Aquarium Garden

Through building and maintaining beautiful nature aquaria people re-learn the intricate connections between forms of life, plants, fish, microorganism and humans. Riches and beauty come from harmony, from balance. Aquaria are great teachers of this truth. Takashi Amano


Cladophora aegagropila

Cladophora aegagropila (Moss Ball) is not really a plant, but a ball of algae, so it is a decorative exception from the rule about avoiding algae at all costs. It is normally found in shallow lakes, where the movement of the waves forms it into a sphere. In an aquarium it must be turned regularly to keep it in shape. C. aegagropila can be divided into smaller pieces, which become spherical with time, or which form a carpet, if attached to roots and stones. Protected in parts of Japan.
Height; 3-10cm Width; 3-10cm Light; very low-high Temp; 5-28'C
pH; 6-8.5 Growth; very slow Demands; Easy

Text from Tropica
Photo by Dusko Bojic

Microsorum pteropus

Microsorum pteropus is a water fern which should be grown on a root or stone, attached with fishing line until it has gained a hold. If it is planted in the bottom, do not cover the rhizome because it will rot. Easy to propagate by splitting the horizontal rhizome. A hardy plant which grows in all conditions. The black spots under the leaves are sporangia (reproductive organs), not signs of disease as many believe.
Height; 15-30 cm Width; 12-20 cm Light; very low-high Temp; 18-30'C
pH; 5-8 Growth; Slow Demands; Very Easy

Text from Tropica
Photo by Dusko Bojic.


Anubias barteri var. nana

Anubias barteri var. nana is a small, attractive plant which thrives in all conditions. It grows slowly, and the leaves survive for several years, giving slow-growing algae the chance to become established. The best result is achieved by planting on a stone or tree root. Fishing line can be used to attach the plant until it gains a hold. If planted on the bottom the rhizome must not be covered because it tends to rot. It flowers frequently under water. It is not eaten by herbivorous fish.

Height; 5-15cm Width; 8cm Light; very low-medium Temp; 20-30'C
Growth; Very slow
Demands; very easy
Text from
Photos by Dusko Bojic.

Echinodorus bleheri ; Amazon Sword

Echinodorus bleheri is undemanding and beautiful. A nutritious bottom promotes growth, but the plant needs pruning to prevent it depriving plants underneath of light. E. bleheri does well even in poorly illuminated aquariums, as it grows towards the light. It is a hardy and easy solitary plant for both beginners and the more experienced with quite large aquariums. It has been sold under the name ''Paniculatus''.
Height; 20-50cm Width; 25-40cm Light; low-very high Temp; 20-30'C
Growth; Fast Demands; Easy

Text from
Photo by Dusko Bojic.

Microsorum pteropus ''Narrow''

Java Fern, Microsorum pteropus is a highly variable species, and new varieties are easily bred. M. pteropus ''Narrow'' has narrower leaves, which grow at a less acute angle from the stem than the normal M. pteropus. The plant attaches readily to roots and stones. A decorative plant, which is also suitable for smaller aquariums.
Height 10-20cm Width 10-20cm Light; very low-high Temp; 18-30'C
Growth; Slow Demands; Very Easy

NOTE; The black spots under the leaves are sporangia (reproductive organs), not signs of disease as many believe. You can see on this photo newly developed shots.

My plants are from
Photo by Dusko Bojic.


Water Sprite

Ceratopteris thalictroides.
This plant normally grows fast, but the addition of CO2 may be necessary to promote growth. In small open aquariums it can grow out of the aquarium and form beautiful surface leaves. The finely branched leaves are very decorative and provide good contrast to other leaf shapes. In good light Ceratopteris thalictroides grows fast and helps prevent algae by consuming large amounts of nutrients. This makes it a good starter plant in small aquariums.
Height 15-30 cm Width 10-20 cm Light high-very high Temp 20-28'C
pH 5-9 Growth VERY FAST Demands EASY
Photo by Dusko Bojic.
I use plants from

Java Moss

Vesicularia dubyana.
Java moss is the common name for Vesicularia dubyana, a hardy plant which makes few demands on the water or light. Java moss grows willingly on any surface, so it is ideal for decorating stones and tree roots or concealing installations in the aquarium. Attach the plant with a piece of fishing line until it has gained a hold on the bottom. If its growth becomes too luxuriant, it can be pruned with scissors. In breeding aquariums Java moss is a wonderful hiding place for the young fish.
Height 5 cm width 5cm Light very low-very high Temp 15-28'C
pH 5-9 Growth SLOW Demands VERY EASY
Photo by Dusko Bojic


Hygrophila corymbosa "Siamensis 53B"

A variety of Hygrophila corymbosa ''Siamensis'', but more bushy with narrower leaves. The difference is less noticeable in older plants. Under water the leaves are light-green and dense. In open aquariums Hygrophila corymbosa ''Siamensis 53B'' grows easily above the water surface, where it forms blue-green leaves and small blue flowers.
Height: 15-30 cm Width: 10-15 cm Light: low-very high Temp.: 20-28'C
Hardness: very soft-hard pH: 5,5-8 Growth: MEDIUM Demands: EASY

