What to grow

Practical Fishkeeping (UK) - - New fishkeepers -

Val­lis­ne­ria (usu­ally ab­bre­vi­ated to ‘Val­lis’) is a sta­ple of the hobby and that’s no sur­prise given how easy it is to grow and how good it can look. Some­times called ‘eel grass’, its long, strap like leaves can give a classic wa­ter weed look, sway­ing beau­ti­fully with the flow in your tank. It can grow very rapidly with leaves ca­pa­ble of reach­ing a cou­ple of feet in length and lay­ing across the tank sur­face.

Th­ese plants spread by run­ners and can swiftly pop­u­late the bot­tom of your tank to the de­gree that they may need prun­ing back or weed­ing out. A twisted leaf ver­sion, with at­trac­tive, spi­ralling leaves as well as a dwarf species are some­times avail­able.

It can strug­gle in soft, acidic wa­ter but oth­er­wise it’s usu­ally a case of keep­ing it un­der con­trol. Many fish will nib­ble at its leaves, but un­less you stock larger, veg­e­tar­ian fish and don’t sup­ple­ment their diet with veg then your Val­lis will usu­ally match or out­grow their ap­petites.

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