Indian Water Fern (Ceratopteris thalictroides)
Today, ceratopteris is one of the most common types of algae growing in aquariums.
In nature, it grows in countries with a warm tropical climate (Australia, East Asia, etc.), and replenishes a number of the horny family.
The plant has bright green small leaves. If all the necessary conditions are created at their habitat, then the fern is actively growing and can reach up to 60 centimeters in height. Sometimes aquarium lovers choose an Indian fern whose leaves are not so dissected.
The conditions of detention for the various subspecies are practically the same.
Conditions of detention
For comfortable maintenance and reproduction, fern needs a tropical aquarium, in which the water temperature will be from 21 to 27 0C. If the temperature is lower, then growth will slow down significantly, and the leaves will become smaller, and in some cases it may even die. In addition, you must carefully monitor the hardness of the water, it should not be higher than 6 dH with a neutral or slightly acid reaction. To obtain the required level, you can add several pieces of boiled peat to the water filter.
Often you do not need to change the water in the aquarium, as the plant will grow comfortably in the still water, which contains a lot of humic acids.
As for lighting, it should be quite saturated. And if there is a lack of natural light, then you need to additionally use artificial. A fluorescent lamp is suitable for this. But at the same time, it is better not to allow sunlight, especially direct rays, to enter the aquarium, otherwise the water will bloom quickly. Daylight hours should last at least 12-14 hours.
The root system of ceratopteris is quite voluminous, but the roots are tender and easily broken. Because of this, the plant needs soil consisting of small particles with high siltiness. A great option would be coarse river sand or overgrown fine pebbles. At the same time, the depth of the sand should be about 5cm.
This plant does not require additional fertilizing, but rather too sensitive to excess mineral compounds in the water. For the full development and growth of this algae, there are enough nutrients that are in the soil and water.
Ceratopteris actively multiplies. An adult bush forms processes on well-formed leaves. After a few leaves grow in a new plant and the root system is formed a little, it is separated from the mother and floats to the surface of the water. Thus, water fern can fully grow on the surface. It is not uncommon for aquarists to plant such a fern with coarse leaves in their aquarium. People often call it "water cabbage." The conditions of detention are exactly the same, only the difference is that it grows on the surface in a floating form.
Ceratopteris thalictroides is ideal for quickly filling an empty aquarium. But at the same time, you need to carefully monitor that other plants do not suffer, as the Indian fern will displace them, in order to get the whole space. Many aquarium fish like to spend time hiding in the greenery of this beautiful plant. But, but aquarium snails like its taste, a few snails, they can eat a whole bush in 2-3 days, so you need to control this. If the conditions are favorable, then the eaten branches will grow quickly. In about 3 weeks, several fern bushes can fill a 100 liter aquarium.
This is not a whimsical plant, suitable for growing both professional aquarists and beginners.