My plants are from Tropica
Photo by Dusko Bojic

Hygrophila polysperma

Hygrophila polysperma is one of the hardiest aquarium plants available. It is particularly good for beginners because it grows in almost all conditions. It normally grows so fast that it is important to prevent it crowding out other plants. The shoots must be pinched out regularly. Leaves lying on the surface form small new plants. H. polysperma varies considerably in leaf shape and colour, depending to some extent on the light supplied.
Height: 25-40cm Width: 10-20cm Light: low-very high Temp.: 18-30'C
Hardness: soft-very hard pH: 5-9 Growth: VERY FAST Demands: VERY EASY

Text from Tropica
Photo by Dusko Bojic


Egeria densa

Egeria densa is a good plant for beginners, and its rapid growth helps create a balance in the aquarium from the start. It can also help prevent algae because it absorbs a great number of nutrients from the water. The plant secretes antibiotic substances which can help prevent blue-green algae (a type of bacteria). The growth rate depends largely on the amount of light and nutrition available. Growth does not stop in unfavourable conditions, but the plant turns light in colour and the tendrils grow thin.
Height : 40-100 cm Width : 3-5 cm Light : medium - very high Temp.: 10-26'C
Hardness : very soft - very hard pH : 5 - 10 Growth ; VERY FAST Demands : EASY

Text from Tropica
Photo by Dusko Bojic


Alternanthera reineckii "roseafolia"

The purple colour underneath Alternanthera reineckii ''roseafolia'' leaves provides an effective contrast to the many green plants in an aquarium - particularly when planted in groups. Good light encourages the leaves to turn red. Most Alternanthera species are difficult to grow, but this one is relatively undemanding. Easy to propagate by nipping off the terminal bud and planting it in the bottom. This also makes the mother plant more bushy, because more side shoots are formed.
Height : 25-50 cm Width : 10-15 cm Light : medium-very high Temp. : 17-28'C
Hardness : soft-hard pH : 5-8 cm Growth : MEDIUM Demands : MEDIUM

Text from Tropica
Photo by Dusko Bojic

Hygrophila corymbosa "angustifolia"

An undemanding plant for large aquariums, which thrives in almost any conditions. If it is not pruned it easily grows above the water surface, where it forms dark-green leaves and beautiful blue flowers. This makes it particularly suitable for open aquariums. It is most beautiful in groups, but the shoots must not be planted too close, because this will prevent light reaching the lower leaves.
Under water Hygrophila corymbosa ''angustifolia'' has relatively narrow leaves which are grouped close together. Plants sold in the shops are normally cultivated above water, and have rounder leaves with larger gaps between them.
Height : 30-60cm Width : 20-35cm Light : medium-very high Temp. : 20-30'C
Hardness : very soft-hard pH : 5,5-8 Growth : FAST Demands : EASY

Text from Tropica
Photo by Dusko Bojic

Hygrophila polysperma ' Rosanervig '

Hygrophila polysperma 'Rosanervig' is normally an undemanding plant. But if you want deep-pink leaves you must provide intensive light. The distinctive colouring of the light leaf ribs is probably caused by a virus which prevents chlorophyll from being produced in the cells around the leaf ribs, making them white. However, this virus does not affect other plants in the aquarium.
Height : 20-30+ cm Width : 6-10 cm Light : high-very high Temp. : 18-28'C
Hardness : soft-hard pH : 5-8 Growth : MEDIUM Demands : MEDIUM

Text from Tropica
Photo by Dusko Bojic

Cardamine lyrata

Cardamine lyrata is actually a marsh plant. But it is also a familiar aquarium plant which thrives under water. A characteristic trailing growth form makes it highly decorative, and ''water roots'' often form on the plant itself. Plant in groups, and make sure the water temperature does not exceed 28 degrees for long (this makes the leaves much smaller and the plant more leggy). Also suitable in garden ponds in the summer.
Height : 20-50 cm Width : 15-30 cm Light : medium- very high Temp. : 15-24'C
Hardness : soft-hard pH : 6-8 Growth : FAST Demands : EASY
Text from Tropica
Photo by Dusko Bojic


Bacopa australis

Bacopa australis was discovered in southern Brazil (australis = southern), and it does not come from Australia, as might otherwise be assumed from its name. Like the other Bacopa species, B. australis is also easy to grow in an aquarium. Under certain conditions it creeps across the bottom to form an elegantly decorative light green cushion. When B. australis grows in a good light, the leaves become reddish. It is easily propagated by taking side shoots and planting them in the substrate.
Height : 7-30 cm. Temp. : 15-32'C. pH 6-8. Hardness tolerance : ALL
Growth FAST. Demands VERY EASY.

Text from . All plants of mine are from Tropica.
Photo by Dusko Bojic