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Hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum) is a popular and hardy aquatic plant that is commonly used in freshwater aquariums and ponds. Known for its rapid growth and easy maintenance, hornwort is an excellent choice for both beginner and experienced aquarists.

1. Tank Setup:

  • Tank Size: Hornwort is suitable for aquariums of various sizes, making it adaptable to both small and large tanks.

2. Substrate:

  • Hornwort can be left floating or anchored in the substrate. If you choose to anchor it, use a fine gravel or sand substrate.
  • It can also be attached to rocks or decorations using fishing line or plant weights.

3. Lighting:

  • Hornwort is highly adaptable to a wide range of lighting conditions, from low to high light.
  • Utilize full-spectrum LED or fluorescent aquarium lights, adjusting the intensity based on your preference and the specific needs of your tank.

4. Water Parameters:

  • Temperature: Maintain a temperature range between 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C). Hornwort is highly tolerant of temperature variations.
  • pH Level: Hornwort can thrive in a broad pH range, typically between 6.0 to 7.5.
  • Water Hardness: It is adaptable to various water hardness levels.

5. Water Quality:

  • A filter is recommended to ensure good water circulation and filtration, which can help remove waste and provide additional oxygenation.
  • Regular water changes (approximately 10-20% every week) help maintain water quality and remove accumulated pollutants.

6. Plant Placement:

  • Hornwort can be left floating or anchored in the substrate. When anchoring, bury the stems in the substrate or attach them to rocks or decorations.
  • It can also be used to provide shade for fish or as a spawning site for some species.

7. Fertilization:

  • Hornwort is a nutrient-efficient plant and can extract nutrients from the water column. However, if your aquarium has low nutrient levels, you can use a liquid fertilizer or root tabs for other plants in the tank.
  • Ensure a balance between lighting, nutrients, and carbon dioxide to prevent algae overgrowth.

8. Pruning and Maintenance:

  • Hornwort is a fast grower and can quickly fill your tank. Regular trimming and pruning are often necessary to prevent it from overcrowding the aquarium.
  • Prune the tops and remove excess growth to maintain its desired shape and density.

9. Propagation:

  • Hornwort propagates easily. You can propagate it by simply cutting healthy stems and replanting them in the substrate or allowing them to float. New shoots will grow from the cuttings.

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