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Plant Type

Rhizome / Creeping stem

Growth Difficulty

Beginner / Easy

Plant Height

20-30cm (7.9-11.8 Inches) High

Plant Width

0-10cm (0-3.9 Inches) Wide

Plant Position / Usage

Attached To Hardscape

Co2 Requirements

Recommended (Medium light)

Growth Rate


Light Requirements

Medium Light (35-50 PAR)

Temperature Tolerance

58 - 80°F (Fahrenheit)

PH Range

5 - 7 pH

Carbonate Hardness

0 - 14 °KH (dKH)

Can Be Grown Emmersed?








  • Common Names - Synonyms:
    African Water Fern
    Origin - Distribution:
    • Africa
    This is a real aquatic fern with a creeping rhizome that attaches itself to rocks and wood. The leaves are pinnate, dark green and somewhat transparent

    Like with the Anubias plants, the rhizome should not be covered with substrate. For this reason, it is better attached to wood or rock. The roots have a firm grip. It is a slow growing plant, with up to 3 new leaves per month. It can grow in lower light, but as with most plants CO2 injection and medium light work well. Some people reported blackening/burning of the leaves, this was mainly due to low nutrient levels in the water column.

    It can be propagated by cutting the rhizome with at least three leaves. The size of the leaves seems to be mostly influenced by the thickness of the rhizome.

    In aquascapes it is most often used as a stable midground plant. However, keep in mind that as the plant ages leaves can grow quite long as shown in the 160 thousand liters “Florestas submersas” aquascape created by Takashi Amano.
  • Photo 1: Closeup of Bolbitis leaf . Source: Mihai Zamfir (Allwissend), 2017. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
    Photo 2: Use of Bolbitis fern in the "Florestas Submersas" aquarium . Source: Mihai Zamfir (Allwissend), 2017. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
    Photo 3: Bolbitis heudelotii in aquascape. Source : Drakthul, 2015. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
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