Category Archives: ‘Low Tech’ Aquarium Plants

Topics, Tips and Advice on how to grow lush aquarium plants without CO2 and Fancy Fertilizers…

What can you advice can you give me on the care of Frogbit Limnobium laevigatum?

I have had Frogbit, but it ended up melting away/outcompeted as the seasonal lighting changed and the water got cooler. In a static environment it still required nutrient rich water. It did much better in a heavily populated tank with some air stone movement to the surface on one corner of the aquarium and warm water at least 78 degrees. It did not like full sun, I grew it in my tanks in the shaded portion of the greenhouse where it only received indirect light. I use a mixture of Water Spangle Salvinia minima/duckweed/dwarf water lettuce and of those 3, the water spangle is the easiest and most tolerant of diverse growth conditions. Salvinia also can be easily collected from the surface of the aquarium if you need to remove it.

My Naja Grass seems to be losing color. Idk if it’s just me or it doesn’t look as healthy

In the winter time when the daylight is shorter, the lower leaves of the Naja tend to be a bit lighter, slightly olive in color. Your naja was grown in a greenhouse and relies on natural daylight. Increase the time your light is on to 12 hours and the Naja will grow as it does in the summer with brighter green color. The naja in your photo looks good and healthy, believe me I grow plenty of it. If you have a cow pasture nearby add a golf ball size piece of dried manure and I’m sure combined with 12 hours of light your naja will flourish and explode with growth.

Is NAJA Grass plant a floating type or does it have roots that can be planted in a gravel or sand substrate? No ferts of any type?

Hello and Thank you for the inquiry. Naja Grass for the most part grows floating. When it is growing very well, it sends roots downward toward your substrate to anchor itself and or to obtain more nutrients. Sometimes it will drop roots down toward wherever mulm tends to accumulate within your aquarium. I’ve also intentionally planted it in gravel and found that it will spread under gravel much like terrestrial grass. So really it is your choice as it seems to thrive either method. I find it does well without additional fertilizing when housed with Fish. Without additional live inhabitants I will occasionally, about once every 3 months add a golf ball portion of dried cow manure per 10 gallon aquarium. If the water starts to turn green either from the manure temporarily remove it or add Daphnia and Scuds.scud_003


Low Tech Aquatic Gardening Tips

Here is what I’d do if you’re having trouble with floating plants or rooted for that matter: *Water Temperature needs to be consistently 80-84 degrees for maximum growth rate. A thin layer of Seachem Flourite or oak leaves within your substrate, recommended especially if you’re water is soft to add minerals. *If you have access to aged cow manure add about a golf ball sized amount per 10 gallons. Make sure you’ve met at least a Medium Light requirement. Make sure your tank is not completely overgrown could be too much competition. *If your using 100% artificial light, make sure you’re not using exclusively using cool white light bulbs, these have too much blue (cool) not enough red (warm) spectrum. You may try 3 or 4 different species at the same time to find what works best. When I receive a new aquatic plant that I’m not familiar with, it will be planted in several different tanks with different lighting conditions. i.e. A friend had given me some Hygrophila carambosa and said give it as much light as you can. I tried it out in one of my full sun plant pools in the greenhouse and found it did better in the semi-shaded pool conditions. You’ll also learn more about the care of your plants that way. * Suggestions that are especially beneficial for Dwarf Water Lettuce, Duckweed, Dwarf Water Lilies Hope this sheds some insight for you.