to Grow and Decorate with Cabomba
Pet World Visit
Best Substrate: In the wild cabomba takes over shallow bodies of water with a silt bottom. It will root and flourish in nearly any type of substrate except maybe marbles.
Prologue: Illegal in many states and some countries, this attractive aquarium plant has long been an aquarist favorite. The very traits that make it an invasive pest also make it an easy to grow aquarium plant.
Introduction: We (aquarists) call it cabomba. Others call it Brazilian fanwort (wort is an old word for plant), Brazilian waterpest, or just an invasive weed. So why grow it? Cabomba looks pretty good. There's two versions: Green cabomba, Cabomba caroliniana, which is the easiest to grow and purple (or red) cabomba, Cabomba pulcherrimma, which is harder to grow and probably the reason some aquarists consider cabomba very difficult or even impossible to grow.
How to Plant Cabomba: Plant each cabomba stem at least two inches from
its neighbors. This gives it room to "fan out." Put
shorter stems in front for
a natural look. Avoid planting in rows of equal height stems. Or use it behind rocks
or wood to
Water Cleaner: Cabomba grows fast because it feeds on fish wastes: carbon dioxide, nitrogenous, and phosphate waste products.
Cabomba Provides Security: Danios couldn't care less. However, many of the shyer aquarium residents feel and act more natural in a forest of cabomba. Livebearer fry find places to hide in its fan-like fronds as well as tiny animalcules to snack on. Egg scatterers also find it an excellent egg laying medium. And some adult fish like to snack on the fronds.
Avoid Mono-Culture: Mix in other plant species to pep up your aquascaping. Other shades of green as well as contrasting colors and leaf shapes make your cabomba show better.
LA And it grows well floating.
Too Lazy to Plant? Unplanted stems grow faster because they're nearer the light source. They're not as attractive this way, but the fish don't seem to mind. In fact, livebearer fry would especially appreciate a layer of cabomba at the surface.
Save Your Broken Pieces? Top swimmers feel less like bailing when they have plants in their strata. Pieces that break off like this and grow into new plants are what make Cabomba such an invasive species in some bodies of water.
Cabomba Likes Ponds: In full sun in an outdoor pond, cabomba grows like a weed. It even produces a yellow floweret. It makes a great oxygenator IF there are no goldfish or koi in the pond. It grows so thick in lakes that it interferes with boating and swimming. That's why cabomba is illegal in many states. Do not toss your unwanted cabomba in a nearby lake. Some states want you to dry it out and burn it if you decide to dispose of your cabomba. LA
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