El Niño Fern AKA Asian Water Fern AKA Bolbitis Broadleaf (Bolbitis heteroclita), Bunch
El Niño Fern is relatively rare because it is very slow growing. It only requires low to moderate lighting and nutrient rich soil, although its growth rate can be increased through CO2 injection/supplementation. It reproduces through rhizome division and the production of offshoots, and it thrives in areas with strong water currents. El Niño Fern should not be planted with its rhizome (roots) buried in the substrate because it will rot and recede. Instead, it can be attached to rocks, driftwood, and other decorations in the aquarium, or it can be planted on top of the substrate as long as the roots are not completely buried. Due to its delicate leaves, it should never be housed with large crayfish, medium to large cichlids, goldfish, or any other animals that are prone to picking at plants.
CO2 supplementation is beneficial, but not necessary for this plant. Like most plants, El Niño Fern will benefit from supplementation such as Seachem Flourish, Flourish Excel, Nitrogen and other plant supplements.
- Elegant green foliage
- Thrives when attached to driftwood or rockwork
- Relatively uncommon
- Requires low to moderate lighting
- Temperature: 68° - 80° F (20° - 26° C)
- pH: 6.0 - 7.5
- Lighting: Low to moderate
- Origin: Cultivated in US nurseries, but indigenous to Southeast Asia
- Aquarium placement: Middle to background
- Care: Easy