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Mini «Jurassic-garden» - ferns in your aquarium Live plants make a tremendous difference in an aquarium. Besides the fact that live plants look better and the fish look better with them in a tank, live plants actually make a tank healthier for the fish. Live plants utilize the nitrates in a tank’s water as their source of food. Having good, healthy growing live plants in a tank will significantly help to reduce the nitrate level in a tank, and the lower the nitrates the happier the fish. Consider the most popular forms of aquatic ferns.
Salvinia spp. in Java. Three species of Salvinia, S. natans, S. cucullata and S. molesta, are found in open water and ricefields in Java. Under Javanese conditions sporocarp formation is rarely observed in S. natans; S. cucullata produces abundant sporocarps but no germination of spores has been described so far; S. molesta is a sterile species forming sporocarps with abortive sporangia.
Pteridaceae. Ceratopteris thalictroides (Linne, 1821).This plant normally grows fast, but the addition of CO2 may be necessary to promote growth. In small open aquariums it can grow out of the aquarium and form beautiful surface leaves. The finely branched leaves are very decorative and provide good contrast to other leaf shapes. In good light Ceratopteris thalictroides grows fast and helps prevent algae by consuming large amounts of nutrients. This makes it a good starter plant in small aquariums.
Pteridaceae. Ceratopteris cornuta (P.Beauvois, 1830).Water Sprite (Ceratopteris cornuta). This variable fern is the major floating plant for most indoor aquaria. In the aquarium it's so fast-growing and undemanding that it gains a place on even a rank beginner's list. Its "leaves" — fronds, actually, since this is a true fern — and rootlets stabilize the bubble nests of labyrinth fishes.
Pteridaceae. Ceratopteris pteridoides (Hooker, 1905). Ceratopteris pteridoides - plants floating or rooted. Aquatic to semiaquatic; in swamps, bogs, canals, ponds, lakes, ditches, marshes; 0-25 m; Habitated: Fla., LA.; West Indies; Central America; South America; SE Asia in Vietnam. Ceratopteris pteridoides is usually easily recognized by its sterile leaf morphology, which varies considerably with habitat. Leaves intermediate between sterile and fertile are fairly common, with various degrees of laminar development of the fertile segments. Some fertile leaves have quite broad segments with rows of sporangia along the margins only.
Polypodiaceae. Microsorum pteropus (Blume, 1933). Microsorum pteropus is a water fern from Asia, 15-30 cm tall, which should be grown on a root or stone, attached with fishing line until it has gained a hold. If it is planted in the bottom, do not cover the rhizome because it will rot. Easy to propagate by splitting the horizontal rhizome. A hardy plant which grows in all conditions. The black spots under the leaves are sporangia (reproductive organs), not signs of disease as many believe.
Lomariopsidaceae. Bolbitis heudelotii (Fee, 1934). Bolbitis heudelotii is found growing naturally submerged on sandy riverbeds throughout tropical Africa, specifically Ethiopia and South Africa. It grows similarly to Java Fern, and is very light tolerant; doing well in various lighting conditions. Propagation is through splitting the rhizome into halves.
Azollaceae. Azolla caroliniana (Wildenow, 1810) (Carolina Azolla, Carolina Mosquito Fern, Water velvet) is a species of Azolla native to the Americas, in eastern North America from southern Ontario southward, and from the east coast west to Wisconsin and Texas, and in the Caribbean, and in Central and South America from southeastern Mexico (Chiapas) south to northern Argentina and Uruguay. It is a freshwater aquatic fern, with scale-like fronds 5–10 mm long, green to reddish, most often reddish in strong light and in winter. They are covered in fine hairs that give it the appearance of velvet.It is able to fix nitrogen from the air by means of symbiotic cyanobacteria. It can survive winter water temperatures of 5 °C, with optimum summer growth between 25-30 ºC.
Azollaceae. Azolla filiculoides (Lamarck, 1783) (Water Fern) is a species of Azolla, native to warm temperate and tropical regions of the Americas as well as most of the old world including Asia and Australia. It is a floating aquatic fern, with very fast growth, capable of spreading over lake surfaces to give complete coverage of the water in only a few months. Each individual plant is 1-2 cm across, green tinged pink, orange or red at the edges, branching freely, and breaking into smaller sections as it grows. It is not tolerant of cold temperatures, and in temperate regions it largely dies back in winter, surviving by means of submerged buds. Like other species of Azolla, it can fix nitrogen from the air.
Information sources used: http://www.fishchannel.com/fish-blogs/fish-biz-buzz/2012/aquatic-ferns.aspx http://s272.photobucket.com/user/Nickkkp/media/236.jpg.html http://aqua36.ru/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Salvinia-auriculata2.jpg http://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/48444 http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/dailypix/2003/Apr/23/hpa2_b.jpg http://tropica.com/en/plants/plantdetails/Ceratopteristhalictroides(005A)/4405 http://www.skepticalaquarist.com/ceratopteris-cornuta http://www.web.forumacvarist.ro/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Ceratopteris-cornuta.jpg http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=200003557 http://www.web.forumacvarist.ro/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Ceratopteris-pteridoides.jpg http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/89/Microsorum_pteropus.jpg http://tropica.com/en/plants/plantdetails/Microsorumpteropus(008)/4408 http://www.aquascapingworld.com/plantpedia/full_view_plant.php?item_id=99 http://www.aquascapingworld.com/images/bolbitis%20heudelotii2.jpg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azolla_caroliniana http://www.clemson.edu/extension/horticulture/nursery/remediation_technology/constructed_wetlands/images/azolla_clsp.gif http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azolla_filiculoides http://www.aphotoflora.com/images/fern_azolla_filiculoides_water.jpg http://www.botanicgardens.ie/gspc/targets/images/azolla1.jpg
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