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Vallisneria spiralis
Tape Grass (Val)

 Age of Aquariums > Aquarium Plants

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Vallisneria_spiralis_2.jpg (16kb)
Photo Credit: Ernie Hua

Name: Vallisneria spiralis
Origin: Tropical & Subtropical Regions

Care Gravel Light
Easy Plain Medium


Tape Grass is a fast growing, grass-like plant. As it crowns it must not be buried. The light level should be high, the water chemistry is not critical. This is a good plant to choose if you live in an area with alkaline water because of its tolerance to it. Twisted vallis ('Torta') may be a variety rather than a separate species.

Contributed by Niall Richardson

Tape Grass (or refered to as Vals in some stores) are very easy to care for. I have them in a 75 L tank with tetras and cories, and the fish absolutely love them, as they provide a comfortable place to hide. My 3 blackskirt tetras claim the space between them and the glass as their hideaway during the night. I had them for about 3 months and the leaves were over 1.5 meters in length before I finally cut them back. Beware though, these leaves are long lasting and I would not recommend them in tanks with a severe algae problem. A safe starter plant would be Elodea. If algae is present on the leaves, running them between your fingers will do the job without damage to the plant.No special equipment is necessary for these plants. However, a simple CO2 diffuser, such as the Nutrafin CO2 system built by Hagen, and some fertilizer will make this plant absolutely thrive. Happy plant keeping!

Contributed by Nathan C.

I bought one of these plants about 2 months ago and it has already made 4 other plants almost the same size as the mother plant. The growth is amazing...I have found that the leaves are getting way too long for the height of my tank so they curl up at the surface.

Contributed by Adam Sutherland

When a leaf of this species grows too high for the tank don’t simply cut the shoot down to size. Rather, cut the entire ‘leaf’ off. If you just cut a piece of leaf then the rest of the leaf will slowly rot and eventually fall off (or waste off in brown clumpy stuff), it will work but will take longer than just cutting off the leaf. Cutting the shoot allows new shoots to grow faster.

Contributed by Ben Hilleli

Grows like crazy, propagates like mad. Silly me bought three of these and spread them around my aquarium. Wow, the runners just took off and my three plants very quickly turned into over ten! Now I have to prune them with allmost every other water change. Tip: Watch out! Snails seem to love this plant. In fact, it was one of those plants that brought the snails with them from the pet store. So remember, when you buy one or are transfering one to another tank, VERY carefully inspect the roots. Pick off the snails and vigorously shake the roots in water to dislodge any eggs that might be in there.

Contributed by a visitor

I have these in a African tank. They are very easy to grow. The Africans do nibble them a bit, but not a lot and they can stand the high alkaline water. I have had them for about 1 month and have potted some of its babies making me 4 baby plants. I hope to replant in the same aquarium as a cycle.

Contributed by Ryan Hampshire

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