Anacharis plant is a famous aquarium plant that is readily available in pet stores today. Their popularity is mainly due to the fact that they are very easy to care for and are very beautiful plants. This plant can be a good choice for most low-tech community tanks that need a lush green plant.
This guide will walk you through all the information you need to know about Anacharis plants along with a few tips and tricks to boost their health and growth.
Anacharis plants are native to South America and grow in the tropical freshwaters of the region. There are a few different variants of Anacharis plants available in the wild. In the aquarium hobby, there are two main variants of this pant that are mainly sold in pet stores. These two types are Egeria Densa (Brazilian waterweed) and the Elodea genus.
Of the two main types of Anacharis plants, the Egeria Densa or the Brazilian waterweed is more readily available in the stores. This plant develops lush green longer leaves which is why they have gained more popularity.
Anacharis plants are very similar in terms of care and growth patterns. They are also known by other names like Brazilian Water Weed, American Waterweed, Waterweed, or Elodea. Depending on the place they are coming from, they might look very similar with slight differences. This is why they are called Anacharis; a general name for all waterweed plants available in the aquarium trade.
Anacharis is a beginner-friendly plant that grows very green and can tolerate most aquarium conditions. Regardless of your skill levels, you can safely keep Anacharis in your tank as long as your tank meets its minimum care requirements.
They are fairly hardy plants that will grow fully submerged in the water. Anacharis is also very versatile when it comes to the temperature they tolerate. They will happily live in most tank temperatures that aquarium fish need.
Anacharis have semi-transparent green leaves growing on a thick round stem. The stems will grow tall and long but the leaves remain small and narrow. They can also grow new stems every few inches that will grow and can become independent plants.
They grow leaves out from their long stems in groups of four to six. Despite their thin and fragile looks, leaves are very durable. This plant is sold in bunches of 6 – 10 stems that are bundled together. The stems are usually singular with no side branching, but after some time they will grow new side branches in your tank.
Anacharis also grow tiny roots off the stems that will try to find substrate or other sources of nutrients. The roots are fragile and can easily break but when planting your Anacharis in the substrate the roots will grow deep and hold the plant in place.
Size & Growth Rate
Anacharis can grow up to 6 – 8 inches tall. Depending on the variant of the Anacharis you have they might grow slightly larger. The lighting of the tank also has an impact on the growth and growth rate of this plant. But they generally stay at around 6 – 8 inches.
Anacharis is a fast-growing species. If your tank has enough nutrients and good light, this plant will rapidly grow and reproduce. In the wild, they are usually found in places where they get sufficient sunlight and slow-moving waters. These conditions help the plant to grow fast and large.
Anacharis is a hardy plant so caring for it is very easy. Because they grow relatively fast, you will need to provide them with enough light and fertilizer. This also means that you will need to regularly trim them to stay in good shape and condition.
The lower leaves can easily melt over time if the plant grows too large and bushy that light can not reach them. So regular trimming should be a priority of yours.
The minimum tank for Anacharis is 15 gallons or more. You can also keep them in smaller aquariums but you will soon realize that you need to do a lot of pruning to keep the plant small.
If you have shrimp breeding tanks you can have this plant in small aquariums and let it grow and fill the tank. This is because a shrimp breeding tank doesn’t have to be well aquascaped.
This plant grows too tall so it is best to have them in a larger tank so it can grow naturally. Having them in larger tanks will also reduce the amount of trimming and pruning you will need to do.
Fortunately, Anacharis plants are not very picky when it comes to water conditions. This plant is a hardy weed-type aquatic plant and can adapt to most aquarium conditions.
Anacharis appreciates slow to moderate water movement. This is because as the plant grows its stems become more fragile and fast-moving waters can break the plant. If you have a tank that has fast water circulation, you can place this plant behind the source of the current where water movement is slow. This will help your plant to grow naturally without breaking or leaf loss.
Anacharis needs a stable tank that has parameters within the range mentioned below:
- Temperature: 72 – 78 Degrees Fahrenheit
- PH: 6.5 – 7.5
- TDS: 50 – 200 PPM
Anacharis plants tolerate slightly different water parameters as well but the range above is the ideal range you can keep them in.
Anacharis does not need CO2, they can grow naturally without CO2 injection. The air in the room has enough carbon dioxide that can mix with the tank water that your plant will use. The fish and other living organisms will also constantly produce CO2 that Anacharis will use to grow.
However, For a faster growth rate and healthier leaves you can inject CO2 into your aquarium. When more carbon dioxide is available in the tank and the light stays on for longer periods this plant will grow fast and better.
Anacharis needs medium to strong lighting. Under low lights, this plant can suffer and might even die.
The ideal light for Anacharis is a type of light that produces full spectrum rays. Such light will help the plant to naturally photosynthesize and grow.
