Ceratopteris

Ferns are a very ancient group of plants that have largely preserved the features of their distant ancestors, except that they have become smaller in size. These plants are characterized by increased endurance, they adapt well to various conditions of detention. For its unpretentiousness and beautiful appearance are appreciated by aquarists around the world.

General information

Indian aquatic fern (Ceratopteris thalictroides) is a popular aquarium plant from the Pteris family. On sale you can find several closely related species that are difficult to distinguish, but are named the same because the conditions of detention are identical for them. The view itself is quite young. It was isolated in 2010 from horned ferns after genetic studies showing a difference in the number of chromosomes.

Pantropic species, this means that it can be found in tropical and subtropical regions on different continents: in Southeast Asia, Central and South America, Tanzania, Northern Australia.

It lives everywhere. Lives good on the wet banks of rivers and streams, calmly tolerates complete immersion underwater, can grow without even rooting in the ground. The plant is found in swamps and rice fields. Thus, fern prefers standing reservoirs with a high content of organic compounds. It grows in both illuminated and shady areas, at an altitude of up to 1300 m above sea level. Often forms dense thickets in the roots of mangroves.

Ceratopteris thalictroides
In vivo, it is an annual plant, but in an aquarium, culture can be maintained on an ongoing basis. It has an interesting feature to consume various compounds from water, so it is a kind of filter.

It has several morphological forms, the most popular of which is a variation with dissected leaves. It is universally recommended for keeping in an aquarium because the species is unassuming and growing rapidly. However, problems can be hidden here. Rapid growth leads to the fact that the fern takes away living space from other plants, so large leaves need to be pruned periodically and replaced with overgrown bushes to young new ones.

On the island of Madagascar, in New Guinea and in Vietnam, the local population eats as a salad. In some Asian countries jewelry is made from the leaves of Indian fern ( Ceratopteris ).

Appearance

Indian fern ( Ceratopteris ) is an attractive aquatic plant with a short vertical rhizome. Under suitable conditions, the size of the plant can reach 40-50 cm. The leaves are finely divided, the color varies from light to saturated dark green. Color depends, first of all, on the level of lighting and the content of nutrients in the water. Leaves form a dense lush bush. The growth rate is high. At the edges of the leaf, daughter plants can develop. The root system is branched.

Care

Ceratopteris is not the most difficult plant to maintain. It is best to plant it in the center of the aquarium or near the side walls. It is also possible to grow fern in separate pots with a nutrient substrate.

If you use this type of fern in the design of the aquarium, you need to take care of the appropriate volume, because the size of an adult plant can be up to 50 cm. Despite the developed root system, the roots themselves easily break, so the soil should not be very dense – for example, you can use large river sand or special baked clay soil (Tetra ActiveSubstrate). It is advisable to put it in a layer of 4-5 cm. It will be fine if the soil is also silty.

Ferns are very fond of the high content of organic substances in the substrate.

Lighting is recommended bright, this will stimulate plant growth. The duration of daylight hours is at least 12 hours.

Indian fern responds well to the application of CO2, although this element is not required, as is the fertilizing of the plant with mineral fertilizers.

This tropical species prefers warm water from 24-28 ° C. When the temperature drops to 20 ° C, plant growth stops, the color fades. Ideally, water hardness should not exceed 6 °. In very hard water, the plant feels bad and often dies. Acidity should be between 5 and 6.5 units.

Water changes can be made not too often, fern loves water rich in humic substances. Compatible with many calm fish species.

Breeding

The main method of propagation in the Indian fern is vegetative. As they grow on large old leaves, daughter plants appear. When young ferns grow several leaves and develop a root of roots, they can be separated from the mother plant. They are lighter than water, therefore they float, and further development occurs on the surface of the water. Subsequently, you can leave the plant floating or root it in the ground.

Sexual reproduction in ferns is a rather complicated process, it can be carried out in a paludarium or wet greenhouse. But in practice, aquarists rarely use this method.

The plant can be grown in a paludarium.