Aquatic plants are plants that have adapted to living in aquatic environments (saltwater or freshwater). They are also referred to as hydrophytes or macrophytes. These plants require special adaptations for living submerged in water, or at the water’s surface. The most common adaptation is aerenchyma, but floating leaves and finely dissected leaves are also common.Aquatic plants can only grow in water or in soil that is permanently saturated with water. They are therefore a common component of wetlands.
The principal factor controlling the distribution of aquatic plants is the depth and duration of flooding. However, other factors may also control their distribution, abundance, and growth form, including nutrients, disturbance from waves, grazing, and salinity.
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Eleocharis parvula ‘japanese’ hair grass TC pots – 2
Eleocharis parvula (common name hair grass / hairgrass) is an extremely versatile and useful plant. It may be used to great affect by itself to form a grassy carpet: a very dense lawn like effect may be achieved in 6 – 8 weeks from planting.
It is also very useful when planted sparsely around the edges of rocks and other hardscape and produces a ‘softening’ effect when used in this way, particularly in an Iwagumi style aquascape – read more about Iwagumi’s in our article Iwagumi Aquacapes: An Introdcution.
A unique feature of this plant is that if it is cut short before it is planted then it tends to stay short when it grows in and becomes established. Conversely if it is left in its longer state it will carry on growing in a longer form.
Glossostigma elatinoides (Mat)
Glossostigma elatinoides from New Zealand is much in demand in Japanese-inspired aquariums. It is one of the smallest aquarium plants (2-3 cm tall), and thus a good foreground plant. A difficult plant demanding a lot of light. Grows upwards if light is poor. Make sure larger plants do not overshadow it. When planting in the aquarium small clumps (approx. 1/8 pot) should be placed at intervals of a few centimetres to help the plants grow together more quickly. CO2 addition and soft water promote growth significantly.
Growth rate: High
Height: 3 – 5+
Light demand: High
CO2 : High
Hemianthus callitrichoides Cuba
Lysimachia nummularia is a moderately fast grower, is one of the most undemanding stem plants to grow. It can tolerate soft or hard water, pH in the 6.0-8.0 range, and temps from 15-25 C. Although this plant grows well in non-CO2, moderately lit aquaria, it prefers high light and CO2 addition along with plenty of NO3 and trace fertilization.
Micranthemum ‘Monte Carlo’ – aquarium plant tissue culture 2 pot
Micranthemum Umbrosom ‘Monte Carlo’ comes from Argentina. It has compact, round and fresh light green leaves on creeping stalks and creates a fast-growing carpet in the front of the aquarium. The plant can grow in light shadow, but requires good light conditions, as well as CO2 additive, in order to develop optimally and become really compact.