Help Hornwort.. What?!

Yarisaurus

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Alright guys.. LFS recommended hornwort as an "easy" plant to keep in my aquarium as well as a good way to help my guppy fry stay alive. So I got it. (Please note, I also purchased 2 types of anubias and a java fern - these plants, I had done lots of research with... Not so much hornwort). Anyhow.. I was all jazzed... because YEAH! GUPPY FRY! The guy at my LFS said I should unwind the lead weight from the bottom of the hornwort bunch. Newbie that I am, I didn't even notice it didn't have roots like the other plants.. Well.. Enter my life when I make it home -- still very jazzed to add these epic live plants to my aquarium....

.....Then I realize... HORNWORT EVERYWHERE!!!!! Needles all over... Vines all over.. I took off the weight like instructed and I can't keep it together to plant it in the gravel. It looks so pretty but so stinkin' messy!

Any of you guys use hornwort? Love it? (I don't absolutely hate it) Give me tips for keeping it in the gravel!!! (or looking neat, at the very least!)
 

Redshark1

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It grows on the surface in the wild.

I did weigh it down with lead in one of my tanks but it grew very fast and I eventually discarded it.

There it is on the right.

Cube 30.01.10 (4) - Copy.JPG
 

Salem

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I mostly just let it float at the top of the tank because my betta likes to float in it. I have seen people tie fishing line around the middle of it and anchor the line to the bottom so it floats about half way up.
 

altwitch

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Not a hornwort fan - tried and discarded it after 2 weeks. I also keep shrimp and recommend Java Fern, Star Grass (Heteranthera Zosterifolia) and Wisteria as possibilities that I use in my tank. Have heart some like Cabomba for shrimp but while I have some in my main I don't use it for shrimp - grows to tall and doesn't spread cover very wide. I put in some Rotalla Indica as well recently to see how they like it.

For me, key with shrimp is whatever provides dense leafy cover which allows them to get and stay out of sight. Even if you don't have fish in with them I suspect it makes them more comfortable.
 

PascalKrypt

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Unlike Anarcharis which looks similar, hornwort does not grow roots when you stick it in the substrate. The bottom part will die off and lose its needles. That might be part of the problem. Just untie it and let it float.

It does grow like mad if you get the conditions right though. Like anarcharis it does not seem to like very high temperatures (80+)
 
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Yarisaurus

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I love it. It sheds a LOT at first but it slows down once it establishes. Its just a pretty bushy plant. I struggle with plants, but hornwort thrives.
I have mine pinched behind some spider driftwood too! Question... The bottom of mine is turning brown though.. The top of it is bright green.. Is this normal?
 

MissNoodle

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I have mine pinched behind some spider driftwood too! Question... The bottom of mine is turning brown though.. The top of it is bright green.. Is this normal?
It may not be getting enough light towards the bottom.

I have mine woven into a plastic mesh piece and anchored into the substrate.

Anchoring Floating Stem Plant Idea | Aquarium Plants 419313

Also another bunch i have tied loosely around the middle and then attached to a suction cup and plugged to the back wall.
 

LordGrim

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I agree with NoddleKeeper. Give it some time, the shedding won't be that much after it adapt to the tank environment.
I had them floating at one corner of my tank. At the start i can see quite alot of shedding around the tank, but now i rarely see any. WC might causes a few shedding which is normal to me.
Now they are growing well, spread some white roots and seem bushy. The best part is that my shrimps like to hang on them too.
 
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