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How to Care for Anacharis Plants

By Genae Valecia Hinesman

Anacharis, also called Brazilian waterweed and elodea, is a hardy aquatic plant that is native to both South and North America. Characterized by thin, pointed leaves and a deep green color, it has become the most popular plant purchased by those owning aquariums. These plants are considered ideal for those who are new to aquatic plant care because they are easily cared for and fast growing. In spite of this, like any plant, anacharis does have ideal conditions in which it is able to thrive at its best.

Maintain water temperature at a range between 50 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit (or 10 to 25 degrees Celsius). Some species used in outdoor ponds can thrive in cooler weather. Check with your local retailer to determine which variety you are buying.

Check that the pH of the water in which you will be placing Anacharis is between 6.5 and 7.5. This plant prefers hard water with a high mineral content. This can be as simple as adding compatible fish species to the water, such as angelfish or goldfish. Anacharis thrives on the nitrogenous wastes of fish, thus keeping your tank clean, and is an excellent oxygenator. Likewise, fish use the plant as an occasional food source, for breeding purposes and for shelter.

Keep the plants where they will receive plenty of light. Moderate to high levels of light are ideal. Some aquariums use an electric bulb to simulate the needed light when indoors or in a dimly lit room.

Place the stems in gravel at the bottom of your pond or tank. Cut stems will quickly grow root systems this way. Free floating plants will also continue to grow, often up to as much as three feet, since they are closer to ambient light.

Trim the top of your plants to prevent overgrowth. Unchecked, these plants will grow so abundantly that they will crowd out light and diminish nutrients, which will eventually cause damage to itself.


Things You Will Need

  • Anacharis plants
  • Aquarium tank with filter (10 gallon capacity is ideal)
  • Tropical fish (optional, but recommended)
  • Thermometer
  • Fluorite mineral sand or gravel
  • Water to fill tank
  • An outdoor garden pond

About the Author


Genae Valecia Hinesman, former banking executive, entrepreneur and fashion model, began writing professionally in 2002. She is a Cum Laude graduate of the University of Southern California where she studied business, finance and exercise physiology. Her articles featured in Living Healthy: 360, Life 123, the American Chronicle and Yahoo Voices.