This is the Ceratopteris species that has finer leaves, making the plant so nice and decorative. Besides its beauty this plant is very easy to keep, especially in low-tech aquariums. Ceratopteris thalictroides leaves can reach 60+ cm in length within a few weeks. One thing to take into considaration is only strong lighting, that may be achieved by adding one more fluorescent bulb. I recommend Ceratopteris thalictroides for all aquarists.
This plant is the fastest growing plant I have ever encountered. Water Sprites leaves are beautiful, but to get the best look from it you should make many plantings in an area so that they will compete with each other and create a bushy look, one large plant develops huge leaves which are not as attractive. It provides that perfectly foresty look. But don't be afraid to take a scissors to it regularly, don't allow it to invade the domain of it's neighbours.
C. thalictroides, water sprite or Indian Water Fern, are the names I've seen this plant sold under. As a kid starting into the hobby, I found it to be the easiest, most vigorous plant to grow. Starting from 2-3 plants, it would completely fill a 75 liter aquarium in about 2 weeks. Unfortunately, it is no longer available on the local market...too bad!
This is one of my favorite aquarium plants and looks very nice planted around decorations. Mine are still babies and seem to be growing at an OK rate without the addition of CO2, but I do have a little bit of plant fertilizer in my gravel of one tank and no fertilizer in the other. It has thin stems, with delicate fancy looking leaves. The leaves are a very light green with the stems being a bit darker. It has the potential to over shadow your other plants, which would make this a good plant for fish who prefer subdued lighting. It can also be placed on the surface of the water instead of being planted in the gravel, which provides surface dwellers like gouramis much appreciated cover. Overall, I recommend this plant, I think every aquarium should have some live plants and this would be a good one, because it doesn't require fertilizers or CO2.
This was the first plant I ever bought in my first aquarium. It is very easy to deal with. It is very fast growing, even without a lot of light. This is great if it is what you want, but I found myself trimming it constantly. I found it also put out a bunch of roots which can be a bit unsightly. The only problem I encountered with this plant was it had some die back when trimmed sometimes. Basically, the stem would turn brown/black and nothing would grow again from that stem. This did not always happen and was often covered up by new leaves quickly. This is a great plant to start with and looks great. The only reason I got rid of it is that it grew too fast for me to keep up with sometimes. I would not be surprised if one stem could fill up your whole tank in about a month, given the right conditions.
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