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Hornwort – The Slender Aquatic Plant for Your Tank
If you are one of those who loves hosting aquatic plants in your tank, then we are sure you have come across Hornworts. Magnificent to look at and easy to care for, this aquatic beauty is a favorite among aquarium enthusiasts around the globe. But, just because they are easy to take care of doesn’t mean that you can be completely care-free when it comes to their maintenance. Fisharoma is providing you with a set of guidelines that you need to keep in mind in order for them to grow healthily.
Hornworts belong to Ceratophyllaceae family and are scientifically known as Ceratophyllum demersum. They are mostly seen submerged underwater, but if you want, you can also keep them floating on the water surface.
They are sturdy by nature and are easy to grow and propagate. This is why; it is widely used by beginners who don’t have a lot of experience in aquatic plants.
Hornworts have needle-like leaves dark green in color that grows over its slender stems. In fact, many people regard it as the Christmas tree of water. In rare conditions, they also can bear little flowers.
You need to anchor this plant to the substrate of your tank with the help of its leaves since it lacks natural roots.
Habitat of Hornwort
Hornworts are a freshwater species, and although they are native to North America, they can pretty much be seen all around the planet now. You can find this plant in a wide range of places – from lakes to ponds, from streams to oceans, from ditches to marshes, everywhere.
An amazing aspect of this plant is that despite being a tropical plant, it has the potential to acclimatize itself in cold weather. This is why you can find it in places like Norway.
Care Guide of Hornwort
In order to create a natural, healthy environment for your Hornwort, you need to adhere to the following guidelines.
Being the relatively large aquatic plant that they are, you need at least a 15-gallon tank for Hornworts.
Try to use fine-grained sand-based substrate in the tank that hosts Hornwort since it helps in keeping it anchored to the bottom of the tank. If you are not a fan of sand-based substrate, you can also use mud-based substrate.
Hornworts respond to lights in a very direct manner. It has been seen that they can grow up to an inch (2.5 cm) a day when they are exposed to a proper lighting system.
Do not keep a Hornwort anywhere near to a filter inlet as it may result in it getting blocked by the debris of the plant.
One of the most underrated aspects that people often forget while rearing Hornwort is the amount of nutrient that they consume. They will intake the majority of the nutrient in your tank. Thus, there is a risk that the other plants and animals in your tank are deprived of the nutrients. Therefore, it is advised to add fertilizer on a weekly basis in your tank.
Make sure the temperature of the water inside the tank remains 59-86° F (15-30° C).
The general hardness of the water must be maintained between 5-15 dGH.
The level of pH of the water should be 6.0-7.5.
Try to replace 25% of the water in your tank on a weekly basis. When you add in the new batch of water, please ensure that it is of the same temperature, general hardness, and pH level as that of the existing batch of water in the tank.
Regularly trim the leaves of your Hornwort since it is a fast-growing plant.
Tankmates of Hornwort
Hornworts are compatible with a bunch of plants and animals. In fact, their hardy leaves can’t be easily nipped by other nipping fish. Thus, you can keep them with various species such as Guppies, Mollies, Loaches, Snails, and Shrimps.
The only species that can devour their leaves and therefore should be avoided are Angelfish and Gouramis.
How to Plant a Hornwort?
As we have stated earlier, there are two ways of planting Hornworts – You can either anchor them to the substrate or you can let them float on the water surface.
In case of the former, you need to wait for the bottom leaves to appear which may take some time. You will have to use these leaves to anchor them to the substrate. You can also shove the stems directly to the substrate.
In case of floating them on the surface, just simply toss them in the tank, but make sure they don’t cover up the entire water surface; else it will block light from entering the tank.
So, we hope with this article, you have gained all the knowledge you needed to healthily grow Hornwort in your aquascape.