Overview: Easy to grow and least demanding, Ceratopteris thalictroides is a beautiful aquarium plant that can grow in submerged and floating conditions. It belongs to the Pteridaceae family. It is also popular with names like Water Sprite and Fine Leaf Indian Fern. Ceratopteris thalictroides is a highly decorative and fast-growing plant that could be one of the best additions to your planted tank. Basically, it is an amphibian fern that can be found growing in shallow waters, muddy ground, ponds and riversides. You can use this plant as a solitary one in larger tanks. Ceratopteris thalictroides can be found in tropical regions of the world. In some places, people also use it as a vegetable. Since it is a nutrient feeder plant, it helps to prevent algae by consuming large amounts of nutrients. This makes it a good starter plant in small tanks.
Appearance: Ceratopteris thalictroides is a beautiful lush green plant with fine pinnate leaves. It develops light green bushes in a short time and gives an amazing contrast to the dark-coloured substrate. It can grow as long as 15 to 30 cm high and 10 to 20 cm wide. Since it requires large space to grow and develop and spreads profusely, aquarists can grow it as a solitary plant also. You can see the plants forming grooves between the lobes of older leaves. Generally, it is advised to cut the older leaves from the plant to promote the growth of new leaves. Proliferating leaves and spores are the medium of reproduction. The best usage of Ceratopteris thalictroides is as a background plant, mid ground plant. You can also use it as a plant for spawning purposes. The bushy growth gives a good place for the fish to spawn and fry to hide and play.
Hard/soft plant: It is a hardy plant that can grow well in diverse water conditions. Also, it is the least demanding, therefore, suitable for beginners.
Temperature: The temperature range between 18 and 30 degrees Celsius is the best for Ceratopteris thalictroides growth.
Light and other requirements: Medium-light intensifies the growth and overall look of the plant. Additional carbon dioxide under 20 mg/l is sufficient to attain good growth. For the best results, provide the plant with intensive light with additional carbon dioxide and nutrient-rich water. Keep the general hardness between 0 - 30°dGH and carbonate hardness between 0 - 21°dKH.
pH: The pH value should remain between 5 to 8.
Do you know: Labyrinth fish readily accepts Ceratopteris thalictroides as the plant provides enough space for it to build bubble nests. Also, it provides great places for the fish to hide and play.