Common Name: Oak Fern
Plant Use: Driftwood/Rock
Difficulty Level: Medium
Light Demand: Medium
Co2 Demand: Low
Fertilizer Demand: Low
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Description: Ceratopteris thalictroides, commonly known as Water Sprite, is a versatile and graceful aquatic fern that enhances the beauty of freshwater aquariums. Belonging to the family Parkeriaceae, this fern is native to various regions, including Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Water Sprite is recognized for its finely divided, lacy leaves that create a delicate and feathery appearance, adding a touch of elegance to planted tanks. The plant exhibits a buoyant nature, often growing as floating vegetation or attaching to decorations and substrate, making it a popular choice among aquarists.
Water Sprite is not only aesthetically pleasing but also serves practical purposes, providing shelter and refuge for aquatic inhabitants.
- Scientific Name: Ceratopteris thalictroides
- Family: Parkeriaceae
- Origin: Asia, Africa, Americas
- Difficulty Level: Easy
- Lighting Requirements: Low to Medium
- CO2 Requirement: Low
- Temperature Range: 68-82°F (20-28°C)
- pH Range: 6.0-7.5
- Propagation: Adventitious plants, spores
1. Lighting: Water Sprite thrives in low to medium lighting conditions. It can adapt to various light levels, making it suitable for a range of aquarium setups.
2. Substrate: Water Sprite is adaptable when it comes to substrate preferences. It can be planted in the substrate or left floating in the water. If planted, a nutrient-rich substrate can enhance its growth.
3. CO2 and Nutrients: The plant has low CO2 requirements and can absorb nutrients from the water. While it may not necessitate additional CO2 supplementation, providing a balanced liquid fertilizer helps support its growth.
4. Pruning: Pruning is minimal for Water Sprite. Trim any yellowing or damaged leaves as needed. If allowed to float, occasional thinning helps maintain an open and attractive appearance.
5. Water Parameters: Maintain stable water parameters with a temperature range of 68-82°F (20-28°C), a slightly acidic to slightly alkaline pH between 6.0-7.5, and moderate water hardness.
6. Placement: Water Sprite is versatile and can be used as a floating plant or anchored in the midground or background. Its feathery leaves create a captivating effect, and it can be strategically placed to provide shade in the aquarium.
7. Propagation: Water Sprite can be propagated through adventitious plants or spores. Adventitious plants form along the leaves and can be separated and replanted. The plant can also produce spores, leading to the formation of new ferns.
8. Challenges: Water Sprite is considered a hardy and undemanding plant. It may, however, require regular pruning to prevent overgrowth and maintain an attractive appearance.
Water Sprite, with its airy and delicate foliage, is an excellent choice for aquarists seeking a low-maintenance and visually appealing plant. Whether floating or anchored, this fern adds a touch of natural beauty to aquariums, creating a serene and enchanting underwater environment.