Scientific name: Vallisneria asiatica
Usual maximum size in aquariums: 30 - 35 cm (11.81 - 13.78 inch)
Recommended pH range for the species: 6.5 - 7.6
Recommended water hardness (dGH): 4 - 18°N (71.43 - 321.43ppm)
0°C 32°F30°C 86°F
Recommended temperature: 20 - 27 °C (68 - 80.6°F)
Reproduction of the plant: Runners
Origin (in the wild): South Asia
How fast these plants grow: Fast
Recommended substrate: Fine gravel
Demands on lighting: Bright
Ideal placement in a fish tank: Background
These plants will send out runners under the substrate and plantlets will develop from these. After a while the daughter plants will develop their own root system, at this stage they can be separated from the mother plant to grow where they are or they can be transplanted to a different area of the aquarium. When planting these always leave the crown of the plant above the substrate, this is easy to spot as the crown will have a lighter colouration to the rest of the plant.
The plantlets can be placed straight into a gravel substrate but for quicker root growth and development of the plant, adding laterite to the substrate will help things along. Root tablets are also ideal for this plant to aid growth as they are very much root feeders.
This is one of the easiest Vallisneria species to grow. Although it will be fine in the higher end of the temperature range, they do prefer unheated tanks but they must have bright lighting. Always make sure that the leaves do not get fractured, as soon as this happens the leaf will die off. Many keepers think that this plant cannot be pruned back, this is not true. As long as the leaves are cut back with sharp scissors they will be o.k. Leaves that are dying off can also be removed by lifting them away at the base.
Sometimes known as the corkscrew vallis due to the leaves twisting themselves as they grow, this plant is ideal for beginners to aquatic plants as they are very undemanding and can adapt to a wide range of water parameters. As they can reach a height of up to 60 cm they are best planted at the rear and sides of the aquarium thus providing hiding places for the tank inhabitants as well as giving a great display in the aquarium.
They prefer cooler water but will adapt to higher temperatures, making them ideal for coldwater and tropical aquarium set ups. The warmer water should be used with lower lighting levels so that the growth does not become leggy causing less strength in the leaves.
Once established they will also develop a strong root structure so that if any bottom dwelling fish are in the aquarium, the roots will hold fast despite digging around the substrate by the inhabitants.