/Hornwort – A Beginner Friendly Freshwater Aquarium Plant

Hornwort – A Beginner Friendly Freshwater Aquarium Plant


Adding plants to any freshwater aquarium tank is a great idea. Plants like Hornwort not only add to the aesthetic beauty of the tank but are also a source of oxygen and contribute towards the health and happiness of fish. Aquarium plants do require care and attention. Therefore, beginner level aquarium tank owners are often intimated by the thought of adding plants to their tanks.

Hornwort plant is a beginner-friendly freshwater aquarium plant that is easy to grow and care for. In this article, we will go over all the details about it and answer questions like how to grow hornwort, is hornwort vascular or non-vascular, and how to care for hornwort plants properly. So, let’s get started.


Hornwort freshwater

Ceratophyllum demersum is the hornwort scientific name. This plant gets this name because of its spore capsules that are shaped like horns. Overall, the plant is a flowy and feathery species that loves to sway around in an aquarium tank. Hornwort can be found growing in a large number of countries around the globe. It is very easy to care for and does not require a lot of care or specific conditions.

Hornwort is a non-vascular plant that is also known by other names such as Horned Liverwort, Coontail, and Rigid Hornwort. They grow at a very rapid rate, therefore; and will only be a matter of time before you see this lovely plant swaying in your tank after the hornwort propagation.

It has moderate lighting needs and is very easy to care for. When fully grown, hornwort height can reach up to a height of ten feet. The optimal pH level for the plant is between 6.0 to 7.5. The best kH level is between five to fifteen.

Benefits Of Hornwort:

Hornwort benefits

Many people are under the impression that hornwort is merely a decorative plant that is added to the tank only the aesthetic reasons. However, in reality, there are plenty of hornwort aquarium benefits.

Since it is a fast-growing plant, it is the perfect choice for aquarium tanks where the owners are struggling to maintain a balance of nutrients. Hornwort plant grows at a rapid rate; therefore, it consumes the extra nutrients in the tank. Hence acting as a buffer inside the tank.

Due to its wavy leaves, hornwort is also a popular hiding spot for shrimps and fish in a tank. The aquatic animals feel secure when they hide in the leaves. At times, they also use it as a breeding place and hide their eggs in the leaves to protect them and keep them safe.

If you have herbivore fish in your tank, hornwort should surely be added to the tank. The leaves of the hornwort plant are hard to gobble as the leaves are a bit hard. But even if the fish end up eating the leaves, since it grows back quickly, you will barely notice a difference.

This plant also contributes to maintaining oxygen balance in the tank. A hornwort aquarium never faces oxygen deficiency or excess of carbon dioxide. This plant consumes carbon dioxide and produces oxygen as a result of photosynthesis. In a nutshell, it contributes to the overall wellness of the aquarium tank. It not only adds to the beauty of the tank but also makes sure that the tank environment and overall wellness of the aquatic animals residing in the tank are ensured.

Planting Hornwort:


Hornwort plants can be planted or left as a floating hornwort. It can be planted in the substrate of the aquarium tank or can be left floating freely. Which option is the right one for you totally depends on the type of aesthetic that you are looking for in your tank? The type of fish on the tank also determines whether the plant should be floated or not. If you have fish that need a hiding spot, think about planting the hornwort so it can act as a hiding spot for the animals.

When it’s planted, make sure that it is not planted too close to the filter inlet. It tends to take up as much space as it can and may end up blocking the filter inlet.

How to plant Hornwort?

The best way to plan it is to get it in the form of a plant rather than opting for hornwort seeds. If you wish to keep it floating, simply add it to your tank and let it float around. You will soon see new shoots stemming out and the plant growing inside your tank.

If you want to have hornwort planted in your tank, simply tie the roots using a string or a fishing line. Make sure that the ends are tied loosely. Then simply anchor the other end of the string or fishing line using a stone and place it in the area where you wish for the hornwort to grow. Within a couple of days, the plant will extend its root into the substrate and start flourishing.

Once it is planted, trimming hornwort is extremely important to ensure that it does not overgrow and take up the entire tank. To propagate the plant, simply take a piece of the plant and once it is introduced to the new tank, the plant life cycle will start all over again.

Common Problems:

dying plant

Some people complain of their hornwort dying. Some common reasons why the plant may be wilting or dying can be excess of light, not enough room for the plant, and too many water changes. To solve these problems, it is important to first get to the root of the issue. This way the reason behind the issue can be diagnosed. One reason can get rid of the issue once and for all by removing the root of the trouble.

Closely observe the plant and look for signs of damage. This can be the yellowing of leaves, too much needle shedding, browning of the plant edges, etc. Once the signs have been noted, you can search for the problems that cause these issues and get to the root of the problem accordingly.

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