Vallisneria asiatica (common name: Corkscrew val)
Overview: They are the quintessential aquarium aquatic plants, are easy to grow, and hence most commonly used in aquariums.
Originating in South-east Asia, they resemble the appearance of sea grass and are very easy to maintain. They can grow from a couple to inches to all the way up to the fish tank therefore, a 38 L tank should be the minimum size of the aquarium it is planted in. Truly aquatic in nature, it does not survive for long once taken out of the water.
Appearance: Sea grass-like appearance with twisted ribbon-shaped leaf. It can grow from few inches to even 30 inches long or more.
Hard or Soft plant: Soft plant
Ideal water temperature: Vallisneria asiatica prefers moderate warm water between 17 to 28 degrees Celsius.
Lighting: Thrives under bright illumination but can also survive under moderate lighting conditions. 0.25 watt per liter lighting is recommended.
Ideal pH conditions: Vallisneria asiatica prefers hard, alkaline water. It’s best to avoid softer acidic water for these aquatic plants because their growth rate slows down or they may even die. Recommended pH balance for the species would be between 6.5 to 7.6
Functions and advantages:
1) Great option for beginners, as it requires little maintenance.
2) The longer leaves serve as an excellent hiding place for smaller and shy fishes.
3) The twisted leaf of Vallisneria asiatica imparts a unique appearance to the aquarium.
4) Can be kept in an aquarium with goldfishes as the tough and strong leaf of Vallisneria asiatica is not palatable to them.
Did you know? Vallisneria asiatica has a unique flowering and seed production mechanism. It produces both male and female plants. While the female plants stay afloat on the water surface, the male species produces hundreds of flowers under the water surface. After pollination, the female produces more seeds. It propagates via runners.