Name: Ceratopteris cornuta
Origin: Tropical Regions
I used to have some of this plant floating on the top of my tank. When I first got it, it had grown in the ground so when it floated it was on its side. Over the course of a month it had sent out longer leaves and floated flat, with roots hanging down and leaves out in a star shape on the surface. I got it for some fish who always spent the time up at the top of the tank but they got scared of it. It multiplied and grow huge in the course of 2 months, so I had to give it back to the fish store. I didn't plant any in my gravel bed, but had a lot of luck with it floating around in my mild current. It grows fast and multiplies when it floats. It looks cool if kept under control, but blocks out a lot of light. A good starter plant!
This plant is a fast grower, be it floating or planted in substrates. Will grow finer leaves given high lighting. Can be easily propagated by snipping the stems and planting them or by snipping baby plantlets growing along the stems. At times it will shoot a horizontal 'runner' along substrates and grow vertically (like creepers). Easy and great plant for set ups or cycling.
I received some of this plant through mail order and it arrived with most of the stems bent or broken. When I put it in the tank the damaged stems quickly formed plantlets. Only two plants large enough to keep in the gravel survived. However one died during a four day black-out to get rid of some green water (but not before sprouting more plantlets). I now have dozens of plantlets but only one plant (with only one stem) large enough to keep in the gravel. It seems to easily stress but is very resilient.
Indian Fern was one of the first plants I had 44 years ago. I kept two local stores supplied with clippings. I didn't make any money off it, but with only one tank and a few fish I was able to get my fish food for free.
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