Name: Limnobium laevigatum
Origin: Tropical America
Limnobium is a wonderful floating plant that is useful in many aquarium applications. One of my favorite uses of this plant is to provide a floating root system in biotope/natural aquascapes that require tops and restrict the use of genera such as Pistia. Killifish and Anabantoids love this stuff as well. The thick root systems and shade provided by this plant makes it a perfect choice for people wishing to keep and breed these types of fish both indoors or outdoors in buckets and ponds. I've kept it in nutrient poor aquaria with moderate light with some success. This plant flourishes in tanks with high light, good water column supplementation, and good but gentle circulation. If kept in favorable conditions, a little bit of Limnobium will cover a 300 or 350 L tank in a couple weeks and will provide attractive little flowers. I highly recommend this species for all but the most dedicated and light-hungry planted tank.
I have used these plants on several occasions. I believe it helps soak up nitrates and phosphates as my algae cleared up with some of these in the tank. Good plant to have if keeping hatchet fish or for fry, as the roots can provide a bit of cover. It will split into baby plants and the older plants soon seem to die of for some reason. A good plant to try.
While it may be an attractive aquarium plant, Limnobium laevigatum is a very serious non-native invasive aquatic pest in the USA...it should not be propagated and intrastate transport of this pest is prohibited.
There is some confusion as to Amazon Frogbit, Limnobium laevigatum, and European Frogbit. The European variety is indeed restricted in many places in the USA, however the Amazon variety is not. It would be best to check with your local or state environmental office before obtaining this or any potentially invasive species, be it plant or animal.
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