Plants and especially the Anacharis plant play a very important role in aquariums. They not only enhance the beauty of the aquarium but are also a natural and free source of oxygen. Fish love to play and hide in these aquarium plants and these plants also purify the water by absorbing nutrients like nitrates, nitrites, ammonia, etc.
Anacharis can be used for all these purposes and it has even more benefits than these. Anacharis is a great tank plant for beginners because it is easy to care for and hardy plants. This versatile plant is also a great breeder plant if you have guppies, loaches, or something like that. Anacharis also has a great capacity to absorb nutrients like nitrates, nitrites, and ammonia from the water, so it plays a great role in keeping tank water clean.
In this article, we will give you complete information about Anacharis and how to select it from the store? how to care about it? how to grow it? What are the optimal tank conditions for this plant to survive? Let’s read it completely to know the great facts about this super gorgeous plant.
Introduction of Anacharis
It belongs to the Hydrocharitaceae family. This plant resembles Elodea Canadensis and Hydrilla verticillata plants. However, there are little bit differences in these plants that help to distinguish between them.
Anacharis has larger leaves as compared with these two plants and it also has 4-6 whorls whereas Elodea canadensis has 3-4 whorls and Hydrilla verticillata usually has 5 whorls.
Anacharis Scientific Name
The scientific names of this plant are Egeria densa, formerly it was known as Elodea densa, so you may find it with both names in fish stores. This plant has different names, a few of them are Brazilian Elodea, Egeria, and Brazilian Waterweed. In some countries, it is also known as ‘’water pests’’ because it does grow so fast.
Anacharis Plant Habitat
This plant is native to Southeast Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay but now this plant is successfully grown in North and South America, and other areas of the world. Its natural habitat is ponds, lakes and where there is a low motion of water currents such as streams and canals.
In the natural habitat, this plant rises and falls depending on the temperature and time of day. During hot weather, the plant comes to the surface of the water, and during night time the plants sink.
It can thrive in a wide range of conditions related to carbon dioxide, nutrients, oxygen, and pH.
It is best to plant for those who have not good experience in growing aquarium plants because it is very easy to care for, low maintenance plants, and good for oxygenating the water column as well. It’s really a great plant to have.
Anacharis Plant Appearance
Anacharis can grow up to 4 meters. It has a long green stem with tiny green leaves covering the entire stem. The shade of green color sometimes varies from plan to plant and depends upon the water conditions. Anachari’s color varies from grass-like green to deep dark green.
The wild stem of Anacharis can grow up to 3 ft. tall with a thickness of almost 3mm. Leaves grow from nodes and their stems are tube-shaped.
Typically, there is a whorl of 3-6 leaves on each node. The lowest leaves of this plant have 3 whorls, while middle and upper leaves can have a whorl of 4 to 6. Leaves can be oval or oblong-shaped, whereas their length is between 1-4 cm and thickness is 2-5mm.
This plant has a thick cluster of leaves at the end of each branch and it has white stringy roots. In summer pale white flowers are produced in this plant, each flower has three petals.
How to buy Anacharis Plant
When you are going to choose an Anacharis for your tank or pond make sure to choose a healthy-looking plant. Never select a plant with brown or blacks leaves because it shows that the plant is about to die!
Mostly you will find this tree in a bunch of around 6-15 stems. In most stores you will find this plant without any roots, they usually cut its roots, and it’s absolutely fine because it will grow new roots in your aquarium.
If its stems are tied, remove the band or whatever is, because these bands can damage that part of the stem, and ultimately that part of plants can die. After removing the band check each stem properly for any signs of damage. If you find any damaged part, cut it carefully with a scissor or knife and once the stems are ready it is simple to grow in your aquarium.
How to Grow Anacharis Plant
Take a stem, remove the leaves from the bottom side, and bury it in 1-2 inches of substrate. Leave some space between each plant. If you grow these plants very close, they will fight for the nutrients and if you grow them too shallow, they may not root in the substrate and start floating.
