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Azolla caroliniana

Azolla caroliniana

Scientific name: Azolla caroliniana

Family: Azollaceae

Usual maximum size in aquariums: 0 - 2 cm (0 - 0.79 inch)


Recommended pH range for the species: 6.3 - 8

Recommended water hardness (dGH): 0 - 18°N (0 - 321.43ppm)

0°C 32°F30°C 86°F

Recommended temperature: 15 - 27 °C (59 - 80.6°F)

Reproduction of the plant: Runners

Origin (in the wild): North America

How fast these plants grow: Normal

Recommended substrate: Without substrate

Demands on lighting: Bright

Ideal placement in a fish tank: Floating

Common Names

Carolina Mosquito Fern, Water Velvet are common names of Azolla caroliniana.


This plant species is widespread over North America right down to Central America.

Planting Area

Never attempt to plant this plant in the substrate as it’s a floating species.

Lighting Requirements

Bright lighting will speed up the growth of this plant, however it can tolerate medium lighting with no ill effect (proper ratio of nutriments must be present in the water, otherwise bright lighting is of no use anyway).


Azolla caroliniana will be propagating itself by runners which are sent out. A young plant will be on the end of these runners. These are often two leaf juvenile plants and as they grow in size and develop more leaves they will detach themselves from the parent plant.


Easy if given the correct requirements.

Short Description

Azolla caroliniana is cultivated as a fertiliser as it has an ability to store large amounts of nitrogen from the water; this makes it very popular in the aquariums as the addition of these will reduce the nitrate levels in the tank. It is also used for fish food and poultry food production.

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