Vallisneria is a group of aquatic plants that only live underwater , although it can occasionally emerge above the water line and flourish.
Its leaves are tapered, denticulate at the ends and measure from a few millimeters to four centimeters wide, and can be up to two meters long in the case of Vallisneria Gigantea.
They grow very quickly, reproduce easily and withstand different water quality conditions well , making them an ideal plant for novice aquarists, placed at the back of the aquarium.
Distribution and habitat
They are plants native to the tropics and subtropics, but they adapt very well to other types of climatological situations, so they can be found anywhere around the world.
It is easy to find it in fresh water courses forming true meadows.
Although it is a very resistant plant, which will withstand adverse conditions, if we want it to grow well, the aquarium should provide the following conditions:
- Temperature: Between 15ºC and 22ºC
- pH: 6 to 8.5
- GH: between 4º to 20º
It is convenient to carry out periodic pruning, to keep the Vallisneria within an order.
They are plants that need medium to strong lighting, since in the middle of nature they occupy the central part of the water courses.
It will grow better with lighting between 0.5W / l and 1W / l, becoming an invasive plant. With lower lighting, or 5W / less, it will grow smoothly, but will have a hard time propagating naturally.
They can be grown together with other plants, as long as we place them in the back of the aquarium, where they do not detract from the rest.
Substrate and compost
It does not need a specific substrate , although if we provide it with a good quality one, such as Manado by JBL , the growth will be much more exuberant.
Regarding the fertilizer, it is not a plant that needs specific fertilizer or special contribution of Co2, although if we offer it we will have a much faster and abundant growth.
The simplest reproduction is through stolons, although it could also be the case of sexual reproduction through their flowers … although this situation within the aquarium is much more rare.
The plant will generate small plants that arise through its own roots. We will see how small side branches grow that over time have their own roots.
We can separate them when they are a few centimeters high, having a completely independent plant.
Varieties of Vallisneria
There are several commercial varieties that we can buy. Perhaps the most popular of all is the Vallisneria gigantea, but it is not the only one:
- Asiatic Vallisneria. Variety biwaensis
It is a variety of Vallisneria with twisted leaves and a fairly slow growth, compared to the rest of the other Vallisnerias.
- Vallsineria gigantea
It is a plant native to New Zealand, with leaves that can measure up to 4 centimeters wide and 2 meters long. It is the largest variety, only suitable for the back of the aquarium.
- Vallisneria gracilis
It has a rather small development, it only reaches between 25 and 40 centimeters high.
- Vallisneria spiralis
It is a very popular Vallisneria among aquarists around the world. It reproduces very easily by stolons.
- Vallisneria tortifolia
It is the most advisable Vallisneria when the aquarium is small.