Water sprite

Discussion in 'Aquarium Plants' started by happygolucky, Aug 4, 2015.

  1. happygoluckyWell Known MemberMember

    A question about water sprite. Does it actually work well as a floating plant? And if I purchased some, how does one go about setting up a floating plant that won't drift around taking light from other plants?
  2. BluestreakflWell Known MemberMember

    It does float fine. If you want it to stay in one area, the easiest thing would probably be to get 2 suction cups and some fishing line. Section out where you want it to stay, and just run the line between the 2 suction cups. Water sprite is generally a fast grower, so keep in mind you'll need to trim it every 2 weeks to 1 month depending on all factors.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum

  3. chromedome52Fishlore VIPMember

    Water Sprite should only be kept as a floating plant. The roots are meant to collect ammonia/nutrients from the water column, and cannot function properly when buried. It does not grow correctly when planted, and gets spindly leaves.

    It is often confused with Water Wisteria, which is a stem plant that does fine when pushed into the substrate. Water Sprite is a fern, and the leaves radiate from the base of the plant. You may also see small plants growing in the notches of the fronds on Water Sprite; Wisteria does not do this.
  4. BluestreakflWell Known MemberMember

    Water sprite will actually do just fine planted in the substrate as long as part of the upper root base is left above the substrate. I have grown it almost exclusively this way, and it has grown like a weed in my low tech setup. The key is leaving some of the roots exposed above the substrate.

    ImageUploadedByFish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum1438718339.419335.jpg

    Not the best picture but you get the idea. Also as it gets established, it will grow plenty more roots above the substrate that will spider out and about.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  5. chromedome52Fishlore VIPMember

    Spindly leaves, as I said. Water Sprite is a floating fern that grows best at the surface, the way it occurs in nature. When grown this way, the leaves are broad and offer cover to make the fish feel safe and comfortable.
    This is what Water Sprite looks like when grown on the surface. Broad leaves with baby plants interspersed.

    Edit to add: This is in a no-tech setup. I had to pull large masses from some of my tanks because they were getting too dense, so I threw them in one of the wading pools I keep in the fishroom. The photo shows about 1/10 of what is in the pool.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2018
  6. happygoluckyWell Known MemberMember

    On LiveAquaria I saw that floating plants were recommended for Gouramis, is this true? That would be the only reason I would have water sprite(unless it gave benefits for other fish such as corys or tetras).
  7. chromedome52Fishlore VIPMember

    Floating plants are great for Anabantoids. Most of the Gouramis I've spawned built their nests under Water Sprite leaves. Betta splendens absolutely love to breed under Water Sprite.

    Some Tetras love to spawn in the exposed root system. I've also bred a number of killifish this way.
  8. BluestreakflWell Known MemberMember

    It's 2 totally different looks really, floating with some aerial growth VS Submerged and planted. I personally like the more delicate look with it submerged. Mines never given me any trouble, grows like a weed, and I have to trim it regularly or it overtakes the tank. I guess it boils down to personal preference really. I will note that growth is much faster while floating it, I threw a tiny little piece in my 55g and it became football sized in about a month. Either way you plant it, it's easy to grow, and loves to soak up ammonia. It's the first plant I recommend to people on their first attempt at live plants because of how easy it is to grow.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  9. happygoluckyWell Known MemberMember

    Is it still worth it even if I never want my fish to breed(my gourami couldn't anyways, I'm picking out a single male)?
  10. BluestreakflWell Known MemberMember

    It will still benefit the tank, as I said before water sprite loves ammonia, probably its favorite food, and will also consume nitrates if no ammonia is present, so it helps keep water healthy. It will also absorb leftover nutrients from fish waste. It will provide cover and comfort to the fish as well.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum

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