Anacharis naturally grow towards the light source. If you have medium lighting in your tank this plant will grow tall and try to get as close to the light as it can. This will result in long and beautiful stem growth. When the light is strong your Anacharis will not need to get close to the light source as it can get enough light from the distance. Under these conditions, the plant will try to grow at its natural size and branch out to make more stems.
Depending on the CO2 levels and fertilization available in your tank you can keep the light on for 6 – 12 hours daily. This will help you have a beautiful tank with lots of greenery that constantly removes toxins from the water column.
Anacharis can be planted in the substrate or left floating in the tank. This makes them a great plant for any tank, even a bare bottom tank that has no substrate at all.
The root structures they grow can absorb nutrition from the water column as well as the soil or substrate. The leaves will also absorb nutrients which is why this plant has a very weak root growth.
If you decide to plant them in the substrate, make sure to provide them with a nutrition-rich substrate so they can grow a strong root system. If you are using sand or any type of substrate that has minimal to no nutrients your plant will continue to grow but will absorb its food from the water column.
Planting & Placement
Anacharis will grow tall and bushy and can easily reach the surface of the tank if you have a low tank. So if you have a smaller tank it is best to place your Anacharis in the background of the tank.
In larger tanks, you have a little more wiggle room and can even place this plant in the midground of the tank. Depending on the aquascape you are planning to achieve, you can place this plant somewhere that doesn’t block the view of the tank and get enough light to grow.
Anacharis is a multipurpose plant and can be used to create beautiful aquascapes or as a breeding ground in breeding setups. If you want to have them in your breeding tanks you can leave them floating in the tank and they will grow a dense jungle that fish fry or shrimplets can hide in.
Because Anacharis can feed off the water column and substrate, this plant can be used in any tank setup. This makes them a very versatile and hardy plant. So you can use imagination and create a unique aquascape as this plant will survive in most conditions.
Anacharis propagation is very easy and simple. Anacharis is stemming plants which means they can be propagated easily by cutting. When cutting stems make sure to cut a stem that is at least 3 – 4 inches. This is because the new stem will have enough leaves to absorb light and nitrogen to be able to grow easily.
Because this plant grows fast you might not even need to propagate it exclusively. When it’s time to prune and trim the Anacharis plant you can keep the trimmings and let them grow to become new plants.
Maintenance & Fertilization
As mentioned, this plant is a fast-growing type of aquatic plant that will need regular pruning and trimming. They will grow upright and will reach the surface of the tank at no time. Once it reaches the top it will continue to grow horizontally close to the surface but will not grow out of the water. Once they reach the top you can cut the stem to keep them off the tank’s surface.
If you plant them on the sides of the tank you may not even have to trim them at all. The plant will grow towards the surface and will continue to grow towards the length of the tank making a beautiful scene.
Despite being a fast-growing plant, the Anacharis plant will not need extra fertilizer to be added to the tank. If you have a few fish in the tank they will produce enough waste so the Anacharis plant can grow.
However, if you have more plants you might need to add fertilizers so all your plants can grow naturally. Liquid fertilizers are the best option to use for Anacharis if you want them to grow fast.
Anacharis plant can live with most fish and invertebrates in a community tank. This plant is very hardy and can tolerate most water conditions and nippy fish. You can even keep them with most types of plecos.
This plant is a great plant to add to shrimp tanks. Most freshwater shrimps need plants to find food and have more surface area to explore. Because Anacharis are fast-growing plants they can keep the water clean and thus you will need fewer water changes.
As mentioned, Anacharis are great plants for community tanks and most aquarium inhabitants can safely live with this plant. But some species are more compatible with this plant we listed below:
- L46 Zebra Pleco
- Bristlenose plecos
- Rubber Lip Pleco
- Clown Pleco
- Cherry shrimp
- Vampire Shrimp
- Bamboo Shrimp
- Nerite snails
- Assassin Snail
- Other types of snails
- Betta fish
- Most types of aquarium plants
Benefits of Anacharis in Aquariums
Anacharis is a stunning plant that can make your tank look more natural and beautiful. This plant not only makes your tank look good but will also help your water parameters to stay more stable and clean.
Because of its fast growth rate, it can easily create a dense jungle in your tank. This will give your smaller fish a safe haven to hide from larger fish or when they are under stress. They are also great breeding grounds for egg-laying or livebearer fish.
Juvenile fish or shrimps can take refuge in between densely grown Anacharis. The larger fish usually avoid swimming in between plans making it easier for smaller fry to grow.
Anacharis is a budget-friendly plant that can live in most aquarium conditions. Their fast growth rate makes them an ideal plant for many aquarists that need to remove toxins from their tank more efficiently. This plant is also a great beginner-friendly plant to start your plant-keeping journey.