Amazon biotope plant suggestions


Junior Poster
Jun 16, 2008
Hi all,

I may be getting a chance to help create a large planted tank for a public Aquarium that I work for. This display will be based on the Rio Negro habitat. Rather than an exact biotope, our plan is to feature aquatic flora and fauna that are found throughout the overall region.

I have a list of plants that I believe are native to the area, but I'm not certain. Can any of you confirm, deny, or add to this list? I haven't noted exact species for everything because there may be multiples for any listed genera. Specific recommendations are welcome. I'm also looking for aquatic epiphytes (if any exist there).

  • Echinodorus sp. (Swords)
  • Vallisneria sp.
  • Syngonanthus sp.
  • Cabomba sp.
  • Myriophyllum sp.
  • Heteranthera sp.
  • Mayaca sp.
  • Alternanthera sp.
  • Eleocharis sp. (Hairgrass)
  • Sagittaria sp. (Salamander tank)
  • Helanthium Tenellum (Pygmy Chain Sword)
  • Staurogyne Repens (Stem)
  • Lilaeopsis brasiliensis (Micro Sword)
  • Eriocaulon sp.
  • Micranthemum sp.
  • Azolla sp.
  • Salvinia sp.
  • Phyllanthus Fluitans (Red Root Floater)
  • Pistia stratiotes (Water Lettuce)
  • Limnobium Laevigatum (Frogbit)
  • Hydrocotyle leucocephala (Pennywort)
  • TBD


Super Moderator
Staff member
Lifetime Member
Jun 20, 2016
sounds like a great project. I fully agree to the relaxed approach you are taking to present the fish and plants from the area in a nice to look at environment. After all if you don't get a few km of the actual trees and bugs to surround and feed your aquarium, some actual soil from the river and the proper leaves from the proper species of plants on the river bank it's not a biotope :p

I think by and large you got it down, some are more typical to the region than others but the genus is there to be found ... for example you have Vallisneria neotropicalis but most other and common vallisneria spp. are not from that region.

Maybe this webiste helps you find more interesting species the aquarium might have access to[regionsearch]=462
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Reactions: treefisher


Junior Poster
Jun 16, 2008
A biotope was the original thought, but aquatic plant life in the region we're looking at is a bit sparse, with little variety. I believe it will have a much greater impact as a lush/full planted tank. And you're right. It could never be 100% accurate anyway.

That is a very useful link. Thanks! I wish it played nicer with page translators.

I've been wanting to see a nice planted tank in this Aquarium since I started working here. It's looking promising, but we haven't secured funding quite yet. This will be on a much larger scale than anything I've worked on, so it will be a challenge. I'll probably pick the forum's brain more as it moves forward.


Junior Poster
Jun 16, 2008
Agree. I'm all about this, so I guess I'm the person. Hope I don't lead them into an ever-present algae war....

That link worked better than the translator I was using. Thanks!