Introduction to Hornwort

Hornwort is a very popular submerged aquatic plant among the aquarium enthusiasts due to their hair like foliage and hardiness. It is also known as Coontail, cedar moss, fish blankets, horn weed, morass weed, rigid hornwort etc. It is native to North America but it has now a worldwide distribution due to the aquarium and pond trade. It occurs in ponds, lakes, ditches, quiet streams and marshes with moderate to high nutrient levels where the water bottom contains mud, some sand or rocky materials.   It generally occupies 0.5 to 15.5m depth ranges of the water body. It has muscular and hair-like foliage that helps oxygenate and clarify the water as well as keep algae growth to a minimum.

Hornwort’s Overview

Hornwort is a submerged freshwater perennial aquatic plant. It is rootless but the modified base leaves act as roots that help to anchor the plant in sediment or around obstructions in flowing water. It has long, smooth and delicate stems that can grow up to 3 m in length and 2 mm in diameter with 0-3 branches per node. The stems are suspended or anchored by branches buried in sediment. The stems bear green, forked leaves that are arranged in whorls of 7-12. It develops rhizoids if this plant is anchored in the substrate. It grows very fast in medium-hard to hard water with temperature of 860F. It does well without an extra CO2 supplementation.  It is monoecious plant that produces male and female flowers in the same plant. Flowers are produced during the period from July to September. The flower is small and 2 mm long with 8 or more greenish brown petals. It produces 4-5 mm long ovoid fruit with three spines, of which, two spines are basal and one is apical. Hornwort can easily propagate by vegetative fragmentation. By late autumn it can also develop buds which sink to the bottom of the water during the winter and form new plants in spring.

It provides important habitat for many invertebrates and fish year-round. It makes a good competitor with algae. Hornwort has allelopathetic characteristics as it excretes substances that inhibit the growth of blue green algae. It is compatible with all fish especially for baby fish. It also provides food source for small fish and its spiky needles generally keep the adult fish away from the baby fish.

Scientific name: Ceratophyllum demursum

Common name: Hornwort, Coontail, cedar moss, fish blankets, horn weed, morass weed, rigid hornwort

Origin: North America, South America, Eurasia

Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons

Care Level: Easy

Propagation: Vegetative fragmentation, Seeds

Maximum size: 3 m

Water PH: 6.0-7.5

Water Hardness: 5-15 dGH

Water Temperature: 59-860 F

Lighting: Low to Moderate

Growth: Fast

Background

Hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum) was first discovered by Linnaeus. It belongs to the family Ceratophyllaceae under order Ceratophyllales of class Magnoliopsida.  The genus ‘Ceratophyllum’ is derived from Greek ‘Keras’ meaning horn and ‘phyllon’ meaning leaf, hence horn like leaf while the species is derived from Latin ‘demersus’ meaning under water.  It is listed on IUCN Red Data Book as Least Concern (LC).

Housing and care

Hornwort is a very popular aquarium plant that requires moderate to strong light for proper growth. It does well without an extra CO2 supplementation.  Due to their rapid growth it requires constant pruning to keep it in check, just cut off excess growth with a pair of sharp scissors. It rapidly depletes nutrients if it is kept with other plants. In this case it requires some additions of fertilizer to the water column on a weekly basis. It prefers clear water with pH of 6.0-7.5, hardness of 5-15 dGH and temperature of 59-860 F. The tank bottom should have mud, sandy mud or muddy gravel. Hornwort has allelopathetic characteristics as it excretes substances that inhibit the growth of blue green algae. It is compatible with all fish especially for baby fish. It also provides food source for small fish and its spiky needles generally keep the adult fish away from the baby fish. Its fluffy, filamentous, bright-green leaves provide an excellent spawning habitat for fishes.

Other awesomeness with Hornwort

Hornwort for Sale & Availability

Hornwort is the most popular aquarium plant. It is very common in the water garden industry, where it is used as an oxygenating plant for small water features and ponds. It can adapt to almost any water type and can tolerate a wide extreme of temperatures. It is available in nearly any local pet fish store and online vendor that sells fish. If you want to buy your hornwort from home online, look below to buy today!

Propagation

Hornwort can easily propagate by vegetative fragmentation. It naturally grows side shoots off the main stem and these can be pinched off to grow another new plant. Sections of the main stem can also be broken off and both pieces grow new plants. By late autumn it can also develop buds at the tip of the stem which sink to the bottom of the water during the winter and form new plants in spring. It also rarely reproduces sexually through seeds production in still-water habitats in some years. Seeds sink to the bottom of the water and stay there during the winter and forms new plants in spring.

We sell Hornwort (Ceratophyllum demursum)

In the market for some Hornwort? well we are now selling it right here on Aquatic Mag. You can can also get a 10% off discount just by sharing this post.

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