aquarium plants. This plant is often confused with another plant called Sagittaria, in order to distinguish between the two you need to check the edges as the edges of Sagittaria are smooth, whereas the edges of Vallisneria have spikes. If you are a beginner then I can recommend starting off with Vallisneria as they grow very easy and fast. Also, they come in different leaf shapes and sizes and look very beautiful in aquariums.
Growing Vallisneria in the aquarium
Hobbyists will find it pretty easy to keep Vallisneria in an aquarium as they are very easy to grow, just make sure not to keep them in too soft or acidic water, as this will make them grow slow or even die. These plants grow so well that they require trimming from time to time, otherwise they can cover the whole top of the aquarium, just be careful not to damage the leaves otherwise they will die. To avoid this just trip the tops of the plants with scissors. You can also let them grow to make a shade for small fish.
These plants are great for bigger and taller tanks as they can grow very tall till the top and look very nice in taller tanks. Also, they can grow with almost any tank mates. Even though Vallisneria is very easy to grow, some people still seem to have some issues with these plants. If these plants are not growing properly, this may be the result of iron deficiency, lack of nitrates in the water, not stable dosage use of Co2 or if you have planted them too deep, as the top of the plant should be above the substrate.
How to plant and reproduce Vallisneria?
Planting is as easy as growing them. All you have to do is to just out the roots under the substrate and leave the area where leaves grow above the substrate. To do this you can use tweezers or only your fingers, do it the way that feels more comfortable to you. The simplest way to reproduce Vallisneria is with the help of runners, this way they will soon take over the entire tank. After which you can cut off or pull out the runners and plant them somewhere else.
Probably the most unique and interesting fact about these aquarium plant is that it has the ability to grow flowers and produce seeds, which is very rare among aquarium plants. Vallisneria has male and female plants. Female plants can produce flowers, the flowers usually float on the surface of the aquarium and male plants produce flowers underwater which get released and then float to the surface and meet flowers produced by female plants. This is when pollination happens, after which seeds are produced
There are different species of Vallisneria plants, such as Twisted-leaved Vallisneria, Vallisneria Americana, Vallisneria nana, Vallisneria annua, Vallisneria anhuiensis and many more. Let’s talk about a few of these species.
Twisted-leaved Vallisneria is a little shorter compared with other plants. But many hobbyists agree that these plants grow better in tanks, especially with CO2 and added nutrients. The twisted leaves of this plant look very impressive due to its short height, especially among other plants.
Vallisneria Americana is the largest of Vallisneria plants and they need to be kept in different conditions than the smaller plants. Vallisneria Americana has thicker and wider leaves and grows very tall, it can reach up to 6 feet and sometimes even longer. It is not recommended to keep Vallisneria Americana in shorter tanks as they grow very tall and can cover all the light, also the leaves will come out of the water get dry and die.
Also due to its height, Vallisneria Americana is recommended to be planted at the back of the tanks where they will look better and will not cover the whole view of the aquarium. So these certain species of Vallisneria look great in taller tanks which are appropriate for their height.
Vallisneria nana has narrower leaves and it seems like they need more time to get established in a new place. Vallisneria nana is recommended by other hobbyists to be kept among other plants as they look better with other plants.
Vallisneria is very easy to find in most aquarium stores, you can also buy them online. When choosing Vallisneria you have to pay attention to the size of your aquarium, if it is small then it would be better to buy Vallisneria nana, Vallisneria spiralis, and the twisted-leaved Vallisneria as they stay rather small and do not grow too much.
But if you have a tall tank then it is recommended to buy Vallisneria Americana which can grow very tall and it perfect for taller tanks. Sometimes it is really hard to distinguish between Vallisneria species as they look different in different places and conditions. So their look can be deceptive sometimes, it is recommended to do a good research about certain species of Vallisneria before buying them.
So if you have decided to grow Vallisneria in your aquarium, then it is a great idea especially when you are a beginner. It will not require much time and effort and will make your aquarium look even better. Also, you have a wide variety of species to choose from for all shape and size tanks. Vallisneria will be an excellent addition to other plants in your aquarium.