The Amazon Frogbit Plant can make your planted aquarium or pond look incredible and make your fish much happier.
As if that’s not enough, it is surprisingly easy to take care of.
If you aren’t utilizing this hardy, beautiful freshwater aquarium plant, simply put, you should be.
What is the Amazon Frogbit Plant?
The Amazon Frogbit Plant (Limnobium Laeviatum) is native to Central and South America. It is so hardy, however, that it can also be found in North America as an invasive species. It is related to a native version. No wonder it can be found in the wild throughout California, likely thanks to the aquarium trade.
What Does the Amazon Frogbit Plant Look Like?
This is a surface species that has flat leaves that float on the surface of the aquarium or pond. As this floating plant gets older, it will also grow leaves right out of the water. This can provide a unique effect for the planted aquarium. It turns out; it is very attractive in uncovered aquariums.
Advantages of the Amazon Frogbit Floating Plant
Simply put, there are all kinds of reasons to choose this plant for your aquarium or pond. It is not difficult to keep healthy, and that’s just one side of the story…
Lovely in The Aquarium
The Amazon Frogbit Plant has beautiful rounded leaves which look charming in aquariums. Furthermore, we’ve found that it produces lovely little white flowers throughout the year.
It’s unusual to find an aquarium plant that flowers but is still small enough for the average tank. But wait, let me tell you something: A smattering of little white flowers across the surface of your aquarium is sure to impress.
A plant like this can prevent water from evaporating in your aquarium. We’ve found this to be especially true when it covers the majority of the aquarium surface.
The tendency of this aquarium plant to reduce evaporation can be very helpful in reducing your maintenance for the tank.
It Stays Small
Unlike many freshwater plants, this plant will only grow to be about 20 inches wide.
What does this mean for you? How quickly does Amazon Frogbit grow?
This plant won’t overwhelm the tank as quickly as some other species.
The small leaves also look appropriate in aquariums, helping to create a naturalistic appearance.
You Won’t Need CO2
Unlike many aquarium plants, this plant doesn’t need supplemental CO2 in aquariums to stay in great shape. This can save you a lot of trouble and money while still maintaining a gorgeous plant aquarium.
It can also be beneficial for fish since adding CO2 can make it harder for fish to live in an aquarium. Here’s why: This floating plant draws its CO2 directly from the air, not the water in your tank.
Downsides of the Amazon Frogbit Plant
Not surprisingly, a plant that is this easy to grow and attractive in the aquarium must have some disadvantages.
In case you might be asking yourself what potential problems this lovely plant might have, here’s what you need to know:
It Can Deplete Freshwater Oxygen
Unfortunately, when this plant photosynthesizes, oxygen is released into the air, not the water. No matter how fast it may grow, it won’t increase oxygen levels in the tank.
It can also prevent light from penetrating further into the tank. Simply put, this will prevent other plants further down from producing oxygen for fish.
This won’t be a problem if it only covers a small portion of the surface of the tank. However, if it covers most or all of the tank surface, it can be a serious issue.
And the good news? You can make up for this problem in your tank:
● Make sure it doesn’t cover the entire surface of the tank
● Include an aerator in the tank to produce more oxygen under the surface
● Provide supplemental light in the tank at an angle to provide light to plants further down
It is susceptible to snail damage
The leaves of this plant are a favorite food for the average snail. If you have many snails in your aquarium, you may notice significant damage.
As if that’s not enough, providing such good food can result in snails reproducing more than you would like them to.
In our experience, choosing plant-friendly snails like the Malaysian trumpet snail is a good solution.
On the other hand, if you would like to breed snails, you are in luck. You are likely to find that this plant can grow quickly enough to make up for damage and still look very nice while providing free food.
How to Care for the Amazon Frogbit Plant
As an aquarium plant, you’ll likely find that this is a very easy plant to care for. On the other hand, there are some requirements you will need to meet to keep this plant healthy.
Keep the Top Dry
The parts of the plant that float on the surface of the aquarium and shelter fish need to be kept dry most of the time. Here’s why: If it gets wet too much or is submerged in water it will begin to rot.
This can quickly destroy the water quality in your aquarium, leading to further rot. Most of the time, this plant will naturally adjust so it will float on the surface and is not submerged in water.
We’ve found that its leaves grow very quickly to the surface of the water, which is helpful in preventing this problem.
What does this mean for you? Don’t worry too much about water changes. However, if you have a fountain feature that sprays, make sure the water doesn’t land on the plant.
Water Quality is Important
This plant can tolerate a good deal of variation in the ph and hardness of the water. It thrives in ph between 6.0 and 7.5 and soft to medium water.
However, it will not tolerate stagnant water or high levels of ammonia in aquariums. It doesn’t need water free from issues, but it needs quality.
By now, you should realize that it will require a good filter and frequent water changes. Droppings from inhabitants of the aquarium can help to fertilize this plant.
However, we have found that too much waste can quickly result in high levels of ammonia that will affect its health. A filter that pushes oxygen into the water can be helpful for aquarium fish.
On the other hand, you must be careful that there is not too much spray that may rot leaves.
Offer Moderate to High Lighting
In ponds or growing wild in Central or South America or in California, this plant thrives under the full sun. No wonder it needs a fair amount of light in the aquarium.
Full-spectrum light is a good idea. Without enough light, this plant won’t be able to thrive and leaves will begin to rot.
How to Propagate
If you love the look of this gorgeous plant, you may want to produce more of it. You will be happy to learn that it can grow very readily into new plants.
This plant is capable of sexual reproduction in which the flower is pollinated. In our experience, this is unlikely to occur in an aquarium environment due to the lack of pollinators.
Turns out, what is more likely is that it will propagate through stem fragmentation. When this happens, smaller plants break off of the main plant.
You will see them free-floating away from the primary plant. No wonder this plant has so easily been able to colonize in various places throughout Central and even North America, especially California.
You may even be able to give it away for free, especially if you live in the south where it can grow outside.
How to Use Amazon Frogbit Plant in Aquascaping
Aquascaping can take your aquarium to the next level. An aquascaped aquarium doesn’t just have a few plants.
Simply put, it looks like a little patch of the Amazon or whatever environment you are trying to replicate. Each aquarium plant is used to create a stunning effect.
It is very important to know exactly how this plant will grow in your aquarium to use it correctly. We have found that it is best used in a larger aquarium.
Simply put, in a large aquarium, it can be allowed to grow to its full size and produce its lovely white flowers.
And the good news? It won’t cover the entire surface of the aquarium and lead to too little oxygen in the water for other plants.
It works very well in areas where driftwood or rock decorations below make it difficult to grow other plants. It will float and provide shaded areas which many fish appreciate. Nevertheless, it won’t shade other plants.
How to use Amazon Frogbit Plant in Ponds
This floating plant isn’t just for aquariums. This plant can be a charming outdoor species in many areas of America.
It can grow to its full size even in a small pond. If you are in a warmer climate in parts of America like Florida or California, it will thrive year-round.
If you are further north, it will not be able to grow outside year-round since the coldest temperature it will tolerate is 64 degrees Fahrenheit. Look into the related native species for cooler regions.
This plant can be placed anywhere for a lovely effect.
Enjoy the Amazon Frogbit Plant
This floating plant is a truly lovely option for your aquarium thanks to its charming round leaves and lovely white flowers.
And that’s just one side of the story…
It is also very resilient and can tolerate a wide range of pH and water hardness.
Have fun using this lovely floating plant in your aquascape.