Hornwort

Hornwort

One of the most common plants in aquarium world. It’s a great starter plant as it requires almost no maintenance. It is also a fast-growing plant. It is available in every continent except antarctica. It’s scientific name is “Ceratophyllum demersum”. It is one of the species of Ceratophyllum. It is found naturally in lakes, ponds, and quiet streams with temperatures around 15 to 30° C.

Fascinating facts

The most fascinating fact about Hornwort is that this plant grows on ground and underwater.

I discovered this fact by accident. I picked up this plant from a side walk and after cleaning it I immersed it in water. I was pleasantly surprised that it not only survived but was growing underwater.

Little history of the plant

Hornwort is one of the oldest plants known on earth. There are twenty six million years old fossilized spores found from Miocene epoch which belong to this species.

Required environment for growth

In aquariums it thrives and grows nicely with regular light. It does not need any special lighting. It also does not require high carbon dioxide. My experience with this particular plant tells me that it can thrive in a low tech, low light, no carbon dioxide, no filter and no added nutrients environment.

How to use it in an aquarium

Hornwort has no visible roots. It can be used as floating plant. At the same time some people plant it in the soil, and it makes a nice addition to the aquarium. Some leaves of Hornwort function as roots to anchor itself to the substrate when planted there. It is a fast-growing plant and can grow up to 80 cm tall and 5 cm wide. Full grown plant has multiple branches which gives a look of multiple plants.

Why to use plants in an aquarium

Now let us look at why to use plants in an aquarium. Ammonia is produced in an aquarium from decaying plants and fish excreta. A good quality filter will convert the ammonia into nitrite and then into nitrate. This nitrate is less harmful to the fish when compared to it’s original state of ammonia. Still large quantities of nitrates in the fish tank are harmful to the fish. One of the best ways to reduce nitrates is to add some plants. Hornwort is one of the plants that will do this for your fish tank water.

Another great benefit of using Hornwort in an aquarium is that it provides great hiding place for the fries. It works best in this capacity when it is floated in the aquarium. This plant also oxygenates the water of the aquarium it is planted or floated in.

If you have any questions or comments, then please send me a note below.