It is mostly known as a background plant but you can grow it on sides or back or wherever you want. It’s a matter of your choice.
You can also float it in your tanks. Floating Anacharis has a fast growth rate as compared to planted Anacharis. You can flow it or you can stick it down on the substrate, the choice is yours.
How to care for Anacharis Plant?
Anacharis is really very easy to maintain and this plant is ideal for beginners. It is adaptable to a broad range of conditions.
This plant doesn’t need great care. As this plant grows very fast just trim it down with a knife or scissors when needed. The choice of trimming is up to you how much you want to maintain your plant.
Anacharis can even grow without light but its growth rate increased very much in the bright plant. It grows faster when it is floating because it is near to the light.
Anacharis can grow in a wide range of temperatures. It can grow well in warm waters as well as in cold water too. But the best temperature for this plant is between 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit.
Anacharis plant is adaptable to any water conditions but it like water with pH in between 6.5 – 7.5 and grow well in water with of hardness 3-8dKH
This plant has the property to grow in any light conditions It does not need light to grow but it does grow much faster in high light. So ensure optimum lighting if you want a fast growth rate of Anacharis. 2 watts of lighting per gallon is sufficient for this plant.
It is a hardy plant and can grow well in the beginning without adding fertilizers or supplements but if you want to grow it fast and want healthy Anacharis then add fertilizers or supplements after 1 or 2 weeks.
Anacharis Growth Rate
Anacharis growth rate is very fast and it grows all the way in the tank. If you are a beginner so we will highly recommend this plant to you. You will be amazed to know it grows around one inch every day. The stems of planted Anacharis grow towards light and then spread across the tank creating a forest-like look.
Anacharis has very delicate and fine white roots that start to grow in the substrate. You may find roots growing out from anywhere along the stem, but this is okay. They either grow towards the substrate or hang from the stem.
It grows actually fastest when it penetrates its roots in the substrate of your tank. When once it has grown its roots in the substrate it starts to grow even faster.
Anacharis is a hardy plant and grows incredibly fast. Few fish eat this plant, but it doesn’t matter that much as it is an inexpensive and fast-growing plant.
Goldfish is the number one predator of Anacharis. This is a good addition to its diet as it can easily restock. Other freshwater fish like tetras, gouramis are also reported to enjoy a nibble sometimes. Turtles are some of those aquarium animals who love flavoring Elodea.
Anacharis Plant Turning Brown
If your Anacharis leaves are turning yellow, brown, or pale brown, these are signs of nutrients deficiency. Nitrogen deficiency is most common, nitrogen is nitrates, nitrites, and ammonia in the water. Iron deficiency is the second major factor.
So, whenever you face such conditions, start giving recommended liquid fertilizers to your plant after a regular interval, and also start changing the water after a week.
Anacharis vs Hornwort
Both are a great and hardy plant and can grow in every type of light conditions. But there are some differences in this plant which are discussed here.
Anacharis grows very fast and blooms small white flowers whereas, hornwort also grows well but doesn’t get flowers. The goldfish seem to eat the anacharis but the hornwort is not as soft as anacharis so my gold doesn’t tend to eat it.
Anacharis Plant in Sand
Growing plants in the sand substrate can be challenging but a bit of thought growing in the substrate can prevent a plant from floating away. Sand is fine and it cannot hold the new plants at their place especially when the current is strong. Another issue that you will have to face while planting in the sand is that fish really love to dig and burrow into it and that’s really very disturbing.
Those plants can be successfully grown in the sandy substrate which has large root systems, and requires fewer nutrients through roots, and grows fast. Examples of the best plants for sandy tanks are Echinodorus and cryptocoryne species.
Those plants which have smaller root systems can easily leave their place when currents are high. The best tip to grow in the sandy substrate is to add a layer of planting substrate below the main layer of sand. It can help to insert plants and allows them thick substrate to root into and it will also provide them nutrients through roots, but still burrowing fish will disturb this layer.