Cabomba caroliniana (Common name: Fanwort, Carolina fanwort)
Overview: Cabomba caroliniana originated from Brazil, and now is found all over the North and South America. It is a rhizomatous, perennial aquatic plant with stems that can grow up to 2 meters in height. Cabomba caroliniana is found growing in ponds and lakes, as well as in slow-moving streams and rivers.
Appearance: Cabomba caroliniana has two kinds of leaves; the submersed and floating leaves. The former leaves are petioled, opposite whorled and about 2 to 5 cm wide. The smaller floating leaves are linear-elliptic in shape and are only 6 to 20 mm wide. It bears white flowers with yellow, pink or violet centers.
Hard / soft plant: Hard plant
Ideal water temperature: Cabomba caroliniana prefers a warm humid climate, but has also shown living characteristics under frozen water surface.
Lighting conditions: Cabomba caroliniana prefers high lighting levels, at least 3 watt per gallon. Full spectrum T5 or T3 fluorescent bulbs are ideal for it’s growth.
Ideal pH conditions: Cabomba caroliniana can tolerate hard and soft water, but prefers pH levels between 4 and 6. Growth is usually inhibited above 7/8 pH levels.
Functions and advantages:
1) Cabomba caroliniana feeds on fish waste – carbon dioxide, nitrogenous and phosphate waste, thereby acting as water cleaner.
2) Act as a good medium for spawning for fishes to egg eggs. Some adult fish even like snacking on it’s fan-like fronds.
3) This fast growing plant is good for aquascaping purpose and provides a good contrast when planted with other plants.
4) In outdoor ponds exposed to ample sunlight with no goldfishes or koi, it works as a great oxygen generator.
5) It is also eaten as a vegetable in some parts of the world.
Did you know? It’s fast and dense growth attributes to clogged drainage systems in ponds and lakes. It also interferes with recreational activities like swimming and boating. But, in aquariums, they do pretty well.