Subwassertang: The Ultimate Care & Propagation Guide

Subwassertang (Lomariopsis lineata) is the best low-light aquarium plant for shrimp tanks and nano tanks. Süsswassertang (aka Subwassertang) is a freshwater fern plant native to SouthEast Asia which is sometimes called Loma fern or round pellia.

This article will cover different aspects of keeping and propagating this beautiful beginner plant.


In German süßwasser means “freshwater” and tang means “seaweed”. The original pronunciation of the word “Süßwassertang” is “Süsswassertang” as the letter ß in German means “s” but due to its resemblance to the letter b in English, this plant became popular as Subwassertang.

Subwassertang is probably one of the best plants for shrimp tanks as it’s super easy to care for and for its low light requirements. This plant is fairly hardy with a slow growth rate. Unlike mosses, Subwassertang does not creep and will not take over your entire tank. They will grow slowly in spots when the current is not strong. This makes them a super easy plant to maintain.

For a long time, aquarists considered this plant as not algae, moss or liverwort plant which recent studies indicate is actually a type of fern. It was first used in an aquarium environment by Christel Kasselmann in 2001 which was then slowly introduced to different pet markets around the world.

This plant does not need any special type of care to thrive, This means they are one of the best beginner plants available in the pet hobby. However, there are a few key points you will need to consider in order to prevent any die-off and to make your plant thrive.



Despite being so new to the aquarium hobby, Subwassertang became popular very fast. Faster than the scientific community could catch on! For a long time, it has been considered to be a liverwort for its ribbon-like thallus. But recently this opinion got dismissed since there are clear differences between the two plants.

This seaweed-looking freshwater plant has a lush green color with no root or branch structure. Subwassertang plant has a ribbon-shaped structure stretching in every direction. The plant is very thin and when touched it feels like plastic. The tips of the stretches are round without any breaking like a liverwort plant.

To differentiate Subwassertang from Liverwort you will have to touch the plant. Subwassertang is harder and won’t break easily when touched. it’s also more translucent and the end of ribbon stretches are round.


Subwassertang plant is easy to grow, sturdy, and durable. You can place these plants in the front, middle or even background in a single plant species aquarium. Since these plants don’t have a root system, you can attach them to driftwood rocks and decorations or even let them float in the water.

You can attach the plant to objects using a fishing line or Gel Super Glue. Subwassertang plant is a water column feeder meaning they don’t need substrate and will feed on available minerals in the water. Even though they are low-light plants they grow best at medium light so place them somewhere they get enough light, either natural sunlight or your aquarium light.

Subwassertang Care

This is by far one of the best easy to care low maintenance plants available. They require nothing more than occasional water changes and minimum lighting to thrive. Most aquarists just throw the plant in the tank and let it do its thing.

It does not require CO2 or fertilizer to grow which makes them a great shrimp tank plant. That being said, like all other plants they grow much faster when fertilizers and CO2 are added to the tank.

Subwassertang Growth Rate

They are slow-growing plants that grow continuously throughout the year. The lighting and nutrition in the water column have a direct impact on the growth rate of Subwassertang. 

The ideal environment for the plant is an aquarium with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5 and temperatures between 68-78 °F, but they grow best at 75 °F.

You can fast track the growth rate of Süsswassertang with a good lighting system, adding CO2, and adding weekly liquid fertilizers.  

Planting Subwassertang

As mentioned above, Subwassertang is a water column feeder plant, which means it does not need soil or substrate. One of the best ways to plant it is by attaching it firmly to something like driftwood or rocks, and after some time it will start to attach itself and continue to grow.

Most aquarists use cyanoacrylate gel glue to attach Subwassertang to wood, rocks, and other objects. These glues are most commonly known as “Super Glue Gel” and can be any brand as long as it is 100% cyanoacrylate.

If your aquarium has low flow, we recommend letting them float in the tank. they will find their corner and will keep propagating.

Subwassertang Propagation

This fern plant will continue to grow and replicate at all times and never pass its gametophyte stage. You can leave them in the tank and let them propagate naturally or cut them in the middle.

