By: Amy Grant
Ceratopteris thalictroides, or water sprite plant, is indigenous to tropical Asia where it is sometimes used as a food source. In other areas of the world, you will find water sprite in aquariums and small ponds as a natural habitat for fish. Read on for information on growing water sprite in aquatic settings.
What is a Water Sprite Plant?
The water sprite is an aquatic fern found growing in shallow waters and muddy areas, often in rice paddies. In some Asian countries, the plant is harvested for use as a vegetable. Plants grow to 6-12 inches (15-30 cm.) in height and 4-8 inches (10-20 cm.) across.
Naturally growing water sprite is an annual but cultivated water sprite in aquariums can live for several years. They are sometimes called water horn ferns, Indian ferns, or Oriental waterferns a and may be found listed under Ceratopteris siliquosa.
Growing Water Sprite in Aquariums
There are a couple different leaf variables when it comes to water sprite plants. They may be grown floating or submerged. Floating foliage is often thick and fleshy while submerged plant foliage may be either flat like pine needles or stiff and frilly. Like all ferns, water sprite reproduces through spores which are located on the undersides of the leaves.
These make good starter plants in aquariums. They have lovely decorative foliage that grows rapidly and help to prevent algae by utilizing excess nutrients.
Water Sprite Care
Water sprite plants normally grow very quickly but depending upon tank conditions may benefit from the addition of CO2. They require a medium amount of light and a pH of 5-8. Plants can tolerate temperatures of between 65-85 degrees F. (18-30 C.).
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