Hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum), commonly known as hornwort, rigid hornwort, coontail, or coon’s tail, is a species of Ceratophyllum. It is a submerged, free-floating aquatic plant, native to all continents except Antarctica and is also a popular aquarium plant.
Its hardy nature makes it ideal for beginners or those looking to introduce a non-fussy plant to their tank.
One of the main reasons that people add hornwort is for its aesthetic. Adding plants to your tank increases the amount of color, whether it is at the top as a floating plant or grounded in the substrate.
It also gives your aquarium a new dynamic as it sways in the current. What people do not often consider is how it keeps your tank healthier.
As a plant, hornwort photosynthesises. The main byproduct of photosynthesis is oxygen. As a result, it will oxygenate the tank for your fish. Furthermore, it provides areas of shelter for fish looking to escape each other or the light. Plants like this may be used as a nursery for fry as well; another great plant for this is java moss.
Finally, it helps improve the quality of the water. It takes in small amounts of the waste that fish produce, as well as nitrogen compounds, keeping the water cleaner and lightening the workload for the filter. Lastly, the allelopathic abilities that we have already mentioned above, can inhibit the growth of blue-green algae (cyanobacteria). This is a type of algae that can quickly get out of control in conditions with too much light or lots of organic waste.
Typically, one plant will have many stems, creating the look of multiple plants. Hornwort lacks true roots, but certain leaves function to help anchor the plant in the substrate. It may also grow rhizoids (hair-like roots) to help anchor the plant.
If left to its own devices, anchored stems could grow all the way up to the surface of your tank with 0-3 branches per node. In a natural habitat, it can reach 10-feet long and 1/10-inch in diameter.
Leaves (or needles) are produced in whorls of six to twelve. They tend to fork once or twice but remain relatively short, generally less than one inch.
In most instances this is a dark green plant, though lighter green shades can occur in warmer environments. Hornwort is a flowering plant which is important for reproduction. Both male and female flowers are found on the same specimen, making it a monoecious plant. Do not expect much color from the flowers as they are brown and only 1/10-inch long. The flower produces fruit in the form of a nut which is around 1/5-inch in size, with three spines.
This plant is grown locally (Malta) by one of our partner aquarium plant keepers/breeders and is sold as a single plant in this product listing. You are buying the equivalent of a tub of 5cm full of hornwort.
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