Skip to content

How to grow hornwort (ceratophyllum demersum)

  1. Origin
  2. Hornwort in aquariums
  3. How to grow hornwort
  4. How fast does hornwort grow?
  5. Does hornwort need substrate?
  6. How do I anchor hornwort?
  7. How do you propagate hornwort?
  8. Does hornwort need fertilizer?
Hornwort in an aquarium
Hornwort is notorious for carrying pest snails as seen here

Hornwort origin

Hornwort, is an aquatic plant that typically originates from fresh and brackish water. It has a cosmopolitan distribution, meaning it can be found in most parts of the world, often at the edges of lake beds and streams. Research has traced its migration path back to Europe, North Africa and East Asia originally, but today it can been seen on virtually every continent except Antarctica. Its unique composition along with its ability to spread easily make this species adaptable to a wide range of aquatic environments. Despite being non-native to many locations, Ceratophyllum demersum is now widely accepted as part of various ecosystems around the world.

Hornwort in aquariums

Its long, thin stems and small green needles make it a popular choice when stocking aquariums. Not only does hornwort look beautiful in any set-up, but it also serves many practical purposes. It acts as a powerful natural filter for waste and nutrient buildup in tanks, creating better water quality – this also has benefits for fish health. Additionally, it provides shelter for small tank inhabitants and can help decrease stress levels. The ease of its maintenance makes it a great addition to any aquarium.

How to grow hornwort

Hornwort is high adaptability in regards to growing conditions; its ideal conditions include taking up residence within temperatures between 5-30°C (41-86°F), a pH range of 5.5-7.5 and brightness ranging from low to medium light. When it comes to water movement, C. demersum takes well to it as long as the current isn’t too strong or erratic; this allows the plant to float comfortably while still getting nutrients from the tides and turbulence. As a stemless plant with floating leaves, C. demersum is an excellent choice for aquarists looking for an attractive and stable aquatic plant that will make tranquil surroundings even more serene.

How fast does hornwort grow?

Hornwort is capable of growing very quickly — between 1-2 cm per day, but also increasing its areal cover by over 85% under optimal conditions in just three weeks. Researchers believe that this rapid growth rate has enabled hornwort to become so widely distributed despite the difficulties posed by water bodies’ environmental changes.

Does hornwort need substrate?

While it does not require a substrate to survive, it’s actually beneficial to give it one – this will help keep it in place and promote plant growth.

How do I anchor hornwort?

The most common way to anchor hornwort is by using lead strips around the base of the plant or by gluing the plant directly to an object like a rock.

How do you propagate hornwort?

Propagating hornwort, is a relatively easy process that can be achieved through many techniques. The most common way to propagate it is by splitting the plant into several small “clumps” or individual stems with roots attached. This can be done either by pulling the stems apart carefully or cutting them cleanly with scissors.

Once divided, these pieces should be placed in an aquarium with temperatures between 68-77°F and a pH level of 5-8 for best results. Submersing these parts in water will encourage rapid establishment and growth of new roots and offshoots of the plant.

Another method of propagation is taking cuttings from the top or sides of individual stems, allowing them to float freely on the water surface where they will quickly take root. For optimal growth, provide medium light and regular fertilizing every two weeks or so to help promote lush foliage.

Does hornwort need fertilizer?

While most aquatic and garden plants do benefit from fertilizer hornwort is an exception to this rule. Unlike other species of aquatic plants, hornwort requires no extra nutrients and can in fact be damaged by nutrient-rich water sources. Hornwort does respond to C02 injections and grows more densely.

Was this article helpful?