When cutting the plant, make sure it has at least 2 inches in length on each side. This will ensure plants’ survival and rapid growth. You can use sharp cutters or scissors to cut off pieces and carefully attach them to driftwood or place them back in the water. With enough nutrition, the new plants will continue to grow and reproduce.

Subwassertang can attach itself to surfaces like driftwood and similar objects. All you need to do is to attach a clump of them to the wood and let the plant slowly grow around that object. You can also place Subwassertang in rock or wood crevices and create dramatic scapes.

Maintenance: Color loss, melting, & Algae

Maintaining this plant is very easy and will not need anything special. All you need to focus on is regular water changes to keep your tank parameters constant.

You might need to prune this plant once or twice yearly and that’s it. Subwassertang is a slow-growing plant but after its establishment, it will grow much faster.

Like any slow-growing plant, the Subwassertang plant is susceptible to algae growth. This can cause the plant to die or just cause your plant to look ugly. To avoid algae growth, try placing your plant in shaded areas or reduce the time your light is on. Finding the right light/fertilization balance is the key to keeping algae off your plants.

If you see Subwassertang is losing its green color and starting to melt, it’s a sign your plant is dying. The first thing you need to check is to see if they get enough light and fertilization or not. This is usually the case when they don’t get enough light or too much fertilizer is added to the tank at once. The right balance between light and fertilization is very important.

Subwassertang And Tank Mates

Subwassertang plant is a good option for a community tank that has different types of fish, including those that may not be very gentle with plants. Most fish will not disturb this plant and they will leave happily alongside.

You can place Subwassertang with most fish or invertebrates in the same tank. When you first introduce the plant to your tank you might need to keep an eye on it for a few days since each fish has a different personality and some might nip on the plant. If you notice your fish are going after the plant then it’s a sign that you need to move the plant to a new tank. 

The ideal tank mates for Subwassertang plants are shrimps and snails. Both Caridina and Neocaridina shrimps as well as most freshwater snails like Malaysian Trumpet Snail, Ramshorn Snail, Nerite Snail, and Bladder Snail are super safe for your plant.

Having Otocinclus species and Bristlenose Plecos also help with preventing algae growth on the plant and both fish will not eat Subwassertang.

Benefits Of Subwassertang

Subwassertang plant is an easy plant to work with when it comes to creating dramatic looks in your aquarium. You can bend and form this plant to create artistic effects to match the visual aspects of your aquarium. You can use this plant as tree leaves, carpet, ball, and green background. It offers similar

Like all other plants, Subwassertang will remove toxins from the water column and add oxygen to the water which promotes a healthier environment for your shrimp or fish.

Subwassertang is a great plant for growing out tanks or shrimp aquariums as it creates a lot of surface area in the tank where biofilm can grow. Most shrimps and some fish will forge on the biofilm and algae growing on the surface of the plant.

It also provides a perfect hiding spot for shrimp and livebearer fish fry and helps them stay safe from predators.

Buying Subwassertang Plant

When looking to buy a Subwassertang, pay attention to its color. If they are not lush green or if you notice parts of plants melting, it’s probably best to move on and not purchase that plant. Both these are signs that the plant is dying.

If you are buying this plant from local hobbyists then make sure you quarantine the plant properly as it’s super easy for snails and other hitchhikers to hide in it.

Is Subwassertang Suitable for Your Aquarium?

This plant is great for most setups, with many freshwater tanks already fulfilling the necessary criteria. As long as your water parameters are within the suitable range and you have enough light, your Subwassertang will thrive.

This plant is a good fit for most types of fish, but avoid any fish that are known to eat plants. It’s okay to add popular freshwater fish like neon tetras, guppies, and platys.

One of the great aspects of this plant is how easy it is to grow. You can start small and keep growing with cuttings.



Subwassertang is a hardy plant perfect for shrimp tanks. The lush green and dense growth form of the plant makes it easy for aquarists to create dramatic effects in the tanks. It doesn’t grow too tall and requires very little care.

Thank you for reading!